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Music

5 Canadian Hits In Billboard's 500 Best Pop Songs Of All Time

From Carly Rae Jepsen to The Weeknd, Canadian artists have hit above their weight class when it comes to the Hot 100. Here are some favourites.

​Drake in "Hotline Bling" music video

Drake in "Hotline Bling" music video

YouTube

It's impossible to ignore the influence of pop music — not just on the charts, but on culture in general. And when it comes to pop music, Canada has always had a major influence.

This week, Billboard celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 by choosing the 500 best pop songs that have appeared on the chart. Canada also has our own Canadian Hot 100 (which is available on Billboard Canada here), but the country has also hit above our weight when it comes to both charts.


The list has classic hits from powerhouses to one-hit wonders: Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado, Len. There are even some you wouldn't necessarily know were Canadian, like "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies, which was co-written by Canadian songwriter Andy Kim. Getting into the top 100 choices, there are some true heavy hitters, from Drake to Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and more.

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To celebrate the landmark chart anniversary and spotlight some of the pop superstars who were shaped and shaped by it in Canada, here are five Canadian songs in the top 100 of Billboard's Best Pop Songs of All Time.

92. Shania Twain, "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"

Shania Twain - Man! I Feel Like A Woman (Official Music Video)

Hot 100 Peak: No. 23 (Nov. 13, 1999)

This country-pop empowerment anthem, fronted by that iconic intro — all swaggering guitar riff and let’s go girls! — has long been a clarion call for anyone seeking to live life on their own terms (“Wanna make some noise/ Really raise my voice”). The fearless lyrics, the glossy production and Twain’s peppy vocals revel in flirtatious, fun assertiveness; by the end, her effervescence is clearly audible. One of 12 singles released from Twain’s blockbuster Come on Over album, this song netted Twain a Grammy for best female country vocal performance and is still the Twain song most guaranteed to bring the house down on karaoke night. — JESSICA NICHOLSON

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89. Justin Bieber feat. Ludacris, "Baby"

Justin Bieber - Baby ft. Ludacris

Hot 100 Peak: No. 5 (Feb. 6, 2010)

“Baby” may be a song about the innocence of first love and subsequent heartbreak: Justin Bieber was only 15 years old when he sang “I thought you’d always be mine,” after all. But its pedigree as a pop song was fully developed upon its 2010 arrival. Produced by Tricky Stewart and The-Dream — who were coming off a run that included Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” — and featuring Ludacris, who’d just spent a decade firing off slam-dunk guest verses, “Baby” put Bieber in a position to win, a rising YouTube star gifted a bulletproof rhythmic-pop arrangement and a PG-rated eight-bar guest spot. And yet, not just any teen star could have held the center of “Baby”: Bieber showcased a charisma and hook awareness that made the track special, and ensured that we’d be hearing from him beyond his first breakup. — JASON LIPSHUTZ

81. Drake, "Hotline Bling"

Drake - Hotline Bling

Hot 100 Peak: No. 2 (Oct. 24, 2015)

Usually when Drake scores a pop smash, it feels like one he’s been carefully plotting for years, but the master plan was hardly evident right away on “Hotline Bling.” Built on a spiritual lift of the pixelated charm of DRAM’s “Cha Cha” and a sublime sample of Timmy Thomas’ 1973 left-field soul hit “Why Can’t We Live Together,” it felt more like an interlude than a big single on first listen. But the eventual No. 2 hit slow-burned it way to crossover ubiquity, as its stealthy pop hooks and relatable-despite-the-scumminess lyrics became more unshakeable, more universal the longer we spent with it. It’s the best reminder of how the thing that made Drake rap’s worst boyfriend also made him its biggest pop star: He thought he knew what we wanted better than we did, and often enough, he was proven right. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER

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79. The Weeknd, "Blinding Lights"

The Weeknd - Blinding Lights (Official Video)

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 (Apr. 4, 2020)

It’s easy to become entranced by the magnetic synth runs and singalong chorus that define the No. 1 Hot 100 song of all time. Still, sit with the despair in The Weeknd’s voice as he warbles “Maybe you can show me how to love, maaayyybeee” in the opening verse; throughout, his lyrics are urgent and fleeting, longing and melancholy (“Sin City’s cold and empty/ No one’s around to judge me”). It accentuates the timely moments when he lets his signature croon take center stage, like when he melts into the start of each refrain. Combine all of that into one gargantuan pop hit, and, well, “Blinding Lights” shines brighter than the Las Vegas Strip. — JOSH GLICKSMAN

8. Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"

Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 (June 23, 2012)

As Justin Bieber tweeted in December 2011: “‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepson is possibly the catchiest song I’ve ever heard lol”. With that understandable co-sign alone, the song launched into the pop stratosphere, pulling its singer/songwriter, Canadian newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen (spelling, Biebs!), along with it. Soon, Jepsen was the newest protégé of Scooter Braun and the song was at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. With its pure bubblegum pop goodness, the runaway smash perfectly bottles the excitement of a new crush, in ways only a few other artists have been able to do. In our current algorithmically fueled music landscape, the way “Call Me Maybe” spread virally based on its undeniable pop merits feels almost nostalgic — a reminder that once upon a time, TikTok didn’t rule all and what we used to call Twitter was actually fun. — KRISTIN ROBINSON

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Read the whole Best Pop Songs of All Time list on Billboard U.S.

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Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G

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