Streaming services like Spotify have made it possible for artists to seemingly come out of nowhere and dominate the charts, and that’s exactly what happened to Olivia Rodrigo. Specifically, the California teen wrote and recorded “Driver’s License,” a mournful dirge about teenage relationships (per Esquire). It garnered 1.1 billion streams on the platform, making it the most-streamed song on Spotify in 2021. So popular was the song that it was even spoofed on “Saturday Night Live,” according to the L.A. Times, and Rodrigo herself loved the sketch.
In second place is another pop star who has managed to be a part of the national conversation: Lil Nas X, whose racy and religious-tinged video for “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)” caused considerable controversy, according to The Guardian. Justin Bieber’s collaboration with The Kid LAROI, “Stay,” was in third place, while another Olivia Rodrigo joint, “good 4 u,” came in fourth. In last place was Dua Lipa, with “Levitating (feat. DaBaby).”