The iconic tracks that reached 1 billion Spotify streams this year – Happy Mag

by Sam Bowmer

Credit: Getty/Raph_PH/Richard E Aaron
by Sam Bowmer

Spotify. Love it or hate it you can’t deny its significance in the music space.
One of my favourite things to keep an eye on from Spotify is their Billions Club: Spotify’s official collection of songs that have passed the lofty milestone of a billion streams on the platform. Seeing what songs are added and when they’re added can provide great insight into the songs that are true cultural titans of music.
This year saw 130 new songs added to the list. It’s an eclectic mix, with a wide variety of genres and ages making the list and reminding us that modern pop culture may not be as homogenised as the more cynical snobs among us may claim. So let’s take a look at some of the highlights, shall we?
21st-century superstars you’d expect like Olivia Rodrigo, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Bad Bunny all made the cut, but so did 20th-century icons like Fleetwood Mac with their track ‘Dreams’, Lynyrd Skynyrd with ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, and Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September‘ — which disappointedly passed the billion mark in March, not September.
There were wins for Hip Hop fans as well, with new entries to the Billions Club from 50 Cent, Eminem, Coolio, Cardi B, and a particular banger from Jay-Z and Kanye West with a name that I dare not utter (the one about gentlemen in the capital of France).
Indie rock also saw a look in, with modern classics ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ by Arctic Monkeys and ‘Sex On Fire’ by Kings of Leon joining the club. Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ made the list this year too, though I’m not sure if the band would be thrilled or appalled by that.
The 2022 Christmas period helped push Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ (the best Christmas song, fight me) past this billion mark earlier this month as well. And in a win for us Aussies, Masked Wolf’s ‘Astronaut in the Ocean’ and AC/DC classics ‘Highway to Hell’, ‘Thunderstruck’, and ‘Back In Black’ also passed a billion streams this year.
I could spend hours deconstructing the list, but for now I’ll share the full thing with you to check out. Spotify’s Billions Club is embedded below.

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