Top 100 Pop Songs 2007

The year 2007 saw resurgences, ends of eras, and remembrances: Madonna signed a new deal; The Spice Girls, the Police, Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, and Van Halen plus David Lee Roth each toured; the seventh book in the Harry Potter series hit shelves and set records; and the 10-year anniversary of Princess Diana's death was marked with the Concert for Diana, featuring stars such as Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Kanye West. Hip-hop and R&B dominated, and digital sales were finally incorporated into songs' chart rankings.

Any list of the top 100 pop songs (not based on Billboard charts or sales) is, admittedly, a subjective one based on judgments and opinions—and everyone's got them, so feel free to agree or disagree. No matter what, a lot of great pop music was released that year and is found here. 

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Justin Timberlake: 'Summer Love'

Justin Timberlake
© Jive Records

"Summer Love" is one of the weaker songs on "FutureSex/LoveSounds," but at this particular point in time, average Justin Timberlake was better than the best by many other performers.

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Akon: 'Don't Matter'

Courtesy UniversalMotown

Akon has a sure hand with melody, and it's obviously apparent in "Don't Matter," a sweet song of forbidden love.

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Lil Mama: 'Lip Gloss'

Lil Mama
Courtesy Jive Records

"Lip Gloss" wasn't the last we heard from the teenage Lil Mama, who hit the charts again the following year. This song was a throwback to classic hip-hop girl groups such as J.J. Fad and Salt 'n Pepa.

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Ne-Yo: 'Because of You'

Courtesy Def Jam

Ne-Yo has had such major success as a songwriter that it's possible to nearly forget his stellar work as an artist. "Because of You" was the lead single to his second solo album and features elegant production from ​Stargate. Listen for the Michael Jackson influences.

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Blake Lewis: 'Break Anotha'

Blake Lewis - A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream)
Courtesy J Records

Blake Lewis, 2007's "American Idol" runner-up behind Jordin Sparks, brought his musical vision to record that year. His energy and passion for pop are in abundant evidence on "Break Anotha."

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Rihanna Featuring Ne-Yo: 'Hate That I Love You'

Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad
Courtesy Def Jam

Overall, this song is a bit of a disappointment. A collaboration between Def Jam's brightest young stars Rihanna and Ne-Yo deserved to be an absolute blockbuster. It wasn't, but it's still catchy and glides along in ultra-smooth fashion.

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Mat Kearney: 'Nothing Left to Lose'

Mat Kearney - Nothing Left to Lose
Courtesy Sony

It took many months, but Mat Kearney finally broke through into the pop top 40 in 2007 with "Nothing Left to Lose." The song's moments that will stick in your memory are when he effortlessly glides into his upper vocal register as the chorus kicks off.

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Enrique Iglesias: 'Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)'

Enrique Iglesias
Photo by Scott Gries / Getty Images

Pop Latin superstar Enrique Iglesias returned in 2007 with "Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)," a fun little bit of effervescence complete with Ping-Pong ball sound effects.

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Katharine McPhee: 'Over It'

Katharine McPhee
Courtesy J Records

The 2006 "American Idol" runner-up, Katharine McPhee, hit the pop singles chart early in 2007 with the wistful, soulful song "Over It." Her use of her lower register is particularly engaging.

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Natasha Bedingfield Featuring Sean Kingston: 'Love Like This'

Natasha Bedingfield featuring Sean Kingston - Love Like This
Courtesy Epic Records

"Love Like This" is a sunny, singalong tune that takes advantage of the rocket to stardom of teenager Sean Kingston. With this song, Natasha Bedingfield avoided the sophomore curse and hit the pop top 10.

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JoJo: 'How to Touch a Girl'

JoJo - The High Road
Courtesy Blackground Records

JoJo gets instructional here on "How to Touch a Girl," but it's her soulful, seasoned voice that draws the most attention.

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Jordin Sparks: 'Tattoo'

Jordin Sparks
Courtesy Jive Records

It's really hard to get enough of the exuberant approach to life and music of 2007's "American Idol" champion Jordin Sparks. Don't miss the video of this sweet song.

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Mandy Moore: 'Extraordinary'

Mandy Moore - Wild Hope
© The Firm

The most extraordinary thing on "Extraordinary" is that Mandy Moore has left teen bubblegum behind for a polished, mellow adult pop sound.

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Kat DeLuna Featuring Elephant Man: 'Whine Up'

Kat DeLuna - 9 Lives
courtesy Sony

Jam out to "Whine Up," one of the dance anthems of the summer of 2007 from newcomer Kat DeLuna.

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Bon Jovi: '(You Want To) Make a Memory'

Bon Jovi - Lost Highway
Courtesy Mercury Nashville

Bon Jovi seems to be an indestructible band. This is the type of song that lets the band age gracefully with their audience.

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Kelly Clarkson: 'Sober'

Kelly Clarkson
Courtesy RCA Records

Kelly Clarkson shows she has mastered the art of the confessional pop ballad on "Sober."

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Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain: 'Low'

Flo Rida
Courtesy Atlantic Records

Welcome to the birth of a new pop/hip-hop star. T-Pain contributes his trademark vocals to the festivities on the chorus of "Low."

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Michael Buble: 'Everything'

Michael Buble - Call Me Irresponsible
© Reprise Records

Michael Buble heads closer to mainstream pop in "Everything," but it's still his amazingly polished and smooth voice that will make his fans' hearts melt.

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Beyonce & Shakira: 'Beautiful Liar'

Photo by Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Two of the world's biggest female pop stars, Beyonce and Shakira, generate seriously sexy sparks here. The only thing missing is a truly killer chorus to take it over the top.

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Ashley Tisdale: 'He Said, She Said'

Ashley Tisdale
Courtesy Warner Bros. Records

Ashley Tisdale proved there is life beyond "High School Musical." Her first major pop chart hit was an up-tempo pop/dance gem.

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Britney Spears: 'Gimme More'

Britney Spears - Blackout
Courtesy Jive Records

Yep, Britney Spears was still a recording artist in 2007. This sexy slow-burn dance tune was good, but her album release brought even better treasures.

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Sean Kingston: 'Beautiful Girls'

Sean Kingston
Courtesy Epic Records

The debut hit by teen star Sean Kingston was instantly memorable with the use of the instrumental hook from the classic "Stand By Me." However, it does wear out its welcome a bit eventually.

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Mark Ronson Featuring Lily Allen: 'Oh My God'

Mark Ronson
Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

Pair one of the top dance/pop producers in the business with Lily Allen, one of the most distinctive female British pop voices of the moment, and you got an exhilaratingly fun track. This was all but ignored in the United States, but it is worth hearing.

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The Last Goodnight: 'Pictures of You'

The Last Goodnight - Poison Kiss
Courtesy Virgin Records

It was a good year for rock with a strong pop melody, and the Last Goodnight were one of the best new artists to emerge in the genre in 2007.

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Simple Plan: 'When I'm Gone'

Simple Plan
Photo by Warwick Saint, courtesy Lava Records

Canadian pop-punk veterans Simple Plan returned near the end of the year with a surprisingly poppy single. 

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Backstreet Boys: 'Inconsolable'

Backstreet Boys - Inconsolable
Backstreet Boys - Inconsolable. Courtesy Jive Records

No vocal groups do sweet melodic harmonies better than the Backstreet Boys. They are vocal masters.

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Dashboard Confessional: 'Stolen'

Dashboard Confessional

The spirit of emo continues to live with the music of Dashboard Confessional. The song "Stolen" wisely skirts the edge of true weepiness.

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James Morrison: 'You Give Me Something'

James Morrison
James Morrison. © Interscope Records

James Morrison's voice is one of the top ones in the singer/songwriter boomlet that defined much of the pop music scene in early 2007.

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Ingrid Michaelson: 'The Way I Am'

Ingrid Michaelson - Girls and Boys
Ingrid Michaelson - Girls and Boys. Courtesy Cabin 24

Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson was turned into a pop star via the use of her music in the TV show "Grey's Anatomy." Her gentle, wistful sound was perfect for the drama unfolding on the screen.

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Melee: 'Built to Last'

Melee. Courtesy Warner Bros.

If this little pop gem got lost in the crush of other 2007 music for you, then treat yourself and watch the video. The humorous recycling of romantic movie cliches fits perfectly with the sweet piano pop of the song.

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Annie Lennox: 'Dark Road'

Annie Lennox - Songs of Mass Destruction
Annie Lennox - Songs of Mass Destruction. Courtesy Arista Records

Age had not dulled the voice of Annie Lennox. While bluesy in tone, "Dark Road" still soars with unmistakable power.

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Jonas Brothers: 'S.O.S.'

Jonas Brothers
Jonas Brothers. Photo by David Livingston / Getty Images

A plum guest spot on the Miley Cyrus concert tour didn't hurt at all, but it is the Jonas Brothers' unrelentingly positive power pop that leaves a lasting memory.

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Fall Out Boy: 'I'm Like a Lawyer... (Me & You)'

Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy. Photo by Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

This third hit single from Fall Out Boy was accompanied by a video set in war-torn Uganda.

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Hilary Duff: 'With Love'

Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff. Courtesy Hollywood Records

Here Hilary Duff proved she was fully capable of maturing into a talented adult pop-dance artist.

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Maroon 5: 'Makes Me Wonder'

Maroon 5 - It Won't Be Soon Before Long
Maroon 5 - It Won't Be Soon Before Long. © A&M Records

Maroon 5 answered those who'd questioned the band's ability to hold onto their audience after such a gap between first and second albums. Fans sent this single straight to the top of the pop singles chart.

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Rihanna: 'Shut Up and Drive'

Rihanna - MTV Video Music Awards 2007
Rihanna - MTV Video Music Awards 2007. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Rihanna handled the dance-rock genre with the same ease she seemed to handle any other style of R&B or pop.

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Matchbox Twenty: 'How Far We've Come'

Matchbox Twenty - Exile on Mainstream
Matchbox Twenty - Exile on Mainstream. Courtesy Atlantic Records

If this song is any indication, the reunion of Matchbox Twenty with lead vocalist and solo star Rob Thomas was a very successful one. If you thought Matchbox Twenty's music was a bit on the down side, you need to hear this peppy pop-rock.

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Diddy Featuring Keyshia Cole: 'Last Night'

Keyshia Cole - Just Like You
Keyshia Cole - Just Like You. Courtesy Geffen Records

Diddy helped Keyshia Cole continue on her path toward top-level stardom in this brilliantly insinuating R&B groove.

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Daughtry: 'Home'

Photo by Frank Ockenfels, courtesy RCA Records

This year's "American Idol" theme managed to avoid becoming too annoying even after it became one of the most played radio hits of the year. It's a key part of the story of Daughtry, one of the biggest pop-rock stories of the year.

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Sean Kingston: 'Me Love'

Sean Kingston - Sean Kingston
Sean Kingston - Sean Kingston. courtesy Beluga Heights

For basing this hit around a classic Led Zeppelin tune, Sean Kingston wins extra points.

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Kanye West Featuring T-Pain: 'Good Life'

Kanye West - Graduation
Kanye West - Graduation. Courtesy Roc-a-Fella

The song may be a bit slight, but Kanye West and T-Pain will make you smile with the happy groove here. Also, the video was one of the very best of the year.

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Avril Lavigne: 'When You're Gone'

Avril Lavigne - When You're Gone
Avril Lavigne - When You're Gone. Courtesy RCA Records

Few artists make emotional ballads sound more effortless than Avril Lavigne. If it fits your life situation, this song will hit home.

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J. Holiday: 'Bed'

J. Holiday - Back of My Lac
J. Holiday - Back of My Lac. Courtesy Capitol Records

Every year needs a great make-out song, and J. Holiday's big pop debut was just the one for 2007.

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Arctic Monkeys: 'Brianstorm'

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare. © Domino Records

Sales weren't as stunning as the previous year, but the Arctic Monkeys proved with "Brianstorm" (not "Brainstorm") that their debut was no fluke.

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Hurricane Chris: 'A Bay Bay'

Hurricane Chris
Hurricane Chris. Courtesy Polo Grounds Records

This song put the Shreveport, Louisiana, rap scene on the map. You will be singing along before the song's over.

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John Mayer: 'Gravity'

John Mayer
John Mayer. Courtesy Sony

There's a bluesy timelessness to "Gravity" from John Mayer. A few well-chosen words have a serious impact.

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Chris Brown: 'With You'

Chris Brown
Chris Brown. Courtesy Jive Records

This was Chris Brown's best ballad work yet.

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Gym Class Heroes: 'Cupid's Chokehold'

Gym Class Heroes
Gym Class Heroes. Courtesy Decaydance

It's still impossible to know whether Gym Class Heroes would have had a serious pop breakthrough without a big assist from Supertramp, but at this point, does it really matter?

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Sara Bareilles: 'Love Song'

Sara Bareilles - Little Voice
Sara Bareilles - Little Voice. Courtesy Epic Records

Sara Bareilles emerged very late in 2007 as a promising singer-songwriter producing classic piano pop.

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Miley Cyrus: 'See You Again'

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus. Photo by Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

For those who think Miley Cyrus' Disney pop is only for kids, "See You Again" is the song to hear. It's driving dance-pop with a hint of rock.

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Maroon 5: 'Wake Up Call'

Maroon 5 - Wake Up Call
Maroon 5 - Wake Up Call. Courtesy A&M Records

Quentin Tarantino movies meet the pop music world in this song and video from Maroon 5.

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Wyclef Jean Featuring Akon, Lil Wayne, and Niia: 'Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)'

Wyclef Jean - The Carnival II (Memoirs of an Immigrant)
Wyclef Jean - The Carnival II (Memoirs of an Immigrant). Courtesy Sony

Wyclef Jean returned in 2007 with his biggest solo hit in 10 years. It's a unique combination of a rather sinister backstory with irresistible music.

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Soulja Boy: 'Crank That'

Soulja Boy -
Soulja Boy - Courtesy Collipark Music

"Crank That" was the big dance hit of 2007. Your mileage with Soulja Boy may vary, but this song swept through parties and even stage performances by major artists, then refused to let go.

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Timbaland Featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake: 'Give It to Me'

Timbaland. © Matt Law

A stylish way to settle scores: Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and Justin Timberlake all share their opinions here.

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Foo Fighters: 'The Pretender'

Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Courtesy RCA Records

The Foo Fighers unleashed one of the biggest Modern Rock hits of all time with this song. The fierce rock attack sounds great in a pop context, too.

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Paul McCartney: 'Dance Tonight'

Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full
Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full. Courtesy Hear Music

There is plenty of life left in Sir Paul McCartney even after the age of 65. He maintains a sure hand with a pop song and plays a mean mandolin.

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Linkin Park: 'What I've Done'

Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight
Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight. Courtesy Warner Bros.

The eerie opening piano line in "What I've Done" announced the return of Linkin Park in full fighting form with production work from the legendary Rick Rubin.

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Daughtry: 'Over You'

Courtesy RCA Records

Daughtry exhibit an impressively polished pop-rock sound here. Of course, assistance from veteran producer Howard Benson doesn't hurt.

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Elliott Yamin: 'Wait for You'

Elliott Yamin
Elliott Yamin. Courtesy Hickory Records

Former "American Idol" contestant Elliott Yamin proved his soulful voice is a good fit with contemporary pop arrangements. This song went clear to the pop top 5 for Yamin.

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P!nk: 'U + Ur Hand'

Pink - U + Ur Hand
Pink - U + Ur Hand. Courtesy La Face Records

It took some time, but P!nk finally got a major hit single from her album project with this raw, opinionated piece.

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Fergie Featuring Ludacris: 'Glamorous'

Fergie - The Dutchess
Courtesy A&M Records

With a shiny sheen fitting the song's title, Fergie continued to spin out polished hits from her solo debut.

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Avril Lavigne: 'Girlfriend'

Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing
Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing. © RCA Records

Avril Lavigne gets up in your face in "Girlfriend," a love/hate type of song. Is it childish, or is the brattiness brilliant?

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Good Charlotte: 'I Don't Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem)'

Good Charlotte
Good Charlotte. Courtesy Epic Records

It took some time for a major hit to emerge from​ "Good Morning Revival," but this one is a monster. Dance-rock was big in '07, and this was one of the biggest standard bearers.

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Linkin Park: 'Shadow of the Day'

Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight
Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight. Courtesy Warner Bros.

Linkin Park strike a more wistful tone in "Shadow of the Day," featuring brilliant vocals from Chester Bennington.

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Robin Thicke: 'Lost Without U'

Robin Thicke
Robin Thicke. Courtesy Interscope

Robin Thicke proved definitively that blue-eyed soul is quite alive and well. This was one of the sexiest hits of the year.

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Mark Ronson Featuring Amy Winehouse: 'Valerie'

Mark Ronson
Mark Ronson. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

If "Rehab" didn't convince you of the talent of Amy Winehouse, perhaps her rocking through this tune will.

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Justin Timberlake: 'LoveStoned'

Justin Timberlake - MTV Video Music Awards 2007
Justin Timberlake - MTV Video Music Awards 2007. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

"LoveStoned" was more slinky, sexy dance music from Justin Timberlake's phenomenal album.

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Boys Like Girls: 'The Great Escape'

Boys Like Girls
Boys Like Girls. Courtesy Columbia / Red Ink

Just like their heroes Jimmy Eat World, Boys Like Girls make memorable power pop hooks seem effortless.

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P!nk: 'Who Knew'

Pink - I'm Not Dead
I'm Not Dead. Courtesy La Face Records

The spare guitar hook is catchy, but it's the words here that can break your heart in P!nk's lament of a life lost too soon.

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Fall Out Boy: 'Thnks fr th Mmrs'

Fall Out Boy - Thnks fr th Mmrs
Fall Out Boy - Thnks fr th Mmrs. Courtesy Island Records

Clever words, ultra-catchy music, and an expanded instrumental palette made this one of the best Fall Out Boy singles to date.

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White Stripes: 'Icky Thump'

White Stripes - Icky Thump
Courtesy Warner Bros.

White Stripes present another wildly creative tear through pop and rock conventions on the title song for 2007's album, "Icky Thump."

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Timbaland Featuring Keri Hilson: 'The Way I Are'

Courtesy Interscope

Before this song, very few pop music fans knew who R&B/pop singer-songwriter Keri Hilson was. However, due to this irresistibly catchy hit, she was unlikely to be forgotten.

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Aly & AJ: 'Potential Breakup Song'

Aly & AJ - Insomniatic
Courtesy Hollywood Records

Disney teen pop stars Aly & AJ headed into the mainstream with this synth pop romp. It is one of the very best of the crowded Disney pop year.

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Nickelback: 'If Everyone Cared'

Courtesy Roadrunner Records

Nickelback effectively delivered the simple but powerful message that if we all simply cared for and respected each other, it would be a much better world.

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Shop Boyz: 'Party Like a Rockstar'

Shop Boyz - Party Like a Rockstar
Courtesy Republic

The Shop Boyz reminded us all in the summer of 2007 that rock and rap can live quite comfortably side by side with a sense of humor.

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Fergie: 'Clumsy'

Fergie - Clumsy
Courtesy A&M Records

Borrowing liberally from a variety of sources, including Casio synthesizer beeps, the rock 'n' roll "Girl can't help it" line, and a hilarious spoken word interlude, "Clumsy" is Fergie at her best.

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Ciara: 'Like a Boy'

Ciara - The Evolution
Courtesy La Face Records

Ciara explores the differences between genders from a unique perspective, backed by music filled with drama. This was one of her most musically mature hits yet.

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Rihanna: 'Don't Stop the Music'

Rihanna - Don't Stop the Music
Courtesy Island Def Jam

Rihanna's big dance hit burst on to the pop chart near the end of 2007, bringing big dance beats back to the upper reaches of the chart for the first time in too long. It was also a reminder, simultaneously, of glory days of Michael Jackson and a bit of dance music history.

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Gwen Stefani Featuring Akon: 'The Sweet Escape'

Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape
Courtesy Interscope

Gwen Stefani brought us a breezy taste of summer in the middle of last winter with this irresistible retro-ish hit. When summer rolled around, the song fit perfectly into summer radio playlists as well as helping "The Sweet Escape" become one of the biggest radio hits of the year.

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Chris Brown Featuring T-Pain: 'Kiss Kiss'

Chris Brown - Exclusive
Courtesy Jive Records

It looked like Chris Brown's second album, "​Exclusive," might have problems getting off the ground commercially until this song was unleashed as the second single. The incessant bounce of the chorus creates an irresistible pull. 

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Celine Dion: 'Taking Chances'

Celine Dion - Taking Chances
Courtesy Sony

Celine Dion did indeed take chances on this single that marked her return to English-language pop recording. She moved into slightly more rocking territory in highly tasteful fashion. Some pop fans may take a second look at Celine after hearing this track. Don't miss the Eurythmics reference in the second half of the song.

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Amy Winehouse: 'Rehab'

Amy Winehouse - Lollapalooza 2007
Photo by Rob Loud, © C3 Presents / Front Row Center

None of the tabloid headlines over the personal problems of Amy Winehouse could erase the sheer retro brilliance of the sound of this song.

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Colbie Caillat: 'Bubbly'

Colbie Caillat - Coco
© Universal Republic

With Colbie Caillat's emergence into the pop spotlight, MySpace officially became a music force to be reckoned with, for a moment. This was one of the most comforting pop hits in recent memory. Smiles all around.

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Regina Spektor: 'Fidelity'

Regina Spektor - Lollapalooza 2007
Photo © Kristin Vogel

Regina Spektor carries "Fidelity" primarily through the effects she produces with her voice.

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Paramore: 'Misery Business'

Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

Paramore brought a bracing burst of pop-punk energy to the pop charts in 2007 with style well beyond their very young years. Confidence brims from every chord and the commanding wails of lead vocalist Hayley Williams.

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Fergie: 'Big Girls Don't Cry'

Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry
Courtesy A&M Records

Sounding like an instant classic upon release, this song became one of the biggest pop hit singles of the year. Fergie may not be the most technically skilled female singer in the business, but "Big Girls Don't Cry" proves she knows how to use her voice to its most stunning effect.

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Alicia Keys: 'No One'

Alicia Keys
Courtesy J Records

It may take a few listens for this Alicia Keys hit to sink in, but once it does, her vocals will move you.

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Timbaland Featuring OneRepublic: 'Apologize'

Timbaland featuring OneRepublic - Apologize
Courtesy Interscope

The combined power of a gorgeous song by upcoming band OneRepublic and a gentle, tasteful production job from Timbaland brought soaring pop music back to the top of the pop singles chart. OneRepublic leader Ryan Tedder was one of the hottest songwriters and producers in the business by the end of 2007.

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Taylor Swift: 'Teardrops on My Guitar'

Taylor Swift
Courtesy Big Machine Records

Crossing over from the country music community, this was one of the best-written songs of the year. The performance was available in both country and pop mixes. Either way it's a brilliant vocal performance by then-teen Taylor Swift—in addition to the song's emotional charms.

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Kanye West: 'Stronger'

Kanye West - Stronger
courtesy Roc-a-Fella

It seemed a tall order for Kanye West to follow up the brilliance of "Gold Digger." However, undaunted, he made matching the quality with an entirely different approach seem effortless. Hip-hop meets global electropop in bracing terms.

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My Chemical Romance: 'Teenagers'

My Chemical Romance - Teenagers
Courtesy Reprise Records

My Chemical Romance are true heroes for many teens who feel misunderstood and on the outside of the mainstream. This song explains exactly why. Don't miss the amazing video either.

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Janet Jackson: 'Feedback'

Janet Jackson - Discipline
Courtesy Island Def Jam

Rolling in at the very end of the year, this song was Janet Jackson revitalized and in fine form. One listen to this song made it understandable why she is one of the most successful recording artists of all time.

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Kelly Clarkson: 'Never Again'

Kelly Clarkson - My December
Courtesy RCA Records

Extremely controversial among her fans, this song is a declaration of independence from corporate music powers from Kelly Clarkson, and it is a powerful rock vocal performance.

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Britney Spears: 'Piece of Me'

Britney Spears
Courtesy MTV Networks

Britney Spears answers her critics and the tabloid press in this sexy, writhing piece of futuristic electro-pop. It's her best single since "Toxic" and one of the best of her career.

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Feist: '1, 2, 3, 4'

Courtesy Interscope

It is really impossible to fully experience how this song brims with pop joy without also watching the video.

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Finger Eleven: 'Paralyzer'

Finger Eleven
Courtesy Wind-Up Records

It took a long time, but a song with this kind of sonic power would not be denied its time in the upper reaches of the pop charts. "Paralyzer" was the first (and only) pop top 10 hit in the United States for veteran band Finger Eleven.

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Leona Lewis: 'Bleeding Love'

Leona Lewis
Courtesy J Records

This song was the biggest-selling single of 2007 in the United Kingdom and hit No. 1 in the United States in 2008. Leona Lewis, winner of the UK talent show "X Factor," is a stunning vocal talent, and this song was a perfect fit for her skills. 

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Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z: 'Umbrella'

Courtesy Def Jam

This song was a monster hit around the world, and it is a stunning production as well as a brilliant song. For Rihanna, it is simply another in an increasingly long line of major pop hits. Few songs in recent years have generated more immediate cover versions than "Umbrella."

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Mika: 'Grace Kelly'

Courtesy Universal

For the second year in a row, American pop radio had completely ignored a stunning pop single that was a major hit in much of the rest of the world. Trying to tease out the reasons "Grace Kelly" was ignored is probably a futile exercise, but if you've not heard it, treat yourself and find out what the rest of the world knows about the brilliant pop instincts of Mika.

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Plain White T's: 'Hey There Delilah'

Plain White T's
Courtesy Hollywood Records

The simple brilliance of "Hey There Delilah" is that it takes a very heavily trodden area of pop songs—the love song about a relationship separated by distance—and makes it fresh, new, and filled with emotional resonance. There is still room for a near perfect love song, and this is it.