2020 has been the year of Chinese popular music or C-pop. The Chinese music industry has been booming recently with many legendary singers, rising artists, and promising idol groups who have been dominating the domestic and international music charts. With dedicated Chinese fan bases and new listeners, C-pop never fails to impress us with a wide range of genres.
Based on the 2019 International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Annual Global Music Report, China was the seventh biggest music market in 2018. In 2019, the Chinese music market was worth $55.3 billion and the digital music market is more than $9 billion.
As the C-pop phenomenon begins to unfold, here are the top 10 C-pop songs in 2020 that you should give a listen:
1. Mojito – Jay Chou (周杰)
Did you know this was the most viral song in China this year? The music video had over 7 million views in one day on QQ Music. It also aired on Jay Chou’s Netflix show, J-Style Trip, a travelogue mixed with performances of the singer and his A-lister friends. It was such a hit that the Cuban Embassy in China even promoted Mojito on Twitter in hopes of boosting tourism in Cuba.
2. Spotlight (光点) – Xiao Zhan (肖战)
The single had 25.48 million downloads in 24 hours, earning a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling digital track. This feat was all the more impressive as Chinese actor and singer Xiao Zhan achieved this milestone despite no promotions of his single. As of 2020, Spotlight remains the most downloaded song in China.
3. Lit (莲) – LAY
EXO member Lay released his fourth solo album, LIT, with the title track of the same name. With this album alone, his musical achievements are endless. The music video garnered 1.6 million views on YouTube in just a span of 24 hours of its release. In just 7 seconds of pre-orders, he received gold certification on QQ Music. He also received hall of fame golden-diamond certification with over 750,000 copies sold in just 1 minute on the music platform.
The album reached number one on QQ Music’s daily and weekly album sales chart. He also sold over 2.06 million copies on Tencent Music platforms like QQ, Kugou, and Kuwo. Lit even debuted at number 22 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart. Lay has now become the best-selling artist on Tencent Music platforms based on the total digital sales of his four albums and two EPs.
4. Summer Party (夏日Party) – Sunnee (楊芸晴)
2020 has been an amazing year for Sunnee, the lead singer and dancer of A’N’D and past member of Rocket Girls 101. Sunnee signed with Universal Music China (UMC) this year, and her solo promotions have been taking off. Summer Party is the title track for her first solo album, How’s the weather today? (天氣：晴).
The album sales have reached over 10,000,000 RMB and was certified Double Diamond Records in QQ Music. In 2020, she has become the fastest female singer to break her own certification from Triple Gold, Double Platinum, Triple Platinum, Diamond Records, and now Double Diamond Records.
5. BONBON GIRLS – BonBon Girls (硬糖少女303)
BonBon Girls was formed through the Chinese idol survival show, Produce Camp 2020 (Chuang 2020). Soon after, the rising girl group released their first EP The Law of Hard Candy (硬糖定律). Their debut was a success with the track, BONBON GIRLS, with 70,000 copies sold within the first minute. Bonbon Girls is the first and fastest Chinese girl group to achieve a Platinum Award EP on QQ music in 2020.
6. Coffee (咖啡) – Luhan (鹿晗) & Kris Wu (吴亦凡)
Former EXO members Luhan and Kris Wu released a surprise collaboration single. After six hours of release, “Coffee” had 32M views on Weibo. It also earned number one spots on QQ Music New Music Chart, QQ Music Popularity Chart, and YO! BANG Music Chart. The duo recently gave a special performance of it on a special stage on Produce Camp 2020. Kris Wu also reunited with former EXO members, Luhan and Kris, in the episode as well.
7. SphinX (斯芬克斯) – THE9
THE9 debuted from the Chinese idol survival program, Youth with You 2. From their first EP, Sphinx X Mystery (斯芬克斯X谜), they released the lead single, SphinX (斯芬克斯). In less than 45 minutes, it sold over 150,000 copies. The EP is now certified triple platinum with more than 600,000 copies sold. It has also topped the chart for the Best-Selling Digital EP on QQ Music.
8. I Really Like You (我好喜欢你) – Jerry Yan (言承旭) & Shen Yue (沈月)
Count Your Lucky Stars (我好喜欢你) has been one of the most popular Chinese dramas in 2020. As part of the drama’s OST, the main leads, Jerry Yan and Shen Yue, released a duet titled, I Really Like You (我好喜欢你). Even though the drama has concluded, the OST has remained at the top of the music charts. I Really Like You has remained number one on the Popular Music Chart for six weeks.
9. Be With You (和你在一起) – TFBOYS (加油男孩)
TFBOYS remains one of the popular C-pop groups of all time. This year, they were even selected as the brand ambassador of China’s Mission to Mars. The three members have been promoting individually as singers and actors, but the Chinese boy band still remains active. TFBOYS prove that they’re still solid as ever with their track, Be With You.
10. Bad Alive – WayV (威神V)
WayV has been unleashing its potential in 2020 with their rising popularity and growing fanbase. The digital single, Bad Alive (English version), has received a Gold Certification on QQMusic, selling over 83,334 copies. It has also reached number one on the Music Popularity Daily Chart on QQ Music.