The 100 Best Songs of 2022

Apple Music
The 100 Best Songs of 2022

Looking back over our favorite tracks of 2022, there’s a real sense of joy. Two of the biggest artists in the world, Beyoncé and Drake, put out albums rooted in the ecstasy and release of dance music, and, in the case of Beyoncé, a queer Black culture sequestered from the mainstream for too long (“CUFF IT”). The bounce and lightness of Afrobeats continued to percolate through hip-hop and club music, both through collaborations with Western artists and on its own (Burna Boy’s “Last Last,” Oxlade’s “KU LO SA”), and Harry Styles brought a playful, almost psychedelic quality to his post-teen pop that felt like a spritz of lemon after a long couple of years (“As It Was”). Maybe it was our collective exuberance after the challenges of COVID and its lockdowns. Maybe it was just a swing of the stylistic pendulum. But it felt like people were ready for something brighter—the kind of music that captures collectivity over individualism and extroversion over isolation, whether it was the smart, stylish indie pop of The 1975 (“Part of the Band”) or the cosmic, family-band warmth of Big Thief (“Spud Infinity”). Even drill, the Chicago rap style that moved on to dominate London and New York, was, in its own throat-grabbing way, joyful, replacing the spaciness of 2010s trap with an energy and immediacy that brought rap back to Earth (Polo G’s “Distraction”). And the return of the ’90s in both the big, obvious, Bad Boy-style samples on tracks like Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” and the country of Zach Bryan and Cole Swindell didn’t feel like nostalgia so much as a yearning for a sense of optimism and simplicity that we can easily lose sight of (“Something in the Orange” and “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” respectively). Then you had Bad Bunny. Bad Bunny! Face of Latin music’s ever-growing share of the global mainstream; maker of the first Spanish-language No. 1 album in the history of the Billboard charts, and now also the second (Un Verano Sin Ti); Apple Music Artist of the Year and self-described human being. Committed to his art, but also someone who seems to genuinely be having fun—a good face for a hopeful moment. “Puerto Ricans are always festive,” he told us (in translation). “No matter what we’re facing, we try to have a good attitude.” There are worse takes out there.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada