The Best TikTok Songs and Dance Challenges That Got Us Through 2020
By Meredith B. Kile
In a year where we spent most of our time stuck inside, looking for sources of inspiration, creativity and exercise, the popularity of TikTok turned out to be a blessing in many ways, giving kids, teens and adults alike something to watch, providing families with fun challenges to choreograph together and shooting some unexpected songs to the top of the charts!
Whether it was tracking Megan Thee Stallion's epic 2020 from "Savage" to "WAP," celebrating new hits like Drake's "Toosie Slide" and Doja Cat's "Say So," or offering a new platform to lesser-known artists like K Camp and BENEE, there was no denying TikTok's power to give a song a real-world boost if it gained popularity on the platform. Plus, there were fun dances to learn and show off to your friends and followers.
Here's a look at some the most popular and fun TikTok songs and dance challenges that helped us through 2020!
“Lottery (Renegade)” - K Camp
One of the original TikTok dance challenges to gain widespread popularity, the "Renegade" dance was created by Jalaiah Harmon, and later popularized by the app's major influencers like Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae. The song, which was originally just known as "Lottery," was a viral hot for rapper K Camp, going Gold after the introduction section -- which features producer Reazy Renegade's producer tag -- became one of the most popular sounds on the app in early 2020.
"Savage" - Megan Thee Stallion
One of the biggest hits of the year also became one of the biggest TikTok sounds -- and got an A-list boost from dozens of celebs, who posted their own videos of the "sassy, bougie, ratchet" challenge, which was created by TikTok user Keara Wilson. "Savage" lit the fuse on Megan Thee Stallion's rocket to pop culture superstardom in 2020. It was the most-played song on TikTok for March 2020, accumulating more than 7.5 billion views, and ultimately was certified platinum by the RIAA, with the Beyoncé remix earning three GRAMMY nominations.
"Say So" - Doja Cat
As an artist who broke out with a music video called "Moo!" in which she twerked as a milkshake-sipping cow, it was going to take an absolutely massive hit to make Doja Cat go even more viral. That hit came in early 2020, with "Say So," which went platinum thanks to a boost from TikTok and a fan-favorite viral dance created by user Haley Sharpe -- whom Doja featured in the song's disco-inspired music video.
“Supalonely” - BENEE ft. Gus Dapperton
AKA the "I'm just a loser" song, this track from New Zealand performer Benee and American singer Gus Dapperton perfectly fits the TikTok mold of "sad lyrics, fun beat" and got a dance challenge to match, with tons of the app's most popular moves and biggest influencers. The breakup-inspired lyrics also resonated with TikTok users during the pandemic, gaining more than 6.9 billion plays in March 2020 and leading the song to the top 40 in over 25 countries.
“U Can’t Touch This” - MC Hammer
Also known to people born after the Y2K scare as the "Hit Every Beat Challenge," this viral trend crossed generations by setting the "Macarena" dance to a remixed section of "U Can't Touch This" and adding a woah for good measure. No wonder it became a hit challenge for families to perform together -- LeBron James and his crew pulled off an awesome rendition!
“Vibe (If I Back It Up)” - Cookiee Kawaii
Cookiee Kawaii got her start on the Jersey club scene in 2011, but 2020 saw her break through in the mainstream thanks to her club-ready banger that implores listeners to "throw. it. back." TikTok users did just that, sharing videos of themselves, their friends and relatives, and even their pets proving that yes indeed, it is fat enough.
"Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)" - Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo
Though there was a bit of controversy surrounding the origins of this track -- which first gained popularity as an instrumental "Laxed (Siren Beat)" before Derulo sampled it for his own "Savage Love" -- there's no denying the popularity of the song, and its simple accompanying dance challenge, on TikTok. In fact, Derulo's music video for "Savage Love" features TikTokers all over the world performing the dance to his added lyrics -- including Jawsh 685 himself, after the two put their differences aside.
"Attention" - Todrick Hall
Some TikTok dances are just fine for amateur dancers. A few simple hand movements and hip shakes, nothing too intense. "Attention" is not that kind of girl. Like Todrick himself, the challenge is impressively choreographed and not for the faint of heart. The lyrics demand at the very least "a kick into a split," and the actual challenge features far more athletic feats. But if you can nail it? You've got our attention.
"Blinding Lights" - The Weeknd
Another TikTok song that inspired a lot of fun family submissions, the "Blinding Lights" dance was a silly group number that required coordination and plenty of space -- thankfully we had months at home to rearrange the living room furniture. While The Weeknd's hit ended up utterly snubbed by the GRAMMYs, he clearly won the popular vote with this viral challenge.
“Toosie Slide” - Drake
Drake absolutely knew what he was doing with this one, naming his track after a popular influencer and putting the dance instructions right there in the chorus. But the song was undeniably catchy -- debuting at No. 1 on the Hot 100 -- and the challenge was a hit on TikTok, thanks in part to the rapper's famous friends like DJ Khaled and Marshmello. Basically, he's saying that either way, you're gonna slide.
“WAP” - Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
Megan got a double dip of TikTok fame in 2020, teaming up with Cardi for their NSFW ode to the "macaroni in a pot" that inspired a generation of clout seekers to make it drop and hope their parents didn't walk in while they emulated the music video's Hustlers-worthy choreography. The power of the "WAP" is just too strong!
See more from this year on TikTok in the video below!