The end of the year promises fun-filled lists of the last twelve months’ biggest moments, from top songs and movies to trends and fads. This December, Billboard teamed up with Google to debut a new chart that tracks the most popular songs of the year in an entirely new way — humming. Tapping into the new “Hum to Search” feature on the Google app, the brand-new chart captures the most hummed songs of the year in the United States. This new feature can identify any song you hum, whistle, or sing for 10-15 seconds and can then take you to Google Search for more information, analysis, music videos and lyrics. So who was everyone humming in 2020?
From viral hits to classics, the chart touches on all of the biggest earworms that had people singing to themselves in 2020. No. 1 on the Billboard’s Most Hummed Songs chart went to Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” A song that is no stranger to being number 1, “Old Town Road” has become a sensation since its release in 2019 and has solidified its place in history as one of the biggest songs in pop-culture of the 2010s. It is no surprise it took the lead spot of most hummed song of 2020.
While No. 1 on the chart represented a viral Gen Z hit, the next song on the chart might surprise you. The second most hummed song of the year was the classic 1987 track, “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. The throwback enjoyed a fresh revival in 2020 thanks to rickrolling, a popular prank meme in which a link surprisingly leads to the video for the classic 80’s song. Astley embraced the joke by joining TikTok and creating his own challenge, earning him a place in millennial and Gen Z hearts and his song a coveted spot on the chart.
International smash “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I came in at No. 3 followed by Gabby Barrett’s country anthem “I Hope” at No. 4 with Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” capping off the top 5. Google’s Top Hummed Songs of the year span several decades, genres and types of artists, creating an insightful representation of this moment in music — where inclusivity reigns and genre is fluid. By tracking new data such as the most hummed songs of the year, it changes the types of artists that are trending and pays homage to the most beloved songs of the year regardless of sales, promotion or airplay.
The next time you have a song stuck in your head you just can’t name, let Google’s “Hum to Search” help you track it down, no perfect pitch required. Try it now by opening the Google app or download it from the Google Play or iOS App Store here!