The Most Played Song in My iTunes Every Year for the Past Decade

Let's get this over with.
Publish date:
iTunes, most listened to song by the year

Apple is pulling the plug on iTunes. 

Thanks to the success of streaming services—including Apple Music—iTunes, the one-time one-stop shop for new music, has become as irrelevant as the fax machine. Still, it's a sad day to see iTunes shot like a dog in the street. iTunes was once our primary mode of music consumption. 

In honor of the impending death of iTunes, I ran the numbers—and I admit some of them are NOT pretty—on the most played songs in my iTunes from each year this past decade. 

Fair warning, some of them are kinda embarrassing...

Let’s get this over with.

"Right Round" by Flo Rida (2009)


Play Count: 429

Don't judge me. First off, I was 15 years old, which means I was a moron. I wrote break-up poetry and I thought wrestling was real. But also, despite what the “I listen to REAL hip-hop” crowd says, this song was catchy as fuck. Also, it played at the end of The Hangover, which is 15-year-old Drew’s favorite movie. How can you NOT enjoy a song that is directly associated with Zach Galifianakis?

"Airplanes" by B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams (2010)


Play Count: 467

First off, I'm sorry. But you have to understand I was a very depressed, very white 16-year-old. And this song was specifically designed for very depressed, very white 16-year-olds. Every goth kid in my high school made at least 11 Facebook posts quoting the chorus of this song whenever their crush didn’t respond to a text. "Airplanes" was emo rap at its most polished, poppy and corny; an appropriate title, since the song was a metaphorical airplane that crashed into every suburban household in America like sonic terrorism.

"Yonkers" by Tyler, The Creator (2011)


Play Count: 590

With this one, I have zero regrets. Not only was this abrasive banger a perfect soundtrack for my unearned teen angst, but it’s also still a classic (and it’s the song that constructed a loyal congregation of Tyler stans, myself included). Those iconic words “stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus” were a beautiful sonnet that touched millions of teenage hearts, despite the fact Bruno Mars is a goddamn saint.

"Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen (2012)


Play Count: 27,991

I can already feel your judgment. This song is cheesy and was primarily aimed at 11-year-old girls. But it SLAPPED. I’m not necessarily proud of it, but it happened, okay? Let’s just move on.

"Hold On, We're Going Home" by Drake feat. Majid Jordan (2013)


Play Count: 515

"Hold On, We're Going Home" is so smooth you could spread it on a blueberry bagel for breakfast. It should play at every wedding. I am honestly considering crashing weddings just to hijack the DJ booth and play the fuck out of this song.

"Shell Shocked" by Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, & Ty Dolla $ign feat. Kill the Noise & Madsonik (2014)


Play Count: 789

I was shocked when I stumbled onto this one. Appalled even. Yes, the theme song from the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was my most played song of 2014. I swear I'm just as surprised as you are. But I will not make excuses for my behavior. All I can do is take responsibility for my actions and vow to do better in the future. We can not ignore our past, only learn from it.

"Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae)" by Silento (2015)


Play Count: 4,722

Silento's "Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae)" created a super cheesy dance that became a disturbing epidemic throughout America. But most notably, it was my go-to song whenever I was drunk. As you can tell from the number of plays, I have a very serious drinking problem.

Kanye West – "Ultralight Beam" by Kanye West feat. Chance The Rapper (2016)


Play Count: 601

This song is a goddamn masterpiece. It’s beautiful, poetic, and the guest verse by Chance The Rapper is one of the best of the decade. I have nothing bad to say about this song. Even if you’re a neckbearded, pretentious, atheist Redditor, you somehow become a devout Christian for five minutes while listening to this song. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. My only regret is that I didn't play it more.

"4:44" by JAY-Z (2017)


Play Count: 444

"4:44" is another song with no embarrassment factor attached. The title track to Hov’s latest album was phenomenal. It's so beautiful it makes me wanna date someone, cheat on them, and then attempt to pen a gorgeous apology song. Granted, I’m not a musician but still… So who's gonna take one for the team?

"The Ringer" by Eminem (2018)


Play Count: 666

Sure, I have to deal with the insane stigma of being an Eminem stan in 2019, and the flak I caught from my fellow DJBoothians for fangirl-ing this fast-paced, lyrical rant so intensely is something I will likely never be able to live down. "The Ringer" is, basically, Eminem having a mental breakdown for five minutes, but I’ll be damned if the dude can’t rap his ass off. It's the perfect workout song for when you're still angry at your middle school bully. So, an Eminem song.

"Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen (2019)


Play Count: 98,753

Thank you, Carly Rae Jepsen. And thank you, iTunes.


Eminem, 2018

My Failed Quest to Get Eminem's 'Kamikaze' on Our "Best of" Year-End Lists

And yes, I know saying “Eminem’s Kamikaze is my favorite album of 2018” is a very white thing to say.

Kanye Albums Ranked By Cockiness

Every Kanye West Album, Ranked by Level of Cockiness

Ye’s arrogance is part of why we love him.