2015 in Music: The Biggest Earworms, Chosen by Artists and Celebuzz Staff


They’re big. They’re creepy. They’re crawly. They keep you awake at night. We’re not discussing Adrian Grenier’s eyebrows here—we’re talking about earworms. These neanderthals of the music world are songs with catchy qualities that are impossible to exterminate from your brain. They emerge in the form of that flutey thing on Justin Bieber’s “Where R Ü Now” or in the “SQUAA” of a Fetty Wap track.

However, a new year tells us to purge the old to make room for the new, which is why the Celebuzz staff, celebrities, and artists on-the-rise are unleashing our biggest earworms of 2015. We apologize in advance in the event that we get them stuck in your heads once again.

Celebuzz Staff Picks:

Michael’s Earworms:

The opening lyric says it all, “You’re stuck in my head.” That is what happens every time that I listen to “Run Away With Me” from Carly Rae Jepsen, or really any other song from her underrated “Emotion” album.

Damn you Drake for this. All I want to know is what happens ever since you left the city!


Kaitlyn’s Earworms:
I love MØ’s voice, and the hook is so catchy – this was definitely my favorite song of the summer. I couldn’t help but put “Lean On” on repeat many times (and obviously, you couldn’t help it either: “Lean On” was named Spotify’s most streamed song of all time in November 2015, with over 526 million streams globally).
The Weeknd is so hot. And this song is basic factual proof of sexy, musical infectiousness. The lyrics are so ridiculous (“I can’t feel my face when I’m with you, But I love it”) and yet the song is still fire. I mean, Kanye West couldn’t even help but break out into dance during the Weeknd’s performance of it at the VMAs. He was really feeling it. He is all of us listening to this song.

Matt’s Earworms:

I took note of The Weeknd when he “broke out” in 2011. I am, after all, a sucker for a Siouxsie Sioux sample. I gradually lost interest over the last three years, mostly because I felt he wasn’t doing much to change his sound. That, and his sound began to influence other artists, which meant I was feeling maximum burn out on the whole vibe. So imagine my surprise when The Weeknd ended up owning 2015. He deserved it; Beauty Behind the Madness is a good, solid album, and I am glad he leaned further into the pop mainstream pop sounds. Of course, with domination comes annoying ubiquity. “The Hills” is by no means a bad song; in fact, it’s a good one. But it’s been everywhere for months. Literally everywhere. What was once cool became uncool. Does that make me uncool for still liking it? Or maybe I have just been uncool all along.
I had to Google “what is Fifth Harmony” before writing this, which should illustrate the level of interest I have in this group, which apparently won the U.S. version of X Factor in 2012? (Good god…) Objectively, it’s not a good song! The chorus of “Baby, I’m worth it” brings to mind every L’Oreal commercial produced over the last two decades. The whole thing just feels like bargain bin girl group garbage. (They are no Destiny’s Child; let’s just leave it at that.) Still— and to be fair, this is mostly owing to the raucous, vaguely exotic, horn-filled Stargate production —  it does compel me to have a little four-minute dance party, if only in my head.


Gabi’s Earworms:
Infectious beat? Check. Under three minutes? Check. A callback to Justin Timberlake solo career? Check check check. Even though every fiber of my being say I should hate this, it’s undeniably just pretty damn good pop song.
I really don’t care much for Justin Bieber, but he always somehow aligns himself with music powerhouses that it’s near impossible to ignore — or deny — just how catchy his music can be. Enter “Where Are Ü Now,” arguably Bieber’s best song since “Beauty and the Beat” and his latest collaboration with Diplo and Skrillex. There’s just something about that flute melody that just elevates the track to the whole new level. I mean, even Spin named it the song of the year.


Mia’s Earworms:
I spent the entire summer bopping my head to Grammer’s breakout hit and I regret nothing. It promotes positive values of monogamy, so I count each play of this song as an act of charity.
So sue me. I read two thirds of the “50 Shades of Grey” series and spent two dollars to rent the movie, but I blame it all on the infectious soundtrack featuring The Weeknd and this dreamy tune by Ms. Goulding. Even months later, I still get a rush when we belt in tandem, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!”


Callie’s Earworms:
I’m ashamed to say if this song comes on the radio, I’ll wait AT LEAST thirty seconds before changing it. And even after that, it’s still stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
It seems like this song was everywhere you turned this year, from the radio to commercials and every store you walked into. Although overplayed, it’s probably one of the best songs of the year.



Celebrity Picks:

Robin Thicke’s Earworm: Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silentó

I loved it the first time I heard it. It’s silly and catchy and my son wants to dance to it at every party. He loves to say “Wha me too!”

Nick Carter’s Earworm: WTF” by Missy Elliot

I’m obsessed with Missy Elliot’s WTF.  I literally played it the morning I woke up for Thanksgiving for my whole family. They thought I was crazy!

Andy Grammer’s Earworm: The Men That Drive Me Places” by Ben Rector

Every once in awhile you hear a song that describes you perfectly. This song destroyed me, my favorite of the year by far.

Jamie Lynn Spears’ Earworm: Girl Crush” by Little Big Town

I love this song for a lot of reasons. I love the ladies who wrote it and I love that three women wrote this point of view. I think it was a really refreshing song for our industry. It made every songwriter and artist have to step up their game.


Rising Artist’s Picks:

Conrad Sewell’s Earworm: “Sugar” by Maroon 5

This is the catchiest pop song I’ve heard in a long time. The melody was instant for me. I listened to it every night when I toured with them and it never got old.

Matthew Koma’s Earworm: All Your Favorite Bands” – Dawes

It’s really rare for a writer to come across that special lyric that becomes an instant classic and Taylor Goldsmith delivered an entire record of them. The title track followed me around since its release in June and it makes me smile, reminisce and cry into a bag of Funyons thinking of all the hope, well wishing and sentiment that a relationship can imprint on you.

Malachiae’s Earworm: My Way” by Fetty Wap

“Over the past year, the song that was stuck in my head was “My Way.” I felt it was the perfect blend between a rap song and a ballad. It was over a trap beat, but had an RnB melody to it.”

AJR’s Earworm: I Was Made For Loving You” by Tori Kelly feat. Ed Sheeran

A song from this year that really stood out to us was “I Was Made For Loving You” By Tori Kelly with Ed Sheeran. The song was incredibly honest. The simplicity of the production lent itself toward a song that was a clear, simple, and emotional message that was extremely relatable.

Camryn’ Earworm: “What Do You Mean” by Justin Bieber

I love this song because it’s super catchy and its lyric content is really relatable and authentic. It always puts me in a great mood and is the number one choice on my playlist!