AP names Nicky Jam and J Balvin’s ‘X’ its top song of 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — The top 10 songs of the year by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu.

1. Nicky Jam and J Balvin, “X”: Nicky Jam and J Balvin’s “X” is not just the Latin song of the year — it is SIMPLY THE SONG OF THE YEAR. A year after the uber-successful “Despacito,” comes “X” — a fusion of Latin, reggae and dancehall sounds and the perfect song to listen to while getting ready to go out, at a club or even while you’re cleaning or cooking. “X” is addictive and the beat will move your bones, even if you’re not trying to move. Just don’t fight the feeling.

2. Toni Braxton, “Long as I Live”: Toni Braxton’s R&B classics from the 90’s and 2000’s still sound iconic today, and her latest single, “Long as I Live,” allows you to feel nostalgic, while not getting stuck in the past. Toni’s still got it.

3. Jussie Smollett, “Ha Ha (I Love You)”: This Quiet Storm anthem shows that while playing Jamal Lyon on “Empire” helped make Jussie Smollett famous, he sounds even better when he’s singing his own songs.

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4. Joji, “Slow Dancing in the Dark”: This burning R&B number is unforgettable.

5. Ella Mai, “Boo’d Up”: The song of the summer sounds good in the fall and winter, too.

6. Kendrick Lamar and SZA, “All the Stars”: The star of “All the Stars” may seem to be Kendrick Lamar — and while he shines on the song — it’s really SZA’s sing-a-long hook and killer second verse that makes this “Black Panther” track one of the year’s best.

7. Normani and Khalid, “Love Lies”: With all of the Fifth Harmony singers going solo, Normani is the one to look out for. The proof: “Love Lies.”

8. XXXTentacion, “SAD!”: So many rappers died young this year, and it’s sad to see so much talent not live up to its full potential. XXXTentacion’s “SAD!” was already a hit before he died, but after his death, the song, and his music, took on new life.

9. Drake, “In My Feelings”: Don’t front — this is your jam, too! Hey, Keke!

10. Lykke Li, “Sex Money Feelings Die”: Hit play, and dance.

Honorable mention: Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, “The Middle”; Cardi B featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin, “I Like It”; Jorja Smith, “Blue Lights”; Dan + Shay, “Tequila”; Lauren Daigle, “You Say”; Ty Dolla $ign, Khalid and 6LACK, “OTW”; John Mayer, “New Light”; Janelle Monae, “Pynk.”

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