Well, it certainly was an unusual year for pop music, wasn't it?
Taylor Swift had the biggest album of the period with a surprise indie-folk LP, radio records were broken by The Weeknd (sure) and 24kGoldn and iann dior (more surprising), and Nicki Minaj finally scored the first Hot 100 chart-topper of her decade-plus of superstardom -- only to score a second barely a month later. Imagine trying to explain to folks in 2015 that a half-decade later, we'd get Jason Derulo's first No. 1 since the '00s, BTS' second No. 1 of that month, and the No.1 bow for a previously unknown New Zealand teenager named Jawsh 365 -- all on the same song. (And then imagine trying to explain how a new video-sharing service called TikTok helped make it all happen.)
And oh yeah, there was that whole global shutdown thing that happened two and a half months into the year -- which gave Taylor the time and space to record and release Folklore less than a year after her last LP, which made radio rally around the same handful of comfort-food pop hits to an unprecedented level, and which made the top of the Hot 100 chaotic enough that we had 20 different No. 1s over the space of the year's final nine months. (And if you thought TikTok was influential before, that of course proved to be a gentle nudge compared to the full-body impact it flexed once the youth of America had less reason than ever not to spend all day on their phones.)