Our Spotify Wrapped No. 1 Songs for 2020

Story posted December 19, 2020 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts Staff

“Stone Cold” – Deb Never

“Stone Cold” by Deb Never was hands down my favorite song this year. Since March when it first came out, this song has been on repeat. This song is nearly perfect.

First, it is so insanely catchy.

The chorus is super simple; however, it gets stuck in your head so easily. There have been way too many days this year that the chorus has randomly been stuck in my head.

Deb Never also sounds phenomenal on this track. She doesn't showcase an insane range; however, she sticks to what she is good at. She fits insanely well with Kenny Beats’ beat and her voice fits the vibes of this song perfectly.

This is a super chill song, which made it easy for me to listen to while studying and when I drive late at night.

This song has beautiful instrumentals. The beat pulses through the audience which makes it nearly impossible not to nod your head with it.

The backing vocals are also very memorable. Doja Cat delivers a ton of ad libs throughout the song, as well as Deb Never herself, who alters her voice for her ad libs. The ad libs add a ton of character to the song.

Although this is a serious song, Deb Never does not take anything too seriously. She has fun, and it is hard not to have fun along with her while listening to this song. The song even has an uncredited Bearface verse as the outro of the song.

This is my favorite song of the year, and I was not surprised to find out it was my most listened to song of the year as well. I love this song, and I cannot wait to continue listening to this song next year. You should definitely check out this year's hidden gem! – Jack Freiser

“Impossible” – Nothing but Thieves

My No. 1 song on Spotify actually came out in October, so I did a year’s worth of listening to this song in just two months. Yikes!

“Impossible” by Nothing but Thieves was on repeat for almost a week straight. Nothing but Thieves has always been one of my favorite bands, their alternative rock sound and impeccable vocals from lead singer, Conor Mason, give me chills.

This song in particular was my absolute favorite off their new album “Moral Panic.” It is a love song, but not a cheesy one in my book.

Something about the way Mason belts out the entire chorus made me listen to this song every time I opened Spotify.

I listened to “Impossible” in my dorm room, on walks around campus and before I fell asleep at night. It quickly became my fall anthem.

“Impossible” is about falling in love, which doesn’t necessarily relate to my life right now, but the message is just too heartwarming to pass up. Every time I listen to it, I just get motivated to live my life to the fullest.

When the guitar chords hit my eardrums, the dopamine release is instantaneous. I’m guessing that being high feels similar to the way I feel when I listen to this song.

I still listen to this song daily, and until Nothing but Thieves releases more music for me to obsess over, I have a feeling that I will play it enough for it to pop up on my Spotify Wrapped for 2021! – Courtney Benedetto

“august” – Taylor Swift

A lot of people know me for being a Taylor Swift fiend. I jokingly call her my mother and my friends are usually quick to make jabs at how obsessive I am about her music.

But Taylor Swift has been there for me since I was eight when I first heard “You Belong With Me” on the radio. She’s been there through every high and low of my life — from coming home after school with my first heartbreak to listen to “Red,” to driving around on my first date with my boyfriend blaring “reputation” in my car.

I associate the best and worst moments in my life with Taylor Swift songs, because she’s always been the driving force helping me through it all. This summer was no different.

I lived alone in Pittsburgh this summer, which was difficult for many reasons. It was my first time being completely away from home and it was in the middle of a pandemic so there wasn’t a lot for me to do. I felt so lonely all of the time, so music was my biggest escape.

I remember the moment “folklore” was announced so vividly, because it came at such a shock. “august” was the first stand out on the album for me. The instrumentation was so striking and the lyrics so honest and pure. I had the song on repeat for the rest of the summer, and it helped me feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel to such a depressing period in my life.

It wasn’t surprising seeing “august” as my number one. After “folklore” dropped, it was the only thing I could listen to for months on end. The storytelling aspect of the album, with “august” as the bridge between the beginning and latter halves, is remarkable. I still can’t wrap my mind around it five months later.

Now, every time I listen to “august” I’m taken back to the hot, sticky nights in Pittsburgh with my headphones on taking pictures of the sunset before going home alone. August really did slip away. — Jade Campos

“Heartless” – Kanye West

Just like the year 2020, my Spotify Wrapped is all over the place. My music fluctuated. When life was normal, I did not have much time to slow down, do what I like to do, and find music.

A blessing in disguise, COVID-19 made me relax and listen to music. I found an appreciation for hip-hop, rap and pop music. I always thought listening to those genres was basic and, for some reason, I thought it was odd to like that music.

Throughout quarantine and the summer, my music taste completely morphed. According to Spotify, I listened to 506 genres this year, including 142 new ones. I was called “genrelust.”

Still, my top genre was Rock. My top artist was Kanye West, therefore my top song of 2020 was “Heartless” from his 2008 album “808s & Heartbreak.” One of my dearest friends is a die-hard Kanye fan.

At the time, I did not know much about Kanye’s musical and lyrical intelligence. My friend showed me her favorite songs and from then on, I was hooked. More specifically, I fell in love with “808s & Heartbreak.”

I always caught myself skipping other Kanye songs to listen to songs off that album. It’s difficult to not bop your head to the beats and sing/rap along to the lyrics. When I listened to other rappers, I did not like their rhymes as much as Kanye’s.

I resonated with “Heartless” the most during 2020 because of the craziness. But I also found a new love and appreciation for icy, electronic pop.

I have become more genre fluid and I’m thankful for the pandemic for allowing me to do so. I am open to listening to any kind of music and artist now. – Emily McGlynn

“Maximize” – Amaranthe

I had just discovered Amaranthe, which is a Swedish heavy metal band featuring three singers, at the start of 2020. I had come across their song “Countdown” in late 2019 when my playlist finished and Spotify started playing random songs.

By the beginning of 2020, I decided to give the band a solid chance and played their “This is Amaranthe” playlist. I fell in love almost instantly.

My number one song on Spotify for this year is “Maximize” from their “Maximalism” album. That doesn’t come as a shock at all, the song is by far one of my favorites and has seen the repeat button many, many times.

What makes it so good is its fast beat, amazing guitar, and the oh so catchy verses and chorus. It’s a great song to workout to due to those mentioned reasons, and really drives you to “maximize” yourself in the gym.

For some reason, it also makes a good song to play flying games to. When “Star Wars: Squadrons” released, “Maximize” became one of my go to songs for when I play and it really gets you pumped up for the virtual dogfight.

The song overall is just a massive mood lifter for me as well. I am heavily influenced by music, so whether I am doing my chores or driving to school, this song is a sure-fire way to get pumped. – Colton Pleslusky


Jack Freiser is a freshman majoring in either media studies or telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.

Courtney Benedetto is a freshman majoring in print/digital journalism. To contact her, email at cmb7747@psu.edu.

Jade Campos is a junior majoring in print/digital journalism. To contact her, email jmc7727@psu.edu.

Emily McGlynn is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at esm5378@psu.edu.

Colton Pleslusky is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email csp5289@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Jade Campos's photo

Jade Campos

Junior / Print/Digital Journalism

Jade Campos is a junior from Caroline, Virginia. She is a director of the arts and entertainment department of CommRadio and a co-host on the talk show The Nittany Record Club alongside Colton Pleslusky and David Fortunato. Along with CommRadio, Jade is currently the assistant lifestyle editor for the Daily Collegian. In the past, she has interned with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Colton Pleslusky's photo

Colton Pleslusky

Fourth-Year / Telecommunications

Colton S. Pleslusky is a fourth-year from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania majoring in telecommunications at Penn State. He is a director and writer for the CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Department as well as the host on Nittany Stories and a co-host on Nittany Record Club alongside Emily McGlynn. He does behind the scenes tasks, including directing, producing, programming and more for the Centre County Report. To contact him, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Emily McGlynn's photo

Emily McGlynn

Third-year / Broadcast Journalism

Emily McGlynn is a third-year from Birmingham, Michigan majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. She is the Co-General Manager alongside Alex Rocco and Dylan Price. She is involved in the news, arts and entertainment, sports and production department. In the news department, she is one of the news producers. She frequently writes reviews for the Arts Department as well. Listening to music, watching movies, and staying updated with news and pop culture are some of her favorite things to do. To contact her, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Courtney Benedetto's photo

Courtney Benedetto

Freshman / Print/Digital Journalism

Courtney Benedetto is from Dover, Delaware. She is a freshman pursuing a print/digital journalism major and a creative writing minor. Courtney is a member of the arts & entertainment department of CommRadio as well as a lifestyle candidate for the Daily Collegian. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jack Freiser's photo

Jack Freiser

Third-Year / Telecommunications

Jack Freiser is a third-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying telecommunications. He is very passionate about both music and film. He aspires to impact the music business as a successful A+R by signing artists who will be culturally relevant and will leave an impact on the world, and through keeping a strong relationship with the artist and their team. Email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).