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Who says that music isn’t as good as it used to be? Our still-young century has already featured many classic tracks from legends like Taylor Swift, Eminem, Adele, and more. Check out our list of the 22 best songs from the 2000s below.
“Forever” – Chris Brown
Chris Brown is one of the most accomplished artists in the world, having sold over 197 million records globally. He has received several honors over his career, including a Grammy Award. Brown is the male vocalist with the most Billboard Hot 100 entries in history.
“Forever,” which is clearly one of the best songs from the 2000s, was written by the singer and his team. It can be found on the Forever Edition of Brown’s second album, Exclusive.
“You’re Beautiful” – James Blunt
To say that James Blunt’s debut album Back to Bedlam was a smash is an understatement. It sold 11 million copies worldwide, though he’d find it difficult to duplicate its success.
Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful,” taken from Back to Bedlam, is his most successful song and only Top 40 hit. If you don’t believe that “You’re Beautiful” is one of the best songs of the 2000s, take a poll of women who grew up listening to it.
“Complicated” – Avril Lavigne
Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne is a pop punk icon. Her first album, Let Go, showed her talent immediately, especially hit single “Complicated.” Nominated for two Grammys, its an iconic song of the era and clearly one of the best songs of the 2000s.
“The One That Got Away” – Katy Perry
American singer and celebrity Katy Perry is renowned for her campy flair and influence on contemporary pop music. She gained notoriety with the pop-rock album One of the Boys, which featured “Thinking of You” and the follow-up single “Hot n Cold.”
Perry has received various accolades, including four Guinness World Records, five Billboard Music Awards, five American Music Awards, a Brit Award, and several nominations throughout her career.
“The One That Got Away” is featured on her third studio album, Teenage Dream.
“Love Song” – Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles‘ first hit, “Love Song,” is from her major-label debut album Little Voice. It was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Song of the Year at the 2009 Grammys.
Bareilles has sold over 15 million singles in the U.S. and over three million albums. She has received significant accolades and nominations, eight Grammy Award nominations with one victory.
“Work It” – Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is one of the most iconic female rappers. She was named fifth on Billboard’s list of the 100 best music video artists of all time in 2020. In 2021 she even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Work It,” written by Elliott, is from her fourth studio album, Under Construction. It is one of her best-known tracks and as well as of the best songs of the 2000s.
“All for You” – Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson‘s critical and commercial success in the 80s and 90s is practically unparalleled. “All For You,” from Janet Jackson’s seventh album of the same name, is one of her biggest hits. The song, album, and video each won a Grammy.
“Temperature” – Sean Paul
Sean Paul was born in Kingston, Jamaica. His grandfather and father were national water players. Paul also played for the national water polo team from 13 to 21 but gave up the sport to launch his musical career. We’re glad that he did!
“Temperature” is from his third studio album, The Trinity. It was his third hit globally and second in the United States. It adds some much needed Jamaican flair to our list of the best songs of the 2000s.
“Love Story” – Taylor Swift
If there’s any contemporary singer who doesn’t need an introduction, it’s Taylor Swift. She has won a ridiculous 40 American Music Awards, 29 Billboard Music Awards, an Emmy, and 11 Grammy Awards, including three album of the Year titles.
“Love Story” can be found on Fearless, Swift’s second studio album. It has sold over six million copies in the U.S. and 18 million worldwide. Though many Swift songs could make this list of the best songs of the 2000s, we had to pick just one.
“I’m Real” – Jennifer Lopez
J.Lo is one of the biggest female icons of our time. Her most successful singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 include “Ain’t It Funny,” “I’m Real,” “If You Had My Love,” “All I Have,” and “On the Floor.” She has received several honors, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, a Billboard Icon Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“I’m Real,” from her second album J.Lo, is one of her best-known songs. The “Murder Remix” topped the Hot 100 Airplay chart and the Billboard for five weeks.
“SexyBack” – Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is perhaps the most accomplished American male performer of the last 30 years. “SexyBack,” from his second album FutureSex/LoveSounds, was a cultural phenomenon.
“Bad Day” – Daniel Powter
Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Powter began playing the violin when he was four. He struggled with reading music in college and left at 20 to pursue his musical career, learning every song by ear and recording original compositions. At 13 he began writing his own material, and he never looked back.
“Bad Day” is from his self-titled second album. It hit the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, Pop 100, Adult Top 40, and Adult Contemporary charts.
“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is one of the biggest pop culture phenoemons of our time. Among her honors are 13 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and 18 MTV Video Music Awards
The lead single from her debut studio album, The Fame, “Poker Face” reached the top of the charts in 20 countries and sold over 9.8 copies worldwide.
“Fallin” – Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys, a pianist with classical training, started writing songs when she was only 12 and was signed by Columbia Records at 15. Keys refined her songwriting and discovered her own “flow and style.”
Her first single, “Fallin’,” is from her debut album Songs in A Minor. Its soulful, seductive sound makes it an obvious choice for one of the best songs of the 2000s.
“Lose Yourself” – Eminem
Eminem is the most popular rapper of his generation. He has received 15 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and an MTV Europe Music Global Icon Award. He’s also a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
“Lose Yourself” was Eminem’s first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single and won the Academy Award and a Grammy. He’s one of those artists, like Taylor Swift or Adele, who could have multiple entries on this list of the best songs of the 2000s.
“Lovely” – Billie Eilish featuring Khalid
Singer, songwriter, and fashion icon Billie Eilish is one of the most famous celebrities in the world. She has been wowing the world with her music and fashion sense since 2015.
“Lovely,” featuring Khalid, is one of her many classic tracks.
“Baby” – Justin Bieber
How could we have a list of the best songs of the 2000s without mentioning the Biebs? Taken from his debut album, My World 2.0, “Baby” features Ludacris and is Diamond-certified in the U.S.
“Easy On Me” – Adele
The hits from megastars keep on coming! “Easy on Me” is from Adele’s fourth album, 30. It set a record for the longest-lasting number-one song by spending ten weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“Music” – Madonna
Madonna‘s career showed no signs of slowing down in the 2000s. “Music” is the title track of her eighth album. It was her twelfth (and is her most recent) number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Drop It Like It’s Hot” – Snoop Dogg
Like “SexyBack,” this Snoop Dogg collaboration with Pharrell Williams was a cultural phenomenon. It became the first number-one hit for both singers when it spent three weeks at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
“You’ll Think of Me” – Keith Urban
Lest we forget, country music had a resurgence in the 2000s. Australian country singer Keith Urban‘s “You’ll Think of Me” spent two weeks at number one and hit number six on the U.S. Adult Top 40 chart.
“Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse
Beloved English singer Amy Winehouse, who left us far too soon, had many iconic tracks in her too-short career. Though it was tough not to choose “Rehab,” the title song from Back to Black is hard to beat.
“ABCDEFU” – Gayle
Pop sensation Gayle took the world by storm with her hit “ABCDEFU,” which began with a publicity stunt on Tik Tok. It remains to be seen whether she’ll follow this up with any other big hits.