What were some of the most notable trends on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart in the first half of 2022?
Hit Songs Deconstructed, which provides compositional analytics for top 10 Hot 100 hits, has released highlights of its State of the Hot 100 Top 10: Mid-Year 2022 report. (Click here for a recap of Hit Songs Deconstructed’s Q1 2022 analysis.)
Here are three takeaways from Hit Songs Deconstructed’s latest in-depth research.
Pop & Hip-Hop on Top, Latin Leaps
In the first six months of 2022, pop and hip-hop tied as the most common primary genres in the Hot 100’s top 10, each contributing to 33% of all top 10 hits.
Pop claimed the biggest share among Hot 100 top 10s over hip-hop for all of 2021 (39% to 34%), while the genres have traded victories in recent years. While pop led for all of 2021 and 2019, hip-hop won for 2020, 2018 and 2017.
Latin was the third-most common primary genre in the Hot 100’s top 10 from this January through June, at 12% of all such hits – “its highest level in over a decade,” Hit Songs Deconstructed notes in its mid-year findings. “R&B/soul followed close behind at 10%, [with] rock and country at 5%.”
Key to Latin’s strong showing, Bad Bunny has tallied four Hot 100 top 10s since May, with “Moscow Mule” peaking the highest (No. 4) and all four from his LP Un Verano Sin Ti – the most popular album of 2022 so far.
Solo So High
Among all Hot 100 top 10s in the first half of 2022, 76% were by single-billed acts and just 24% by two more credited artists. That’s a five year high – although solo billings have led each year in that span, after shares of 59% in all of 2021; 53% in 2020; 60% in 2019; and 53% in 2018.
Partly driving the solo spike in the first six months of 2022, a spate of hit albums arrived this spring, with Harry Styles’ Harry’s House generating four unaccompanied Hot 100 top 10s and Future’s I Never Liked You and Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti each yielding three.
Solo billings’ domination aligns with the nosedive of featured artists on Hot 100 top 10s. Billboard examined the decline in early June, and Hit Songs Deconstructed’s latest research reflects a continuation of the trend: 93% of all top 10s from January through June did not sport a featured billing. While high in recent years, that share surged even further from 75% in 2021; 72% in 2020; 81% in 2019; and 72% in 2018.
Speed of Sound
“The average tempo of Hot 100 top 10 hits in the first half of 2022 was 99 BPM [beats per minute], the fastest year-over-year [since] way back in 2014,” Hit Songs Deconstructed recaps in its mid-year report.
Seemingly in tune with feel-good vibes as pandemic-related restrictions have eased, more than half of all Hot 100 top 10 in the year’s first six months were over 100 BPM, including three in the frenzied 170-179 BPM range: Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” which has spent the most time atop the chart of any song in 2022 – 10 weeks; The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber’s “Stay”; and Lil Nas X’s “Thats What I Want.”