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Listen To NPR Music's 100 Best Songs Of 2020

In a year when great new songs often served as necessary distractions or moral and urgent illustrations of humanity, the best of them all was both.

Welcome to a whopper of a mixtape. If you've been living under the rock 2020 dropped on all of us back in March and spent the last nine months finding comfort in the sounds of your childhood (hell, even 2019), we have some good news for you: As crappy as this year has been for anyone with a shred of empathy, the jams were ample. When the news cycle had us at a loss for words, we found quiet songs to speak for us. When we wanted to smile without looking at our phones, buoyant distractions abounded. If racism, xenophobia and sociopathic behavior made us want to scream, Black musicians found astonishingly inventive ways of saying, "Um, did you just start paying attention?"

And since we're still stuck in this storm for the foreseeable future, we present to you a silver linings playlist (actual playlists below, via the streaming platform of your choice): 100 songs that gave us life when we needed it most.

You can read more about these 100 songs here and find our picks for the 50 best albums of 2020 here.

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