If you’re still dreaming of making your mark on TikTok, you need the best tunes to back your sweet dance moves. TikTok is just nothing unless a seemingly endless font of viral tracks. A number of the most popular songs of the past few years even got their starts on TikTok before racing to the top of the Billboard charts. Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” for example, popped off on TikTok in 2019 after gaining some traction on SoundCloud. From there, radio programmers were ripping the track from the internet to meet listener demand to play it on their stations.
TikTok virality doesn’t just stay on the platform. Many artists with tracks that go viral on the platform will discover that the music has also launched to the top of their top-played songs list on streaming services, too. Certainly, virality from platforms like TikTok has upended the music industry to an extent. As tracks blow up online, labels are put in the position of finding and signing those songs to their labels instead of the other way around, with the music industry delivering the music to listeners. Because more and more artists launch songs and sound on platforms like TikTok and Triller, we can expect this exciting trend to continue.
As 2020 winds down, TikTok has shared the top 10 songs on the app for the year based on their algorithm. Beyond the top 10, we’ve listed here another 14 TikTok songs that have enjoyed virality on the platform this year. Many of those have been used in a lot more videos than TikTok’s top 10. Let’s dive in!
1. Laxed (Siren Beat) by Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo
“Laxed (Siren Beat),” originally known as “Savage Love”. This song was created by New Zealand teen and music producer, Jawsh 685. Jawsh 685 made the track as a celebration of his Samoan and Cook Island heritage. Jason Derulo reached out to Jawsh 685 about collaborating on the track however ended up releasing the track under the name “Savage Love” without crediting Jawsh 685. Things seem to be effective for now, and “Savage Love (Laxed—Siren Beat)” ended up at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with BTS. The first TikToks using this music showcased cultural clothing and costume before the music became a backdrop to the “siren beat” dance.
2. Savage and Savage Remix by Megan Thee Stallion, featuring Beyoncé
Megan Thee Stallion’s original “Savage” has been used in more than 30 million TikTok videos, accompanied by the dancing challenge began by Keara Wilson. Wilson’s choreography had such a huge effect on TikTok. Teen Vogue even named the dancer in their “21 Under 21” feature. The music enjoyed renewed attention when Beyoncé joined Megan Thee Stallion for the remix. “Savage Remix” has since been used in tons of TikTok videos.
3. OUT WEST by Jackboys and Travis Scott, featuring Young Thug
“OUT WEST” was launched in December 2019 and gained a reputation early in 2020, sparking its own dance challenge (created by Nicole Bloomgarden). It has been used in about 15 million TikTok videos.
4. WAP by Cardi B, which includes Megan Thee Stallion
“WAP” is a collab track made by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. It was launched in early August and within hours young Guamanian choreographer Brian Esperson shared a routine to the track on Instagram. That video drew the attention of Cardi B herself who shared a clip of the video as well as clips of different dancers who gave the choreography a try. From there, the track and challenge turned viral on TikTok, racking up more than 6 million videos using the track. The TikTok hashtag “WAPChallenge” received more than 1.5 billion views.
5. Say So by Doja Cat
While “Say So” was already known, it went viral after TikTok influencer Haley Sharpe began a dance challenge based on the song. It’s been shown in about 18 million TikTok videos this year. Doja Cat even invited Sharpe to share the choreography in the music video for the track. The track also hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
6. Tap In by Saweetie
Just 11 days after “Tap In” was launched, TikTok star Lesley Gonzalez began a dance challenge. Since then, Saweetie’s first single from her first album, Pretty Bitch Music. It has been used in more than 7 million videos on TikTok. While not all the videos are dance challenges, the vast majority of them are.
7. The Box by Roddy Ricch
“The Box” has been used in more than 2 million TikTok videos and has received acclaim via a stint at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. And got three 2021 Grammy Awards nominations including greatest rap track, best melodic rap performance, and song of the year. While this hasn’t been used for a dance challenge on TikTok, it was part of a viral TikTok meme in which TikTok creator Jay Will pokes enjoyable at the “squeaky mirror” sound used in the track.
8. Rags2Riches by Rod Wave, featuring ATR Son Son
“Rags2Riches” was launched in April 2020. By July 2020, it had been featured in more than 5 million TikTok videos as part of a dance challenge.
9. Supalonely by BENEE, featuring Gus Dapperton
“Supalonely,” from New Zealand singer BENEE, had a few things going for it. For starters, it skyrocketed to popularity because of a viral dance challenge for the track created by Zoi Lerma. Besides, The Straits Times credits a number of the track’s success to the COVID-19 pandemic since people could easily make a connection with the music’s theme. The track has been used in about 10 million TikTok videos.
10. What You Know Bout Love by Pop Smoke
“What You Know Bout Love” is from American rapper Pop Smoke’s debut studio album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. It was launched in October 2020 and has already been used in more than 12 million TikTok videos. The track followed the same path as another track by Pop Smoke, “Mood Swings”. This song went viral on TikTok and then achieving success on the charts soon after.
11. Bagaikan Langit (Cover) by Karin
You might not know what it’s known as, however, this Bagaikan Langit cover by Karin is so good to listen to. It has been used in almost 35 million TikTok videos.
12. Relationship by Young Thug, featuring Future
“Relationship” by Young Thug is used in about 33 million TikTok videos in 2020.