What was the top song in 2021 according to the year’s Google searches – and why? Contenders included tracks by BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X and SZA.
Google has revealed this year’s Year in Search, ranking the top things that people filled search engine boxes with in 2021 – including the world’s music tastes.
As the go-to search resource on the internet, Google’s year round ups are usually a very good indicator of the trends the world followed from January to December. So what is the most popular song of 2021?
Top 10 most searched songs on Google in 2021
1. Olivia Rodrigo – drivers license
2. Lil Nas X – MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)
3. Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow – INDUSTRY BABY
4. Walker Hayes – Fancy Like
5. SB19 – MAPA
6. Olivia Rodrigo – good 4 u
7. BTS – Butter
8. Tesher – Jalebi Baby
9. Nathan Evans – Wellerman
10. SZA – Good Days
What made the world search for the top 10 songs?
So, “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo was the top song in the world according to Google searches. But what made those ten songs listed go viral in 2021?
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actor Rodrigo came out of nowhere and blew the pop world away with her teen breakup anthems. As of December 2021 “drivers license” had over 1.2 billion streams on Spotify, with “good 4 u” following at 1.1 billion.
Lil Nas X matched Rodrigo with two entries in the top ten, proving to be a devilish master of generating online chatter by teasing his provocative music videos, sending everyone rushing to Google. Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)” racked up 1.1 billion streams, and “INDUSTRY BABY” passed 800,000 plays on Spotify.
Fans of BTS scrambled to stream “Butter,” and everyone else searched to see what the hype was about, with the K-pop band breaking their own record for first-day streams on YouTube.
Meanwhile, “Fancy Like” was a viral hit on TikTok for Walker Hayes, showing how trends on TikTok organically move from the app to the wider internet, and into the charts – the song was a Country Billboard hit, and snapped up for an Applebee’s commercial.
Filipino boy band SB19 were a Spotify RADAR act for 2020 and continued to ride a wave of popularity in 2021, bolstered by the emotional ode to parents, “MAPA”.
Nathan Evans, originator of the #ShantyTok trend way back in January 2021 made the list at number 9 with “Wellerman.” And SZA’s “Good Days” was the tenth most searched for song.
The way SZA used music videos boosted her profile, first releasing a video of lip-syncing fans, followed by an official video which ended with a teaser of a new upcoming song.
There we have it – word of mouth, clever collaborations, TikTok fame, and fans encouraging each other to celebrate their favourite artists drove 2021’s Google searches.