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Five Songs That Should Have Been Hits in 2013… But Weren’t

Not Hits in 2013
Jamie McCarthy / John Parra, Getty Images

2013 was full of memorable hits from some of our favorite pop stars, but there were also several tunes that we were expecting to be huge smashes… but weren’t.

We’re looking back at five songs that didn’t take off or become hits, despite all signs pointing to that sort of success. We’re totally baffled as to why these tracks failed to launch on a monster level.

A diva’s jukebox-y duet with a butter smooth crooner and a former YouTube sensation duo both failed to ignite with new singles, while a U.K. boy band offered up a neo-folky, raise your pint track that we loved but the rest of the world didn’t. A teen idol on the way also didn’t impact like an atom bomb with one of his singles and neither did a songwriter who is branching out on her own.


The Wanted, 'We Own the Night'

 
 

This pub-ready, fraternal, carpe diem anthem about enjoying life was as rich and full-bodied as the brews the Wanted hold up in the song's video. But it failed to connect or find a mainstream, non-dance audience, peaking at No. 94 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a shift away from the dance pop of 'Glad You Came,' which put the U.K. boy band on the map, but it was a mature song that invited singing along. We don't get why it didn't resonate with the general public, since we loved it.

 

Karmin, 'Acapella'

 
 

A guilty pleasure in every sense of the word, Karmin's 'Acapella' was a silly song full of bad puns --"Thought he was gluten-free but all I got was bread"-- and cheesy raps, but it was addictively catchy and infectious. No, it was not the Mona Lisa of pop music. Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan leaned heavily on hip-hop parts, but the frothy pop melodies remained in tact. Even so, 'Acapella' topped out at 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 and never established firm footing. It should have been one of those songs you love to hate. 'Pulses,' the duo's album, was also pushed from September to January, the latter of which is a no man's land for releases, which doesn't bode well for them.

 

Austin Mahone, 'What About Love'

 
 

Austin Mahone has all the pieces in place for a long, successful teen pop career, but the singer's 'What About Love' didn't go further than No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100. The sunny, teen pop song had the makings of a hit. But Mahone, who is obviously being groomed to take over for Justin Bieber as he moves deeper into R&B, didn't truly "arrive" with it. What were radio programmers thinking? This song should've been fast-tracked to heavy rotation but it didn't react. That's unfortunate, since it's awesome, with its Backstreet Boys-inspired melody.

 

Nikki Williams, 'Glowing'

 
 

Nikki Williams penned Demi Lovato's hit 'Heart Attack,' but her own song 'Glowing,' an upbeat, synthy club banger with mass lyrical appeal, failed to launch or chart. The singer's got loads of sass – and she was once married to Nicolas Cage's son Weston, so she has a back story. The synthy, EDM-lite song, complete with Williams' amazing voice, should have been a hit but it didn't get its hooks in. That's okay, though. Williams should continue to fight for her voice to be heard in 2014.

 

Mariah Carey, 'Beautiful' Feat. Miguel

 
 

This song is a true conundrum! Mariah Carey teamed up with lava-hot R&B crooner Miguel to co-write and sing the delightfully retro '#Beautiful.' The jukebox-y pop song, which was reminiscent of Mimi's sound in the '90s, was one of her best tracks in ages, since it reached back to the sound of her most popular era. Even though it charted high at No. 15, it wasn't any sort of a runaway, chart-topping smash and it should have been, since Mimi and Migs oozed vocal heat and chemistry. This is one song that should have dominated and defined the summer of 2013 but it didn't on a massive scale. That's a headscratcher to us, for sure.

 

Next: See the Top Songs of 2013

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