Few songs have ever dominated a summer the way that Robin Thicke's breakthrough pop smash "Blurred Lines" did in 2013. A number of the top songs were heavily influenced by classic R&B and dance music.
Robin Thicke's breakthrough party track "Blurred Lines" has turned into one of the biggest pop hits of all time spending at least 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His only previous top 40 pop hit was 2007's "Lost Without U" which climbed to #14. Aiming to lighten up and have a little fun, he soared to the top of the charts and spent almost all summer there setting a record for the biggest single week of radio airplay along the way then breaking his own record multiple times. The song generated controversy over its treatment and depiction of women, but that did not stop the song's widespread success.
The French electronic music duo Daft Punk have released multiple dance music landmarks in the past. However, until "Get Lucky," they had not reached the pop top 40 in the US. Led by the classic disco sound of Nile Rodgers' guitar, the song was an instant success around the world. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would have reached #1 if not for the success of "Blurred Lines." By the end of the summer "Get Lucky" had sold nearly 2.5 million copies in the US, topped the dance chart, and reached the top 10 on both alternative and adult pop songs charts.
Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" first hit the alternative songs chart in the fall of 2012. It reached #1 there and began a swift climb on the mainstream pop charts in the spring of 2013. "Radioactive" is one of the heavier rock songs to hit the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in recent memory. It has set a record for the longest time spent on top of the rock songs chart with a total of 23 weeks. The song has also been a success on adult pop charts while selling over five million copies.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis kicked off the summer of 2013 at the top of the pop singles chart with their second hit "Can't Hold Us." It spent most of the rest of the summer slowly sliding down the chart but remaining very popular on pop radio. The accompanying music video won two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Hip Hop Video and Best Cinematography.
The original version of "Cruise" by country duo Florida Georgia Line first hit country charts in August 2012. By December it was #1 on the country radio airplay chart. In April 2013 a remix featuring rapper Nelly was released and soon "Cruise" had climbed into the top on the Billboard Hot 100. Ultimately the song peaked at #4. It has now sold over five million copies in the original version and more than 1.5 million copies of the remix featuring Nelly.
One of the biggest pop music stories of 2013 is the return of Justin Timberlake. Earlier in the year he reached the top 10 with "Suit and Tie.". "Mirrors" is the second single from the album The 20/20 Experience. The song echoes the style of past hits by Justin Timberlake. "Mirrors" ultimately peaked at #2 and spent much of the summer in the top 10. The accompanying music video directed by Floria Sigismondi won the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year.
Miley Cyrus returned in the summer of 2013 three years after the release of her last studio album. "We Can't Stop" is a down tempo party record. It peaked at #2, kept out of the top spot by "Blurred Lines." The accompanying music video drew controversy with sometimes bizarre imagery. However, extensive viewing of the clip was a significant part of the song's success.
After two consecutive #1 hits from his album Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars released "Treasure" as the third single. It is uptempo with a retro disco soul feel. The song peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 while also climbing into the top 10 at adult pop radio.
Selena Gomez officially became a solo artist in 2013. "Come & Get It," her first single on her own, quickly became the biggest hit of her career so far. The song swaggered into the pop top 10 while climbing to the top of the dance chart. The album Stars Dance became Selena Gomez' first #1 album.