- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - A list of the year’s top 10 songs from Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu.

1. “Cranes In the Sky,” Solange: On a song about trying to move on, Solange tries a few things to get on with life: drinking, having sex, shopping and running away. It’s an honest tune over a mid-tempo beat produced with the help of a musical genius named Raphael Saadiq. And Solange’s vocals glide nicely over the track, ending it with memorable coos, and making it the year’s best.

2. “Mercy,” Shawn Mendes: In 2014, there was Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” Last year, we had James Bay’s slow burner “Let It Go.” This year, it’s all about Shawn Mendes’ “Mercy,” the aching, heartfelt and emotional rock track.

3. “All the Way Up,” Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infared: Everyone wants Remy Ma to win after she returned to music following her 2014 release from prison. And she’s definitely winning with the year’s best club track.

4. “Hold Up,” Beyonce: Don’t we all want to Beyonce in the yellow dress, swinging her bat in the music video for “Hold Up”?

5. “Love on the Brain,” Rihanna: Rihanna’s live performance of old-school R&B track “Love on the Brain” reminds you that HOMEGIRL CAN SING.

6. “My Church,” Maren Morris: Maren Morris is refreshing beyond words. Period.

7. “Breathe,” India.Arie: This songbird’s soft and acoustic song about the current troubles of the world makes the hard times just a little easier to deal with, thanks to India.Arie’s voice and that guitar.

8. “Black Beatles,” Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane: OK, what’s not to love about this track?

9. “Chantaje,” Shakira featuring Maluma: We all know Shakira’s hips don’t lie, but neither does her voice: “Chantaje,” which means “Blackmail,” is a sexy, beat-laden Spanish track that features rising singer Maluma and has us anticipating the Colombian queen’s new album.

10. “#1 Spice,” Young Cardamom and HAB: While Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” is worth watching because of acting by Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, the real star of the film is the fun and upbeat song “#1 Spice,” by performers Young Cardamom and HAB.

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