In December, all the critics are quick to tell you their favorite albums and songs of the year, but what about the musicians? Does anybody ask them about the year in music? Billboard checked in with a wide-ranging group of artists — including Charli XCX, the rapper YG, and 5 Seconds of Summer — to find out what sounds inspired them during 2014. Watch the video below.
Hozier gets a lot of votes — for his hair, as well as his single, “Take Me To Church,” currently at No. 2 on the Hot 100. Country singers tended to name Blake Shelton‘s “Neon Lights” and Little Big Town‘s album Pain Killer. Several artists picked favorite songs that sound like their own music: Sam Smith‘s favorite single is Ed Sheeran‘s “Thinking Out Loud,” which is similar to tracks from Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour. Aloe Blacc said Smith’s “Stay With Me” was his go-to track, and that slice of gospel soul is the kind of tune that Blacc likes to sing.
Who gets the most votes? Probably Billboard’s woman of the year, Taylor Swift. Between the Grammy-nominated single “Shake It Off,” the current Hot 100 No. 1 “Blank Space,” and the rest of 1989, she attracted a lot of admiration from her fellow singers in 2014.