Want to compare Spotify Wrapped top songs? What USA TODAY entertainment experts streamed most this year

Jennifer McClellan, USA TODAY
·9 min read

On Wednesday, Spotify listeners got their annual Wrapped recaps of the songs, podcasts and musicians they streamed most during 2020.

Sometimes it's hard looking in the mirror.

Sure, we knew we liked Taylor Swift's surprise album "Folklore" but, really, we listened to "Exile" that many times? And Justin Bieber's "Yummy"? No, it's not a masterpiece but, dang, as a workout song it's fire.

Other top songs weren't as surprising. We, like many Americans, turned to Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa to help us dance through the pain of 2020. We blasted "Frozen" songs so our kids could play while we worked. We leaned into showtunes and R&B songs to say the words we couldn't find.

So, because sharing our love of entertainment is literally what we do, here's a look at our top songs. Be kind.

'Stupid Love' by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga released this dance pop banger in what I – and many – in the U.S. like to call "the before times," before the pandemic took hold of our country and forced us all inside. It's a song I was looking forward to dancing to during Pride events this summer, carelessly bopping around the middle of a dance floor and celebrating love in all forms. It still beared repeating even when I couldn't go anywhere. Once the world returns to normal – whatever that means – you can bet I'll be screaming "I want your stupid love" to anyone who will hear me. Hopefully they've heard the song. – David Oliver, reporter

'Let It Go' from Frozen

We are in a pandemic people. If putting on an Elsa dress and belting out Frozen songs occupies my daughter for two minutes so I can send an email, then put. it. on. repeat. My No. 2 song? "Into the Unknown." Why? See reason No. 1. – Amy Haneline, social media editor

'Bare Wit Me' by Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor is the epitome of R&B on this heartbreak song. My love life is in shambles, so maybe that's why I can relate with lyrics like, "Bare with me through heartbreak // Bare with me through long days." She's essentially asking for patience. And I will add that I think it's a crime that she didn't earn a single Grammy nom for "The Album" because it was my favorite project of the year! – Cydney Henderson, reporter

More music: Beyoncé leads Grammy nominations, Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch and Taylor Swift score big

What did the USA TODAY Entertainment staff listen to the most in 2020? Here's a look at our Spotify Wrapped, including Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch, Taylor Swift and 'Frozen'.
What did the USA TODAY Entertainment staff listen to the most in 2020? Here's a look at our Spotify Wrapped, including Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch, Taylor Swift and 'Frozen'.

‘Waving Through a Window’ by Ben Platt

In the early days of the pandemic, when my fear, anxiety and stress levels were at what I thought would be the highest point (oh how naive I was), I began listening to the original Broadway cast recording for “Dear Evan Hansen” on repeat. A longtime fan of musicals, I turned to the showtunes genre as my ultimate source of comfort while COVID-19 radically changed my life (and everyone’s). Although I’ve never seen this musical staged, the kicky, poppy score is easy to listen to even if you don’t know the story, with stunning (and Tony-winning) vocals from Ben Platt anchoring it. This early Act I song has Platt as the titular Evan Hansen expressing his frustrations feeling like a timid outcast in high school, looking through a window at the connections he could be making. Relatable in quarantine? Absolutely. Kelly Lawler, TV critic

'Roses - Imanbek Remix' by SAINt JHN, Imanbek

This truly was the one song that "helped me get through it all." I listened to this song for 14 hours straight during a road trip from DC to Montreal, and though I don't know a single lyric in the song, it was such an upbeat tune that never got old. – Jenna Ryu, intern

'Don’t Start Now' by Dua Lipa

I literally started 2020 with this glitterball of a song. The first time I heard it was when Dua performed on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. My daughter started dancing with the English pop star, making us smile with her off-key singing and out-of-step moves. As the year progressed and the world turned upside down, she and I had almost daily dance parties on our patio. She would ask for “Du-ah Lee-pah” and we’d blast this song about overcoming heartbreak as an escape from closed school, missed family and canceled activities. As the year ends, I’m hoping we, like Dua, will be “better on the other side.” – Jennifer McClellan, entertainment editor

Dua Lipa's 'Future Nostalgia': Throw a quarantine dance party with 2020's best album

'Automatic Driver’ by La Roux

Unsurprising to anyone who knows me, all five of my top-played tracks were by La Roux (real name: Elly Jackson), the British singer behind 2009’s infectious dance hit “Bulletproof.” Her criminally underrated third album “Supervision” is, in a word, a vibe, and got me through the anxiety attack that is 2020 with its chill, electro-funk-flavored pop. “Automatic Driver,” a deceptively upbeat song about a relationship on autopilot, is the album’s undeniable highlight and a head-bobbing, mood-boosting escape. – Patrick Ryan, reporter

'Mbangu Te' by Ya Levis

This song is in French, and even after four years of exchanging "ça va biens" in high school, I haven't been able to decipher the lyrics as of yet, but that doesn’t stop me from singing along. It’s such a soothingly hype melodic song that feels like it would be the soundtrack of a recap video to an unforgettable boozy brunch/day party on a warm summer day. Unfortunately due to the panny (COVID-19), no boozy brunches/day parties ensued because summer was canceled. But best believe I’m saving this song for when outside is open again. – Rasha Ali, reporter

'Exile' by Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

File this under “late to the party”: This year I officially became a Taylor Swift fan. As an entertainment editor for the last 15 years, I’ve carefully followed Swift’s career and her music, but it wasn’t until “Folklore” that the songs actually spoke to me. That’s partially due to her new collaboration with two of my longtime favorites: Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dressner. “Exile” tops my list because it’s a love-gone-wrong ballad with an amazing bridge that’s perfect for singing off key at the top of your lungs. And clearly I did that many times! A close second on my list was “Wishing Well” by Juice Wrld, and I think the lyrics to the chorus speak to our collective struggles this year: “Waiting for the exhale. I toss my pain with my wishes in a wishing well.” It’s a poignant and prescient rap from the late musician. Listen closely to the words. – Alison Maxwell, managing editor

'Van Gogh Theme (With Violin) IV' by Tatiana Lisovskaya

This is from the movie "Eternity's Gate." Like the movie, it's profoundly beautiful. But it helps calm me during stressful moments, especially at work. A big reason why I have both ears. Too soon? – Bryan Alexander, reporter

Appleton native Willem Dafoe channels painter Vincent van Gogh in "At Eternity's Gate," directed by visual artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel.
Appleton native Willem Dafoe channels painter Vincent van Gogh in "At Eternity's Gate," directed by visual artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel.

'The Box' by Roddy Ricch

Roddy Ricch's "The Box" had me hitting play over and over this year. And apparently, I'm not alone. The song, which took me from home to the gym to work (first to the office then from my bed to the couch or kitchen table) and back was also Apple Music's most-streamed song of 2020 overall. – Morgan Hines, reporter

More: Roddy Rich has Apple Music's most-streamed song and album of 2020

'Rare' by Selena Gomez

Spotify is my go-to app when commuting to work. But since I’ve been working from home since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, I haven’t used it much. That’s why when I saw my No. 1 song was Selena Gomez’s “Rare,” I was completely transported back to my pre-pandemic self, who listened to this dance-y, upbeat song to get me pumped up and ready for the work day after the track dropped in January. Maybe it’s time to incorporate the track back into my morning routine, since I’ll take all the feel-good vibes I can get in 2020! – Sara Moniuszko, reporter

'Yummy' by Justin Bieber

This is, unfortunately, my truth. The first time I heard this song, I was disappointed. I didn't think it was good, but I listened again for good measure. And apparently I listened to it again and again and again. Bieber's first single off of his fifth album "Changes" was a slow burner for me, and Spotify claims I listed to it 55 times since my first stream on Jan. 3. It feels wrong, but I know it's right (also my explanation of the song, which I do actually like). I blame it on my playlists: I make the same three playlists for myself each year and this landed on my "new year, same me" list early on in 2020. – Anika Reed, deputy trending editor

'Exile' by Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

Could you ask for a song title more emblematic of 2020? Swift's quarantine album brought all the feels, and it was refreshing to disappear away into the fictitious breakup drama of "Exile" instead of focusing on the real world's problems for a little while. Hannah Yasharoff, reporter

'Gaslighter' by The Chicks

I got the new Chicks CD, “Gaslighter,” soon after it came out this year, and I can’t stop listening to the opening, title song. When the CD is on in my car, that song is on repeat. If I had a Spotify account, that would be the song I listen to most. It’s ostensibly a song about betrayal by an ex “on my boat,” but during this election year, you could have applied it to other, higher targets as well. In any case, it’s a classic Chicks song: Blistering, clever lyrics, tight harmonies, peppy country-rock beat and expert instrumentation. It’s been something like 15 years since the band formerly known as the Dixie Chicks put out a record; this song is emblematic of all the many songs on their previous records that drew me to them in the first place. – Maria Puente, reporter

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spotify Wrapped: What USA TODAY staff listened to most in 2020