B98.5’s Top 5 of 2020

Let’s face it, 2020 was a tough year for all of us.

There are even stronger words to describe how it turned out: dumpster fire, challenging, exhausting— the list goes on. Like you, we’re glad to finally say goodbye to 2020, and enter a (hopefully) positive and rejuvenating 2021.

Despite the hardships, there were some good moments that happened this year.

To prove that, we compiled our individual favorite things about 2020, and arranged them in a “Top 5” list.

Top 5 Albums- Joel

5. Dua Lipa- Future Nostalgia

Photo: Future Nostalgia/ Warner Records

The 1st time I heard “Don’t Start Now,” I knew that Dua’s sophomore album was going to be fantastic. Lo and behold, Future Nostalgia was released in April, and I was proven right. It’s an album full of groove, 80s-tinged pop/ disco, and songs that’ll make you bust out those dance moves.


4. Machine Gun Kelly- Tickets to My Downfall

Photo: Tickets to My Downfall/ Interscope Records

Maybe Machine Gun Kelly getting dissed by Eminem was beneficial for his career. Tickets to My Downfall is a departure from MGK’s rap sound— showcasing a pop punk, guitar driven sound— and it blew me away! As a fan of pop punk, MGK knocked it out of the park on this album. This is a style that he was destined to perform, and hopefully he sticks with it on future projects. If you love early-mid 2000’s pop punk/ emo music reminiscent of Fall Out Boy, and Blink-182, you’re in for a treat.


3. Bring Me The Horizon- Post Human: Survival Horror

Photo: Post Human: Survival Horror/ Colombia Records

How about a metal EP to shake up this list? Bring Me The Horizon is a metal band from England who are known for evolving musically on each album. Over the years, they have incorporated an array of influences, such as electronica, pop, hip hop, classical music, and nu metal. Post Human: Survival Horror is a return to the band’s heavy sound featured on past releases, and it doesn’t miss the mark. What’s cool about this EP is that it was written and recorded during lockdown, and features excellent collaborations from artists such as Yungblud, and Amy Lee of Evanescence.


2. Movements- No Good Left to Give

Photo: No Good Left to Give/ Fearless Records

From California alt-rocker’s Movements, No Good Left to Give is an emotional masterpiece. Not only was the musicianship a major highlight of the record for me, but the poetic and honest lyrics by vocalist Pat Miranda. No matter what kind of music you listen to, this is an album that will resonate with you. It’s atmospheric sound will pull you in, and it’s themes of mental health, love, and devastating loss are easily relatable.


1. All Time Low- Wake Up, Sunshine

Photo: Wake Up, Sunshine/ Fueled By Ramen Records

Behold! My favorite album of 2020. Wake Up, Sunshine is one of those albums that’s vibrant, and is perfect to play during a summer drive to the beach. It’s a fine balance of their signature pop punk sound, and pop rock with a modern twist. Their #1 radio hit, “Monsters” is also featured on this album, which will surely be a live staple when live shows *hopefully* return in 2021.


Top 5 Pop Culture Moments- Joey B

5. The War Against Tik Tok

Do you remember that Tik Tok was almost BANNED in the US?? Yeah, that was an actual story line this year, and it was supposed to be official in November if the China based company couldn’t find a US buyer. It didn’t find one, but it didn’t go anywhere. Tik Tok won the war against Tik Tok and is more popular than ever. Just ask the D’Amelio’s and Doggface, the cranberry juice guy. 


4. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Abdicating from the Royal Family

In-laws can be a handful, am I right? Well, no one learned that more than actress-turned-duchess, Meghan Markle. The tabloids loved pushing stories about how the royal family didn’t exactly approve of Meghan, but no one expected it to lead to a break up. Not between Meghan and Harry, but between the couple and the royal family. 


3. Tiger King


Only in 2020 can a Netflix documentary about Tigers, questionably legal animal exhibits, and a botched assassination become a national sensation. Tiger King did just that. The whole word fell in love with a terrible human named Joe Exotic. But as terrible as he was, he was that much more entertaining. Yes, it’s possible that the quarantine just starting around the U.S. and no sports being on TV played a big role in Tiger King’s popularity, but it left a stamp on pop culture that will last a long time. 


2. Sports

Sports in 2020 were something else. There will be a page in future history books with a picture of a baseball stadium full of cardboard cutouts in the 2020 chapter. The world was watching professional sport teams play each other in front of no fans. The NHL held the Stanley Cup playoffs in two different “bubble” cities. The NBA rented out Disney world to play their playoffs and championship. There were days with 5-10 different games on from three different leagues (NHL, NBA and MLB). It was like the Olympics but with the mainstream professional sports. I don’t know if we’ll ever experience that level of sports overload again. 


1. Grogu (Baby Yoda)

Yes, the Mandalorian premiered on 11/12/2019, but its popularity soared in 2020, especially with season 2 premiering. But despite how amazing the show is, all eyes were on Baby Yoda (real name Grogu, you should know that by now). The world hasn’t fallen in love with a fictional character like this since the Minions (and I dare say Grogu is a bigger sensation). He was in every meme, he’s still everywhere on the internet. The world loves Baby Yoda, and so do I. 


Top 5 Viral Songs From TikTok- Lenny

Here are Lenny’s favorite TikTok songs of the year, all of which have been played on the station!

5. “ROXANNE”Arizona Zervas


4. “Supalonely”BENEE feat. Gus Dapperton


3. “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”SAINt JHN & Imanbek


2. “LAXED (SIREN BEAT)”– Jawsh 685


1. “Savage”Megan Thee Stallion


Top 5 Songs- Rashaud

5. “Dynamite”BTS


For years, BTS have been unable to crossover to pop radio. Their collaborations with Halsey, Nicki Minaj and Lauv failed to climb the charts. But it was their first all-English single that helped broaden their audience. The up-tempo bop from the world’s biggest band ticked off all the boxes of a traditional pop song. Now that they found a formula that seemingly works, will they stick to it or switch it up in 2021?


4. “Watermelon Sugar”Harry Styles


Taste like strawberries! From Harry’s first note to the infectious chorus, no doubt this hit was as destined to be song of summer. Despite having to cancel his tour due to the pandemic (I was looking forward to Harryween), Harry was still able to leave his mark on 2020 with his music and now-infamous Vogue magazine cover.


3. “WAP”- Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion


It topped the list of Google’s most searched lyrics of 2020 and for all the right reasons (or wrong depending on who you ask). Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s Frank Ski sampled collab was a pop culture moment. The sexy lyrics, eye-popping video and of course the backlash put this song on the list. Although we have yet to get a follow up, I’m sure it’ll have everyone talking. 


2. “Don’t Start Now”Dua Lipa


Things could’ve gone either way for Dua Lipa. After the success of New Rules and her Grammy win for best new artist, all eyes were on her follow-up. When she released disco influenced Don’t Start Now, it brushed off rumors of a sophomore curse. This song also earned Dua the title of “Quarantine Queen” thanks to her prophetic lyrics “don’t show up, don’t come out.”


1. “Blinding Lights”The Weeknd


There’s no way you escaped 2020 without hearing “Ooooo I’m blinded by the lights”. The Weeknd’s 2nd single from his After Hours album proved to be one of the biggest songs of the year. Which made it all the more strange when we was snubbed by the Grammys. Luckily in 2021 we’ll have his Super Bowl halftime performance and if the universe wants to throw new music our way, we’ll take it. 



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