TikTok has fundamentally changed the way we discover and consume music, quite possibly forever. More and more people than ever before are finding new music via TikTok, and the capacity of the platform to springboard an unknown singer-songwriter to viral superstardom is unprecedented.
Below, we have a look at some of the biggest songs that TikTok has catapulted to worldwide glory.
Old Town Road by Lil Nas X
Old Town Road debuted on TikTok and quickly captured the imagination of a global audience, swiftly racking up streaming figures in the hundreds of thousands. One of the key reasons for this track’s success was its hook, which appealed to both hip hop and country fans – Old Town Road topped the country charts for a period as well as dominating that of hip hop.
Another contributing factor to the song’s phenomenal streaming appeal was its ‘clean’ lyrics; the lack of profanity made it appropriate listening for all ages, giving it that all-important family appeal. Old Town Road perfectly captured the potential of TikTok to launch a track into the stratosphere.
Abcdefu by Gayle
An extremely recent inductee into the TikTok Viral Hall of Fame, abcdefu has made Gayle an overnight star and her song a musical phenomenon as a direct result of its exposure on the platform.
Even abcdefu’s conception came about as a result of TikTok; Gayle posted a short video asking for viewers to help her come up with inspiration for her next track. One response suggested she write a song that combined the alphabet with the theme of a break-up, and Gayle instantly had a sense of how to bring the two themes together into a song.
Gayle used TikTok to document the entire creative process of writing abcdefu, from initial idea to finished version – this video, too, helped to make the track the huge global hit that it went on to become.
Roxanne by Arizona Zervas
This song broke in 2019, quickly becoming an international hit. It shot to prominence as a result of the viral dances posted on TikTok, as well as make-up tutorials and other content that used the music as a backing track. Within the space of a few weeks, it was taking over the airwaves, receiving a ton of commercial airplay, and hit the top of the Billboard Hot Rap Charts.
Getting the right music for your videos has the potential to make both your content and the song you choose a viral hit. Not sure where to start? Have a look here for a range of TikTok music to help get your show on the road.
Candy by Doja Cat
Doja Cat specializes in creating quirky music that is the perfect fit for TikTok content, and, as a result, she has become one of the platform’s most prolific viral stars. Candy is a prime example: this particular track was used by more than six million TikTokers as backing music for their videos.
The Box by Roddy Rich
TikTok was responsible for this video being streamed literally tens of millions of times, thereby spawning a viral monster of a hit for Roddy Rich. Hundreds of TikTokers recorded their dance moves – both the serious and the silly – to this track, which resulted in the song reaching a global audience and becoming one of TikTok’s biggest hits to date.
Blueberry Faygo – Lil Mosey
Despite Lil Mosey already having released several successful albums, it was TikTok that gave the singer his biggest hit to date when his song Blueberry Faygo got the viral dance treatment on the platform. The song became the centerpiece of the Blueberry Faygo Challenge, which saw thousands of TikTokers trying their hand at the moves. As a result, the track broke into the Billboard Top 100, and a viral legend was born.
Queen of Disaster by Lana Del Rey
It’s not just brand new songs that are eligible to get transformed into viral hits; this track from Lana Del Rey was originally released in 2013 but was subsequently given a new lease of life by POV TikToks and other content using it in the background. The most recent trend is for TikTokers to transform themselves into Disney princesses while Lana Del Rey’s tune plays.
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Another example of TikTok working its magic on vintage hits is the case of the classic Fleetwood Mac track, Dreams. After featuring in a popular TikTok video, the track went viral, seeing the song triple in sales and doubling in streams. The hit then started a process of self-perpetuation, with a bevy of TikTokers emulating the original video, also using Dreams as the soundtrack. TikTok’s capacity to prolong the shelf life of a song is something that’s been frequently noted by commentators on the platform.
Homecoming by The Teenagers
Although Teenagers have had a cult following since their hit Homecoming came out in the mid-2000s, TikTok has vastly boosted their profile and made their track a huge viral hit. Homecoming has found popularity as a track to lip-synch to, with a plethora of high-profile TikTokers filming themselves dancing to the song.