TikTok is an addictive app that has rapidly grown to worldwide prominence since it first launched in September 2016. It is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world; with over 800 million monthly active users making it one of the world's top ten social networks.

TikTok's mission is to "encourage users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos." With users spending an average of 46 minutes a day on TikTok, posts on the public platform are created with a lot of thought. Not only does TikTok serve as a creative space, but it can also help people discover which artists are trending and most popular, including ones never heard of before — making it an excellent place for artists to engage with new fans. TikTok is reshaping how music is made and marketed to fans, with artists taking a meme-first approach to creating music.

We've put together a list of the top songs that went viral and even created this handy playlist for you to discover and follow some of the artists for yourself:

Songs That Went Viral On TikTok in 2019


'Panini' by Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X has been a frequently heard artist on TikTok for quite a while. Lil Nas X's fame began with his smash hit 'Old Town Road' and now 'Panini', which is dominating TikTok with over 218k different TikTok videos produced. Lil Nas X's numerous hits and high fan engagement make him the perfect artist to keep an eye on. Lil Nas X is well known by a large majority of teens, and they are always keeping an eye out for what he will come out with next.

This TikTok shows comedian and actor Howie Mandel (best known for being a judge on America's Got Talent). He takes this song in a comedic direction when he sprays his water bottle in his friend's face. Comedic TikToks like these are very popular because they are entertaining to watch. Short, funny TikToks with a catchy song get a lot of publicity. This TikTok also demonstrates how Gen Zers aren't the only ones on TikTok; the app is becoming popular with people of all different ages.

'Lalala' by Y2k, bbno$

'Lalala' is another Pop Rap song that has gone viral on TikTok. However, this song was released by an artist who was unknown before he went viral: bbno$. Known for its unique beginning "did I really just forget that melody?", 'Lalala' has over 1 million TikTok videos created by users. It's a catchy song that can be used creatively for any video, including dances, comedic lip-syncing, and even bottle cap challenges. This song is a perfect example of why TikTok is such a great app to use to find new, up-and-coming artists that many have never heard of before.

Maverick Baker is an example of someone who has become a social media star from making TikTok videos. With his charisma and friendliness, he finessed his way into the TikTok world. He now gets thousands of views and likes for his 5-second lip-syncing videos. Maverivck's 'Lalala' TikTok is random, yet creatively pairs the song with the video in a timely and comedic manner.

It is clear that TikTok is producing new young stars that Gen Zers keep coming back to watch, getting dragged into the world of TikTok for hours on end.

'Dance Monkey' by Tones and I

Australian artist 'Tones and I' has just begun to release music this past year. Yet, she has already gotten loads of publicity thanks to TikTok. With over 247k TikTok videos created (especially dance videos), her smash hit 'Dance Monkey' is the new party song to jam out to. There was even a 'Dance Monkey Challenge' that went viral on TikTok, connecting young users all around the world, encouraging them to take part in duets, and so much more.

Brent Rivera created this funny TikTok. Brent is a former vine star and now YouTube influencer, getting thousands of views for his comedic social media videos. Brent is an example of famous internet stars that are starting to grasp the knowledge of TikTok and use it to their own advantage to create more creative content, ultimately giving them more and more publicity. Internet stars like Brent bring their fan following along with them to TikTok, in which they share the publicity they gain with TikTok. With more former stars converting TikTok, the platform will only continue to expand more than it already has.

Not only does TikTok allow users to discover new and up-and-coming artists, but it gives you the ability to find out what kind of audience is attracted to a particular song or artist. TikTok provides an overview of the types of people that are attracted to specific artists. It's a network where you can find one teen who loves a specific song and then discover their friends on TikTok, or even others who engaged in duets on the app with that particular person.

'Obsessed' by Mariah Carey

Mariah's 2009 hit 'Obsessed' became a viral trend on TikTok in 2019 that even she didn't predict. The song has become a popular TikTok dance that numerous TikTok users have posted on their accounts, and the 'Obsessed Challenge' dance was born. Mariah was awed by the number of young teens that took the time to learn the dance, and was surprised that the 2009 song was becoming a hit again ten years after its release. 'Obsessed' is now one of the most used songs on TikTok with over 4 million videos. Even Mariah herself said:

"Having TikTok as a platform where new generations can discover music from different times is so amazing. I particularly enjoyed the Obsessed, Fantasy and All I Want For Christmas Is You moments this year!"

'Boys' and 'Truth Hurts' by Lizzo

Lizzo's fun-loving, upbeat song 'Boys' was a popular hit on TikTok. The song's catchy beat worked well with the type of content young TikTok users like to produce on their accounts. Several types of videos have been created using this song, including animations that go along with the lyrics, comedic imitations, DIY tutorials, and so much more. It went viral with over 2 million videos on TikTok.

'Truth Hurts' is known for its lyrics "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100 percent bad... " has gained popularity due to people changing the lyrics of the DNA test to something more comedic. TikTok now has over 20k variations of 'Truth Hurts.' Most of the TikTok videos show someone taking a cotton swab to the mouth, then showing they are 100 percent... something' putting their own spin the original tracks lyrics. Lizzo reacted to these unique video creations. and was shocked at the amount of crazy creativity that the TikTokers used.

'The Git Up' by Benny Blanco

Benny Blanco's 'The Git Up' made its debut on TikTok when the viral challenge was created. With over 3 million videos on TikTok, the song was turned into a viral dance that thousands of TikTok users spent time learning and perfecting before making their videos public. Dancers from all around did solos and group dances to this song, as its catchy beat creates a perfect "Git Up." The Hip Hop style dances to the country backtrack made the dance stand out and extremely popular among TikTok users. In addition, many TikTokers posted funny videos of themselves attempting to dance to the song but not getting it quite right.

'Pull Up' by Lu Kel

17-year-old Luh Kel's rap song 'Pull Up' is popular due to a viral challenge that started weeks before the actual song itself was released. Luh Kel posted a snippet of his song on Instagram before the song came out. From that snippet, Instagram influencer @royal_indigo started her #indigoxlove challenge. The Pull Up Challenge soon gained popularity before the full song was released to the public. This all transferred over to TikTok, where people started posting the dance challenge on the platform. According to Genius, TikTok plays a big role in creating viral hits and the most unexpected artists will continue to go viral on TikTok. 'Pull Up' has over 277k videos created on TikTok. The artist Luh Kel even posted a TikTok of himself dancing to his song with his friends in Times Square.

'Bad Guy' by Billie Eilish

Billie's song 'Bad Guy' became a hit on TikTok, with over 1 million videos created by TikTok users. Videos include variations of dances and pranks that relate to Spongebob Squarepants. In this TikTok trend, the snippet of 'Bad Guy' is remixed with the trumpet tune from the Spongebob theme song playing at the end of the video that people dance to after standing still. This gave videos a comedic edge because the music itself is so dark, yet the dancing is silly and peppy. Many people created these silly videos with family, friends and strangers, making the 'Bad Guy' dark, edginess seem to not exist on TikTok.

'Neverending Story' by Gaten Matarazzo and Gabriella Pizzolo

This song made its debut on TikTok when the third season of Stranger Things premiered on Netflix. The cover of the 'Never Ending Story' became a big hit and has come back from its early 1980s origins. The song's comeback is likely due to the popularity of Stranger Things and the chemistry between the two Stranger Things characters. With over 427k videos on TikTok, Generation Xers and older millennials must have surprised about the song's comeback. They most likely felt feelings of nostalgia from their younger years, while those of Gen Z were oblivious of its past popularity. Not only does TikTok make new songs viral, but it also revives old hits.

'Lose You To Love Me' by Selena Gomez

'Lose You To Love Me' is very popular for its relatable lyrics about heartbreak and moving on after a breakup. Popular TikToks featuring 'Lose You To Love Me' range from being sweet, comedic to sad and emotional. The fact that this was the first song Selena released after a long break also made the song a hit when was it released, climbing the charts and going viral on TikTok. Over 127k TikTok videos featuring this song have been created. A lot of videos include family, friends and even animals. Overall, many took this TikTok trend on a very emotional and sad path, which is different from many of the other trends previously mentioned. This demonstrates the variety you can find on the platform.

'Shake Dat' by Loui (feat. Lil Jay)

The popularity of 'Shake Dat' is another example of TikTok helping make unknown artists mainstream. Loui and Lil Jay are two relatively unknown artists. Loui has 60k monthly listeners on Spotify with just 5 songs, while Lil Jay has 7,000 monthly listeners. With over 10k TikToks made, most feature the 'Shake Dat' dance created by famous TikToker Katja Glieson. Katja has over 6.6 million followers on TikTok and makes comedy and dance videos featuring both famous songs and songs from unknown artists too. Popular TikTokers like Katja who feature relatively unknown artists on their videos help users discover new music and artists.

'Candy' by Doja Cat

Doja Cat's 2018 song 'Candy' became popular on TikTok in 2019 after a dance competition to the song went viral recently, with over 4.6 million TikToks uploaded using the song and most of the videos featuring the 'Candy' dance. TikToks featuring 'Candy' have a lot of variety, ranging from Tiktokers who took the competition seriously to comedic dances. This another example of TikTok helping up-and-coming artists like Doja Cat become more commercially popular as the rapper and singer's second studio album Hot Pink made it in the top 20 on the Billboard charts in November 2019.

'All Time Low' by Jon Bellion

Jon Bellion's 'All Time Low' is an older song that just went viral on TikTok in 2019. 'All Time Low' was actually released back in 2015. The creative minds behind viral TikToks are great at bringing back old songs and helping relatively unknown artists be heard by the masses. TikToks featuring this song are a mix of everything, including dance videos, comedy, and even sad videos. The catchy tune 'All Time Low' is another example of a song perfect for TikTokers to make creative, original content with.

'Birthday Suit' by Cosmo Sheldrake

Cosmo Sheldrake's 2018 song 'Birthday Suit' is another example of a song going viral a year after its release thanks to TikTok. 'Birthday Suit' went viral on TikTok in November 2019 with over 2 million videos created using the song. Some of the most popular videos using this song took a spooky approach but many TikTokers made funny videos too. This is also an example of TikTok's love for creativity and uniqueness. Songs with a unique sound like 'Birthday Suit' from independent artists like Cosmo Sheldrake tend to get a lot of popularity through TikTok. TikTokers love unique songs they can create creative and authentic content with.

'Roxanne' by Arizona Zervas

Arizona Zerva's 'Roxanne' was released in October 9th 2019 and it began to go viral on both Spotify and TikTok just a week later. 'Roxanne' currently has over 1.6 million TikToks created using the song. Arizona is another up-and-coming artist who's had a breakout single thanks to TikTok. Arizona has been uploading music on Spotify since 2016 but 'Roxanne' and 'Yellow Hearts' (another song popular on TikTok) are the only ones that have gained such substantial interest. TikToks using 'Roxanne' are random, relatable, and comedic, which really represents the authentic vibe TikTok has that people love about the platform.

Bonus: 'The TikTok Song' by Kyle Exum

'The TikTok Song' is an original song created by popular TikToker Kyle Exum. Boasting over 4 million followers on TikTok, Kyle's followers and fans loved his creative tune and made him proud by helping his song go viral. With over 313k videos created using 'The TikTok Song', most of the TikToks match Kyle's lyrics perfectly and feature all the viral TikTok dances and TikTok trends that are mentioned in his song. This song is the perfect way to summarize the successful year TikTok had, full of memes, laughs, and fun.

Takeaways: What Does This All Mean?

TikTok is an app that is quickly expanding and becoming the place for finding up-and-coming and trending artists. From there, marketers can even pin-point the particular audience that is attracted to the artist or song. TikTok is a fun app that keeps many entertained for hours, indicating that its capabilities should be utilized while it's still popular worldwide. TikTok is a gateway that leads to fresh artists who are admired by thousands or even millions of the Gen Z and Millennial Generation, making TikTok an excellent app for music fan engagement.

To learn more about TikTok, check out our blog post about why you can't ignore it anymore. Interested in how the sports biz is utilizing TikTok to their advantage? Check out 5 sports accounts you should follow on TikTok.

It's evident that TikTok is a great way to engage the next generation of music fans. Taking the time to understand what content resonates with music fans on this platform, will be crucially important if you're thinking about advertising on TikTok in the future. If you are interested in launching ads on this platform, talk to one of our advertising experts today.

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