Top 50 Sexy Pop Songs

Marvin Gaye Recording In LA
Marvin Gaye during the 1973 recording sessions that produced his entry on our list of legendary, sexual pop songs. Jim Britt / Getty Images

Pop songs about sex have a long history dating back well into the early 20th century. Pop music is used as a soundtrack to many moments in love. This is your guide to 50 of the sexiest pop songs of all time. It is the best in music for and about making love.

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John Mayer - "Your Body Is a Wonderland" (2002)

Courtesy Columbia

The extravagant praise of this song reportedly was inspired by John Mayer's first girlfriend who he met at the age of 14. The gently rocking beat inspires a low key style of sexy mood. The song reached #18 on the pop singles chart.

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Salt 'n Pepa - "Push It" (1987)

Salt 'n Pepa -
Salt 'n Pepa - "Push It". Courtesy Next Plateau

As stated clearly, "This dance ain't for everybody, only the sexy people." This frank ode to raw sex introduced everyone to Salt ​'n Pepa, one of the biggest female rap acts of all time. The irresistibly insistent rhythm track has been sampled an endless number of times since the song hit #19 on the pop singles chart in 1987.​

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Britney Spears - "I'm a Slave 4 U" (2001)

Britney Spears -
Britney Spears - "I'm a Slave 4 U". Courtesy Jive Records

Britney Spears joined with the Neptunes to create a more adult sound here. That means primarily it is more sexual. The result was a #4 pop hit in the UK, but it just barely cracked the top 30 in the US. However, time has been kind and this is now considered a Britney Spears classic.

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Roberta Flack - "Feel Like Makin' Love" (1974)

Roberta Flack - Feel Like Makin' Love
Roberta Flack - Feel Like Makin' Love. Courtesy Atlantic

What more is needed to get in the mood than strolling through the park watching others do their thing? Roberta Flack delivered the perfect mode of generating sexual feelings. "Feel Like Makin' Love" hit #1 on the pop singles chart in 1974. It was her third #1 hit single in three years.

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Duran Duran - "Come Undone" (1993)

Duran Duran -
Duran Duran - "Come Undone". Courtesy EMI

Duran Duran proved with this single that adult contemporary-oriented pop could be unabashedly sexy. The vocals sway in a fashion that generates its share of sexual heat. The song reached #7 on the US pop singles chart.

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Depeche Mode - "I Feel You" (1993)

Depeche Mode -
Depeche Mode - "I Feel You". Courtesy Mute

After the initial screeching introduction, Depeche Mode slide into a nearly impossibly hard-edged sway. Dave Gahan's vocals pummel their way into a raw, rugged sexuality. Depeche Mode went to #8 at home in the UK with the song but only peaked at #37 on the US pop singles chart.

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Goldfrapp - "Ooh La La" (2005)

Goldfrapp -
Goldfrapp - "Ooh La La". Courtesy Mute

The synthesizer pulse underlining "Ooh La La" is a distinctively sexy sound. Add Alison Goldfrapp's vocals that proclaim the need for "ooh la la la la," and this becomes a sexy pop classic. The song reached #4 on the UK pop singles chart and topped the dance chart in the US.

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James Brown - "Sex Machine" (1970)

James Brown - Sex Machine
James Brown - Sex Machine. Courtesy King Records

"Get up, stay on the scene, like a sex machine!" There really are not many more lyrics needed to convey the point of this rhythmic workout from the legendary James Brown. One album version expands the groove out for 11 minutes. James Brown hit #2 on the R&B chart and #15 pop with this classic.

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Mazzy Star - "Fade Into You" (1994)

Mazzy Star -
Mazzy Star - "Fade Into You". Courtesy Capitol

The ethereal, psychedelic feel of "Fade Into You" is set to a slow, languid beat that generates a difficult to explain sexiness. This was the only major hit single by Mazzy Star. It peaked at #3 on the modern rock chart and climbed to #44 on the pop singles chart.

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Romeo Void - "Never Say Never" (1982)

Romeo Void - Benefactor
Romeo Void - Benefactor. Courtesy Columbia

Of course, it says, "I might like you better if we slept together," but is it truly sexy? That funky bass line and Debora Iyall's aggressive vocals erase any doubt about the sexiness of this new wave classic.

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Art of Noise - "Moments In Love" (1985)

Art Of Noise - Into Battle With the Art Of Noise
Art Of Noise - Into Battle With the Art Of Noise. Courtesy Island Records

This dreamy track amounts, for many, to being overtly intended as a soundtrack to a round of lovemaking. There are appropriate surges of intensity and then a return to the slow steady beat in the mostly instrumental track. The song only climbed to #51 on the UK pop singles chart, but it became an Art Of Noise favorite over time.

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Rolling Stones - "Miss You" (1978)

Rolling Stones -
Rolling Stones - "Miss You". Courtesy Rolling Stones Records

The world's greatest rock and roll band turned to disco here and delivered one of the top disco classics of all time. The song presents Mick Jagger on the prowl and includes irresistibly sexy instrumental breakdowns. The Rolling Stones went all the way to #1 with this classic amidst the heyday of Saturday Night Fever.

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Captain and Tennille - "Do That To Me One More Time" (1979)

Captain and Tennille - Make Your Move
Captain and Tennille - Make Your Move. Courtesy R2 Records

The commercial success of mainstream pop duo Captain and Tennille had faded considerably from their string of five consecutive top 5 singles in the mid-1970's when they headed to Casablanca Records. The result was a romantic and sexy song praising the powers of one's lover to bring pleasure into the mix. "Do That To Me One More Time" became the duo's second #1 pop hit and an adult-oriented pop classic.

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Rod Stewart - "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" (1976)

Rod Stewart - A Night On the Town
Rod Stewart - A Night On the Town. Courtesy Warner Bros.

From the opening guitar sounds segueing into organ chords, you know you are in for an ode to sex. Rod Stewart then uses the rest of the song to lure a woman into a night of sexual abandon. Toward the end of the song, we hear the sexy whispers of Rod Stewart's then-girlfriend Britt Ekland. The steamy song turned into a massive #1 pop hit for Rod Stewart matching the success of his earlier career-defining hit "Maggie May."

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Peggy Lee - "Fever" (1958)

Peggy Lee - Greatest Hits
Peggy Lee - Greatest Hits. Courtesy Curb

"Fever" was originally recorded by R&B singer Little Willie John. However, it is Peggy Lee's sinuous version recorded two years later in 1958 that has come down to us as the definitive version. The performance straddles the middle ground between sex and cool. It was a #8 pop hit for Peggy Lee and was nominated for Record of the Year by the Grammy Awards.

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Mtume - "Juicy Fruit" (1982)

Mtume -
Mtume - "Juicy Fruit". Courtesy Epic

"Juicy Fruit" is one of the rare singles that sell a million copies without ever reaching the pop top 40. A rock solid midtempo beat combines here with a wide range of candy-related analogies to create a sexy classic. "I'll be your lollipop, you can lick me everywhere." "Juicy Fruit" topped the R&B singles chart while reaching #45 on the pop singles chart.

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Cassie - "Me & U" (2005)

Cassie -
Cassie - "Me & U". Courtesy Bad Boy Entertainment

Cassie proved with her debut hit that very little is really needed in a recording to be intensely sexy. The backing track is stripped back to bare synthesizer lines while Cassie croons about her reputation and intent to prove the truth of it with her lover. Cassie went to #3 on the pop singles chart with this hit.

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Barry White - "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" (1973)

Barry White -
Barry White - "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby". Courtesy 20th Century

This is the song that introduced the distinctive bass spoke and sung voice of Barry White to pop audiences. His sexual growl and proto-disco beat amounts to pure seduction in a song. The music builds and builds to what amounts to something like an orgasmic climax leading into the afterglow. "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" reached #3 on the pop singles chart.

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R. Kelly - "Bump 'n Grind" (1994)

R. Kelly -
R. Kelly - "Bump 'n Grind". Courtesy Jive Records

R. Kelly was the heir to such romantically inclined R&B crooners as Teddy Pendergrass and Barry White. However, he took things a bit further in the sexually explicit department. The song rolls out lyrics praising great sex propelled by a perfect beat for a little "Bump 'n Grind." R. Kelly earned his first #1 pop hit with "Bump 'n Grind."

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Sade - "Smooth Operator" (1985)

Sade -
Sade - "Smooth Operator". Courtesy Epic

This tale of a jet-setting heartbreaker introduced US pop fans to Sade and the song peaked at #5 on the pop charts. Exotic rhythms, saxophone riffs, and the smoky voice of Sade herself lead to an unmistakably sexy atmosphere.

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Righteous Brothers - "Ebb Tide" (1965)

Righteous Brothers - Anthology
Righteous Brothers - Anthology. Courtesy Rhino

This is perhaps the king of 1960s sexual metaphors in a pop song. A number of versions of this song were recorded in the 1950s, but few recordings of any song can boast of such an orgasmic buildup in the structure of orchestrations and vocals as this Righteous Brothers version. This was the soundtrack of countless makeout sessions during the decade. The Righteous Brothers hit #5 on the pop singles chart with this classic.

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Breeders - "Cannonball" (1993)

Breeders -
Breeders - "Cannonball". Courtesy 4AD

There are few instrumental sounds in pop and rock sexier than Kim Deal's lead guitar in "Cannonball." The lyrics are vague, but the vocals themselves sound like a sexual come on. "Cannonball" was the Breeders first successful single reaching #2 on the modern rock chart and just missing the pop top 40 at #44.

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Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (1966)

Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds. Courtesy Capitol Records

Perhaps it is a tribute to the greatness of this song that it has been criticized both for pointing out the sexual yearning of youth and being too conservative in encouraging waiting until marriage for sex. To our ears, the song is quite sexy in the falsetto yearning for a day when "There wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do." This is the opening track on the Beach Boys' legendary Pet Sounds album and it landed at #8 on the pop singles chart.

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Diana Ross - "Love Hangover" (1976)

Diana Ross - Diana Ross
Diana Ross - Diana Ross. Courtesy Motown

Diana Ross embraced disco with this classic. There is a languid feel that was encouraged in the studio. Reportedly, Diana Ross danced around to the disco break, hummed, and sang bits of the song as she relaxed into the performance. There is a carefree, letting go, sexy feel to the recording that has helped "Love Hangover" to become such a classic. The song became Diana Ross' fourth solo #1 pop single.

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Teddy Pendergrass - "Close the Door" (1978)

Teddy Pendergrass - Life Is a Song Worth Singing
Teddy Pendergrass - Life Is a Song Worth Singing. Courtesy Philadelphia International

R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass sounds effortlessly romantic when he sings. There is a slight quaver that amounts to something like a sexual shiver in his voice. "Close the Door" details the joy in being able to enjoy sex with a lover after a long day's work. This song hit #1 on the R&B singles chart and peaked at #25 on the pop singles chart.

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U2 - "Mysterious Ways" (1991)

U2 -
U2 - "Mysterious Ways". Courtesy Island Records

U2 have indicated that "Mysterious Ways" was one of their more difficult songs to write with it originally consisting solely of a bass groove. Lyrically, there is a sort of mysticism combined with what sounds like nearly explicit sexuality with lines like, "If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel." "Mysterious Ways" hit #9 on the pop singles chart and topped both rock and modern rock charts.

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LL Cool J - "Doin' It" (1996)

LL Cool J -
LL Cool J - "Doin' It". Courtesy Def Jam

LL Cool J turned the loverman heat on high here. LeShaun's vocals bathed in sexual ecstasy are key to the success of "Doin' It." Her repeated, "doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well" becomes hypnotic. The song became LL Cool J's third top 10 pop hit peaking at #9.

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Bob Dylan - "Lay Lady Lay" (1969)

Bob Dylan -
Bob Dylan - "Lay Lady Lay". Courtesy Columbia

Bob Dylan is not an artist who immediately comes to mind when thinking of sexy pop music. However, the simplicity of the request for a lover to come to bed sung in a low croon makes this a sexy classic. It became a #7 pop hit for Bob Dylan and one of the biggest pop singles of his career.

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Madonna - "Justify My Love" (1990)

Madonna -
Madonna - "Justify My Love". Courtesy Warner Bros.

This #1 hit single by Madonna is most prominently remembered for the controversy that greeted the accompanying sexually explicit music video. However, the song itself is quite powerful and enthralling in its dreamy, beat heavy celebration of carnal coupling.

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Shakira - "Underneath Your Clothes" (2002)

Shakira -
Shakira - "Underneath Your Clothes". Courtesy Epic

Rarely has there been more extravagant praise for a male lover than Shakira's "Underneath Your Clothes." The physicality implied is quite sexual itself, but the spiritual implications in the song raise it above the norm. This was Shakira's second top 10 pop hit single in the US peaking at #9.

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Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love" (1969)

Led Zeppelin -
Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love". Courtesy Atlantic

Jimmy Page's pulsing guitar riff kicks this heavy rock classic off in intensely sexual fashion. Combine Robert Plant's nearly orgasmic vocal surges, and you have a sexy pop and rock classic. The middle guitar break is mesmerizing even now. ​Led Zeppelin took the song clear to #4 on the pop singles chart.

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Prince - "Little Red Corvette" (1983)

Prince -
Prince - "Little Red Corvette". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Prince's career was centered on sexual pop and R&B music. The tale of a one night stand with a promiscuous woman described with an automobile metaphor is irresistibly sexy. Our protagonist encourages the woman to slow things down and find a more permanent love. However, the song doesn't dwell long there before trying "to tame your little red love machine." This was Prince's first top 10 pop hit peaking at #6.

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Bruce Springsteen - "I'm On Fire" (1985)

Bruce Springsteen -
Bruce Springsteen - "I'm On Fire". Courtesy Columbia

The intense sexuality of this song—a tale of a man waking up with night sweats due to his lust after a woman—has generated its fair share of controversy over the years. However, the core element is a very sexy performance from Bruce Springsteen set to a Johnny Cash-style rhythm track. It was covered by Johnny Cash years later in a tribute to Bruce Springsteen. The song peaked at #6 on the US pop singles chart.

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Ginuwine - "Pony" (1996)

Ginuwine -
Ginuwine - "Pony". Courtesy Epic

R&B singer Ginuwine introduced himself with this sexy classic. The song features sinuous production from Timbaland and the overt command, "Ride it, my pony." "Pony" reached #6 on the US pop singles chart.

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Donna Summer - "I Feel Love" (1977)

Donna Summer -
Donna Summer - "I Feel Love". Courtesy Casablanca

Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder put together this synthesizer based disco track and changed dance music forever. There was fear that Donna Summer's sexual moaning style of delivering the lyrics would turn off pop radio. However, "I Feel Love" became her second top 10 pop hit peaking at #6. Electronically driven sexual songs would soon become a permanent part of disco and dance music.

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TLC - "Red Light Special" (1995)

TLC - "Red Light Special". Courtesy LaFace

The sound of this classic instantly sways into sexy territory. Lyrically the song focuses completely on sexual instructions to a lover. "I'll let you touch it if you'd like to go down." TLC went to #2 on the pop singles chart with this song.

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Rihanna featuring Drake - "What's My Name" (2010)

Rihanna and Drake - What's My Name
Rihanna and Drake - What's My Name. Courtesy Def Jam

This song combines a sweet pop sound with lyrics that are more overtly about sex. Drake has a winking rap about the "square root of 69," while Rihanna sings about finding a boy that can "go downtown with a girl like me." The song seems to effortlessly combine romance with pure sexual interest. "What's My Name?" reached #1 on the pop singles chart.

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INXS - "Need You Tonight" (1987)

INXS - "Need You Tonight". Courtesy Atlantic

One of the sexiest percussion intros in pop is quickly joined by clanging guitar chords and then the drooling vocals of Michael Hutchence. The female in the song makes him "sweat." "Need You Tonight" remains the only #1 pop hit for INXS in the US.

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T. Rex - "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" (1971)

T. Rex - Electric Warrior
T. Rex - Electric Warrior. Courtesy Reprise

That chugging sexy guitar part was reportedly inspired by Chuck Berry's classic "Little Queenie." There is a raw sexuality here that remains potent nearly 40 years after the song's initial release. It became Marc Bolan's, aka T. Rex, biggest hit in the US peaking at #10 while going clear to #1 at home in the UK.

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Portishead - "Glory Box" (1995)

Portishead -
Portishead - "Glory Box". Courtesy London

Take an unmistakable sway, grinding, fuzzed-up electric guitar, and the refrain, "Give me a reason to be a woman," and you have a truly sexy pop classic. Beth Gibbons's voice caresses the lyrics with a sexual energy that is truly compelling. "Glory Box" reached #13 on the UK pop singles chart.

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Doors - "Light My Fire" (1967)

Doors -
Doors - "Light My Fire". Courtesy Elektra

This is the breakthrough song that introduced the raw sexuality of Doors lead vocalist Jim Morrison to pop audiences. The words amount to a plea with a lover to take things to the next level of sexual ecstasy. A lengthy instrumental break allows for interpretation about what listeners should be doing during the time they need not be singing along. "Light My Fire" was a #1 pop hit single.

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Enigma - "Sadeness (Part 1)" (1990)

Enigma - Sadeness (Part I)
Enigma - Sadeness (Part I). Courtesy Virgin

Many never truly considered the sexual potential in the sound of Gregorian chant until the release of this single by the studio project Enigma. Wrapped in atmospheric, new age electronics, the song has been heavily identified with sadomasochistic sex since the lyrics are significantly concerned with questions raised to the Marquis de Sade. The title is a combination of "sad" and "Sade." Enigma scored a top 5 pop hit single with this track.

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Dave Matthews Band - "Crash Into Me" (1996)

Dave Matthews Band -
Dave Matthews Band - "Crash Into Me". Courtesy RCA

Dave Matthews said on VH1 Storytellers that this song was written about the worship of women from a voyeur's perspective. He claims he wrote "Crash Into Me" instead of getting himself arrested. With lines like, "Hike up your skirt a little more and show the world to me," this is one of the sexiest set of pop song lyrics ever written. The song reached #18 on pop radio in the US.

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Nine Inch Nails - "Closer" (1994)

Nine Inch Nails -
Nine Inch Nails - "Closer". Courtesy TVT

Few songs are more direct in their sexual content. The chorus includes the line, "I want to f**k you like an animal." Nine Inch Nails' slowly pulsating industrial sound mix is enthralling and powerfully sexy. The song was a #11 modern rock hit and reached #41 on the pop singles chart despite the profane content.

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Garbage - "Queer" (1995)

Garbage -
Garbage - "Queer". Courtesy Almo Sounds

When Shirley Manson slyly sings, "Let me dirty up your mind," you know you are in for a fun trip in song. Band member Butch Vig says the song was inspired by a novel he read about a woman hired to make a guy's son into a man. The seduction here is lacking in subtlety, but it is truly sexy. Garbage reached #13 in the UK with the song and #12 on the modern rock chart in the US.

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Chris Isaak - "Wicked Game" (1989)

Chris Isaak -
Chris Isaak - "Wicked Game". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Remarkably "Wicked Game" was largely ignored upon its initial release, and it did not become a hit until it was used in David Lynch's movie Wild At Heart in 1991. It then climbed to #6 on the pop hit singles chart. The song delivers throaty words of protestation against falling in love over sinuous guitar and slowly ticking drums. The accompanying music video is one of the sexiest of all time featuring model Helena Christensen and Chris Isaak himself as directed by famed photographer Herb Ritts.

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Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg - "Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus" (1969)

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg -
Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg - "Je T'aime...Moi Non Plus". Courtesy Fontana

The explicit sexual content of this song resulted in it being banned in a number of countries. Reportedly there was heavy sexual touching in the studio while the song was being recorded, and Jane Birkin was asked to calm down in the studio as she was getting carried away. The song is intended as a conversation between lovers while having sex. It reached #1 on the UK pop singles chart and #69 in the US.

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Massive Attack - "Teardrop" (1998)

Massive Attack -
Massive Attack - "Teardrop". Courtesy Virgin

"Teardrop" is just one of many incandescently sexy songs in the repertoire of British experimental electric pop collective Massive Attack. "Teardrop" is the group's most successful UK pop hit single having peaked at #10. It is also the only single to touch the US pop charts. The gentle beat and almost whispery lead vocals provide the perfect atmosphere for spending time with a lover.

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Sam Cooke - "You Send Me" (1957)

Sam Cooke -
Sam Cooke - "You Send Me". Courtesy Keen

"You Send Me" was Sam Cooke's first single released under his own name when he shifted from gospel to pop music. It is an unabashedly sexy appreciation of his lover. He had a great deal of fear that this type of music would alienate his gospel fans. The song effortlessly landed at #1 on both the pop and R&B singles charts paving the way for secular stardom for Sam Cooke.

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Marvin Gaye - "Let's Get It On" (1973)

Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On. Courtesy Tamla

For being such a legendary sexual song, Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" did not start that way. It was co-written with songwriter and producer Ed Townsend. The original recorded version included politically minded lyrics. Reportedly, Townsend protested and said the song was about love and sex. The pair rewrote the lyrics, and Marvin Gaye recorded the classic version. His pleading, soulful singing delivers the song in an irresistibly sexy fashion. As a seduction song, "Let's Get It On" has never been equaled. It was a #1 pop and R&B hit in 1973.