TikTok has released its 2021 Music Report, running down the stats and trends that help demonstrate the massively popular video-sharing app’s growing influence on how people consume and discover music.
One of the most striking data points included in this year’s rundown concerns TikTok’s increasing impact on sales, streaming and chart success, which reached a new peak in 2021. According to the company, a total of 175 songs that trended on TikTok in 2021 reached the Billboard Hot 100, marking a nearly 100% increase from last year, when 90 songs that trended on the app did the same.
Overall, 430 songs reached 1 billion video views on TikTok in 2021 – a nearly 146% increase over 2020, when 175 songs reached the billion mark. Trending songs on the app last year came from six continents and dozens of countries, including CKay’s “Love Nwantiti” (Nigeria), Hoàng Read’s “The Magic Bomb” (Vietnam) and Mc Don Juan’s “Bipolar” (Brazil).
Though hip-hop/rap and pop were the top two music genres on TikTok in the U.S. in 2021, Latin music was the fastest-growing genre, rising from No. 10 in 2020 to No. 6 in 2021. The top Latin track of the year was Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía,” followed by Ivan Cornejo’s “Está Dañada,” Ir Sais’ “Dream Girl,” Gipsy Kings’ “Bamboleo” and El Alfa, CJ and Chael Produciendo’s “La Mamá de la Mamá” feat. El Cherry Scom.
Notably, “Bamboleo” was released in 1987, making it just one of several classic tracks (i.e. songs released over 25 years ago) to reach top trending status on TikTok over the past year. Finishing atop TikTok’s Top Classics list in the U.S. was German vocal group Boney M.’s “Rasputin,” a 1978 disco hit that also returned to Billboard‘s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart this year. Finishing in second place was another disco classic, Van McCoy‘s “The Hustle,” followed by Billy Joel‘s “Zanzibar,” George Michael‘s “Careless Whisper” and Salt-N-Pepa‘s “Whatta Man” feat. En Vogue.
Among catalog songs released between 5 and 25 years ago — a category TikTok is calling “Top ‘Comeback’ Tracks” — Destiny’s Child’s 1999 hit “Bills, Bills, Bills” finished in first place for the year, followed by MKTO‘s “Classic” and Kid Cudi’s 2008 single “Day ‘n’ Nite,” which became the soundtrack to a “fact reveal” trend. In fourth place was Britney Spears‘ 2007 single “Gimme More,” while No. 5 went to an unlikely contender for “comeback” status: U.K. rock band The Noisettes, who scored a TikTok smash with their 2009 single “Never Forget You.” Another relatively obscure track to reach the top 10 was indie rock band Dr. Dog’s 2010 song “Where’d All the Time Go,” which became widely used in a trend that utilized TikTok’s “reverse shapeshifting” creative effect.
One of the most unexpected music trends to catch on with TikTok users over the past year was the widespread use of songs featured in The Backyardigans, a Nick Jr. cartoon from the 2000s whose soundtrack songs “Castaways” and “Into The Thick Of It” were used in countless videos over Summer 2021. Also exploding this year was the curious #ShantyTok trend, which saw TikTok users interpret traditional sea shanties to the tune of 6.3 billion video views. The trend even launched the career of musician Nathan Evans, whose rendition of sea shanty “The Wellerman” became a sensation on TikTok and, later, the Billboard global charts.
On the artist front, Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat were the No. 1 and No. 2 artists by catalog on TikTok, respectively, for the second year in a row. Upstart rapper Popp Hunna, who scored a viral hit on TikTok with his song “Adderall (Corvette Corvette)” is No. 3 on the list, followed by Olivia Rodrigo at No. 4 and Cardi B at No. 5. Elsewhere, Lil Nas X, whose Hot 100 record-breaker “Old Town Road” was one of TikTok’s earliest music success stories, finished the year as the most viewed artist on the app according to video views on his page.
You can check out TikTok’s full 2021 Music Report here.