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Top 10 Best Pop Songs of the 2000s

There were plenty of great Pop songs over the last couple of decades. Consequently, choosing just a few of the best Pop songs of the 2000s has been no easy task. However, I did my best and limited the list by sticking to just a few of my favorites.

I hope you enjoy my selections. So, let’s get on with it and take a look at the first great Pop song from the 2000s, starting with…

Best Pop Songs of the 2000s

Top 10 Best Pop Songs of the 2000s

Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani is as well known for her time with the band, No doubt, as she is for her solo career. She was hugely successful in No Doubt. However, she had to wait for the release of her third solo single, “Hollaback Girl,” to make her mark as a solo artist. The song was taken from her debut album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. which was released in 2014. 

Following Gwen Stefani’s split from No Doubt, it was the third single from her debut album. Her solo debut single was “What You Waiting For,” which was released in 2004. “Hollaback Girl” was released a year later, in 2015. This was a full four years after leaving No Doubt.

The single hit big… 

It went to #1 on the US Billboard charts and went five times platinum, selling over five million copies. Additionally, it made a bit of music history by becoming the first single to reach a million downloads. Nice!

Love. Angel. Music. Baby. was equally as popular, selling seven million copies globally. “Hollaback Girl” was a bit of a departure from her previous music. Rather than Pop/Rock, the song was more a fusion of Pop and Hip-Hop. Plus, it was much less produced and had a relatively stripped-back feel. 

So, what’s it about?

Essentially, it’s about standing up against bullies even when you are not on the direct receiving end. The song is mainly about bullying in school, but it can easily be interpreted as bullying of any kind and in any situation. Perhaps that’s what made it such a successful Pop song from the 2000s.

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgjkth6BRRY[/yt]

Complicated by Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne is the undisputed Pop/Punk Princess heavyweight champion of the world. This Canadian singer exploded onto the scene in 2002 at just 18 years of age. 

She was a regular skateboarder chic with goofy looks, and a don’t care and not trying too hard style. Her whole persona and music were new and refreshing. The music industry and the public took to her instantly and went out to buy her records in droves.

Her debut single, “Complicated,” came out in 2002. The success no doubt took everyone by surprise since it made it to #2 on the US Charts. Additionally, it sold more than a million copies. As if that wasn’t enough, it got nominated for a couple of Grammy Awards. Not bad for your first single, eh?

But, there is more…

“Complicated” was released as the main song from, Let Go, her debut album. Like the single, it also got to #2 in the US. In the UK, it went one better and became her first #1 album. Sales were similarly impressive as it chalked up a mind-boggling 16 million sales globally.

The significance of both of these records should not be underestimated. In the blink of an eye, Avril Lavigne had not only successfully launched her career, but had also opened the door for future Pop/Punk female artists, singer-songwriters, and musicians.

“Complicated,” in so many ways, is not complicated at all. At least as far as the contents of the song are concerned. It is just a simple commentary of how people around you can act differently depending on who you are with. It’s about people behaving in a fake way. A simple song but with a very strong enough message.

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NPBIwQyPWE[/yt]

Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is best known for her Country songs. However, she is nothing if not versatile and can write great Pop songs too. Of all her more Pop-orientated hits, “Shake It Off” is my favorite, and I also think her best.

It was released in 2104 from the album 1989. The single was a massive commercial success. It got the top spot in the US, the #2 spot in the UK, and made it into the Top 10 for pretty much every other country it was released in. Plus, it sold north of ten million copies, making it her most successful single to date. 

The album was just as successful…

 It also made it to #1 in the US as well as the UK. Plus, it sold over 14 million copies making it her best-selling album. I’m not surprised “Shake It Off” did so well because it is one hell of a catchy Pop song. 

It’s got a great melody, and it is backed with a strong backing Dance beat. It’s a wonderful blend of Pop and Dance though the emphasis is mainly Pop. Also, it is as good lyrically as it is musically, which is pretty much what you would expect from any Taylor Swift song. 

So, what’s this catchy little number about?

The main theme is about not letting the words and criticisms of others bother you or get you down. It is about rising above the haters and embracing positivity. 

It is a great sentiment and, according to some of her interviews, also autobiographical. Without a doubt, the perfect response to all the unnecessary comments directed at her for her awkwardness and personal and political views. 

Hopefully, anyone having a hard time with bullying will take the advice from one of the biggest Pop songs from the 2000s and just “shake it off.”

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM[/yt]

Can’t Get You Out of My Head By Kylie Minogue

How can you make a list of the best Pop songs of the 2000s without Kylie? You can’t! Kylie is the undisputed “Princess of Pop.” Going back to the release of her debut single in 1987, “Locomotion,” and right up to the present day, she has reigned supreme. 

As she progressed through the 80s and 90s, if anyone questioned her right to the title, she quickly silenced the doubters with the 2001 release of “I Can’t Get You Out of My Head.”

The song smashed it out of the park… 

It went to #1 in the US and Australia and became her best-selling single, recording over five million in sales. And it re-established her as a force in Pop. Subsequently, it became the perfect stepping stone to launch the second part of her career.

It was taken from her eighth studio album, Fever. This was also a big hit and made it to #1 in several countries. Plus, it became her best-selling album chalking up seven million in sales. In other words, one of the most popular Pop songs from the 2000s.

So, why was it so big?

The song is a fusion of Pop, Dance, and Disco. It works beautifully and is a great song with loads of energy and has one of the catchiest melodies ever. Everything about the song feels so right. Even the accompanying music video was completely on point.

The song is about a girl who isn’t over her man, and from the sounds of it, she’s unlikely to be any time soon. It’s obvious that she is well into him, and he just could not care less. She sounds a little like she’s losing the plot, which adds to and fits beautifully with the song’s intensity.

Frankly, the lyrics are not that deep, But quite honestly, it doesn’t really matter because you won’t be able to get this song out of your head.

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c18441Eh_WE[/yt]

Break Free by Ariana Grande

Ariane Grande is all about Pop. She’s now only 29 years old but is already one of the most recognized faces and voices in music. She started in the industry at just 15 years old. In this time, she has managed to sell nine million albums and has amassed more than 65 million digital downloads in the US alone. Impressive.

What’s even more incredible is that she has more than 105 billion streams to her name. That makes her the most streamed female musician ever. I would have bet my house on someone like Adele having streamed more. I’m so pleased I live in a tree!

Incidentally, Ariana Grande has 300 million Instagram followers, which is 100 million more than Taylor Swift.

So, moving on and back to “Break Free”…

It was released in 2014 and was taken from My Everything. It’s fair to say that sales were strong for both the single and the album. However, most of these, as you’d expect for 2014, was for digital downloads as opposed to physical singles and albums. 

The single is heavily produced and gives a very polished final product. It’s a Pop record that is very much a product of its time. It is a little too smooth for my tastes, as I like a few rough edges (again, why I live in a tree). However, I get why this is so popular and why so many people have bought, downloaded, or streamed it. 

If you are new to Ariana Grande, this song, particularly the album, is a great place to start. You will get the chance to listen to some great Pop songs from the 2000s with plenty of high energy and shine.

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8eRzOYhLuw[/yt]

One More Time by Daft Punk

It is time to give the guys a turn now. Daft Punk has been bringing us epic Pop/Dance songs since 1983. They are from France and have brought with them their unique blend of experimental music, and we love it.

“One More Time” was released in 2000 from their second album, Discovery. The single went platinum in the UK and Gold in eight other countries. The album became their second most successful, with close to three million in sales. 

Surprisingly, most of the records were sold in the UK. I say surprisingly because since they are French, you would have expected more success in France. 

One of the great things about Daft Punk is the fun they bring to music… 

If you watch any of their live performances or one of their videos, it is even more evident. “One More Time” is no exception to this and fits perfectly into their musical style and ethos. It is a high-energy song with a strong pulsating beat that runs through most of it. However, there are also some nice dynamics at play that bring down the song’s tempo, which helps to enhance the highs. 

Daft Punk has one foot in Electronic Dance Music, and this influence comes through loud and clear. Additionally, there are plenty of synthesizers used, which give it a kind of 80s Pop feel. 

One other interesting element of this song… 

The heavy use of auto-tuning, which, normally speaking, I am not a big fan of. However, in this instance, it just works. It is very much a futuristic track, and the auto-tuning nicely adds to the mood and atmosphere rather than detracting from it, which is often the case in so much modern Pop music.

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGBhQbmPwH8[/yt]

Whenever, Wherever by Shakira 

When I think of this song, I immediately think of 2001. It takes me right back to what feels like a very different time in my life. It does all of this instantly and with such clarity that I know “Whenever, Wherever” will be one of the few songs that remain with me forever.

Shakira is a Colombian singer, born in 1977, and she has been performing professionally since 1990. She released her first album, “Magia,” in 1991. Like her next three albums, they were all in her native Spanish. 

However, in 2001 that changed with the release of her fifth studio album, Laundry Service, which for the first time was in English.

The switch to English wasn’t only a first for Shakira…

It was also a first for any Colombian musician. This isn’t that surprising as the demand for Spanish music and film is huge. However, her decision to change languages was undoubtedly one of the main factors that helped propel her to international stardom.

“Whenever, Wherever” was the first single to be released from Laundry Service. Sales for the single were frankly bonkers. It went to #1 pretty much everywhere and sold eight million copies going multi-platinum in all the major English-speaking countries.

Laundry Service was even more successful, selling 13 million copies worldwide. It is an album well worth buying since it also contains a further five hits. Without a doubt, “Whenever, Wherever” was her breakthrough single. 

The success is largely down to the quality of the song… 

However, the music video, which shows Shakira dancing around in her prime, looking flawless and stunning at just 24 years old, certainly didn’t do her any harm. 

All things considered, I have no doubt that this is one of the best Pop songs of the 2000s. I’ve also no doubt that it is the best Pop song of 2001. Thank you for the memories, Shakira. 

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weRHyjj34ZE[/yt]

Oops! I Did It Again by Britney Spears

Another brilliant Pop song and another brilliant music video. It was released in 2000 and was the main single from her second studio album of the same name. The single went to #1 in the US and the UK. The album went to #1 in the US and #2 in the UK, selling a staggering 20 million copies worldwide. 

The single and the album represented the start of a shift away from wholesome ballads and Pop to something altogether more sexual. Although the album wasn’t completely full of these kinds of songs, I would still consider Oops!… I Did It Again as an album containing mostly adult-themed songs. 

When this song was released…

MTV was still a thing and still playing actual music videos, many on a constant loop. “Oops! I Did It Again” was one of these videos. I, together with a group of friends, must have watched it a thousand times. We loved it enough to buy some tickets to go and see her live for a bit of a laugh. 

The concert ended up being brilliant, and Britney even sang “Oops!… I Did It Again” in the famous red jumpsuit. How the hell she made the costume change during the concert so quickly is a genuine mystery.

So, what was the song all about?

It was about a woman who views relationships as a bit of a game and nothing to be taken too seriously. Like many of her songs, it was wonderfully written by songwriters and producers Max Martin and Rami Yacoub. 

It was the right song for the right time that perfectly reflected Britney’s transition from a teenager into a young adult. A great song and neatly paved the way for even more grown-up Pop songs such as “Toxic.”

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CduA0TULnow[/yt]

Umbrella by Rihanna (Feat. JAY-Z)

A song featuring both Rihanna and JAY-Z is almost bound to be a hit. No surprise then that it was just that. It became #1 in the US and several other countries around the world. Another #1 single to add to Rihanna’s current tally of 33. 

To put this into context, only Madonna, with fifty #1 songs, has more. Even Beyonce “only” has twenty #1 hits to her name. All amazing, but Rihanna also happens to be one of the most successful female artists of all time, having sold more than 60 million albums. 

Plus, she has over 200 million digital downloads to her name. And streams? Twenty-five billion in the last decade alone!

Back to the song…

“Umbrella” was first offered by the writers to Britney Spears. Unfortunately, she was too busy shaving her hair and going crazy to accept the song at the time. It was then offered to Mary J. Blige, who was far too busy picking up awards every few minutes. So, Rihanna ended up as the third choice.

Fortunately, Rihanna is clever enough to know a good song when she hears it and gladly took it on. The subsequent sales and the fact that she won a prestigious Grammy for her wonderful performance no doubt compensated for her being the third pick.

This very catchy Pop song was the first of five singles to be released from the album Good Girl Gone Bad. The album went multi-platinum but only made it to #1 in just three countries. 

However, that didn’t stop it from selling over nine million copies globally…

The song is essentially about the metaphor of an umbrella as a means to protect her lover in the event of problems. No surprise then that there is plenty of mentions about the weather, clouds, and rain. Very basic and simplistic lyrics, but the buying public and those guys and girls at the Grammys liked it.

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvBfHwUxHIk[/yt]

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

This was the debut single for Gnarls Barkley. It was also CeeLo Green’s debut as a singer after leaving Rap behind him for Pop and Soul. 

“Crazy” was released in 2006. It was taken from their album, St. Elsewhere. The single went to #1 in the US and the UK. It also went multi-platinum. The album also charted well and ultimately sold over two million copies worldwide.

Big changes for CeeLo Green… 

One of the biggest was hooking up with the band’s multi-instrumentalist and producer, Danger Mouse. The collaboration saw a shift of the singer’s music from Hip-Hop and Rap towards Pop, Soul, and Electronica.

Interviews with CeeLo Green make it clear that his movement away from Hip-Hop and Rap was already underway before he began collaborating with Danger Mouse. However, the meeting and subsequent music make me very pleased that this ever took place.

The song drove the masses crazy, but in a good way…

“Crazy” puts together a hypnotic musical arrangement, a stunning vocal performance, and amazing lyrics in one beautiful package. We all live in a world of insanity, and the song expresses the point of the madness within us all beautifully.

It is a phenomenal song to end my rundown of the best Pop songs of the 2000s. I think it’s the best of the best, and Rolling Stone magazine agrees. They voted it the best Pop Music song of the 2000s, and who am I to disagree?

[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N4jf6rtyuw[/yt]

Want More Great Music from the 2000s?

If so, take a look at our detailed articles on the Best 2000s R&B Songs, the Best 2000s Dance Songs, the Best 2000s Rap Songs, and the Best Songs of The 2000s for more incredible music selections.

Also, you’ll want to listen to them. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones for Hip-Hop, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones Under $200, and the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones you can buy in 2023.

Best Pop Songs of the 2000s – Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. I think the last twenty years or so have thrown up some great Pop songs. Furthermore, some of the best 2000s Pop songs could also easily be described as being the best of all time. 

It’s been a golden era for Pop music and one that currently seems to be showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Hopefully, like me, you’re enjoying the ride.

Until next time, happy listening.

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