Added: Melodie Stern - Date: 28.12.2021 09:29 - Views: 12486 - Clicks: 9427
Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! Our newsletter hand-delivers the best bits to your inbox. up to unlock our digital magazines and also receive the latest news, events, offers and partner promotions. Before we dive into this list of the best pop songs of all time, we need to take a moment to define what pop music actually is. And, unfortunately, that requires a lot of caveats along with ample use of the words "technically" and "actually. Actually disco and hair metal are pop because they held the zeitgeist of a decade. You could technically qualify Limp Bizkit as pop music, since it dominated airwaves alongside the Backstreet Boys.
We won't… but we could. One thing pop isn't is old. At its very essence, pop music and "popular" songs are of their time. And once they hit a certain vintage, they graduate to classic status. Yes, The Beatles all but defined pop, and MJ was its king. But decades on, they've moved onto a different plane of existence. For this updated rundown of the best pop songs of all time, we've rethought the canon and focused solely on 21st-century hits. The 40 songs on their list were all released between and We've excluded straight-up rock, alternative whatever that meansand hip hop and focused instead on radio-friendly popular songs that will force even the stodgiest music snob to sing along if nobody's looking.
They are the buzzy, zeitgeisty songs that define their new generations, proudly carrying on the pop traditions laid out by pop's 20th-century forebears. And once they reach a certain age, they'll fit right in on a "best songs of all time" playlist along with MJ, Madge and Prince. These are the 21st-century pop songs that stand tall among the greatest of all time. Listen to these songs on Amazon Music.
The anthem of single gals everywhere, the opus made Beyhive converts out of every last hold-out. Recently minted billionaire Rihanna has become part of pop's very DNA over the past two decades thanks to her singular persona, joy in courting controversy and, most crucially, the strength of her powerful voice. Choosing one Rihanna song for the pop hall of fame is a fool's errand, but gun to our head — likely held by Rihanna whilst asking us where her money is — the safe choice is the best.
This lead-off single had former haters shaking their he over their unexpected conversion into T-Swift fandom. Even if you rolled your eyes at her awkward dancing in the video, you were involuntarily grooving in your desk chair. Taylor would continue morphing her image in the wake of its success, but this is the singer at her most purely joyous. Here, Britney seems transformed into a vicious femme fatale, her voice soaring and dipping over a deranged synth-string arrangement that wouldn't seem out of place in a Hitchcock film, but felt absolutely alien when it hit MTV.
Even now, amid the freebritney movement and two decades removed, it's a disorienting stunner of a pop masterpiece. The English sensation exploded to international fame with this tune, released when she was just 21 years old — though her voice carries the expertise of a woman decades older. High-reaching vocals, a bone-chilling opening note and ever-relatable subject matter of tarnished love scored Adele two Grammy Awards as fans around the world cried to the breakup anthem.
One of pop's most unlikely and tragic crossovers, Winehouse's cross-generational sing-along about the not-so-sunny world of interventions and addictions has a timeless quality thanks in large part to Mark Ronson's time-traveling production, which wisely surrounds the raven-haired singer with rusted-over doo-wop sounds. But really, it's all Amy: Her haunting, otherworldly voice delivering each "no, no, no" with the utmost precision and a universal sense of nonconformity. The Weeknd's reign over pop has been stratospheric ever since he first dropped his cocaine-fueled "I Can't Feel My Face.
More than a year later, its power has only grown. Perhaps the most highly danceable breakup song of all time, Robyn's kinetic masterpiece is a front-to-back all-timer of triumph and solemnity. The Swedish megastar's pulsing synth-driven song defiantly flips the bird to any and all that would prevent you from dancing the pain away. This is pop music as a healing balm and a dance track reinvisioned as therapy. In a discography of unexpected twists and turns, it was a move nobody could have seen coming from the "Ms. Truly cooler than a polar bear's toenails. The Colombian superstar seemed fated for one-hit-wonder status outside South America after "Whenever, Whatever" came out of nowhere in the '90s.
Instead, the solidified herself as a global superstar for the ages with this highly quotable, high-heat club standard that brought a Fugee along for the ride. Prince was, of course, right. But as far as a career reinvention goes, Timberlake's is one for the books: "SexyBack" doesn't so much close the door on the singer's ramen-haired boy-band chapter as burn it to the ground. Thanks, Carly Rae! It cleaned up at the Grammys, including winning Record of the Year, and became the third most-watched video ever on YouTube.
Wedding reception dance floors will never be the same again. Gaga's entire catalogue is a celebration of individuality, allyship and letting your freak flag fly. If that's not the mark of a queen, nothing is. It's pure chaos, and it's an absolute blast. The small-town New Zealand export was only 15 when she penned this international mega-hit that spends most of its time deflating hip-hop's obsession with bling and braggadocio. It's not the kind of thing that happens a lot in pop music, which makes the incredibly sparse, intricately layered, ultra-classy "Royals" even more of a treasure.
This song hails from a different era of Cyrus, before she transformed into a Robin Thicke-humping sexpot with a Gene Simmons tongue. This midway point between modern Miley and Hannah Montana is a ray of sing-along sunshine. Like fellow pop royal Lorde, Eilish was just a teen when she dropped this subversive ode to bad behavior on the pop establishment like a megaton bomb stuffed with glitter and spiders. Brother Finneas' thumping beats and spooky hooks hold the whole thing together, but it's Eilish's smoky voice — bounding between deeply unsettling and sprightly — that sells the whole ghoulish affair, cementing herself as the antithesis of squeaky-clean pop stars and scaring the ever-loving shit out of her target audience's parents along the way.
An instant feel-great classic, Lizzo's "Good As Hell" is the very definition of infectious thanks to its instantly recognizable piano beat, Lizzo's forceful-yet-playful cadence and a pervasive, universal ability to make anybody within earshot strut for its entire runtime.
With Pharrell on vocal duties and Nile Rodgers on guitar, the helmeted Frenchmen's biggest non-Weeknd hit is a piece of wipe-clean disco so immaculately crafted you might imagine there was some algebra involved.
Like all pop songs, it throbs with life, but also glows in brilliant neon that's wholly Daft Punk's. The K-Pop supergroup has taken over the world, and there seems to be no of stopping. You either get on the train or get run over by it. Luckily, the band's long-awaited English-language debut delivered, hijacking airwaves and talk shows with its perfectly calibrated bubblegum pop that starts at a fever pitch and manages a sustained crescendo throughout. The former One Direction star's solo career has gone many unexpected places, no more so than on his recent, genre-hopping Fine Line.
And while the funky "Watermelon Sugar" brings the double entendres, "Adore You" is Styles at his most endearing and infectious: a slow-paced, driving, and vocally transcendent instant classic in every sense. As a bonus, the surreal video finds the hearthrob enamored with a giant fish Ariana's evolution from sugar-sweet pop princess to her generation's foremost chronicler of the Kama Sutra has been astonishing, if a little much for the more pearl-clutching early fans.
But she hit her most universally appealing sweet spot with this bop, which ascends to the stratosphere with each repetition of "pickin' it up," her voice soaring along the way and, in turn, announcing the arrival of a formidable superstar whose talent stands taller than even her highest ponytail. Pop's current heir apparent exploded onto the scene with this universally gripping, emotionally ripe tale of teenage yearning: a piano ballad with a forlorn melody, a driving backbeat and some of the most bracing vocals in recent pop.
Rodrigo wears her love of Taylor Swift on her sleeve, so much so that fans call her the second coming while haterss cry ripoff. For what it's worth, Swift unlike Courtney Love is a fan… and rumors continue to swirl about an upcoming collaboration that could rock the pop world to its core. Taking a hiatus from making music to focus on growing up a little, the Biebs came back with Purpose in Empowering, escalating and full of raw power, "Titanium" is what happens when one of the world's best producers meets one of its most prolific pop writers.
Sia may have found more success swinging from chandeliers, but as a vocalist she was never more explosive than she was on this all-timer. Only somebody as tuned-in to the pop landscape as Williams could take a throwaway track from a Minions movie and turn it into an enduring ode to being in a great mood to rival Bobby McFerrin. Think of it like this: Three years after "Happy," Justin Timberlake tried to replicate its good vibes for Trolls. We're not talking about Justin Timberlake here. Such is the power of a Neptune using his powers for good.
Take away the mountain of memes, ignore Drake's beautiful dad dancing and this pop song would still be a winner for the ages.
That delicate, trickling calypso beat effortlessly shrugs off the lover who never calls, transforming a classic tale of ghosting into an eminently danceable revenge song that everyone — ex included — would struggle to resist. No wonder it was literally inescapable for the whole of summer ' Nasty, sensual, raw and wholly mysterious, Kelis's vocal gymnastics and schoolyard-adjacent boast "my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard" has given this thunderously magnetic dance-floor anthem legs.
Prodded along by an all-time great Neptunes beat, it holds the unique distinction of rivaling decidedly not-pop-affiliated Daniel Day-Lewis for best milkshake quote… even though we're still not quite sure what, exactly, her milkshake is. Regardless, it's definitely better than ours. Nearly inescapable between and"Despacito" is one of those songs that became so prevalent that people mistook its ubiquity for annoyance.
A few years on, however, the ultra-smooth collision of Latin pop and reggaeton has aged remarkably well from song-of-the-summer status to certifiable classic. Frankly, we're still not sure what "this jelly" is, and 20 years on we're still not sure we're ready for it. Missy's avante-garde approach to pop-infused hip-hop is at its best when she's got certified master Timbaland at her side, and no pairing hits with the same mix of chaotic glee, weirdness and pop sensibility as "Work It.
Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia is full of bangers, but none are quite as instantly timeless — and out of time — as this throwback retrofuturistic jam that pulses with verve, confidence and pure joy. Once the singer reaches the punchy "yeah yeah yeah" callback, you'll be soaring with her.
Go ahead and skip the DaBaby remix… Dua's got this one without his help. Both sides of the pond get some swagger on this pulsing throwback track occupying the space between disco, hip hop and pop.
Estelle's richly playful and cockney-infused vocals provide the perfect antidote to Kanye's braggadocio… no small task, given that the guy is 5-foot-7 of pure ego. Even 'Ye takes a back seat to Estelle when she's firing on all cylinders with an assist by wil. Outside American Idol viewers and the two people who watched From Justin to Kellythis was the world's true introduction to Clarkston's mighty lung capacity, and a high point for the early-noughties pop-rock explosion.
The gleeful break-up anthem comes across like a glorious cross between Avril Lavigne and "I Will Survive. A slinky, swaggering slow jam that meets at the intersection of hip-hop and pop, Eve's biggest hit is essentially a four-minute not-so-humblebrag about career success, the kind of thing that male rappers talk about all the time but somehow drew blowback when a woman did it see also: "WAP".
Let the haters feign their dismay. The rest of us will be out on the dance floor and soaking in the silky sass. Psy's internet-breaking sendup of South Korean excess is absolutely impossible to ignore, try though you may. The first song to reach 1 billion YouTube hits, it's been parodied, homaged, remade and remixed. Yet it refuses to die.
That's because, against all odds, it rips. Yes, it's a song you're ashamed to catch yourself dancing to. But guess what? It happens to all of us. Fifteen years later, it still feels gloriously alien. About us. Discover the best of the city, first. We already have this. Try another?
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