20 Years of Shazam Hits

20 Years of Shazam Hits

Back when Shazam was founded in 2002, things were pretty analog: Users dialed “2580” and held their phones up to the speakers, eventually receiving a text that identified the song and artist. Now, 20 years and 70 billion requests later, it’s hard to imagine life without this handy digital tool. With more than a billion monthly song recognitions and links to concert tickets and lyrics, the app has fundamentally transformed the way we discover and share music. This playlist celebrates 20 years of Shazam by revisiting the most-discovered song from each year. Arranged in no particular order, it’s a fun little trip down memory lane. Who could forget Gnarls Barkley’s neo-soul smash “Crazy,” the 2006 hit so seismic and irresistible that it was covered by everyone from The Kooks to Paris Hilton? Or The Black Eyed Peas’ G-rated party anthem “I Gotta Feeling,” which made all of 2009 feel like a 2 am bar night sing-along (“L’chaim!”)? A few years later, in 2012, two virtually unknown artists, Gotye and Kimbra, scored the hit of a lifetime with the pleading and plucky “Somebody That I Used to Know.” And no Shazam list would be complete without Tones And I’s 2019 blockbuster “Dance Monkey,” which, with 41 million requests, is the most-discovered song in the app’s history. There are plenty of culture-shaking moments missing from this list—like Drake’s “One Dance,” Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” and Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream,” all of which had viral moments thanks to hit music videos or TV syncs—but when it comes down to year-over-year statistics, these songs topped the charts.

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