While Australians were in lockdown in 2020, ruing the year when all travel was grounded and the live circuit went quiet, they were mostly listening to The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.”
That’s just one of many takeaways from ARIA’s recently-published year-end charts, which break-out the biggest songs, albums, homegrown recordings, alongside genre surveys across dance, hip-hop, country releases and more.
Abel Tesfaye, the Canadian R&B star better known as The Weeknd, bagged a No. 1 album in Australia with his fourth studio set After Hours, and its hit single “Blinding Lights” comes in at No. 1 on the 2020 ARIA Singles Top 10, ahead of SAINt JHN’s “Roses,” Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” and Tones And I’s “Dance Monkey,” the highest-ranked Aussie track.
Released in November 2019, “Blinding Lights” ruled the weekly ARIA Singles Chart for a full 10 weeks in 2020, longer than any other record during the year, earning him an ARIA Award nomination for best international act.
The former One Direction star’s sophomore album spent just one week atop the weekly ARIA Albums Chart during the year, but critically, it had staying power. By year’s end, the LP had logged 48 weeks in the Top Ten, and Styles took out fan-voted best international act at the 2020 ARIA Awards.
Aussies also loved Taylor Swift’s folklore, the No. 2 ranked album of the year, while collections from Billie Eilish (When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?), AC/DC (Power Up) and Luke Combs (What You See Is What You Get) round out the Top 5, respectively.
Also during the past year, there was a real rush to snag a copy of Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush on wax. Kevin Parker’s multiple-ARIA Award winning psychedelic rock act tops the inaugural 2020 Vinyl Albums Top 10, with Powderfinger coming in at No. 2 with the 20th anniversary edition of Odyssey Number Five.
If local content is king, then Tones And I was the queen of Australia’s music scene in 2020. The busker-turned-international star snags the top two spots on ARIA’s 2020 Australian Artists Singles Top 10 with “Dance Monkey” and “Never Seen The Rain,” respectively, and four of the Top 10.
Check out the ARIA Annual Charts here.