The Year in Music 2022: Newcomers go from TikTok to the top of the chartsThe Year in Music 2022: Newcomers go from TikTok to the top of the charts
In 2022, we welcomed a lot of new faces to the music scene, and many of them could thank TikTok for that: They scored radio hits and Billboard chart placements only after their songs blew up on the social media platform.
—Nicky Youre released “Sunroof,” a song he’d written in his college bedroom in December 2021. By November 2022, the song had reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top of the Billboard Pop Airplay chart, thanks to its use in nearly 9 million TikTok videos to date and, eventually, tons of summer radio airplay.
—Steve Lacy, a former member of the alt R&B band The Internet, released the single “Bad Habit” in June. It went on to soundtrack more than half a million TikTok videos, topped Billboard’s rock and R&B charts, and hit number one on the Hot 100 in October. “Bad Habit” also earned Lacy two Grammy nominations.
—Em Beihold released “Numb Little Bug,” a song about the negative effects of her depression medication, in January 2022. Fans responded to its message about mental health, and it went viral on TikTok in February. By the end of the year, it was RIAA-certified Platinum, and had reached the top 20 on several Billboard charts and #32 on the Hot 100.
—Jax, a former American Idol contestant, gained a large following by making TikToks during the pandemic. In 2022, after the little girl she babysits was body-shamed by friends, she wrote a song called “Victoria’s Secret” that slammed the societal pressures on women to be thin. It blew up on TikTok, hit the top 40 on the Hot 100, was RIAA-certified Gold and reached #11 on Billboard‘s Pop Airplay chart.
—Armani White, born Enoch Armani Tolbert, released his single “Billie Eilish” in May. It was a runaway success on TikTok and racked up 34 million views on YouTube. The song, which features the rapper spitting “Stylish/Glock tucked, big T-shirt/Billie Eilish,” had the real Billie Eilish‘s blessing, became a smash on radio, and scaled both the pop and hip-hop charts.
—GAYLE released her single “abcdefu” in August 2021, but it really took off on TikTok that November after it was translated into American Sign Language, soundtracking more than 2 million videos. In January 2022, the song topped Billboard‘s Global Charts, and in February, it peaked at number three on the Hot 100. In November, “abcdefu” received a Grammy nod for Song of the Year and Gayle landed an opening slot on Taylor Swift‘s Eras Tour.
—Stephen Sanchez released his retro-sounding hit “Until I Found You” in September 2021, but in 2022, the song went viral on TikTok, soundtracking nearly half a million videos. In April, he put out a remix with Em Beihold and the song became his first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as a top 10 hit on multiple other charts. He also got a shout-out from Elton John, who called “Until I Found You” “the most incredible record.”
–In May, Rosa Linn represented her home country of Armenia in the 2022 Eurovision Song Competition with her original song “Snap.” She finished in 20th place, but the track soon went viral on TikTok, featured in more than 1 million videos. It charted on the Billboard Hot 100, landing Rosa a deal with Columbia Records and, later, an opening slot on Ed Sheeran‘s 2023 tour.
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