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Pop, Rock & Single Songwriters: The State of the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10 in Q1 2022

A look at the latest trends in the chart's top 10, as analyzed by Hit Songs Deconstructed.

What were some of the most notable trends on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart in the first quarter of 2022? Hit Songs Deconstructed, which provides compositional analytics for top 10 Hot 100 hits, has released its State of the Hot 100 Top 10: Q1 2022 report.

Here are three takeaways from Hit Songs Deconstructed’s latest in-depth research.

Pop Continues Atop Hip-Hop

In the first three months of 2022, pop was the most common primary genre in the Hot 100’s top 10, contributing to 47% of all top 10 hits. Hip-hop ranked second, at 24%.

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Pop’s dominance continued, though somewhat diminished, from Q4 2021, when it far outpaced hip-hop 55% to 14%. That fourth-quarter surge helped pop claim the biggest share among Hot 100 top 10s over hip-hop for all of 2021: 39% to 34%.

The genres have traded the lead in recent years: Countering pop’s 2021 and 2019 titles, hip-hop won for 2020, 2018 and 2017.

Pacing pop in Q1 this year, Adele’s “Easy on Me” ran up its Hot 100 rule to 10 weeks in January, and spent all of the year’s first quarter in the top 10.

Rock Rising

Rock as a primary genre claimed a 12% share of Hot 100 top 10s in Q1 2022, its “highest level of prominence since way back in Q3 2016,” notes Hit Songs Deconstructed.

Rock is up from a 5% showing in Q4 2021, following 7% in Q3 2021, 4% in Q2 2021 and a shutout in Q1 2021.

GAYLE’s “abcdefu” helped spark rock’s success in the first quarter of 2022, hitting No. 3 on the Hot 100 in March, along with Imagine Dragons’ and JID’s “Enemy,” which reached the region the same month (on its way to a No. 5 peak in April).

Writers Cramped (But Less So at No. 1)

Among Hot 100 top 10s in Q1 2022, “Songwriting team sizes of five or more continued to be the most popular, while writers who go it alone continued to be scarce,” observes Hit Songs Deconstructed.

In that span, 41% of top 10s featured five or more credited songwriters. Top 10s by one and three writers shared second place at 18%, followed by writing teams of two and four, each at 12%.

Writing groups of five or more also led for all of 2021, claiming 56% of all Hot 100 top 10s.

Notably, single songwriters’ 18% showing in Q1 2022 is up threefold from 6% for 2021, thanks to three top 10s, including two No. 1s: Encanto ensemble smash “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” topped the Hot 100 for five weeks in February-March, and fellow hit from the Disney smash “Surface Pressure” by Jessica Darrow reached No. 8 in February, with both penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Bruno” ceded the summit to Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” – written by the group’s Dave Bayley – which logged its own five-week reign.