While Adele may have sold all the albums in 2015, it was not a particularly great year for women in music who were not named Adele. As a matter of fact, when you start breaking down the numbers of this year's Billboard charts, it was a terrible year for female artists. According to Fusion, when you look at this year's top 40 most popular artists on the "Billboard 100" — which looks at the 100 most popular songs on any given week — only 25.8% were female. This means out of the 178 songs in the Top 40 this year, only 25% were sung by female artists, such as Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Demi Lovato. Beyond that, if Fusion expands the criteria to include solo female artists and songs that feature at least one woman, it only adds an additional 20 songs to the total, or 11.23%. This means that songs featuring a female performer would only rise 13%, to a rather unremarkable 37%. While female artists were not very well represented on the charts this year, the amount of female songwriters in the Top 40 was less impressive still. Out of the 696 writers it took to create the 178 songs that made the Top 40, only 94 of them were women.
Only one song in this year's Top 40 didn't feature at least one male songwriter, and that was Little Big Town's "Girl Crush." Yes, only one song was actually written by all female writers. In total, 58.5% of this year’s Top 40 tracks were written solely by male songwriters. Further still — when it comes to the 338 producers who worked on the songs in this year’s Top 40, only 12 of them featured a female producer. The use of the word "featured" here is very important, being that not one song out of the 178 in the Top 40 was produced solely by a woman or a female production team. When it comes to the year in music, Fusion found that men had a hand in some element of every song on the list, while women "only helped build 6.7% of songs."