Dancehall king Sean Paul returned to No. 1 on Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” in 2016, while British group Clean Bandit stormed America with 2014’s “Rather Be.” But Paul admits he didn’t think “Rockabye” would be a hit: “I loved the song, but wasn’t sure how far it would go.”
An ode to single mothers, “Rockabye” is “about doing anything you can to give your child a decent life,” says Clean Bandit’s Grace Chatto. Co-writer Ina Wroldsen penned the lyrics with her son in mind; its video follows an exotic dancer trying to make ends meet.
Anne-Marie enjoyed a U.K. hit in 2016 with “Alarm,” but most U.S. listeners are hearing her for the first time. The 25-year-old’s biggest thrill? Hearing Paul say her name at the start of the song. “I was going to set it as my ringtone,” she says.