Pop sensation Billie Eilish is the first solo female artist to ever top the Hottest 100, after her hit Bad Guy came in at number one on Triple J's annual countdown. At 18, she's also the youngest artist to lead the list.
Australian artists nabbed eight of the top 10 spots but the US star beat out local contenders including Flume and Vera Blue's Rushing Back and Mallrat's Charlie to top the list. She featured elsewhere on the countdown a further four times to lead all artists.
Billie Eilish is the youngest artist to ever top the Hottest 100.Credit:AP
"Thank you, I love you. Thank you for making my life what it is," she told Triple J listeners from the same bedroom she wrote the song in.
It's the latest accolade for the teen phenomenon, whose acclaimed release When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was the top-selling album in Australia last year. On Monday, she's up for six Grammys, including album of the year and best new artist, while Bad Guy – with its itchy hook and gloriously petulant "duh" – is also up for song of the year.
Triple J's music director Nick Findlay called Bad Guy "the perfect summary to Billie's success."
"It's the antithesis to a traditional pop song, an undeniable earworm, and a hugely deserved, record-breaking Hottest 100 #1."
Superstar DJ Flume finished runner-up with the giddy Rushing Back, featuring vocals from Vera Blue. Brisbane singer Mallrat, real name Grace Shaw, placed third with Charlie, her lilting piano ballad pleading for a life of tranquil stability named after her childhood dog.
Last week the 21-year-old singer praised the potential for a solo female artist to top the countdown for the first time. "I really hope this year's the year … [The list] is so much more diverse than what's been in the past," she said.
Mallrat’s Charlie placed at number three.Credit:Sean Pyke
Dance Monkey, the global earworm from Melbourne busker-turned-ARIA-winner Tones and I, placed at number 4. Remarkably the single – which topped charts in more than 30 countries last year – is still stretching its history-making run at number one on the ARIA singles chart with a record 24 weeks in the top spot.
"It's so crazy that I'm in this; this has been such a crazy year," she told Triple J presenters Veronica and Lewis during Saturday's countdown.
While an early favourite to top the list, Florida rapper Denzel Curry's frenzied cover of '90s rockers Rage Against the Machine's politically charged 1996 anthem Bulls On Parade only managed number five on the list.
Denzel Curry.Credit:Julian Cousins
Curry's Like a Version cover – which blended Rage Against the Machine's original with a Trump-torching verse from his own song Sirens, taken from his 2018 album Taboo, was recorded at Triple J's Sydney studio last February and earned viral acclaim overseas.
The song became the highest-ranking Like a Version cover in the Hottest 100 since morning presenter Mel Bampton launched the weekly segment in 2005. It also charted more than 40 spots higher than the original song did in 1996.
Melbourne musician G Flip, real name Georgia Flipo, had four songs on this year's list but it was her infectious Drink Too Much, about being dumped for partying too hard, that caught the most attention among voters to land in sixth.
There was also a strong showing from Brisbane singer Thelma Plum whose Better In Blak, a stirring response to the racist abuse she received from online trolls, finished at number nine. She becomes the highest-ranking Indigenous artist in Hottest 100 history.
Thelma Plum became the highest-ranking Indigenous artist in Hottest 100 history.Credit:Simon Schluter
"That's cool, but to be honest I hope I don't keep that for a long time," the 25-year-old told Triple J's Veronica and Lewis.
Several other artists placed at least three times on the list, including Sydney band Lime Cordiale, teen singer Ruel, New Zealand breakout Benee and Tame Impala, who last week announced a national tour for April.
After tallying the final votes last week, the radio broadcaster had promised this year's Hottest 100 would be "historic". Among the top 10 songs, exactly half were by solo female artists.
Australian artists accounted for 65 songs on the list, equalling the tally from the past two years and only one entry behind 2016's 66-song record, while 17 artists made their Hottest 100 debut.
This year's list also broke the countdown's voting record as 3.2 million listeners voted, up 16.4 per cent on last year's figure. Among those, 55.5 per cent of votes came from female listeners.
The broadcaster will be counting down the Hottest 200-101 on Monday, as well as a Hottest 100 of the decade in March.
Triple J's Hottest 100
1: Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
2: Flume – Rushing Back (feat. Vera Blue)
3: Mallrat – Charlie
4: Tones and I – Dance Monkey
5: Denzel Curry – Bulls On Parade (Like a Version)
6: G Flip – Drink Too Much
7: Lime Cordiale – Robbery
8: The Jungle Giants – Heavy Hearted
9: Thelma Plum – Better In Blak
10: Hilltop Hoods – Exit Sign (feat. Illy and Ecca Vandal)
11: Post Malone – Circles
12: Fidlar – By Myself
13: Lime Cordiale – Inappropriate Behaviour
14: Sofi Tukker – Purple Hat
15: Tones and I – Never Seen the Rain
16: Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted
17: Lime Cordiale – I Touch Myself (Like a Version)
18: Tame Impala – Borderline
19: Benee – Glitter
20: DMA's – Silver
21: The Chats – Pub Feed
22: Ruel – Painkiller
23: Tyler the Creator – Earfquake
24: Ocean Alley – Infinity
25: Benee – Find An Island
26: Tones and I – Johnny Run Away
27: Stormzy – Vossi Bop
28: Lizzo – Juice
29: Meduza – Piece of Your Heart (feat. Good Boys)
30: Flume – Friends (feat. Reo Cragun)
31: Skegss – Save It for the Weekend
32: Lime Cordiale – Money
33: Dom Dolla – San Frandisco
34: Glass Animals – Tokyo Drifting (feat. Denzel Curry)
35: Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend
36: Pnau – Solid Gold (feat. Kira Divine and Marques Toliver)
37: Duke Dumont – Red Light Green Light (feat. Shaun Ross)
38: Ruel – Face to Face
39: Catfish and the Bottlemen – Longshot
40: Halsey – Graveyard
41: Travis Scott – Highest in the Room
42: Juice Wrld – Robbery
43: Tame Impala – It Might Be Time
44: Baker Boy – Cool As Hell
45: Denzel Curry – Ricky
46: Dean Lewis – 7 Minutes
47: Brockhampton – Sugar
48: Ziggy Alberts – Intentions (22)
49: Ruel – Free Time
50: Holy Holy – Teach Me About Dying
51: Benee – Evil Spider
52: Tame Impala – Patience
53: Fisher – You Little Beauty
54: Ocean Alley – Stained Glass
55: Khalid – Talk (feat. Disclosure)
56: J. Cole – Middle Child
57: Slowly Slowly – Jellyfish
58: G Flip – Lover
59: Mallrat x Basenji – Nobody's Home
60: Hockey Dad – I Missed Out
61: Holy Holy – Maybe You Know
62: Bakar – Hell N Back
63: Halsey – Nightmare
64: George Alice – Circles
65: Thelma Plum – Homecoming Queen
66: G Flip – Stupid
67: Billie Eilish – Wish You Were Gay
68: Illy – Then What
69: Violent Soho – Vacation Forever
70: E^st – Talk Deep
71: The Weeknd – Blinding Lights
72: Angie McMahon – Pasta
73: Cub Sport – Party Pill
74: Hayden James, Nations – Nowhere To Go
75: Golden Features, The Presets – Paradise
76: Meg Mac – Something Tells Me
77: G Flip – I Am Not Afraid
78: Thelma Plum – Not Angry Anymore
79: Dean Lewis – Stay Awake
80: Spacey Jane – Good For You
81: Flume – Let You Know (feat. London Grammar)
82: Peking Duck, Jack River – Sugar
83: Alex Lahey – Welcome to the Black Parade (Like a Version)
84: Dope Lemon – Hey You
85: Lana Del Rey – Doin' Time
86: Slipknot – Unsainted
87: Kanye West – Follow God
88: Meduza, Becky Hill, Goodboys – Lose Control
89: Sampa the Great – Final Form
90: Skegss – Here Comes Your Man (Like a Version)
91: Billie Eilish – All the Good Girls Go to Hell
92: Client Liaison – The Real Thing
93: Post Malone – Wow
94: Allday – Protection
95: Adrian Eagle – A.O.K.
96: Bring Me the Horizon – Ludens
97: San Cisco – Skin
98: Baker Boy – Meditjin (feat. Jess B)
99: Cosmo's Midnight – C.U.D.I (Can U Dig It)
100: Dune Rats – No Plans
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