For the past couple of years, TikTok has had a fierce influence on the music industry — and artists and producers have begun to take note. Whether through clever orchestration or sheer luck, most top hits in today’s world have a TikTok trend closely accompanying them.
Of this year’s 10 song of the year" Grammy nominees, seven have amassed millions of TikTok videos featuring their songs.
From elaborate dance routines to memes galore, here are the year’s biggest songs and the trends that helped them top the charts.
'Drivers License' by Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo became the quintessential Gen Z superstar when her smash hit "Drivers License" broke the record for most weekly streams in Spotify and Amazon Music history for a non-holiday song. Rodrigo even told the New York Times she had TikTok in mind while writing the power ballad. Rodrigo’s four-time platinum breakout single inspired nearly 2 million inspired TikTok videos on the app. The "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" star’s debut inspired trends featuring TikTokers falling backward onto a bed at the break of the song’s illustrious bridge — imitating Rodrigo’s dramatic music video performance. All the feels.
'Kiss Me More' by Doja Cat
It’s difficult to take a 10-minute car ride without a radio appearance from Doja Cat nowadays. Earning over a billion streams on Spotify alone, "Kiss Me More" showcases what Doja does best — an elusive hook with a silky chorus that you can’t help but groove to. Viral choreography including a ton of hip shaking and synchronous arm fluttering has a collective 2.3 million inspired videos on the app launching the pop singer to an 8-nomination feat.
'Happier Than Ever' by Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish made Grammy history in 2020 as the second person ever to sweep the four major music categories — which she casually did at age 18. Eilish’s sophomore album, "Happier than Ever" features the same named song that gave TikTokers the option between a cool, melancholy first half of the tune or a declarative rock anthem in the later half. Although not one specific trend with "Happier than Ever," TikTok videos featuring fans ranting about broken romance with the song subtly humming in the background, enthusiasts screaming the bridge into cameras, or reacting to Eilish’s live performance of the hit on her world tour has shortly amassed over 500,000 TikTok videos since its July release.
'Peaches' by Justin Bieber
It’s safe to say Justin Bieber didn’t necessarily need TikTok for his smash hit "Peaches" to be his eighth No. 1 hit on the Hot 100. However, it certainly didn’t hurt when his wife and model, Hailey Bieber, started a Peaches Makeup Challenge hashtag that totaled approximately 80 million views on the app. In the challenge, Hailey applied a peach-colored eye shadow, blush and lip gloss while bopping along to the catchy chorus. With a whopping 22 nominations and only two wins in his Grammy career, perhaps "Peaches" will be Justin’s third trophy.
'Leave the Door Open' by Silk Sonic
The theme of Silk Sonic’s debut single "Leave the Door Open" is a romantic evening with a significant other — but per usual, TikTok took it and ran. Users of the app — mainly girlfriends and wives — used the chorus lyrics, “I’ma leave the door open,” to imitate their husbands leaving household doors wide open: cabinets, drawers, and the toilet seat too. Silk Sonic is a super duo collaboration featuring Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — hoping to snag their first Grammy as a group this year.
'Bad Habits' by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is another artist who had No. 1 hits figured out before TikTok — but that doesn’t mean he didn’t release a sneak peek of his first solo release for an album in four years on the app back in June. Now, TikTokers use the song to admit their own daily bad habits, including too many naps or hours scrolling through TikTok. The "Shape of You" singer himself shared his own rendition of bad habits featuring nail biting, alcohol, and too much junk food.
'Montero (Call Me by Your Name)' by Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X is no stranger to TikTok. With the help of the app, his debut single, "Old Town Road" featuring Billy Ray Cyrus became the longest running No. 1 hit in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 … yes, you heard that right. "Montero" was almost no different. Lil Nas posted teaser clips of the song on TikTok for months leading up to its release. The song immediately sparked controversy for its graphic depiction of the singer sliding down a stripper poll descending into hell. The song, however, queued a meme frenzy with users showing themselves at the gates of heaven bargaining to get in while "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" is heard in the background while he slides past off camera. The artist has certainly mastered shock value.
Also included in the nomination list for song of the year are "A Beautiful Noise" by Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile, "Fight for You" by H.E.R., and "Right on Time" by Brandi Carlile. The Grammys premiere live in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022.