5. Be Careful by Cardi B –
Cardi B had an incredible year in 2018 with the release of her album Invasion of Privacy. The album, which featured hits like, “Bodak Yellow” and “I Like It”, blew up quickly. “Be Careful” is authentic and raw. It gives audiences a glimpse at her ‘tell it like it is’ attitude. This song is also a power anthem for anyone who has ever experienced an unfaithful partner. Cardi, whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar, exploded in popularity this year because of her willingness to say whatever is on her mind, and of course her signature, “Eeeooowwww!”
4. Sober by Demi Lovato –
Demi Lovato’s song “Sober” struck a chord with audiences everywhere. In this song, Demi opens up about her very public struggle with addiction and reveals that she relapsed after 6 years of sobriety. Opening up about loneliness and life in the spotlight, she shows a side of herself in this song that is not seen in many artists. Demi has been known for being honest and candid in power ballads like “Skyscraper” and “Warrior,” but “Sober” has set itself aside from those ballads due to the sheer honesty with lines like, “To the ones who never left me, we’ve been down this road before. I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore.”
3. Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper –
If you haven’t heard this song yet, chances are you do NOT engage in mainstream media at all. This song, which was featured in “A Star Is Born”, has also appeared at multiple award shows in the past few months. While I personally have yet to see the film, it has received rave reviews and numerous awards for the acting and music featured in the film. The reason “Sha-ha-shall-ow” is so incredible is because it not only proves to us that Bradley Cooper can sing, (trust me sister, I’m swooning), but also shows off Gaga’s miraculous vocal chords. If you haven’t heard this song yet, you are truly missing out.
2. Boo’d Up by Ella Mai –
Ella Mai is everything that R&B has been yearning for in recent years. With an old school 90’s vibe and 21st century twists and lyricism, she has set herself up to be one of the hottest artists in the years to come. “Boo’d Up” sound is both something we’ve heard a million times before and never heard at all. Her ‘heartbeat’ chorus makes it impossible not to sing along and recognize this song wherever you are. While this may not be the best song off of her eponymous debut album, it is her most easily recognized song, next to “Trip”. If you haven’t delved into Ella Mai’s music, DO IT NOW.
1. thank u next by Ariana Grande –
Ariana Grande had quite a year in 2018. I won’t go into details because everything she has had to deal with, she has had to deal with in public. However, “thank u next” is an impeccable springboard from, arguably, her best album. This song, and it’s music video, have already been slated as iconic and features numerous celebrities and references to movies that Ariana adores. This song was just the beginning of her healing process, in which she addresses her very public relationships with the likes of Mac Miller and Pete Davidson, as well as Big Sean and Ricky Alvarez. Additionally, Ariana makes a point to thank all of them for shaping her into the woman she is now.