Chart Beat

Ask Billboard: Readers' Favorite Songs & Albums of 2018, From Camila Cabello to Cardi B & More

Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Post Malone & Cardi B
Getty Images, Rex; Design by Jessica Xie

Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Post Malone & Cardi B

Plus, personal picks from Billboard's charts department.

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20

As always, the last "Ask Billboard" of the year is all about your charts! Here's a look at your favorites of 2018 (along with those from some of Billboard's chart makers).


Hello Gary,

It's once again time for a favorite year-end tradition, and that is sending you a list of my personal year-end charts! So, here are my top 18 albums and tracks for 2018, along with my best concert experiences of the year. I've been chart-watching since 1972, and look forward to hearing what's in store for 2019.

1, A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper (soundtrack)
2, Youngblood, 5 Seconds of Summer

3, Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes
4, Post Traumatic, Mike Shinoda
5, Wildness, Snow Patrol
6, Sir Rosevelt, Sir Rosevelt
7, Voicenotes, Charlie Puth
8, Alive, Crystal Bowersox
9, The Greatest Showman, soundtrack
10, Songs for the Saints, Kenny Chesney
11, My Dear Melancholy, EP, The Weeknd
12, Buried Treasure, Jimmy Buffett
13, Egypt Station, Paul McCartney
14, Look Up Child, Lauren Daigle
15, AMERICA, Thirty Seconds to Mars
16, Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin, various artists
17, Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, various artists
18, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, soundtrack

1, "I'll Never Love Again," Lady Gaga
2, "Shallow," Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
3, "In My Blood," Shawn Mendes
4, "Life on Earth," Snow Patrol
5, "Always Remember Us This Way," Lady Gaga
6, "It Goes On," Zac Brown & Sir Rosevelt
7, "Natural," Imagine Dragons
8, "Rewrite the Stars," Zac Efron & Zendaya
9, "River," Eminem feat. Ed Sheeran
10, "Youngblood," 5 Seconds of Summer
11, "Perfect," Ed Sheeran
12, "Sixteen," Thomas Rhett
13, "Diggin' My Grave," Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
14, "You Say," Lauren Daigle
15, "Maybe It's Time," Bradley Cooper
16, "Marry Me," Thomas Rhett
17, "Dear God," Hunter Hayes

18, "What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get?," Snow Patrol

1, Ed Sheeran/Snow Patrol/Anne-Marie, Philadelphia
2, Zac Brown Band, Syracuse, New York
3, Brantley Gilbert/Aaron Lewis/Josh Phillips, Albany, New York

Thanks again for the opportunity to share my favorites. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year 2019!

George Lotter
Kingsley, Pennsylvania


Hey Gary,

2018 was a great year in music. (As to how each title made each list below, it was a simple tabulation of plays, streams and my ratings of albums or singles.) There seems to be a bit of consistency in the names that appear, so I want to give a quick shoutout to the unique artists, including Jakob Ogawa, whose "Velvet Light" was the perfect wind-down track throughout the year, and Thutmose. Plus, Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus crafted a beautiful song that took me by surprise at the end of the year, as "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" has the potential to be big in 2019.

Finally, I hope that Janelle Monáe wins album of the year at the Grammys, because, let's be real, there was none that was better and everyone knows it. Without further ado, here are the lists!

Top songs
1, "No Contest," Tinashe
2, "Black Effect," The Carters
3, "Tiwa's Vibe," Tiwa Savage
4, "Make Me Feel," Janelle Monáe
5, "La Di Da," The Internet
6, "On and On," Steven A. Clark
7, "Velvet Light," Jakob Ogawa
8, "House in LA," Jungle
9, "Hi Lo," Chloe x Halle feat. GoldLink

10, "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart," Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus

Top albums
1, Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe
2, Hive Mind, The Internet
3, Where Neon Goes to Die, Steven A. Clark
4, For Ever, Jungle
5, Redemption, Jay Rock
6, Joyride, Tinashe
7, Everything Is Love, The Carters
8, The Kids Are Alright, Chloe x Halle
9, Man on Fire, Thutmose
10, Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired by, soundtrack

Top artists
1, Janelle Monáe
2, Tinashe
3, Daye Jack
4, The Internet
5, The Carters
6, Tiwa Savage
7, Steven A. Clark
8, Jungle
9, Chloe x Halle
10, Jungle


Charlie O'Keefte
Seattle, Washington


Hey Gary,

All the best wishes for the new year!

And, thanks to you and Trevor for doing the podcast. I truly enjoy it as a chart geek!

Favorite songs of 2018
1, "No Tears Left to Cry," Ariana Grande
2, "BOY," Charlie Puth
3, "GTFO," Mariah Carey
4, "My My My," Troye Sivan
5, "New Rules," Dua Lipa
6, "Thank U, Next," Ariana Grande

7, "Heart to Break," Kim Petras
8, "Love Can Be So Hard," Disclosure
9, "Ocean," Martin Garrix feat. Khalid
10, "Thunderclouds," LSD (Sia, Diplo & Labrinth)
11, "Worth It," Kodaline
12, "Done for Me," Charlie Puth feat. Kehlani
13, "Nevermind," Dennis Lloyd
14, "Breathin," Ariana Grande
15, "Heavy, California," Jungle
16, "Youngblood," 5 Seconds of Summer
17, "Fake Nice," The Aces
18, "I Wanna Know," NOTD feat. Bea Miller
19, "In My Mind," Dynoro
20, "Right Now," Nick Jonas Vs Robin Schulz

Favorite albums of 2018
1, Caution, Mariah Carey
2, Voicenotes, Charlie Puth
3, Bloom, Troye Sivan
4, Dancing Queen, Cher
5, Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves

Diego F.


Hi Gary,

Here are my favourite songs of 2018 ...

1, Loud Luxury feat. Brando, "Body"
2, Bruno Mars & Cardi B, "Finesse" [Remix]
3, Ed Sheeran, "Perfect"
4, M-22 feat. Medina, "First Time"
5, 5 Seconds of Summer, "Youngblood"
6, Sigrid, "Strangers"
7, Marshmello & Anne-Marie, "Friends"
8, Ariana Grande, "No Tears Left to Cry"
9, Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble, "This Is Me"
10, Panic! at the Disco, "High Hopes"

... and my top five albums of the year:

1, Camila Cabello, Camila
2, The Greatest Showman soundtrack
3, Jess Glynne, Always In Between
4, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! soundtrack
5, Robin Schulz, Uncovered

Many thanks,

Piran Delves
Helston, UK


Hi Gary,

Some of my top tunes this year:

BTS, "Fake Love," "IDOL," feat. Nicki Minaj
Steve Aoki feat. BTS, "Waste It On Me"
Post Malone, "Better Now," "Rich & Sad"
Marshmello & Bastille, "Happier"
Seeb & Bastille, "Grip"
Panic! at the Disco, "High Hopes," "Hey Look Ma, I Made It"

Grace Yang
New York


Hey Gary,

Here are my top 10 songs and albums of 2018, based off my iTunes playlists this year!

Top songs
1, "Broken Clocks," SZA
2, "Lucid Dreams," Juice WRLD
3, "Ocean," TK Kravitz feat. Jacqueez
4, "I Like It," Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
5, "Mine," Bazzi
6, "Love Lies," Khalid & Normani
7, "Meant to Be," Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
8, "Nice for What," Drake
9, "I Like That," Janelle Monáe
10, "What You Want," Belly feat. The Weeknd

Top albums
1, Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired by, soundtrack
2, Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B
3, Freudian, Daniel Caesar
4, Everything Is Love, The Carters
5, Astroworld, Travis Scott
6, Scorpion, Drake
7, Culture ll, Migos
8, H.E.R., H.E.R.
9, Queen, Nicki Minaj
10, beerbongs & bentleys, Post Malone


André Johnson
East St. Louis, Illinois


Hi Gary,

This is my third time here; first in 2015, then 2017 and now in 2018, as I'm a big fan of Billboard magazine (and have accessed the website every week since 2010). This is my best of 2018!

1, "It Runs Through Me," Tom Misch & De La Soul
2, "Desculpa Doutor," San Joe
3, "Shallow," Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
4, "Changes," XXXTentacion
5, "This Is America," Childish Gambino
6, "Tiro Certo," Viegas
7, "Sicko Mode," Travis Scott
8, "Baby," Clean Bandit, Marina and The Diamonds & Luis Fonsi
9, "Made for Now," Janet Jackson & Daddy Yankee

10, "There's a Reason Why," Blossoms

1, A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper (soundtrack)
2, Scorpion, Drake
3, ?, XXXTentacion
4, Lobos, Jão
5, Isolation, Kali Uchis
6, Bluesman, Baco Exu do Blues
7, What Is Love?, Clean Bandit
8, Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe
9, beerbongs & bentleys, Post Malone
10, Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired by, soundtrack

Alah Costa
Bacabal, Maranhão, Brazil


Hi Gary,

My list! Unabashedly pop-centric, with mainstream smashes and a few underappreciated gems (and an amazing Canadian).

20, "Breathin," Ariana Grande

19, "Africa," Weezer
18, "High on Life," Martin Garrix feat. Bonn
17, "Bad Habits," Delaney Jane
16, "Sticks & Stones," Metro & Nelly Furtado
15, "Solo," Clean Bandit feat. Demi Lovato
14, "Head Above Water," Avril Lavigne
13, "Happier," Marshmello & Bastille
12, "Back to You," Selena Gomez
11, "Love Lies," Khalid & Normani
10, "Sanctify," Years & Years
9, "Alone," Halsey feat. Big Sean & Stefflon Don
8, "Shallow," Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
7, "Promises," Calvin Harris & Sam Smith
6, "Be Alright," Dean Lewis
5, "Young Dumb & Broke," Khalid
4, "Not a Love Song," bulow
3, "No Limit," G Eazy feat. A$AP Rocky & Cardi B
2, "Sorry," Halsey

1, "Sick Boy," The Chainsmokers

Robbie Romu
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

And, favorites from Billboard's charts dept.:


10, Lake Street Dive, Free Yourself Up
9, Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer
8, Noname, Room 29
7, Leon Bridges, Good Thing
6, Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy
5, Mitski, Be the Cowboy
4, Superorganism, Superorganism
3, Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour
2, Black Panther, soundtrack
1, Boygenius, Boygenius EP

10, Ella Mai, "Boo'd Up"
9, Kacey Musgraves, "Slow Burn"
8, Kendrick Lamar feat. SZA, "All the Stars"
7, Jade Bird, "Lottery"

6, Maggie Rogers, "Light On"
5, The 1975, "Love It If We Made It"
4, Childish Gambino, "This Is America"
3, Drake, "Nice for What"
2, Boygenius, "Me & My Dog"
1, Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, "I Like It"

5, The Killers, Barclay's Center
4, Lake Street Dive, Brooklyn Steel
3, Arctic Monkeys, Brooklyn Steel
2, Phil Collins, Barclay's Center
1, Florence + The Machine, Barclay's Center

Xander Zellner
Billboard chart manager/associate editorial liaison


1, Trampled by Turtles, Life Is Good on the Open Road
2, Brandi Carlile, By the Way, I Forgive You

3, Ruston Kelly, Dying Star
4, The Brother Brothers, Some People I Know
5, I'm With Her, See You Around
6, Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer
7, Ashley McBryde, Girl Going Nowhere
8, The Dirty Nil, Master Volume
9, Slothrust, The Pact
10. Jeremy Dutcher, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa

1, Drake, "Nice for What"
2, Ruston Kelly, "Mockingbird"
3, Travis Scott, "Sicko Mode"
4, Betty Who, "Just Thought You Should Know"

5, Michael Brun feat. Strong G, Baby & J Perry, "Bayo"
6, Kacey Musgraves, "Slow Burn"
7, A$AP Rocky feat. Moby, "A$AP Forever"
8, Metric, "Now or Never Now"
9, Jealous of the Birds, "Plastic Skeletons"
10, Parker Millsap, "Fine Line"

Kevin Rutherford
Billboard social, streaming, rock chart manager


1, Rosalía, El Mal Querer
2, Thom Yorke, Suspiria
3, Draco Rosa, Monte Sagrado
4, Jack White, Boarding House Reach
5, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis & Ruben Blades, Un Noche Con Rubén Blades
6, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Young Sick Camellia
7, Natalia Lafourcade, Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoaméricano en Manos  de Los Macorinos), Vol. 2
8, Dave Matthews Band, Come Tomorrow
9, Ray Lamontagne, Ray of Light
10, Paul McCartney, Egypt Station

1, Rosalía, "Malamente"
Bursting with poetic lyrical imagery, "Malamente" is full of forceful handclaps and an avalanche of sounds from flamenco's roots, which mesh with contemporary urban components. The first single off the album El Mal Querer, the song was written by C. Tangana (Rosalía's ex), El Guincho and Rosalía. The stylistic musical collision makes the 25-year-old Rosalia a trailblazer of a genre that leans more on the senses than on a model that can be grasped. "Malamente" is urban, flamenco and R&B, all fused in an uncharted domain.

2, Childish Gambino, "This Is America"
3, Draco Rosa, "333"
4, Thom Yorke, "Suspirium"
5, Dave Mathews Band, "Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)"
6, The Racounters, "Now That You're Gone"
7, Childish Gambino, "Feels Like Summer"
8, A$AP Rocky feat. Skepta, "Praise Da Lord (Da Shine)"
9, Billie Eillish, "You Should See Me in a Crown"
10, Conociendo Rusia, "La Luna"

Pamela Bustios
Billboard Latin chart manager


10, Jax Jones feat. Mike Dunn & MNEK, "House Work"
9, Kidnap, "Ashes"
8, Gorgon City, "Motorola"
7, Fisher, "Losing It"

6, Rufus Du Sol, "No Place"
5, Nora En Pure, "Riverwards Stream"
4, CamelPhat X Cristoph feat. Jem Cooke, "Breathe"
3, Galantis, "Emoji"
2, WoodS, "Desert Storms" (Joris Voorn Remix)
1, Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford, "Northern Soul"

Gordon Murray
Billboard dance/electronic, smooth jazz chart manager


1, Look Up Child, Lauren Daigle
2, Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
3, Hiding Place, Tori Kelly
4, Graffiti U, Keith Urban
5, Burn the Ships, for King & Country
6, Desperate Man, Eric Church
7, Rearview Town, Jason Aldean
8, Seasons Change, Scotty McCreery
9, I Serve a Savior, Josh Turner
10, Songs for the Saints, Kenny Chesney

Jim Asker
Billboard senior chart manager


1, Sheppard, Watching the Sky
2, Winnetka Bowling League, Winnetka Bowling League (EP)
3, Panic! at the Disco, Pray for the Wicked
4, Vivian Sessoms, Life
5, Mariah Carey, Caution
6, Ariana Grande, Sweetener
7, Cecile McLorin Salvant, The Window
8, Lauren Daigle, Look Up Child
9, Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy
10, Des Rocs, Let the Vultures In (EP)

1, Sheppard, "Coming Home"
2, Lauren Daigle, "You Say"
3, lovelytheband, "Broken"
4, Panic! at the Disco, "High Hopes"
5, The Rebel Roads, "Maybe I'm Just Drunk"
6 (tie), Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey, "The Middle"
6 (tie), Parachute, "The Middle"
8, Winnetka Bowling League, "On the 5"

9, Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, "I Like It"
10 (tie), William Singe, "Please"
10 (tie), Halsey, "Without Me"

Alex Vitoulis
Billboard associate chart production manager


And, my favorites of 2018 …

Favorite chart achievements:

Favorite story to write, which you hopefully like(d) if you're a fan of abandoned places. I still haven't gone inside (yet? ...)

Favorite new holiday track, by a band that's still Monkeeing around. (It's also pure XTC, written by Andy Partridge):

And, favorite 18 songs of '18, with a fitting title to start:

18, "Eighteen," Pale Waves
17, "Sometimes Just the Sky," Mary Chapin Carpenter
16, "Going," Tow'rs
15, "Volcanic Love," The Aces
14, "All I Ever Wanted," The Rua
13, "Light On," Maggie Rogers
12, "Break," Gin Blossoms
10 (tie), "Name You Beautiful," Per Gessle

10 (tie), "Ship to Shore," Stars
9, "Kiss," Pale Waves
8, "Twentytwo," Sunflower Bean
7, "Get Out," CHVRCHES (It was a good year for songs titled "Get Out" ...)
6, "Roman Ocean," Hayley Sabella
5, "The Tide," Pale Waves
4, "Face the Dark," Gin Blossoms
3, "Solstice," Kim Wilde

And ...

1 (tie), "Get Out," LEXXA

1 (tie), "Turn Around," Hayley Sabella

Speaking of my hometown Boston … since Drake had such a historic year, he has to show here somewhere. How about, oh, I don't know, this:

And, the 2018 song that simply deserves the biggest spotlight possible:

As always, your insights make "Ask Billboard" so fun to post, while, in 2018, the Chart Beat blog marked its 37th year as a Billboard feature (created by Paul Grein and later helmed by Fred Bronson). More mailbags and Chart Beat Podcasts … and the music that makes them possible … await in 2019. Happy New Year!