Billboard Canada Year-End AC Airplay of 2017

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” topped the Adult Contemporary airplay year-end Billboard Canada chart. The top spun Canadian artist track at the format was The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming” at #5. Eighteen of the Top 40 were by or featuring a Canadian artist, up from 16 for the past two years. Canadian artists are bolded in red in the chart below. The data was collected between the dates of December 6, 2016 and November 25, 2017.

RANK TITLE ARTIST PLAYS
1 Shape Of You Ed Sheeran 15969
2 Don’t Wanna Know Maroon 5 13404
3 Water Under The Bridge Adele 13075
4 Can’t Stop The Feeling! Justin Timberlake 12455
5 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd 11195
6 Something Just Like This The Chainsmokers & Coldplay 11084
7 Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur 10788
8 Cheap Thrills Sia 9758
9 Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran 9700
10 Love On The Brain Rihanna 8809
11 Chained To The Rhythm Katy Perry 8712
12 There’s Nothing Holdin’… Shawn Mendes 8667
13 24K Magic Bruno Mars 8618
14 Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara 8605
15 Kinda Complicated Scott Helman 8231
16 Electric Love Serena Ryder 7928
17 It Ain’t Me Kygo x Selena Gomez 7636
18 I Believe In You Michael Buble 7341
19 Let Me Love You DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber 7209
20 That’s What I Like Bruno Mars 7150
21 Closer The Chainsmokers 6810
22 Love Me Now John Legend 6801
23 Treat You Better Shawn Mendes 6619
24 Lights Out Virginia To Vegas 6573
25 Despacito Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber 6542
26 Love Again Hedley 6179
27 Play That Song Train 5955
28 Slow Hands Niall Horan 5887
29 This Town Niall Horan 5820
30 Mercy Shawn Mendes 5705
31 Reminding Me Shawn Hook 5521
32 Can’t Slow Down Hedley 5298
33 Fire In My Soul Walk Off The Earth 5127
34 Who Do You Love Marianas Trench 5078
35 What About Us P!nk 4945
36 Sign Of The Times Harry Styles 4932
37 Cold Maroon 5 4746
38 Superficial Love Ruth B 4522
39 The Greatest Sia 4417
40 Bend Ria Mae 4295
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Billboard Year-End Canadian Hot 100 Artists of 2017

Billboard has published a year-end chart for the Top 25 artists of 2017 based on the chart performance of their Hot 100 singles in Canada. Ed Sheeran takes the crown followed by Drake. Five homegrowners in total made the Top 25. Find them in red below.

1. Ed Sheeran
2. Drake
3. The Chainsmokers
4. The Weeknd
5. Kendrick Lamar
6. Bruno Mars
7. Imagine Dragons
8. Shawn Mendes
9. Future
10. DJ Khaled
11. Justin Bieber
12. Taylor Swift
13. Calvin Harris
14. Selena Gomez
15. Post Malone
16. Lil Uzi Vert
17. Migos
18. Luis Fonsi
19. Niall Horan
20. Charlie Puth
21. Alessia Cara
22. James Arthur
23. Clean Bandit
24. Daddy Yankee
25. French Montana

Carly Rae Jepsen Cuts to a Plethora of Year-End Lists

The Empress of Canadian Pop Carly Rae Jepsen has released a new track with Charli XCX and will be busy performing on Katy Perry’s Witness tour, but there is much speculation she will be making 2018 a very memorable year with a new album. We are delighted that her 2017 banger “Cut to the Feeling” populated so many year-end lists. Indeed, it was perhaps her best song since “Curiosity”. Whether you’re a fan or not of Carly’s music, it is heartwarming to see a Canadian artist charm so many music critics around the world. We summarize some of the placements below with quoted excerpts.

Noisey: #100

“It’s a skyscraper of a song that both describes and enacts the modus operandi of pop music as an entire project, rising so high with every new chorus that you’re dizzy by the time it’s done.” — Lauren O’Neil

Pop Matters: #64

“It is a classic formula executed to perfection, building from tense verses to a chorus that explodes like fireworks. Nolan Lambroza’s production is shimmering and radiant, the perfect backdrop for Ms. Jepsen, who conveys the song’s feeling of euphoria with her trademark charisma.” — Adrien Begrand

Rolling Stone: #44

“Canada’s hook hero saved 2017 with her bracing rejoinder to Xanax-pop malaise, a rainbow-bright collision of ‘Lucky Star’ synth bursts and processed-handclap beats. Jepsen’s boisterous vocal adds extra urgency to this jump-along anthem’s much-needed e•mo•tional rescue.” — Rolling Stone Staff

Pitchfork: #30

“It is the dark and glittering sound of running full speed on a boardwalk at night, of sitting on a roof under the stars, these perfect places with proximity to the infinite.” — Jenn Pelly

Billboard: #25

“This was a belt-it-from-your-car distillation of all things wonderfully Carly Rae: yearning for something grandly romantic (‘I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone’) with a breathless, stratospheric chorus, not unlike ‘Run Away with Me.'” — R.M.

UPROXX: #19

“It’s a luscious jolt of bombastic energy, the perfect pick-me-up at the end of a hard day (or a physically and mentally challenging race).” — Josh Kurp

Cosmopolitan: #15

“Guaranteed to cause spontaneous, involuntary dancing, no matter where you are or how you’re feeling.” — Eliza Thompson

NME: #12

“From the opening handclaps accompanied by CRJ’s trademark husky vocals, you know that ‘Cut to the Feeling’ is going to be a Class A banger; but it’s only when you reach the utterly bombastic and outrageously vivacious chorus when you realise what a truly excellent pop song has been created.” — NME

Stereogum: #9

“Two years later, one final argument in praise of E•MO•TION: Carly Rae Jepsen’s modern classic was so stacked that they couldn’t find room for this enraptured blast of fresh air.” — Chris DeVille

CBC Music: #6

“Without a doubt, this was the feel-good song of 2017. Carly Rae Jepsen cranked out some of her best hooks since ‘Call Me Maybe’ on this splashy summer hit.” — Editorial Staff

Slant Magazine: #4

“Jepsen’s voice breaks in her ecstatic admission that ‘I’ve been denying how I feel,’ and she dons an almost British affectation during the bridge when she sings, ‘Show me devotion/And take me all the way,’ atop some ‘Edge of Seventeen’-style guitar riffing. — Cinquemani

Entertainment Weekly: #4

“This E•MO•TION-era gem, left off both her 2015 LP and its b-sides collection before finding a home in the movie Leap!, reaches the same giddy heights of ‘Call Me Maybe.’ — N.F.

Canadian Music Blog: #1

“It will bring joy to your heart, sweeten your dreams, and make you fall in love with the charmer or charmers. Slam and dunk.” — CMB Team

Billboard Canada Year-End Hot AC Airplay of 2017

“Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran was king of Hot AC airwaves in 2017, and in at #2 was Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful”. Nineteen of the Top 40 were by or featuring a Canadian artist up from 17 last year. Canadian artists are bolded in red in the chart below. The data was collected between the dates of December 6, 2016 and November 25, 2017.

RANK TITLE ARTIST PLAYS
1 Shape Of You Ed Sheeran 39,011
2 Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara 35,397
3 Something Just Like This The Chainsmokers & Coldplay 31,927
4 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd
30,390
5 Water Under The Bridge Adele 30,201
6 Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur 28,546
7 There’s Nothing Holdin’… Shawn Mendes 27,931
8 That’s What I Like Bruno Mars 26,458
9 Don’t Wanna Know Maroon 5 24,579
10 Despacito Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber 24,066
11 It Ain’t Me Kygo x Selena Gomez 23,359
12 Reminding Me Shawn Hook 22,531
13 Slow Hands Niall Horan 21,956
14 Closer The Chainsmokers 21,695
15 Kinda Complicated Scott Helman 21,354
16 Electric Love Serena Ryder 20,757
17 Believer Imagine Dragons 20,345
18 I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn x Taylor Swift 20,243
19 24K Magic Bruno Mars 20,132
20 Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran 19,737
21 Starboy The Weeknd 19,110
22 Love Again Hedley 18,995
23 Love On The Brain Rihanna 18,484
24 Stay Zedd & Alessia Cara 18,412
25 Let Me Love You DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber 18,401
26 Can’t Slow Down Hedley 17,982
27 Who Do You Love Marianas Trench 17,637
28 Attention Charlie Puth 17,463
29 Love Me Now John Legend 17,164
30 Fire In My Soul Walk Off The Earth 16,968
31 Chained To The Rhythm Katy Perry 16,882
32 Selfish Virginia To Vegas 16,521
33 This Town Niall Horan 15,804
34 Mercy Shawn Mendes 15,479
35 What About Us P!nk 14,165
36 Cold Maroon 5 13,915
37 Bend Ria Mae 13,415
38 Lights Out Virginia To Vegas 12,580
39 Bound To You Jocelyn Alice 12,427

Billboard Canada Year-End CHR Airplay of 2017

Once again, Eddie Sheeran takes the cake. His “Shape of You” tops CHR (contemporary hit radio) airplay. The Biebs clocks in at #3 with his feature in “Despacito” while Shawn Mendes backs him up with “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” at #4. Fifteen of the Top 40 were by or featuring a Canadian artist down from 17 last year. Canadian artists are bolded in red in the chart below. The data was collected between the dates of December 6, 2016 and November 25, 2017.

RANK TITLE ARTIST PLAYS
1 Shape Of You Ed Sheeran 49167
2 It Ain’t Me Kygo x Selena Gomez 45147
3 Despacito Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber 41840
4 There’s Nothing Holdin’… Shawn Mendes 41383
5 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd 37530
6 Something Just Like This The Chainsmokers & Coldplay 36321
7 Stay Zedd & Alessia Cara 34402
8 That’s What I Like Bruno Mars 32741
9 Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara 32476
10 Starboy The Weeknd 31204
11 Slow Hands Niall Horan 30884
12 Side To Side Ariana Grande 30112
13 I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn x Taylor Swift 28944
14 Don’t Wanna Know Maroon 5 28441
15 Attention Charlie Puth 28096
16 Let Me Love You DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber 28032
17 Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur 27595
18 Paris The Chainsmokers 27488
19 Closer The Chainsmokers 25575
20 Reminding Me Shawn Hook 25508
21 Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran 24780
22 Reminder The Weeknd 23962
23 Strip That Down Liam Payne 23737
24 Passionfruit Drake 23615
25 Believer Imagine Dragons 22805
26 Not Going Home DVBBS X CMC$ 22477
27 Run Up Major Lazer 22463
28 Love On The Brain Rihanna 21836
29 Selfish Virginia To Vegas 21691
30 Love Again Hedley 20722
31 24K Magic Bruno Mars 20464
32 I’m the One DJ Khaled 19756
33 Rockabye Clean Bandit 19750
34 Signs Drake 19588
35 Starving Hailee Steinfeld & Grey 18709
36 Mercy Shawn Mendes 18544
37 Lights Out Virginia To Vegas 17567
38 Wild Thoughts DJ Khaled 17535
39 This Town Niall Horan 17235
40 Chained To The Rhythm Katy Perry 17215

Adult Contemporary Preferred Far Above Rap

You know that the Canadian media’s unstated and culturally damaging objective is to break Canadian artists in the United States when they hype artists they think have the best chance of doing so and who in fact have created some buzz in the Republic. We say it harms Canadian culture because it encourages Canadian music being made to take a shape that appeals to foreign rather than domestic tastes. And we see the evidence of this in, for example, the exclusion of Francophone music from everything printed in English while heaping praises upon and including high profile features on music recorded in the Spanish language. Spanish speakers make up 8% of the U.S. population; Francophones make up 22% of Canada’s. With the success of Drake, his OVO label artists, and The Weeknd, domestic media constantly asks why other Canadian urban artists are not being heavily promoted (mostly male, mostly from Toronto) before touting such artists themselves.

If the objective is to cater to American tastes in music, however, certain assumptions have been made about what kind of music Americans like, and these appear to be completely false.

Nielsen’s portable people meter (PPM) market data for 2017 shows some surprising preferences when assessing the top 10 radio formats of the year in Liberty Statue land. While Canadian media seems to think contemporary urban music is all the rage States-side, it comes in last place (10th). Yes, rap is the least popular genre at radio in the United States. It reminds us of those schoolyard rhymes dislikers of it liked to repeat teasingly:

“Parrots squawk because they can’t roar.
Goons pick fights because they can’t score.
Bunters bunt because they can’t swing.
And rappers rap because they can’t sing.”

Ouch!

Classic rock, on par with classic hits, is also not as popular as one might think. We may have experienced goosebumps the first time we heard Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” while skating at the arena, but after hearing it a thousand times, we might have developed a hunger for something new. However, modern and alternative rock did not even make the Top 10; thus, the Pet Shop Boys may have a point.

“We were young but imagined we were so sophisticated
Telling everyone we knew
That rock was overrated
We stayed out ’til late
Five nights a week
And felt so chic
They called us the pop kids
‘Cause we loved the pop hits
And quoted the best bits”
–The Pet Shop Boys, “The Pop KIds”

The most popular genre of music at radio is, lo and behold, ADULT CONTEMPORARY, followed by COUNTRY, then pop/CHR, all three being pretty close. Continue reading

Billboard Canada Year-End All-Format Airplay of 2017

Ranked by the number of spins, below are the 50 most-played songs on Canadian radio during the 2017 chart year (December 6, 2016 to November 25, 2017). Tops was “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran with a whopping 116,794 plays, 40% more the the number two song. Nielsen BDS compiled the all-format airplay data from more than 130 stations across the country, monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” was tops for a Canadian artist at #4 overall. Twenty of the 50 were tunes by or featuring Canadian artists. Note that the difference between this chart and the Hot 100 Airplay one is that the latter is weighted according to radio listenership whereas All-Format Airplay is not. Canadian artists are bolded in red text in the chart below.

RANK TITLE ARTIST PLAYS
1 Shape Of You Ed Sheeran  116,794
2 Something Just Like This The Chainsmokers & Coldplay  83,631
3 It Ain’t Me Kygo x Selena Gomez  78,345
4 There’s Nothing Holdin’… Shawn Mendes  77,500
5 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd
75,692
6 Despacito Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber  71,936
7 That’s What I Like Bruno Mars  68,581
8 Closer The Chainsmokers  66,434
9 Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur  65,322
10 Starboy The Weeknd  63,054
11 Believer Imagine Dragons  60,364
12 Slow Hands Niall Horan  57,264
13 Don’t Wanna Know Maroon 5   53,843
14 Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara  53,601
15 Stay Zedd & Alessia Cara  52,028
16 Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran  51,280
17 24K Magic Bruno Mars  50,885
18 I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn x Taylor Swift  50,371
19 Let Me Love You DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber  49,335
20 Body Like A Back Road Sam Hunt  47,080
21 Attention Charlie Puth  46,037
22 Love Again Hedley  43,568
23 Kinda Complicated Scott Helman  43,446
24 Selfish Virginia To Vegas  43,037
25 Love On The Brain Rihanna  40,177
26 Chained To The Rhythm Katy Perry  39,366
27 Paris The Chainsmokers  37,293
28 Reminding Me Shawn Hook  37,101
29 Electric Love Serena Ryder  35,015
30 Side To Side Ariana Grande  34,193
31 What About Us P!nk  32,269
32 Cold Maroon 5   32,180
33 Feel It Still Portugal. The Man  31,335
34 Water Under The Bridge Adele  30,592
35 Rockabye Clean Bandit  30,168
36 Can’t Slow Down Hedley  30,120
37 Who Do You Love Marianas Trench  29,891
38 Treat You Better Shawn Mendes  29,715
39 Can’t Stop The Feeling! Justin Timberlake  29,418
40 The Greatest Sia  27,862
41 Passionfruit Drake  26,747
42 Fire In My Soul Walk Off The Earth  26,156
43 Lights Out Virginia To Vegas  25,364
44 Strip That Down Liam Payne  24,914
45 Bend Ria Mae  24,406
46 This Town Niall Horan  24,029
47 Starving Hailee Steinfeld & Grey  23,638
48 Cold Water Major Lazer  23,598
49 Praying Kesha  22,448
50 Mercy Shawn Mendes  21,873

Billboard Canada Year-End Hot 100 Airplay of 2017

Below is a list of the Top 25 tunes that received the most radio airplay in Canada through the year 2017. The data was compiled from selected CHR, AC, hot AC, country, and rock radio stations, throughout the country which were electronically monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by Nielsen BDS. Note that the data was taken between the dates of December 6, 2016 and November 25, 2017. This chart, along with Billboard Hot Digital Songs is used to compile the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. The main difference between the Hot 100 Airplay and All-Format Airplay charts is that the former (i.e. the one below) is weighted according to radio station listenership. If a station has more listeners, its spins of songs receive a higher weighting. Entries from Canadian artists are bolded in red in the chart below. The most spun song of the year in Canada was “Shape of You” by Englishman Ed Sheeran. The top song involving a Canadian artist was “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber at #3. And the most successful with a Canadian as the main artist was “I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd at #4.

RANK TITLE ARTIST
1 Shape Of You Ed Sheeran
2 Something Just Like This The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
3 Despacito Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber
4 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd
5 There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back Shawn Mendes
6 It Ain’t Me Kygo x Selena Gomez
7 Closer The Chainsmokers
8 That’s What I Like Bruno Mars
9 Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur
10 Starboy The Weeknd
11 Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran
12 Don’t Wanna Know Maroon 5
13 Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara
14 Slow Hands Niall Horan
15 24K Magic Bruno Mars
16 Believer Imagine Dragons
17 Let Me Love You DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber
18 I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn x Taylor Swift
19 Attention Charlie Puth
20 Stay Zedd & Alessia Cara
21 Rockabye Clean Bandit
22 Chained To The Rhythm Katy Perry
23 Love Again Hedley
24 Body Like A Back Road Sam Hunt
25 Selfish Virginia To Vegas

Billboard Canada Year-End Top 30 Emerging Artists of 2017

Billboard Canada finalizes the year-end Top 30 emerging (Canadian) artists chart of 2017, and The Weeknd, still considered an emerger, has the top two spots thanks to “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming” (#1 and #2 respectively). In at the bronze 3rd is Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful”. “Chills” by country act James Barker Band squeaks in at #30. In Nielsen’s words, the chart “represents aggregated numbers from the weekly charts that were compiled for each artist and title, reflecting chart activity from the surveys dated December 6, 2016 through November 25, 2017”. The marketing research firm adds the chart below represents “the most popular songs by emerging Canadian artists according to all-format airplay audience impressions measured by Nielsen BDS and digital sales data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. To qualify for this chart an artist must a) be Canadian and meet the CRTC ‘A’ definition (music or lyrics principally performed by a Canadian artist) and b) the selection must qualify as Canadian content (CanCon). Artists are considered emerging until 12 months after the date their first Canadian Hot 100 charting entry reaches the top 40”.

RANK TITLE ARTIST
1 Starboy The Weeknd
2 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd
3 Scars To Your Beautiful Alessia Cara
4 Treat You Better Shawn Mendes
5 Reminder The Weeknd
6 Mercy Shawn Mendes
7 Party Monster The Weeknd
8 Reminding Me Shawn Hook
9 Not Going Home DVBBS X CMC$
10 There’s Nothing Holdin’… Shawn Mendes
11 Lights Out Virginia To Vegas
12 Can’t Feel My Face The Weeknd
13 Not Nice PARTYNEXTDOOR
14 How Far I’ll Go Alessia Cara
15 The Hills The Weeknd
16 Wild Things Alessia Cara
17 Luv Tory Lanez
18 Stitches Shawn Mendes
19 Spirits The Strumbellas
20 Fireproof Coleman Hell
21 Lost Boy Ruth B
22 Kinda Complicated Scott Helman
23 Earned It The Weeknd
24 Figures Jessie Reyez
25 Some Way NAV Ft. The Weeknd
26 Sidewalks The Weeknd
27 Lonely Drum Aaron Goodvin
28 Bend Ria Mae
29 Six Feet Under The Weeknd
30 Chills James Barker Band

Billboard Canada Year-End Top 25 Hot Digital Songs of 2017

Billboard Canada unveils the Top 25 digital tracks of 2017. Find the year-end chart below. These are effectively the most digitally purchased and downloaded songs of the year in Canada. Now certified as a diamond single, Spanish language track “Despacito” (doucement in French in case you were wondering) which features Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber, is ranked at #1. In the words of Nielsen, the chart “represents aggregated numbers from the weekly charts that were compiled for each artist and title, reflecting chart activity from the surveys dated December 6, 2016 through November 25, 2017”. The top track by a Canadian as the main artist is Shawn Mendes‘ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” in at #13 for the year. The Weeknd has a pair in the Top 20, and Alessia Cara‘s collaboration with international artist Zedd makes the chart thanks to “Stay”.

RANK TITLE ARTIST
1 Despacito Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber
2 Shape Of You Ed Sheeran
3 Believer Imagine Dragons
4 Something Just Like This The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
5 Rockabye Clean Bandit 
6 Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran
7 Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur
8 It Ain’t Me Kygo x Selena Gomez
9 Body Like A Back Road Sam Hunt
10 I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn x Taylor Swift
11 Slow Hands Niall Horan
12 Closer The Chainsmokers
13 There’s Nothing Holdin’… Shawn Mendes
14 That’s What I Like Bruno Mars
15 I’m The One DJ Khaled
16 Sign Of The Times Harry Styles
17 24K Magic Bruno Mars
18 Starboy The Weeknd 
19 Chained To The Rhythm Katy Perry 
20 I Feel It Coming The Weeknd
21 Paris The Chainsmokers
22 Stay Zedd & Alessia Cara
23 Malibu Miley Cyrus
24 What About Us P!nk
25 Million Reasons Lady Gaga

A Golden Christmas Together with Mario Pelchat

Mario Pelchat Présente Les PrêtresNoël Ensemble which features a number of guest singers is a hit! The Christmas record debuted on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart November 14 and has remained in the Top 10 since then (five weeks). The album reached a peak position December 5 at #3. And more good news, Mario and the singers will be receiving a lump of … gold! in their Christmas stockings; Music Canada recently certified the disc gold. Pelchat’s teaming up with the group resulted in another gold record earlier this year – Agnus Dei – which made it onto Billboard’s Top 50 albums of the year. Those of you hungry for something fresh after all those spins given to the Michael Bublé Christmas record and thirsty for familiar carols performed in the sumptuous French language might want to check out Noël Ensemble. It’s a beauty!  iTunes

The 30 Best Songs of 2017

After listening to several thousand songs released in 2017 whether as singles, on EPs, or LPs, we have settled on our 30 favourites. To create a fairer and tidier list, we allowed only one entry per artist. Regardless of genre, language, and relative popularity of the artist, here are our 30 favourite Canadian artist songs of 2017 including our Song of the Year. Note that we have included instrumental tracks even though, technically, a “song” is a piece of music that is sung. Charting songs released in 2016 which achieved peak Billboard Hot 100 positions in 2017 are included. As well, songs released as singles in 2016 but were included on an album released in 2017 were considered. We have used the artwork for the single when one exists, failing that, the LP or EP that includes the song.

Best Plan by Wanting

The Vancouverite may not have swept up the Canadian masses to the extent that U.S. singer Debbie Gibson did in the late 80s, but few can create a killer piano ballad as good as Wanting these days. “Best Plan” was the lone Chinese language song on her 2017 album LLL, but somehow it reigns supreme with a great melody, soaring chorus, and delicious bridge.

Un monde parfait by Nico Lelièvre

As with Wanting, Nico Lelièvre, whom we luckily acquired from France, closes out his 2017 album with its crowning achievement. This golden nugget of alternative rock with effective drumming, sonorous textures, and melancholy charm is instantly loveable.

Lights Out by Keshia Chanté

Remember those slayers of noughties decade R&B like Shawn Desman and good old Keshia Chanté? Well, Keshia surprised us, or shall we say had us down and shook, by releasing a slick electropop song in 2017. “Lights Out” proves her vocals sound fantastic with the genre, and the song was pop perfection.

Mille morceaux by Marc Dupré

It was difficult to pick an outstanding track from Marc’s extremely popular 2017 album, but this one takes the cake. It builds nicely into an irresistible chorus with punchy beats and dancing piano keys.

Can’t Get Over You by Jenna Nation

While Keshia Chanté was slaying the pop realm, Toronto’s Jenna Nation grabbed R&B by the reins and shook the continent with beats and bass galore on this brilliant jazzy number.

25Holding Steady by Kashka

There was no shortage of electronic pop in 2017 and one of the best contributions, “Holding Steady” was made by Kashka off very impressive EP Relax.

24Livin’ on Summertime by Gord Bamford

If there was ever a summertime jam to play by the pool or beach or backyard barbecue, country superstar Gord Bamford supplied it.

23Need You by Allie X

Featuring Valley Girl, “Need You” by one of Canada’s finest pop talents Allie X is a slow-burning ember of brilliance with a nice touch of processed vocal work.

22Always Been by Lolaa


Perhaps this one’s finest feature is the percussion work which is fresh, sophisticated, and catchy. The song smartly has the vocals pull back at times letting those beats take the spotlight for a bit.

21First Move by Stacey


Crystal clear vocals, dreamy keyboard sequences, delicate piano arrangements, and more made this one hauntingly beautiful. Stacey is one to watch in the next couple of years.

20Lost by Teen Daze


This one gently flutters in like a colourful butterfly before opening up droning vocal harmonies and bringing in featured vocalist Nadia Hulett’s twinkling serenade toward the close.

19In Comes the Night by Bobby Wills


One of country music’s underappreciated talents, Bobby Wills is an amazing singer and is always able to craft a good tune. This is one of his best songs yet.

18Halfway Home by Broken Social Scene


The reunion of this supergroup and release of a new album was one of the biggest news stories of the year. Some preferred Hug of Thunder’s title track; others like us found the sonically richer “Halfway Home” to be the standout. In either case, alternative rock doesn’t get much better.

17Younger Heart by Blue Hawaii


This duo has a style all its own. The term trip hop has been used to describe this one.  It’s a sultry number of chillout electronica.

16Electric by Emily Rowed


It begins with a standard rootsy blues-rock vibe, but as the song carries on, interesting details and twists pour in and a progressive current begins to flow. It has a nice beat too.

1521 Days by Scott Helman


This platinum recording artist unleashed this winner prior to the release of his 2017 album. It’s an ever so sweet guitar ditty, completely infectious. Very nice lyrics too.

14Stay for Real by Young Galaxy


One of the most desirable progressive pop songs of the year, this one ranks right up there with most of the stuff Depeche Mode has done, subdued, earnest, and very satisfying.

13Obvious by Natasha Zimbaro


Surprise! This is our favourite country song of 2017. What gives it extra umph is Natasha’s conscientious vocal work and an irresistible chorus. And let’s also mention a short but righteous guitar solo.

12In Love with a Broken Heart by Hedley


Ah, yes, you were hoping we had the boys on here somewhere, weren’t you. We think this is the band’s catchiest song since “Kiss You Inside Out”. Not released as a single (so far), it’s a great mid tempo dance pop number with ever so captivating feel-good funky guitar.

11Black Moon by Amaara


Released as a single last year, this one appeared on Amaara’s (Kaelen Amara Ohm) 2017 album. Its dark ambiance and mystical charm grew on us to become one of our favourites of the year. Beautifully done.

10Tease by Ralph


Now into the Top 10, this was our favourite track from 2017’s EP of the year, though the others are nifty as well. Newcomer Ralph was all over the blogosphere this year with her refreshing brand of sweet synthpop.

9Sang-froid by Ludovic Alarie


There’s something about acoustic guitar strums coupled with delicate analog synth notes. Ludovic Alarie’s concept album was all about the apartment, and the rustic sounds of this choice cut do make us feel like kickin’ back in the bachelor (or bachelorette) pad.

8Loving Game by Peter Peter


Bilingual songs? More please! English and Spanish? Not really; we’re Canadian. English and French? Now you’ve got it. Peter Peter brought us back to the 80s with this exquisite synthpop song – verses in French and chorus in English. The album was nominated for the Polaris. Need we say more?

7Self-Unemployed by The Luyas


From one of the finest alternative rock bands in the country, The Lyuas begin this was a cacophony of sound from which emerges something very diggable. The song title alone is genius.

6Utopia by Austra

More synthpop cometh. “Future Politics” was almost as endearing as “Utopia”. The latter has a chorus that is both creepy and warm, opened by an enticing drum roll. You won’t believe it until you hear it!

5Moonlight Shadow by Louise Burns

From our Album of the Year, Young Mopes, this was ever so slightly our favourite track. It’s shadowy, dreamy, but also uplifting. Drums slap, bass flickers, and keyboards exhilarate. The vocal delivery is sensitive and impeccable, one of Louise’s best songs to date.

4Temperance by North Atlantic Drift


This is an instrumental number of ambient electronica. Hypnotic, soothing, and moody, the music will transport you to wherever you want to go, including another dimension. Just brilliant.

3Spirit by The Belle Game

“Spirit” by Vancouver’s The Belle Game is easily one of best songs of 2017 released anywhere in the world. It begins with a drum beat and synth pulse, adds electronic textures, and Andrea Lo’s angelic voice surges above. Then those addictive beats kick in, heavier synths burst forth, and we are on a joy ride to the stars. Pure excellence, pure elation.

2Country Song by The Courtneys


They make it seem so simple, and it is so simple. One guitar, one bass, one drum set, three lovely voices, kick-butt riffs, a measured tempo, and presto, we have one of the most exhilarating rock songs of all-time.

1Canadian Music Blog’s 2017 Song of the Year

In a year made soggy by downpours of vocal warbling that resembled disarrayed wails coming from within an insane asylum’s padded white walls; in a year stifled by the secret that underwhelming click beats and flaky synthetic finger snaps have long, long, long overstayed their welcome; in a year when EDM lost its spark by mimicking a failing car engine that keeps conking out needing to be jumpstarted again and again—in such a year, something magical happened.

Two years ago, an album was released that championed most end-of-year best album lists. It was long and then shortlisted for the Polaris Prize in Canada. A deluxe version of the album contained three additional songs.

Due to popular demand, last year, a companion album was issued forth containing bonus tracks recorded during the album sessions. This collection of throwaways was deemed by Billboard as better than 90% of the pop songs of 2016.

But after all that, this year, the artist quietly and patiently reached up her sleeve and placed an ace down on the table. She had kept the ultimate leftover, the best song for last.

She has been called by many affectionate names. But with this song, “Pop Music’s Last Stand” seems to resonate most. Those of you who still curse wasting three hours of your lives watching The Tommyknockers can earn that time back by keeping this on repeat for the same length of time. It will bring joy to your heart, sweeten your dreams, and make you fall in love with the charmer or charmers.

Slam and dunk. The Canadian Music Blog declares “Cut to the Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen as 2017’s Song of the Year.

The Disappearance of Domestic Hit Single A-Listers

Remember the days when all kinds of Canadian acts, unknown outside the country, populated the domestic charts? Well, those days appear to be over.

The year-end Billboard Canadian Hot 100 annual charts began in 2008. That year, there were 15 songs with unique Canadian artists who made the cut. From 2009 to 2012, things held steady at 17 or 18 unique Canadian artist songs among the top 100 of the year. Things reached a peak in 2013 with an impressive 19. After that, we see a significant decline. The 2014 chart had 16 unique Canadian artist songs, 2015 had 13, and 2016 only 12. Cut the latter number in half and we arrive at this year, 2017’s horrifying 6. Yes, that’s all, six: Alessia Cara, Drake, Justin Bieber, Shawn Hook, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd, all signed to American record labels.

Coincidentally, Canada granted access to foreign streaming service Spotify in September 2014. And, suspiciously, that very same month, Nielsen decided to include streaming data in compiling the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 charts. Notice too that artists and labels, both foreign and domestic, around this time began telling fans to stream their music but would mention the name of only one streaming service of the many out there. Guess which one?

There is no CanCon in streaming. And the artists who are being promoted on the services are those signed to the big U.S. record labels who can outspend everyone else in marketing.

There are rumours that Apple will be dismantling the iTunes store, an act that, if carried out, would be a major earthquake for both the music industry and music consumers. Sunrise records is selling popular CDs for as much as $25 while they have bins full of DVDs selling for $2 and Bluray discs for $5. Does it make sense for audio only to be more expensive than audio plus video? Regarding online retail, it is often dependent on credit card purchases. Studies have found that 35% of Canadians refuse to use credit cards online with all the hacking going on. Remember the massive credit card hack into the now defunct A&B Sound’s online shop?

What is becoming clear is that the music industry as a whole is making it more and more difficult for people to purchase music, a suicidal move. It is interesting to watch the entertainment media interviewing recording artists who plug their new CD, when there is nowhere to purchase it easily.

There was a major political movement that spread significantly in the 20th century. In this system, masses of people were convinced was a good idea, the state owned everything. The individual owned nothing and could only be granted access through saving up coupons, performing extra work, or providing special favours to the members of the elite. What we are seeing here is something similar happening to the music industry. The concept of owning music is being phased out by special interests. Our money doesn’t allow for ownership, only for access. And all that money is discreetly, via gradual changes, being channelled into the pockets of a single individual. His name is Daniel Ek, and he now has an individual net worth of 1.6 billion dollars.

Billboard Top Canadian Albums: 2017 Year-End Chart

Billboard Canada has released its year-end Top 50 albums chart for 2017. The #1 album in Canada for the year was Divide by Ed Sheeran. The top album by a Canadian was Starboy by The Weeknd at #2, which was released last year. The top Canadian artist album released this year was More Life by Drake at #3. Of the 50 albums, 16 (32%) were released this year, 25 last year, four in 2015, and the remaining five prior to 2015. Twelve of the 50 this year are Canadian artist albums. Note that some Canadian artist songs appear in the various artist and soundtrack compilations. In the chart below we have included the album release year and have bolded Canadian artists in red.

RANK TITLE ARTIST RELEASE
1 Divide Ed Sheeran 2017
2 Starboy The Weeknd 2016
3 More Life Drake 2017
4 Hardwired… Metallica 2016
5 Damn Kendrick Lamar 2017
6 24K Magic Bruno Mars 2016
7 Illuminate Shawn Mendes 2016
8 Stoney Post Malone 2016
9 Views Drake 2016
10 Moana Soundtrack 2016
11 Memories… The Chainsmokers 2017
12 Evolve Imagine Dragons 2017
13 Culture Migos 2017
14 Now Shania Twain 2017
15 Beautiful Trauma P!nk 2017
16 Curtain Call: The Hits Eminem 2005
17 You Want It Darker Leonard Cohen 2016
18 Collage (EP) The Chainsmokers 2016
19 Trolls Soundtrack 2016
20 25 Adele 2015
21 American Teen Khalid 2017
22 Everything Now Arcade Fire 2017
23 Pentatonix Christmas Pentatonix 2016
24 4 Your Eyez Only J. Cole 2016
25 Greatest Hits Guns N’ Roses 2004
26 Dangerous Woman Ariana Grande 2016
27 Birds In The Trap… Travis Scott 2016
28 This Is Acting Sia 2016
29 Blurryface twenty one pilots 2015
30 Harry Styles Harry Styles 2017
31 Grateful DJ Khaled 2017
32 Yer Favorites The Tragically Hip 2005
33 Anti Rihanna 2016
34 X Ed Sheeran 2014
35 Joanne Lady Gaga 2016
36 Future Future 2017
37 Back From The Edge James Arthur 2016
38 Purpose Justin Bieber 2015
39 Witness Katy Perry 2017
40 Suicide Squad Soundtrack 2016
41 Blue & Lonesome The Rolling Stones 2016
42 Dig Your Roots Florida Georgia Line 2016
43 Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 Calvin Harris 2017
44 Cleopatra The Lumineers 2016
45 Ripcord Keith Urban 2016
46 Christmas Michael Bublé 2011
47 Agnus Dei Mario Pelchat/Les Prêtres 2017
48 Traveller Chris Stapleton 2015
49 Summer Is Gone Bobby Bazini 2016
50 Awaken, My Love! Childish Gambino 2016

Billboard Canadian Hot 100 of 2017, Year-End Chart

Billboard Canada has released the year-end top 100 singles of 2017 which are listed below. Justin Bieber, as a featured artist, comes in at #2 for Spanish language song “Despacito”. “Starboy” by The Weeknd is the top entry by a Canadian as the main artist. It made the year-end chart of 2016 at #32 and 2017 at #6. We have cleaned up the list by removing the eyesore of featured artists on this year’s chart unless it was a lone Canadian. Dual main artists are kept. Entries involving Canadians as the main, co-main, or lone featured artist are bolded in red. There are 17 representing only six Canadian artists: Justin Bieber, Drake, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, The Weeknd, and Shawn Hook. The Canadian Hot 100 is determined by a weighting system of radio airplay, online streaming, and purchased downloads. More year-end and other Canadian charts can be found here.

RANK TITLE ARTIST
1 Shape Of You  Ed Sheeran
2 Despacito  Fonsi/Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber
3 Closer  The Chainsmokers
4 Something Just Like This  The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
5 Unforgettable  French Montana
6 Starboy  The Weeknd
7 That’s What I Like  Bruno Mars
8 It Ain’t Me  Kygo x Selena Gomez
9 Rockabye  Clean Bandit
10 I’m the One  DJ Khaled
11 Humble  Kendrick Lamar
12 Believer  Imagine Dragons
13 Say You Won’t Let Go  James Arthur
14 Castle On The Hill  Ed Sheeran
15 Mask Off  Future
16 There’s Nothing Holdin’…  Shawn Mendes
17 Congratulations  Post Malone
18 XO Tour Llif3  Lil Uzi Vert
19 Wild Thoughts  DJ Khaled
20 Attention  Charlie Puth
21 Body Like A Back Road  Sam Hunt
22 Stay  Zedd & Alessia Cara
23 I Feel It Coming  The Weeknd
24 I Don’t Wanna Live Forever  Zayn & Taylor Swift
25 Slow Hands  Niall Horan
26 Paris  The Chainsmokers
27 24K Magic  Bruno Mars
28 Strip That Down  Liam Payne
29 Look What You Made Me Do  Taylor Swift
30 Galway Girl  Ed Sheeran
31 Issues  Julia Michaels
32 Feels  Calvin Harris
33 Passionfruit  Drake
34 Chained To The Rhythm  Katy Perry
35 Mi Gente  J Balvin & Willy William
36 Swalla  Jason Derulo
37 Don’t Wanna Know  Maroon 5
38 Rockstar  Post Malone
39 Slide  Calvin Harris
40 Ispy  KYLE
41 Let Me Love You  DJ Snake Ft. Justin Bieber
42 Bad And Boujee  Migos
43 Thunder  Imagine Dragons
44 Malibu  Miley Cyrus
45 Black Beatles  Rae Sremmurd
46 Side To Side  Ariana Grande
47 1-800-273-8255  Logic
48 Sign Of The Times  Harry Styles
49 Fake Love  Drake
50 Can’t Stop The Feeling!  Justin Timberlake
51 Sorry Not Sorry  Demi Lovato
52 Signs  Drake
53 Perfect  Ed Sheeran Duet with Beyoncé
54 2U  David Guetta Ft. Justin Bieber
55 Bodak Yellow  Cardi B
56 Havana  Camila Cabello
57 Bank Account  21 Savage
58 Redbone  Childish Gambino
59 What About Us  P!nk
60 Feel It Still  Portugal The Man
61 DNA  Kendrick Lamar
62 Cold  Maroon 5
63 Praying  Kesha
64 New Rules  Dua Lipa
65 Bad Things  Machine Gun Kelly/C. Cabello
66 Too Good At Goodbyes  Sam Smith
67 Heathens  twenty one pilots
68 Silence  Marshmello
69 Bad Liar  Selena Gomez
70 Scars To Your Beautiful  Alessia Cara
71 Treat You Better  Shawn Mendes
72 The Greatest  Sia
73 Love On The Brain  Rihanna
74 Run Up  Major Lazer
75 All Time Low  Jon Bellion
76 Cold Water  Major Lazer
77 Love Me Now  John Legend
78 T-Shirt  Migos
79 What Lovers Do  Maroon 5
80 Starving  Hailee Steinfeld & Grey
81 Tunnel Vision  Kodak Black
82 Symphony  Clean Bandit
83 Friends  Justin Bieber + BloodPop
84 Mercy  Shawn Mendes
85 Young Dumb & Broke  Khalid
86 Reminding Me  Shawn Hook
87 Glorious  Macklemore
88 Now Or Never  Halsey
89 Rolex  Ayo & Teo
90 Swish Swish  Katy Perry
91 Party Monster  The Weeknd
92 Scared To Be Lonely  Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa
93 Butterfly Effect  Travis Scott
94 Dusk Till Dawn  Zayn
95 Portland  Drake
96 Green Light  Lorde
97 Swang  Rae Sremmurd
98 This Is What You Came For  Calvin Harris
99 Bounce Back  Big Sean
100 Know No Better  Major Lazer