Chart Beat Podcast: What songwriting and production characteristics that defined some of 2017’s biggest hits


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Yael and Dave Penn of Hit Songs Deconstructed return to the podcast for the first of a two-part look back at the songwriting and production characteristics that defined some of 2017’s biggest hits.

Among the key trends of top 10 Hot 100 hits in 2017?

“There were seven primary genres in the top 10 of the Hot 100 in 2017,” Dave notes. “Hip-hop/rap, pop, R&B/soul, dance club/electronic, rock, Latin and country. The big gainer, by far, increasing in prominence to 33 percent of songs in 2017, was hip-hop. It beat out pop as the most popular primary genre for the first time.”

“Over the past three years, the percentage of [top 10 Hot 100] songs that featured exclusively female vocals did not exceed 27 percent,” Yael says. “In 2017, only 20 percent of songs featured exclusively female vocals. And, when you look at the No. 1 hits [last year], it’s even more pronounced: three-quarters of No. 1 hits in 2017 featured exclusively male vocals. That’s compared to just 17 percent with exclusively female vocals.”

“Sixty-two percent of top 10 hits [in 2017] were in a minor key,” Dave says. “That percentage has steadily been increasing year-over-year since 2014, when minor accounted for just 41 percent.

To listen to the part 1 of this podcast, click here.

To listen to the part 2 of this podcast, click here.

To read the full Hit Songs Deconstructed Trend Report:  2017 in Review, click here.

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