My Top 10: Tate McRae Lists Her 10 Favorite Songs to Dance To in 2020

“The past couple months have been so weird,” Tate McRae tells Billboard, “trying to build a career in a pandemic while I’m finishing 12th grade, and dancing, and working.” Indeed, 2020 was been a year to remember for the 17-year-old Calgary native, who has transitioned from So You Think You Can Dance stardom to one of the more compelling new voices in modern pop.

As she finishes high school remotely, McRae has watched her music career build momentum: her simmering single “You Broke Me First” has reached No. 55 on the Hot 100 chart, and was showcased during a choreo-heavy performance at the MTV EMAs on Sunday night (Nov. 8). The singer-songwriter has also collaborated with artists like Lil Mosey, Ali Gatie and Saygrace, and is featured on this week’s Spotify Singles program with a cover of Conan Gray’s hit single “Heather.” “It’s been interesting trying to balance out two different lives,” she says, “and trying to do it in my room the whole time.”

As she awaits the end of the pandemic and an opportunity to perform her songs for live audiences, McRae, a competitive dancer since early childhood, is finding new tunes to groove along with in quarantine. Here, she takes Billboard through 10 of her favorites, from Hot 100 chart-toppers to slow-growing TikTok hits. “Contemporary dance is usually really depressing,” says McRae. “These are party dance songs — songs that I just jam to.”

Check out Tate McRae’s 10 favorite songs to dance to and her thoughts on each track, then scroll to the bottom for a full playlist of her picks.

1. Surfaces, “Sunday Best”

“This song is too good. I feel like no one really expected it — it just came out of nowhere. But I feel like I will never get sick of this song. It’s been out for quite a while now, and it’s still forever on my playlist.”

2. Lil Yachty & Dababy feat. Drake, “Oprah’s Bank Account”

“I used to dance to this song in the studio all the time. I would improv to it. If I ever had a terrible day, it would be the only song that would actually put me into a good mood before dance started. I was obsessed with that song for the longest time ever, and obsessed with the music video, too. I don’t know what it was about it, but I loved it.”

3. DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch, “Rockstar”

“‘Rockstar’ is one of the greatest songs ever. I remember listening to DaBaby’s album [Blame It On Baby] the first day that it came out, and I was just obsessed with that song. Then it became a huge trend on TikTok, and there were a whole bunch of dances to it, to the point where it was impossible not to dance to it.”

4. Arizona Zervas, “FML”

“This is a song that I scream at the top of my lungs with friends in a car. It’s just one of those songs. ‘Roxanne’ is amazing, but I feel like ‘FML’ is a next-level type of song, and it’s hard to get sick of it.”

5. Doja Cat, “Say So”

“Her EMAs performance was so sick. I loved how she changed it into a rock song, that was epic. It’s a super catchy song, and turning it into a totally different was a super cool move to make, especially since she’s been doing a lot of performances with that song. It was so sick to see her perform like that, to see her completely change up her look from anything she’s ever done.”

6. Machine Gun Kelly & Blackbear, “My Ex’s Best Friend”

“I’m a big fan of Blackbear, always have been. This song is so catchy, and I love Machine Gun Kelly as well. I think they’re super talented artists and I was so happy that they collaborated.”

7. SAINt JHN, “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”

“‘Roses’ is almost annoyingly catchy, because it never gets out of your head. I hear it everywhere I go. There’s this one TikTok dance to it, and overtime me and my friends are together, it’s impossible not to do it. The other day I heard the slowed-down version, and it’s just crazy how it got turned into this global hit on a remix!”

8. Ariana Grande, “Positions”

“I think her [Positions] album is insanely good. Over the years I’ve become more and more of an Ariana fan, especially with her last album, and now this album. This song is super catchy, and the whole album is really cohesive and has a cool vibe. It has more of an R&B feel to it, which I love, and this is just one of the songs I could choose from.”

9. BENEE feat. Gus Dapperton, “Supalonely”

“I love her so much! And I love the music video to this. This song just reminds me of mid-March, pure quarantine, family walks, dancing and doing TikToks in my house with my brother.”

10. Dua Lipa, “Levitating”

“I think that Dua Lipa’s album [Future Nostalgia] was also amazing, and the coolest thing about all of these artists is that they all made their own style this year. This whole ‘80s vibe really came back — The Weeknd’s album was on repeat for me this year, and same with Dua Lipa’s album. Her whole vision was really inspiring to look at, to take pieces of and put it into my own creative process. I’m a big Dua fan, she’s one of a kind.”

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