It’s lurve song season, and playlists are on rapid repeat expressing people’s emotions about relationships — the good, the bad, and the, oh, so ugly. And streaming service Pandora just came out with a list revealing whether your favorite artists are more popular when rocking breakup songs versus love songs. So what do you think? Is Beyoncé more popular when she’s “drunk in love,” or do people love her more when she’s got her middle fingers up and saying "I ain't sorry”? The results might just surprise you — or they might match exactly what's on your in your playlist right now.
To figure out each song's popularity, Pandora looked at the thumbs/up spin ration for each song over the past year, Pandora tells Bustle via email. Then, to figure out how the breakup versus love songs compare for each artist, the streaming service said it looked at the percentage by which one song is more popular than the other, which they calculated by finding the percentage increase in the thumbs up/spin ratio between each song, per artist.
I’m not going to make you wait to find out about Beyoncé; “Sorry” narrowly beat “Drunk in Love” at .37 percent more popular. TBH, I’m with Pandora listeners on this one. When “Lemonade” first came out, this was one of the tracks I had on repeat and still fiercely love. “Drunk in Love” might be a powerful love anthem, but “Sorry” was the song of empowerment I never knew I needed. It should come as no surprise that Ariana Grande is also more popular when serving up a breakup tune with the recent release of “Thank U, Next.” Pandora says Grande’s “Into You” just didn’t stand a chance against the singer's incorrigible bop. People are just loving Ari’s breakup song that’s all about growing and moving on; it’s 56.6 percent more popular than her sweet love tune.
Halsey and Rihanna are also more popular when performing breakup songs, according to Pandora. “While the 'Him & I' collaboration with G Eazy was summer-loving at its best, we’d rather her self-aware,” Pandora said in an email to Bustle. “‘Bad at Love’ is 8.8 percent more popular than ‘Him & I.’" I personally love listening to Rihanna belt out a soulful love tune (“Stay,” anyone?), but according to Pandora audiences, Rihanna’s “Needed Me” is 6.9 percent more popular than “Love on the Brain.”
When it comes to the love tunes, were you on the fence on where Taylor Swift would fall? Well, the mystery is revealed: Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” is 8 percent more popular than “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” so it turns out people just barely prefer her fairytale story over her revenge tale. Demi Lovato might’ve also been a little bit hard to guess with two strong love song and breakup contenders, but “Give Your Heart a Break” ended up being 10.4 percent more popular than her “kiss-off” theme “Sorry Not Sorry.”
The margins are much more solid with Selena Gomez. Pandora says listeners pretty clearly prefer her love song “Back to You” over “Same Old Love”; it was 23 percent more popular. Did you think Miley Cyrus would land on the love song side? Cause that’s exactly where she ended up, with “Adore You” at 12.8 percent more popular than “Wrecking Ball.” I know music is pretty subjective, but I have to disagree with Pandora listeners on this one. “Wrecking Ball” is such a poetic jam. I feel a new playlist coming on…
The last two artists are Britney Spears and Katy Perry, and Pandora listeners agree they love these artists best when they’re singing about love. Perry’s “E.T.” is 2.7 percent more popular than “Part of Me,” while Spears’ “(You Drive Me) Crazy” is 20.6 percent more popular than her 2000 empowerment anthem “Stronger.”
So there you have it. Whether you love a good break-up anthem or a ballad, some artists just do one or the other better. Either way, I know these results have got me itching to build some playlists of my own for Valentine’s Day — date optional.