Top Pop Songs of 2015

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A list of the top pop songs of 2015 according to Billboard magazine.


The year 2015 was a big year for pop music. We saw the return of some veteran artists, the rise of some new stars, and the domination of others. This list takes a look at the best pop songs of 2015, as determined by their performance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

“Uptown Funk” is a song recorded by English record producer Mark Ronson featuring American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars, for Ronson’s fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). RCA Records released the song as the album’s lead single on 10 November 2014. Jeffrey Bhasker and Mars produced the track. The writing team for “Uptown Funk” drew inspiration from many different musical genres, including R&B, hip hop and funk.Credits adapted from the liner notes of Uptown Special.

“Uptown Funk” has been described as an “irresistible bop”, a “massive hit”, and a “modern classic”. It topped several music charts worldwide, including the US Billboard Hot 100 for fourteen consecutive weeks, becoming both Ronson’s and Mars’ first number-one single in their careers; it also became one of the longest-running number-one singles of all time. The song earned Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance; it won two Brit Awards: Best Single and MasterCard British Single; while Mars received three American Music Awards out of four nominations. Several music publications included it among their end-of-year list of songs. In January 2015, “Uptown Funk” saw continued success in Australia where it was ranked as that year’s most viewed clip on YouTube

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

“Thinking Out Loud” is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, recorded for his second studio album, × (2014). It was written by Sheeran and produced by frequent collaborator Jake Gosling. Sheeran was inspired to write the track after watching footage of his then-girlfriend Cherry Seaborn. It was released in the United Kingdom as a digital download on 7 October 2014, serving as the album’s fourth single.

In June 2015, “Thinking Out Loud” became the first single to spend a full 12 weeks in the UK top 40. In September 2015, Sheeran filmed a music video for the track in Sydney, Australia with Australian actor Christopher Walters. The video was released on YouTube on 20 October 2015 and has since received over 1 billion views. In October 2015, “Thinking Out Loud” received three Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.

“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

“Blank Space” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her fifth studio album 1989 (2014). It was written by Swift, Max Martin and Shellback. The song was released to US radio stations on November 10, 2014 as the album’s second single, after “Shake It Off” and is the second track on the album. Musically, “Blank Space” is a synth-pop power ballad that draws influences from hip hop and features a minimal production. Lyrically, the track addresses Swift’s recent media exposure and relationships.

Critical reception for “Blank Space” was mostly positive. Many critics praised the song for its lyrical honesty and described it as one of the best tracks from 1989. Others criticized the song for its sugarcoated production and themes of materialism. The song reached number one on both the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Canadian Hot 100 chart, becoming Swift’s second consecutive lead single to top both charts from 1989; it also topped charts in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and South Africa. Internationally, “Blank Space” became one of the best-selling singles of 2015 with worldwide sales exceeding eight million units.”

“Take Me to Church” by Hozier

No. 1 on our list of the top pop songs of 2015 is “Take Me to Church” by Hozier. The powerful and emotion-packed song tells the story of a protagonist who is struggling with his faith, and ultimately decides that love is more important than anything else. The song struck a chord with listeners all over the world, and its success helped propel Hozier to international stardom.

“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

As the first single from her fifth studio album, “Shake It Off” was a worldwide success, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and holding there for four weeks, as well as topping charts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Scotland. The song has sold more than 7 million copies in the United States.

“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

All About That Bass is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor for her 2014 debut EP and her 2014 studio album, Title. Written by Trainor, Kevin Kadish and Ashley Arrison, and produced by Kadish, “All About That Bass” is a doo-wop and R&B song with retro style bassline. It also talks about positive body image. The song was released on June 30, 2014, by Epic Records as the lead single from Title. The accompanying music video was directed by Fatima Robinson and premiered on YouTube on the same day. “All About That Bass” was a commercial success, reaching number one in 58 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It spent eight weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the longest-running number-one single of 2014 in the process. The song sold 11 million units worldwide, becoming the second best-selling song of 2014.

“Sugar” by Maroon 5

“Sugar” is a song recorded by American pop rock band Maroon 5 for their fifth studio album, V (2014). It was written by Mike Posner, Adam Levine, Dr. Luke, and Jacob Kasher Hindlin, with production handled by Dr. Luke, Ammo, and Cirkut. It was released on January 13, 2015 as the third single from the album. The song peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in Australia and Canada. It received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

“Stay with Me” by Sam Smith

“Stay with Me” is a song by English singer Sam Smith from his debut studio album In the Lonely Hour (2014). It was released in the United States on 14 April 2014 and in the United Kingdom on 18 May 2014. “Stay with Me” is a gospel-influenced ballad that details the protagonist pleading with his one-night stand to stay with him.

The song’s success has been credited to its universal appeal; it has been described as having a “timeless quality”. Commercially, the song was an international success, reaching number one in several countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. In the US, “Stay with Me” peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became Smith’s second top 10 hit on that chart. The song also topped charts in Brazil and Italy. A music video directed by Jamie Thraves was filmed in September 2014. It depicted Smith as a ghost who missed opportunities with a former lover who is getting married.

“All of Me” by John Legend

“All of Me” by John Legend was one of the top pop songs of 2015. The haunting ballad topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks and won two Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Solo Performance. The song was written by Legend and produced by Dave Tozer.

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