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Pop Tops Genres, Women Vocals Soar Powered by Taylor Swift: The State of the Hot 100’s Top 10 for 2023

Pop Tops Genres, Women Vocals Soar Powered by Taylor Swift: The State of the Hot 100’s Top 10 for 2023

What were some of the most notable trends on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart during 2023?

Hit Songs Deconstructed, which provides compositional analytics for top 10 Hot 100 hits, has released its year-end 2023 State of the Hot 100 Top 10 report.

Here are three takeaways from Hit Songs Deconstructed’s latest in-depth research.

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Pop on Top, Country Climbs

Pop reigns as the most common primary genre in the Hot 100’s top 10 throughout 2023, contributing to 29% of all top 10 hits. Taylor Swift tallied the most top 10s (11) among all acts between January and December, as well as the most No. 1s (three).

Over the past five years, pop previously led in 2021 and 2019, though with heftier 39% and 47% showings, respectively, in those years.

Hip-hop/rap ranked second among primary genres for 2023 with a 23% take of Hot 100 top 10s. Similar to pop, hip-hop/rap is down from first-place finishes of 38% in 2022 and 41% in 2020.

Cutting into pop and hip-hop/rap’s shares, country surged to a 15% claim of Hot 100 top 10s in 2023 among primary genres. “Country songs nearly quadrupled in prominence from 2022 to 2023,” Hit Songs Deconstructed’s report notes. “This was largely thanks to Morgan Wallen, who accounted for nearly half of country’s representation.” Wallen posted five top 10s in 2023, including “Last Night,” the No. 1 song on the Hot 100’s year-end recap.

Country as a primary genre accounted for 4% of all Hot 100 top 10s in both 2022 and 2021, following totals of 5% in 2020 and 2% in 2019.

Women and Sung Vocals Vault in Top 10

Swift also helped spark the rise of women vocals in the Hot 100’s top 10 in 2023.

“Male-led songs accounted for a slight majority of top 10 hits at just over half – 52%,” Hit Songs Deconstructed’s report indicates. “However, female-led songs have been on the rise, increasing to 38% of songs in 2023, their highest level since way back in 2014. This is largely thanks to Swift.”

Meanwhile, concurrent with hip-hop/rap’s smaller share of Hot 100 top 10s among primary genres in 2023 than in prior recent years, hits “featuring exclusively sung deliveries took the lead in 2023 for the first time since 2019, with 53% of songs,” Hit Songs Deconstructed points out. Sung/rapped top 10s followed at 42%, while entries “with exclusively rapped deliveries continued to be few and far between, accounting for just 4% of songs.”

Different Drums

Looking at trends among instruments in Hot 100 top 10s, acoustic drums snared a key gain in 2023.

“While still in the minority, the use of primarily acoustic drums/percussion increased significantly from 2022 to 2023, rising from just 8% to 21%” of Hot 100 top 10s, recaps Hit Songs Deconstructed. The year-end report cites acoustic-driven hits that “spanned an array of genres,” including country, thanks to such songs as Zach Bryan’s “I Remember Everything,” featuring Kacey Musgraves; Latin (Eslabón Armado and Peso Pluma’s “Ella Baila Sola”); R&B/soul (SZA’s “Kill Bill”); and rock (Olivia Rodrigo’s “Bad Idea Right?”).

Concurrently, “the use of primarily electronic drums/percussion notably plunged between 2022 and 2023, dropping from 64% of [Hot 100 top 10s] to just 45%, [their] lowest level in a decade.”

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