Top 100 Pop Songs of 2000

Mariah Carey Performs At Wembley Arena In 2000

 Peter Still/Getty Images

The best pop songs of the year 2000 include a wide variety of music from teen pop to hip-hop and dance music. This list is a great conversation starter for discussions of the best music at the turn of the millennium.

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Savage Garden: 'I Knew I Loved You'

© Columbia

"I Knew I Loved You" was the second No. 1 hit single by Australian pop duo Savage Garden. The romantic ballad topped the U.S. charts in January 2000 and became one of the most-played songs of the year on pop radio.

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Creed: 'Higher'

Creed - "Higher"
Creed - "Higher". Courtesy Wind-Up

"Higher" was the rock band Creed's first top 10 pop single. It was the first single released from the album "Human Clay." Group leader Scott Stapp wrote the song about the power of lucid dreaming, a technique in which the dreamer may actively manipulate his or her dreams.

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P!nk: 'There You Go'

Pink - "There You Go"
Pink - "There You Go". Courtesy LaFace

"There You Go" marked the debut of​ P!nk, one of the top pop artists of the decade.

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Brian McKnight: 'Back at One'

Brian McKnight - "Back at One"
Brian McKnight - "Back at One". Courtesy Motown

R&B singer Brian McKnight was at his peak with this No. 1 title single from his three million-selling album "Back at One."

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Madonna: 'American Pie'

Madonna - "American Pie"
Madonna - "American Pie". Courtesy Maverick

Madonna covered Don McLean's classic "American Pie" in pop-dance fashion for the soundtrack to her film "The Next Best Thing." It was a worldwide hit even though mixed opinions were inevitable. McLean himself proclaimed Madonna's cover "mystical and sensual."

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Sisqo: 'Incomplete'

Sisqo - "Incomplete"
Sisqo - "Incomplete". Courtesy Def Soul

In 1999 Sisqo left the R&B group Dru Hill for a solo career. His first big hit was "The Thong Song." This song was the follow-up and was even more successful on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 1.

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*NSYNC: 'It's Gonna Be Me'

*NSYNC - "It's Gonna Be Me"
*NSYNC - "It's Gonna Be Me". Courtesy Jive Records

In the year 2000 boy band *NSYNC set a record for the most copies sold of a single album in one year with more than 9 million copies of "No Strings Attached" sold. This was the second single from the collection and became *NSYNC's only No. 1 pop single.

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Nine Days: 'Absolutely (Story of a Girl)'

Nine Days - "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)"
Nine Days - "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)". Courtesy Sony

Power pop band Nine Days made a big chart splash with hit single "Nine Days" from their major label debut "The Madding Crowd." The song was influenced by the classic Thomas Hardy novel "Far From the Madding Crowd."

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Christina Aguilera: 'Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)'

Christina Aguilera - "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)"
Christina Aguilera - "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)". Courtesy RCA

Christina Aguilera scored a third No. 1 pop single from her self-titled debut with "Come On Over Baby." She performed the song at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.

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LeAnn Rimes: 'I Need You'

LeAnn Rimes - "I Need You"
LeAnn Rimes - "I Need You". Courtesy Curb

"I Need You" is the title single from an album cobbled together primarily to fulfill contract obligations, so it includes outtakes and B-sides. The song itself was a major country crossover smash, reaching the top 10 on the country chart and No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Mariah Carey Featuring Joe & 98 Degrees: 'Thank God I Found You'

Mariah Carey feat. Joe & 98 Degrees - "Thank God I Found You"
Mariah Carey feat. Joe & 98 Degrees - "Thank God I Found You". Courtesy Columbia Records

Love song "Thank God I Found You" was inspired by Mariah Carey's boyfriend at the time, Luis Miguel. When it hit No. 1 it marked the 11th consecutive year with a No. 1 hit for Mariah Carey.

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Smash Mouth: 'Then the Morning Comes'

Smash Mouth - "Then the Morning Comes". Courtesy Interscope

"Then the Morning Comes" was the second consecutive top 10 pop single from Smash Mouth's biggest album, "Astro Lounge."

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Vertical Horizon: 'You're a God'

Vertical Horizon - Everything You Want
Vertical Horizon - Everything You Want. Courtesy RCA

Rock band Vertical Horizon emerged from the Washington, D.C., area at the end of the 1990s. "You're a God" was the band's second top 40 pop hit.

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P!nk: 'Most Girls'

Pink - "Most Girls"
Pink - "Most Girls". Courtesy LaFace

P!nk went all the way to the pop top 5 with the second single from her R&B and hip-hop influenced debut album "Can't Take Me Home," "Most Girls." She did not climb higher on the pop singles chart until 2008's "So What" hit No. 1.

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Britney Spears: 'Lucky'

Britney Spears - "Lucky"
Britney Spears - "Lucky". Courtesy Jive Records

The second single from Britney Spears' "Oops!...I Did It Again" album, "Lucky," depicts the loneliness of the beautiful and famous.

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Godsmack: 'Bad Religion'

Godsmack - "Bad Religion"
Godsmack - "Bad Religion". Courtesy Universal

Heavy rock band Godsmack climbed into the top 10 of the mainstream rock track chart with "Bad Religion." The song gained more notoriety later when it was one of the songs recommended to be pulled from radio airplay by Clear Channel Communications after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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Everclear: 'Wonderful'

Everclear - "Wonderful"
Everclear - "Wonderful". Courtesy Capitol

"Wonderful," depicting the trajectory of a divorce as observed by a child, became the first top 40 pop hit for the band Everclear and has been frequently featured in the soundtracks for TV series.

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Filter: 'Take a Picture'

Filter - "Take a Picture"
Filter - "Take a Picture". Courtesy Warner Bros.

"Take a Picture" shows off a softer, more melodic side to the rock band Filter and became a smash top 40 pop hit.

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Stone Temple Pilots: 'Sour Girl'

Stone Temple Pilots - "Sour Girl"
Stone Temple Pilots - "Sour Girl". Courtesy Atlantic

Stone Temple Pilots' lead vocalist Scott Weiland wrote "Sour Girl" about his relationship with his first wife. The song became the group's highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 78.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers: 'Otherside'

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Otherside"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Otherside". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Red Hot Chili Peppers depicted the battles that ex-addicts have with their prior problems in "Otherside" from the album "Californication." It was a No. 1 modern rock hit and climbed inside the pop top 40.

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Carl Thomas: 'I Wish'

Carl Thomas - Emotional
Carl Thomas - Emotional. Courtesy Bad Boy Entertainment

R&B singer Carl Thomas signed to Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment and released the smash single "I Wish" from his debut album "Emotional." It reached No. 1 on the R&B chart and No. 20 on the pop singles chart.

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Kid Rock: 'Only God Knows Why'

Kid Rock - "Only God Knows Why"
Kid Rock - "Only God Knows Why". Courtesy Atlantic

Rapper and rocker Kid Rock took a turn to ballads on "Only God Knows Why" and was heavily rewarded with a record that hit big on pop, rock, and adult contemporary charts.

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Train: 'Meet Virginia'

Train - "Meet Virginia"
Train - "Meet Virginia". Courtesy Columbia

The second single and opening track from pop-rock band Train's debut album, "Meet Virginia," became the band's first pop top 40 hit. The video for the song stars actress Rebecca Gayheart.

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Mya: 'Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)'

Mya - "Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)"
Mya - "Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)". Courtesy Interscope

"Case of the Ex" was a breakthrough both for R&B singer Mya and producer Christopher "Tricky" Stewart. It went to No. 2 on the pop singles chart, the highest achievement yet for both. (Though she does sing on the No. 1 Christina Aguilera hit "Lady Marmalade.")

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Belle and Sebastian: 'Legal Man'

Belle & Sebastian - "Legal Man"
Belle & Sebastian - "Legal Man". Courtesy Jeepster

Critically acclaimed indie pop band Belle & Sebastian broke into the UK pop top 20 for the first time with hit single "Legal Man."

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Westlife: 'Swear It Again'

Westlife - "Swear It Again"
Westlife - "Swear It Again". Courtesy RCA

"Swear It Again" is the song that kicked off the career of Westlife, one of the biggest boy bands of all time in the British Isles. It reached No. 1 in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand. It also is the only significant hit the group has had in the United States, reaching the pop top 20.

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Britney Spears: 'From the Bottom of My Broken Heart'

Britney Spears - "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart"
Britney Spears - "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart". Courtesy Jive Records

Melancholy love ballad "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart" was the fifth and final single from Britney Spears' debut album "...Baby One More Time."

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Goo Goo Dolls: 'Broadway'

Goo Goo Dolls - "Broadway"
Goo Goo Dolls - "Broadway". Courtesy Warner Bros.

The Goo Goo Dolls pay tribute to a street in their home city of Buffalo, New York, in "Broadway." This was the final single from their massive hit album "Dizzy Up the Girl."

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Lil Bow Wow featuring Xscape: 'Bounce With Me'

Lil Bow Wow featuring Xscape - "Bounce With Me"
Lil Bow Wow featuring Xscape - "Bounce With Me". Courtesy So So Def

Rapper Bow Wow was only 13 when he took his first single, "Bounce With Me" into the pop top 20.

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Aaliyah: 'I Don't Wanna'

Aaliyah - "I Don't Wanna"
Aaliyah - "I Don't Wanna". Courtesy Blackground

"I Don't Wanna" is one of the singles from the soundtrack to the film "Romeo Must Die." It marked the return of singer Aaliyah after she took a break from recording to go to college.

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Destiny's Child: 'Independent Women Pt. 1'

Destiny's Child - Independent Women Part 1
Destiny's Child - Independent Women Part 1. Courtesy Columbia Records

"Independent Women Pt. 1" was initially released as the lead single for the soundtrack to the film "Charlie's Angels." It was the first Destiny's Child hit to feature Michelle Williams, and it went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

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Samantha Mumba: 'Gotta Tell You'

Samantha Mumba - "Gotta Tell You"
Samantha Mumba - "Gotta Tell You". Courtesy Polydor

"Gotta Tell You," the debut single from Irish singer Samantha Mumba, hit the charts when she was only 17. It was an international smash and remains the biggest hit of her career. 

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Jennifer Lopez: 'Waiting for Tonight'

Jennifer Lopez - "Waiting for Tonight"
Jennifer Lopez - "Waiting for Tonight". Courtesy Epic

Actress Jennifer Lopez followed her debut No. 1 hit single "If You Had My Love" with this second top 10 smash, "Waiting for Tonight," from her debut album "On the 6."

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Celine Dion: 'That's the Way It Is'

Celine Dion - "That's the Way It Is"
Celine Dion - "That's the Way It Is". Courtesy Columbia Records

"That's the Way It Is" was the lead single from Celine Dion's collection "All the Way...a Decade of Song." Max Martin and Kristian Lundin produced the track that reached the pop top 10, topped the adult contemporary chart and also spawned a number of dance mixes.

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Papa Roach: 'Last Resort'

Papa Roach - "Last Resort"
Papa Roach - "Last Resort". Courtesy Dreamworks

"Last Resort" was the major label debut for hard rock band Papa Roach. It was a No. 1 modern rock smash and led off the triple- platinum album "Infest."

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Sade: 'By Your Side'

Sade - "By Your Side"
Sade - "By Your Side". Courtesy Epic

"By Your Side" was the first single release from Sade's fifth studio album, "Lovers Rock." It was nominated for a Best Female Pop Vocal Grammy Award. The song has been used frequently as a first dance at weddings.

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R. Kelly: 'I Wish'

R. Kelly - TP-2
R. Kelly - TP-2. Courtesy Jive Records

R&B vocalist R. Kelly dedicated "I Wish" to loved ones who have died. It was a No. 1 R&B hit as well as a top 20 pop hit and led off the album ""

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Third Eye Blind: 'Never Let You Go'

Third Eye Blind - "Never Let You Go"
Third Eye Blind - "Never Let You Go". Courtesy Elektra

"Never Let You Go" was the fourth top 20 pop hit by the band Third Eye Blind and the only major pop hit from the album "Blue."

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Blaque featuring JC Chasez: 'Bring It All to Me'

Blaque featuring JC Chasez - "Bring It All to Me"
Blaque featuring JC Chasez - "Bring It All to Me". Courtesy Jive Records

The female trio Blaque rode all the way into the pop top 5 with this song, featuring JC Chasez of boy band *NSYNC. "Bring It All to Me" samples Shalamar's "I Don't Wanna Be the Last to Know."

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Barenaked Ladies: 'Pinch Me'

Barenaked Ladies - "Pinch Me"
Barenaked Ladies - "Pinch Me". Courtesy Reprise

"Pinch Me," a follow-up of sorts to Barenaked Ladies' huge hit "One Week" became the band's only other top 40 pop hit in the United States.

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Nelly: '(Hot Sh*t) Country Grammar'

Nelly - "(Hot Sh*t) Country Grammar"
Nelly - "(Hot Sh*t) Country Grammar". Courtesy Universal

Nelly put the St. Louis, Missouri, rap scene on the map with top 10 pop single "Country Grammar," from his debut album.

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Incubus: 'Pardon Me'

Incubus - "Pardon Me"
Incubus - "Pardon Me". Courtesy Epic

"Pardon Me" put rock band Incubus on the charts, becoming a top 5 modern rock hit. An acoustic version of the song was popular, along with the original electric version.

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Sonique: 'It Feels So Good'

Sonique - "It Feels So Good"
Sonique - "It Feels So Good". Courtesy Serious Records

Sonique's second single was first released in 1998, but when "It Feels So Good" was rereleased in 2000 it became a dance and pop smash, peaking at No. 1 in the United Kingdom and inside the top 10 in the United States.

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Creed: 'With Arms Wide Open'

Creed - "With Arms Wide Open"
Creed - "With Arms Wide Open". Courtesy Wind-Up

Scott Stapp, lead vocalist of rock band Creed, wrote "With Arms Wide Open" about the experience of finding out he would be a father. The song became the group's first No. 1 pop hit.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers: 'Californication'

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Californication"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Californication". Courtesy Warner Bros.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers explored the dark side of Hollywood here name-dropping Kurt Cobain and David Bowie along the way in "Californication."

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A Perfect Circle: 'Judith'

A Perfect Circle - "Judith"
A Perfect Circle - "Judith". Courtesy Virgin

"Judith" was the first single from alt-rock supergroup A Perfect Circle. Lead vocalist Maynard James Keenan said the song is about his mother, who suffered a stroke and was restricted to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

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Christina Aguilera: 'I Turn to You'

Christina Aguilera - "I Turn to You"
Christina Aguilera - "I Turn to You". Courtesy RCA

"I Turn to You," a Diane Warren song, was originally recorded by the R&B group All-4-One. Christina Aguilera covered it on her debut album, and it became her third consecutive top 3 hit.

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Backstreet Boys: 'Shape Of My Heart'

Backstreet Boys - "Shape Of My Heart"
Backstreet Boys - "Shape Of My Heart". Courtesy Jive Records

"Shape of My Heart" was the first single from the Backstreet Boys' album "Black and Blue." It debuted inside the pop top 10.

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Bon Jovi: 'It's My Life'

Bon Jovi - "It's My Life"
Bon Jovi - "It's My Life". Courtesy Island Records

Bon Jovi returned to the pop top 40 with the first single after a five-year hiatus for the band, "It's My Life."

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98 Degrees: 'Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)'

98 Degrees - "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)"
98 Degrees - "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)". Courtesy Motown

Boy band 98 Degrees cemented their status in the annals of pop classics with this Latin-influenced hit. Group member Nick Lachey later pursued a successful solo career.

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Santana Featuring the Product G&B: 'Maria Maria'

Santana feat. The Product - "Maria Maria"
Santana feat. The Product - "Maria Maria". Courtesy Arista

Santana had a second huge No. 1 hit from the album "Supernatural" after "Smooth," one of the biggest pop hits of all time. "Maria Maria" features R&B duo The Product G&B.

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Joe: 'I Wanna Know'

Joe - My Name Is Joe
Joe - My Name Is Joe. Courtesy Jive Records

"I Wanna Know" was the pop breakthrough single for R&B vocalist Joe,heading all the way into the top 5. The album "My Name Is Joe" was certified triple platinum.

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Green Day: 'Minority'

Green Day - "Minority"
Green Day - "Minority". Courtesy Reprise Records

The lead single from Green Day's "Warning" album, "Minority," went to No. 1 on the modern rock chart.

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Ricky Martin: 'She Bangs'

Ricky Martin - "She Bangs"
Ricky Martin - "She Bangs". Courtesy Columbia Records

This salsa-influenced pop song kept Latin singer Ricky Martin in the spotlight following his No. 1 smash "Livin' La Vida Loca." "She Bangs" was co-written by pop songwriter Desmond Child.

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Robbie Williams: 'Rock DJ'

Robbie Williams - "Rock DJ"
Robbie Williams - "Rock DJ". Courtesy Chrysalis

Robbie Williams had one of the biggest hit singles of the year in the United Kingdom with "Rock DJ." However, it was never officially released in the United States. The accompanying music video was controversial due to its depiction of Robbie Williams stripping away his skin and muscle in an effort to please a woman.

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David Gray: 'Babylon'

David Gray - "Babylon"
David Gray - "Babylon". Courtesy Eastwest

British singer-songwriter David Gray made a splash on the US charts with "Babylon." It became a hit on both the modern rock and adult contemporary charts.

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Offspring: 'Original Prankster'

Offspring - "Original Prankster"
Offspring - "Original Prankster". Courtesy Columbia

Punk rock band the Offspring joined with rapper Redman for hit single "Original Prankster." The accompanying video shows the pranks pulled through the life of a prankster.

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Mary Mary: 'Shackles (Praise You)'

Mary Mary - "Shackles (Praise You)"
Mary Mary - "Shackles (Praise You)". Courtesy Columbia

"Shackles" was the debut single by gospel duo Mary Mary. It features an urban gospel style that put gospel music on both the R&B and pop charts for the first time in many years.

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Enrique Iglesias: 'Be With You'

Enrique Iglesias - "Be With You"
Enrique Iglesias - "Be With You". Courtesy Interscope

The production team responsible for Cher's massive worldwide hit "Believe" put together "Be With You." It became Enrique Iglesias' second No. 1 pop hit in the United States. "Be With You" also topped the dance chart.

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Debelah Morgan: 'Dance With Me'

Debelah Morgan - "Dance With Me"
Debelah Morgan - "Dance With Me". Courtesy Atlantic

"Dance With Me" is based on a tango-style pop song called "Hernando's Hideaway." It became the only top 10 pop single for R&B vocalist Debelah Morgan.

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Ben Harper: 'Steal My Kisses'

Ben Harper - Burn to Shine
Ben Harper - Burn to Shine. Courtesy Virgin

Guitarist Ben Harper hit big on the Adult Top 40 radio chart with "Steal My Kisses," from his album "Burn to Shine." It features a beat constructed from mouth noises by beatboxer Rahzel.

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Goo Goo Dolls: 'Black Balloon'

Goo Goo Dolls - "Black Balloon"
Goo Goo Dolls - "Black Balloon". Courtesy Warner Bros.

The Goo Goo Dolls turned to serious subject matter here in "Black Balloon," a song about trying to save a woman from heroin addiction.

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Sting Featuring Cheb Mami: 'Desert Rose'

Sting featuring Cheb Mami - "Desert Rose"
Sting featuring Cheb Mami - "Desert Rose". Courtesy A&M

Sting duets with Algerian singer Cheb Mami on "Desert Rose." The result was an exotic sounding pop single that became a top 20 hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

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Mandy Moore: 'I Wanna Be With You'

Mandy Moore - "I Wanna Be With You"
Mandy Moore - "I Wanna Be With You". Courtesy Epic

The 16-year-old Mandy Moore broke into the pop top 40 for the first time with "I Wanna Be With You." It was produced by Australian Wade Robson.

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Backstreet Boys: 'Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely'

Backstreet Boys - "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"
Backstreet Boys - "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". Courtesy Jive Records

This is the third single from the Backstreet Boys' album "Millennium." The accompanying video features each member dealing with a concept of loneliness.

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Len: 'Steal My Sunshine'

Len - "Steal My Sunshine"
Len - "Steal My Sunshine". Courtesy Work

Canadian alt-rock group Len became one-hit wonders with "Steal My Sunshine." A significant component of the song's success is the use of a sample from the Andrea True Connection disco hit "More, More, More."

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Jay-Z Featuring UGK: 'Big Pimpin''

Jay-Z featuring UGK - "Big Pimpin'"
Jay-Z featuring UGK - "Big Pimpin'". Courtesy Roc-a-Fella

Rapper Jay-Z collaborated with producer Timbaland on "Big Pimpin'." The song uses a sample from "Khosara" by Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi that helps give the song a Middle Eastern flair.

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98 Degrees: 'I Do (Cherish You)'

98 Degrees - "I Do (Cherish You)"
98 Degrees - "I Do (Cherish You)". Courtesy Motown

"I Do" was first a top 10 country hit in 1998 by country singer Mark Wills. Boy band 98 Degrees rerecorded the song and turned it into a top 20 pop hit.

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Lonestar: 'Amazed'

Lonestar - "Amazed"
Lonestar - "Amazed". Courtesy BNA

Lonestar were already a successful country band, but no one quite expected the success of "Amazed." Lonestar took it to No. 1 on the country chart for a rare stay of eight weeks at the top. It also reached  No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it was also remixed into a more pop-friendly version, and that went all the way to No. 1 on the pop singles chart.

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Toni Braxton: 'He Wasn't Man Enough'

Toni Braxton - "He Wasn't Man Enough"
Toni Braxton - "He Wasn't Man Enough". Courtesy LaFace

Nearly four years after her first two albums each sold eight million copies, Toni Braxton returned with "The Heat." This first single from the album, "He Wasn't Man Enough" went to No. 1 on the R&B chart, No. 2 on the pop chart, and it won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal.

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Mystikal: 'Shake Ya Ass'

Mystikal - "Shake Ya Ass"
Mystikal - "Shake Ya Ass". Courtesy Jive Records

Rapper Mystikal rose to the upper reaches of the pop charts with edgy club hit "Shake Ya Ass." It was featured in the Britney Spears movie "Crossroads." The song was produced by the Neptunes.

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D'Angelo: 'Untitled (How Does It Feel)'

D'Angelo - "Untitled (How Does It Feel)"
D'Angelo - "Untitled (How Does It Feel)". Courtesy Virgin Records

D'Angelo is one of the leaders of the neo-soul movement. This song was composed as a tribute to D'Angelo's musical hero Prince. He won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Male Vocal and gained a certain amount of notoriety for appearing presumably nude in the accompanying music video.

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Sisqo: 'The Thong Song'

Sisqo - "The Thong Song"
Sisqo - "The Thong Song". Courtesy Def Soul

In part, "The Thong Song" can be considered a novelty track, but it is also a top-level R&B party song. Sisqo was on a hiatus from his group Dru Hill when he hit the charts with this solo release.

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Bob Dylan: 'Things Have Changed'

Soundtrack - The Wonder Boys
Soundtrack - The Wonder Boys. Courtesy Columbia

Legendary folk-rock singer-songwriter Bob Dylan contributed this song to the soundtrack of the film "Wonder Boys." It won an Academy Award for Best Song from a motion picture. The success of the song helped pave the way for his return to the top 5 on the album chart the following year with ​"Love and Theft."

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Linkin Park: 'One Step Closer'

Linkin Park - "One Step Closer"
Linkin Park - "One Step Closer". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Nu-metal band Linkin Park blasted on to the rock and pop radar with debut single "One Step Closer." The song became a top 5 hit at both rock and modern rock radio, announcing the arrival of a major new artist.

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Baha Men: 'Who Let the Dogs Out'

Baha Men - "Who Let the Dogs Out"
Baha Men - "Who Let the Dogs Out". Courtesy Edel Records

The Bahamian-style music known as Junkanoo blasted onto the American pop charts with sports and party anthem "Who Let the Dogs Out." It won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. Rolling Stone listed it as one of the most annoying songs of all time.

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Erykah Badu: 'Bag Lady'

Erykah Badu - "Bag Lady"
Erykah Badu - "Bag Lady". Courtesy Motown

Unlike what you may initially assume, "Bag Lady" by acclaimed R&B vocalist Erykah Badu is about trying to encourage women to drop their emotional "baggage" when heading into relationships. The song was a top 10 pop smash.

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Bruce Springsteen: 'American Skin (41 Shots)'

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen. Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Bruce Springsteen wrote this song inspired by the New York City police shooting of 23-year-old Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo. "American Skin" was considered by many to be critical of the New York City Police Department, and they encouraged boycotting a series of 10 Bruce Springsteen concerts at Madison Square Garden where he performed the song.

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Wyclef featuring Mary J. Blige: '911'

Wyclef Jean featuring Mary J. Blige - "911"
Wyclef Jean featuring Mary J. Blige - "911". Courtesy Columbia

"911" was included on Wyclef Jean's second solo album "The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book." He and Mary J. Blige depict two star-crossed lovers. The song samples "What I Am" by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.

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Eminem: 'The Real Slim Shady'

Eminem - "The Real Slim Shady"
Eminem - "The Real Slim Shady". Courtesy Aftermath / Interscope

"The Real Slim Shady" is both an introduction to an ongoing character created by Eminem and to his album ​"Marshall Mathers." The song gained notoriety for its string of insults about various celebrities. "The Real Slim Shady" won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo.

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Kylie Minogue: 'Spinning Around'

Kylie Minogue - "Spinning Around"
Kylie Minogue - "Spinning Around". Courtesy Parlophone

"Spinning Around" was originally intended to be recorded for a Paula Abdul comeback. However, when that didn't pan out, Kylie Minogue recorded it instead, and it brought her back to the top of the singles chart in the United Kingdom for the first time in six years.

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Marc Anthony: 'You Sang to Me'

Marc Anthony - "You Sang to Me"
Marc Anthony - "You Sang to Me". Courtesy Columbia

Following in the footsteps of the successful Latin pop crossover of Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony brought superior vocal skills and interpretive drama to the upper reaches of the pop singles chart with "You Sang to Me."

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Vertical Horizon: 'Everything You Want'

Vertical Horizon - "Everything You Want"
Vertical Horizon - "Everything You Want". Courtesy RCA

Unrequited love is the topic that brought rock band Vertical Horizon to the top of the pop singles chart on "Everything You Want" and helped the album of the same name go double platinum.

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Moby: 'Porcelain'

Moby - "Porcelain"
Moby - "Porcelain". Courtesy Mute Records

Reverse loops of sampled strings kick off the memorable piece of ambient electronica by Moby, "Porcelain," from his breakthrough "Play" album. Additional vocals are provided by Pilar Basso.

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Britney Spears: 'Oops!...I Did It Again'

Britney Spears - "Oops!...I Did It Again"
Britney Spears - "Oops!...I Did It Again". Courtesy Jive Records

"Oops!...I Did It Again" leads off the album of the same name by Britney Spears. The song's style follows closely her biggest hits from her debut album "...Baby One More Time." She received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal. Britney Spears' sense of humor was also evident including the "Titanic"-inspired spoken-word segment.

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Macy Gray: 'I Try'

Macy Gray - "I Try"
Macy Gray - "I Try". Courtesy Epic

"I Try" introduced Macy Gray's husky, Billie Holiday–influenced vocals to a wide pop audience. The touching emotion in the song helped Gray win the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal and be nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

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Blink-182: 'All the Small Things'

Blink-182 - "All the Small Things"
Blink-182 - "All the Small Things". Courtesy MCA

Pop punk band Blink-182 blasted into the pop mainstream and the top 10 with the highly catchy, melodic tune "All the Small Things." Band member Tom Delonge wrote the song in loving tribute to his girlfriend, who became his wife, Jen Jenkins.

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Whitney Houston: 'My Love Is Your Love'

Whitney Houston - "My Love Is Your Love"
Whitney Houston - "My Love Is Your Love". Courtesy Arista

This title single from Whitney Houston's album "My Love Is Love" was a top 5 smash. The original version is reggae inflected, but a remixed thumping house mix was also very popular. Wyclef Jean co-wrote and coproduced the song.

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Destiny's Child: 'Jumpin' Jumpin''

Destiny's Child - "Jumpin' Jumpin'"
Destiny's Child - "Jumpin' Jumpin'". Courtesy Columbia Records

Hit "Jumpin' Jumpin'" from Destiny's Child borrows significant elements from Sean Paul's "Infiltrate." The song celebrates heading to the club and leaving the significant others at home.

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Moby: 'Natural Blues'

Moby - "Natural Blues"
Moby - "Natural Blues". Courtesy Mute

Moby caused a stir with "Natural Blues," which is essentially an electronica remix of the roots classic "Trouble So Hard" by folk singers Vera Hall and Dock Reed. It was originally collected in the legendary field recordings of Alan Lomax.

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Christina Aguilera: 'What a Girl Wants'

Christina Aguilera - "What a Girl Wants"
Christina Aguilera - "What a Girl Wants". Courtesy RCA

The 19-year-old Christina Aguilera proved she was no one-hit wonder when she roared to the top of the charts for a second time following the breakthrough "Genie in a Bottle." She earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal with her mature-beyond-her-years vocal style on "What a Girl Wants."

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Janet Jackson: 'Doesn't Really Matter'

Janet Jackson - "Doesn't Really Matter"
Janet Jackson - "Doesn't Really Matter". Courtesy Def Soul

Janet Jackson headed to the top of the pop singles chart for a ninth time with "Doesn't Really Matter," included on the soundtrack for the movie "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps." It was her first trip to the top in three years.

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Faith Hill: 'Breathe'

Faith Hill - "Breathe"
Faith Hill - "Breathe". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Country singer Faith Hill leaned heavily in a pop direction on "Breathe." Although the song didn't climb higher than No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, it spent more than a year on the chart and was named the top pop chart single of the year. It is a classic power ballad that also spent 17 weeks at No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart.

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*NSYNC: 'Bye Bye Bye'

*NSYNC - "Bye Bye Bye"
*NSYNC - "Bye Bye Bye". Courtesy Jive Records

This song represents boy band *NSYNC at their peak. It was the lead-in to the album "No Strings Attached" and helps celebrate the group leaving a negative relationship with their manager Lou Pearlman. "Bye Bye Bye" was the most quickly added single to pop radio in history with 200 stations adding it to playlists in the same week. It was nominated for Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo or Group with Vocal.

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Eiffel 65: 'Blue (Da Ba Dee)'

Eiffel 65 - "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"
Eiffel 65 - "Blue (Da Ba Dee)". Courtesy BlissCo

"Blue (Da Ba Dee)" is one of the true nonsensical pop classics of all time. Members of Italian dance group Eiffel 65 say the writing of the song began with the piano hook, but much of the lyrical content is intentional nonsense. It was a top 10 pop hit that was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.

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Destiny's Child: 'Say My Name'

Destiny's Child - "Say My Name"
Destiny's Child - "Say My Name". Courtesy Columbia Records

R&B girl group Destiny's Child scored their second No. 1 pop hit with the classic "Say My Name." Producer Rodney Jerkins provided an infectious backing track incorporating '70s style guitar, drum machine beats, and synthesized strings. Reportedly group member Beyonce originally did not like the track because it was too dense. However, it has become one of the group's best-loved songs.

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Eminem: 'Stan'

Eminem - "Stan"
Eminem - "Stan". Courtesy Aftermath / Interscope

Rapper Eminem cemented his artistic standing with "Stan," a chilling tale of fan obsession. The singing vocals are provided by British vocalist Dido. The song unfolds through letters sent to Eminem and finally Eminem's attempt to write back to the fan.

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Madonna: 'Music'

Madonna - "Music"
Madonna - "Music". Courtesy Maverick

Madonna headed triumphantly into the new decade with the heavily electronic classic "Music." The voice in the beginning that sounds male is actually Madonna's words heavily reprocessed. It was a No. 1 smash around the world and nominated for a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

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U2: 'Beautiful Day'

U2 - "Beautiful Day"
U2 - "Beautiful Day". Courtesy Island

Although "Beautiful Day" was not U2's biggest hit on initial release, it has gained a powerful reputation over time. The recording won three Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Rock Duo or Group with Vocal. Bono says the song is about "a man who has lost everything but finds joy in what he still has." The song had particular poignancy ​when performed live by U2 at Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

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Aaliyah: 'Try Again'

Aaliyah - "Try Again"
Aaliyah - "Try Again". Courtesy Blackground

One of the most tragic music losses of the decade occurred in late summer 2001 with the death of 22-year-old singer and actress Aaliyah in a plane crash. "Try Again" is arguably her finest moment. It features an innovative, skeletal production from Timbaland. The song was included on the soundtrack to the film "Romeo Must Die" and is Aaliyah's only No. 1 pop hit. "Try Again" was the first song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 purely on the basis of radio airplay.