16 Best Singles of 2016

Christmas is this weekend and that means only one thing – it’s time for the best singles of 2016! Didn’t make that connection? Well, for me, this time of the year means a slew of “end of the year” and “best of the year” lists. Some are better than others but in the end, it’s all subjective.

What I might consider as one of the best singles of 2016 might be the one song you’re just sick of hearing. It could be a song you’ve never heard or it could even be one that you never knew the name of. Either way, these 16 songs are some of the best singles of 2016. They were constants on my playlists, some of them were included in previous features on Violet Roots, and all of them are sonic gold! 

Some of you might remember my end of the year roundups from last year. If not, allow me to quickly run down how this works. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge music fan. I consume new music constantly and my tastes vary drastically. One minute I’ll listen to Kanye the next I’ll listen to Florence and the Machine, then it’s Dead Kennedy’s followed by Adele. In other words, it’s all over the place and that’s how I like it. 

With that in mind, when you view the below list note that you might love some songs and not others. What works for me may only partially work for you. Still, my end of the year singles have more mass appeal than maybe my best albums list will. That’s because when I put this list together I considered which songs really stuck with me, and the public, more than others. I also ignored the albums they come from. 

Why ignore the albums?

Well, an album can have an amazing single and that’s it. We’ve all been in that situation before. You hit play on a new record, love the first few tracks and then that’s where the compliments end. It happens. Compiling an entire album that captivates and moves people from start to finish is really difficult. It’s rare that you’ll love each and every track on an album. Singles, on the other hand, are much easier to come by.

Why these Songs?

These 16 singles are a mix of radio play warriors, rising talent, and straight up music icons. Some artists are on both the best albums and best singles of 2016 list. I’m sure you might be able to guess a few but you’ll just have to wait until next week to find out which ones make the cut! 

Acts like The Weeknd and Beyoncé seem to just never leave lists like this. They always bring awesome music to the table that takes over the airwaves. Other artists, like Phantogram and Flume, might not be household names but are big in their respective genres and more than qualify on talent alone. 

Speaking of genre, I hope no matter what your preference is you find a tune or two below that brings back a positive experience from 2016. To say the least, this has been an insane year, and not always in a good way. If you can hear any of the below songs and something good comes to mind then I’ve done my job! So, without further ado, check of the 16 best singles of 2016 below!





The Weeknd


Britney Spears






Rae Sremmurd


Tove Lo


Ariana Grande









The Chainsmokers




Calvin Harris


Kanye west




What are your best singles of 2016?

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