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triple j Hottest 100 winners that shocked a nation


Nary a Hottest 100 can go by without some kind of countdown calamity. This year it was Tones and I’s infamous hit ‘Dance Monkey’ (a front runner for the #1 position) not even cracking the top 3 and eventually being usurped by a ‘bad guy’ by the name of Billie Eilish.

So we thought we'd take a look back at some of the other Hottest 100 shocks over the years.

The Rubens hoop King Kendrick

It was virtually impossible to avoid Kendrick Lamar’s 'To Pimp A Butterfly' album in 2015. Which is why everyone thought single 'King Kunta' was a shoe in for the #1 spot.

Then along came five boys from country New South Wales called The Rubens. Their earworm of a track ‘Hoops’ swooped into to take that gold.

Kendrick fans might still be bitter but the video of The Rubens finding out they topped the biggest music countdown in the southern hemisphere will live on forever.


It wasn’t the first time a grassroots campaign aim to infiltrate the Hottest 100 with an ill fitting song but #Tay4Hottest100 was the loudest.

Kicked off by former Buzzfeed reporter Mark Di Stefeno, the hashtag fest encouraged the public to throw their votes behind Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ to sabotage the #1 position.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t. It barely got enough votes to get to number 12 and that’s before triple j put their foot down and straight out banned it from the countdown.

Turns out letting a song that had never been played on the station but had outside support from everyone from fast food outlets to betting agencies isn’t really the best fit for the Hottest 100.

Marching right into #1

The year was 2006, you couldn’t move without hearing either Eskimo Joe’s ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ or Hilltop Hoods’ The Hard Road’. They were the clear favourites for the number one and two spots.

Which is why so many feathers were ruffled when Melbourne band Augie March came out on top with their track ‘One Crowded Hour’.

There are even conspiracy theories that the only reason that they made it to #1 was because their name starts with A, making them the first band to pop up when voting. But we’re pretty sure it’s because ‘One Crowded Hour’ is a certified sad banger.

Silverchair VS Muse

Remember Guitar Hero? That video game with plastic instruments that made you believe that you might just be able to be a rockstar? Well they could have something to do with Muse knocking off Silverchair for #1 in the Hottest 100 2007.

Despite being released in 2006, Muse’s cyber-western epic ‘Knights of Cydonia’ gained massive popularity from its inclusion in the Guitar Hero playlist. This lead to it beating Silverchair’s iconic single ‘Straight Lines’ by a miniscule 13 votes.

Let’s all console ourselves with Glades’ gorgeous cover of ‘Straight Lines’.

Riptide over Royals

Anyone under the age of 18 might not remember but what Billie Eilish is to 2019, Lorde was to 2013. The then-16-year-old exploded onto the scene with her debut single ‘Royals’ which was a hot favourite for the top spot of 2013.

No one expected the Kiwi powerhouse to be trumped by a triple j unearthed artist armed with nothing but a ukulele and Michelle Pfeiffer reference. But that’s exactly what happened when Vance Joy’s ‘Riptide’ sailed it’s way into the number one position.


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