60 Best Songs of the 2000s (Top Picks)

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Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

The 2000s birthed so many musical genres and scenes over its timespan, at the time being one of the more eclectic decades in music.

Whether you were listening to the radio or finding underground gems, the 2000s helped those who might have felt like outcasts find their crowd.

Looking back at the best 2000s songs, it is nothing but hit after hit with no two songs being all that alike.

Table of Contents

1. “Lose My Breath” by Destiny’s Child

2000s hit songs have such a powerful presence to them and one track that ruled with an iron first has to be none other than “Lose My Breath.”

This song doesn’t just ask, but rather it demands your attention as the then-trio displayed their unimaginable talent for creating catchy music.

2. “Peaches and Cream” by 112

112 could’ve gone the route of making a run-of-the-mill boyband song, but they decided to do something a lot less conventional with great results.

Even more than two decades later, the group has found a way to make a song that sounds so timeless.

If you’ve never heard this song, you would’ve thought this came out much later than it did.

3. “All Caps” by Madvillain

MF DOOM and Madlib come together to create one of the best rapper/producer duos in history and this song is just one of several examples of why they are seen as such.

It’s no wonder people have been aching for them for years to make a sequel record, up until DOOM’s unfortunate passing.

Always remember: “All Caps” when you spell the man’s name.

4. “Electric Feel” by MGMT

Nobody was ready when MGMT decided to release hit after hit after hit with the release of “Kids,” “Time to Pretend” and, of course, “Electric Feel.”

In the late 2000s, it was almost impossible to get away from this indietronica duo, but it was never something that people got sick of.

People accepted them as great hitmakers and great musicians, plain and simple.

5. “Misery Business” by Paramore

A prominent song for everyone, from those listening to the radio to a generation of the soon-to-be emo scene.

Fans and even Paramore themselves would soon reject this song for its controversial lyrics and song topic but, for a moment, this song was the song of a movement that would continue to grow throughout the 2000s.

6. “Promiscuous (ft. Timbaland)” by Nelly Furtado

Timbaland during the 2000s was on a hot streak, working with only the best of the best.

It’s no wonder that one of his biggest successes, “Promiscuous,” is also seen as one of the high points in his career.

His production was on another level, creating such grooves that so few could ever replicate.

7. “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem

For anyone looking for that classic pop/rock sound, LCD Soundsystem has you covered.

Taking inspiration from decades prior, the band brings a classic sound and showcases it to audiences of the new age, bringing everyone together to listen together in unity.

8. “Hung Up” by Madonna

Using a sample from the wonderful ABBA, Madonna tries to prove that she is not just the voice of a generation but multiple generations.

By creating one of the best house songs of the 2000s, with its head-shaking instrumental and vogue aesthetic, she has very much succeeded in being one the best artists in pop music.

9. “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5

Maroon 5 has always been guilty of creating catchy melodies and having a charismatic lead singer.

What people have forgotten, however, is that for a time they also had an immense amount of groove to their music.

Makes Me Wonder,” for those reasons, continues to be a real showstopper on the dancefloor all these years later.

10. “Love Lockdown” by Kanye West

After making nothing but dance and hip hop hits over the course of his first three records, Ye decides to make a complete 180, creating something a lot more somber than what we’re used to by him (at least at first).

What he would do here and on the rest of “808s & Heartbreaks” would be so forward thinking as everyone for years to come would do nothing but copy his sounds.

11. “Chop Suey!” by System of a Down

Music has always been political and System of a Down, one of music’s most political bands, is here to bring one of the most important songs of the 2000s.

From the story of its original song title being much more explicit to the message of how people judge those who participate in self-destructive methods, this song holds a special place in popular 2000s music.

12. “Glamorous (ft. Ludacris)” by Fergie

After shooting up in popularity once again recently, everyone is really starting to appreciate this for the powerhouse that it is.

This song is so self-defining, with its classy instrumental and alluring vocals from the illustrious Fergie and I’m happy this song is getting its flowers so far into its existence.

13. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

A lot of people actually forget that Nine Inch Nails performed this song originally, but can you blame them?

When you have a cover as iconic as Johnny Cash’s version, there’s a reason why people see this as his song now rather than the band’s.

That alongside being one of Cash’s last hits before his passing makes this song so haunting but glorious to listen to.

14. “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse

Soul music in the 2000s wasn’t as prominent as one may wish, but there was always Amy Winehouse to be there as a figure of what it stood for.

Being as respected as she was, it’s no surprise she would go on to create one of the smoothest songs of the 2000s.

15. “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

Played in arenas everywhere, The White Stripes are responsible for creating one of the catchiest bass lines of the 2000s.

When played alongside some chants, it creates such a big atmosphere that it’s no surprise that this is chanted from the biggest stadiums around.

16. “A Milli” by Lil Wayne

Hip hop has always been a controversial genre and Lil Wayne was almost always in conversations for his explicit rap style.

In the end, people didn’t account for one thing: does the song go hard in the car?

In the case of “A Milli,” the song is far too guilty of going hard in the car.

17. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue

The perfect club song to really take you back to the 2000s.

The club scene has always been progressed by women, but in the 2000s artists like Kylie Minogue would go on to show that they ran it and songs like this were only the tip of the iceberg.

18. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day

Rather than finding themselves listening to Misfits or The Dead Kennedys, the younger generation found comfort in the new age of bands that were coming out, like Green Day.

What this band would do on their album “American Idiot” (especially with this song) would shape a whole generation of teens into rebels, the same rebels the generation before them were.

19. “Avril 14th” by Aphex Twin

Famously sampled by Kanye West on his song “Blame Game,” Aphex Twin have continued to prove their relevance in the electronic scene.

Here, creating a piano work that can compete toe to toe with any other classical piece in regards to quality and popularity alike.

20. “Toxic” by Britney Spears

If there was ever a song to be called “the song of the 2000s,” it would be this one.

What Britney did here was unlike anything any of her contemporaries were doing, mixing a whole host of influences into a song that checks all of the boxes it needs to.

Catchy, recognizable, and anthemic, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe the sheer beauty that this song emits.

21. “Crazy in Love (ft. Jay-Z)” by Beyoncé

It’s crazy how Beyoncé has almost always been as iconic as she is.

From her time in Destiny’s Child to her current solo career, she has never had a moment where she wasn’t in the spotlight and this decade wasn’t all that different as she was coming out with banger after banger constantly.

At the top of it all, this song with her now-husband reigns supreme.

22. “Last Nite” by The Strokes

After the 90s, rock music took several different directions and with the birth of groups like The Strokes, indie rock would make such monumental strides.

These groups would later define the 2000s, inspiring so many bands to come and songs like “Last Nite,” with its straightforward but effective groove, would help aid these bands to create the stir that they did.

23. “Temperature” by Sean Paul

Crossing over musically to the U.S. from the islands wasn’t as easy as a lot of musicians wish it was.

Sean Paul was determined, however, to have his name be on everyone’s mind, and with songs like “Temperature,” he would achieve that.

From his fast verses to the jumpin’ beat, this song was hot and heavy from start to finish.

24. “One More Time” by Daft Punk

One of music’s greatest duos continues their hot streak after making songs like “Around the World” by going the concept album route.

What followed are some of the most respected house tracks not just of the 2000s but of all time, with “One More Time” being one of them.

There is yet to be an electronic song that can match this song in terms of quality and notoriety.

25. “Me & U” by Cassie

Though you won’t find her name in too many conversations when it comes to R&B right now, let it be known that, at the time, her name was everywhere.

This wasn’t just a song that so many R&B contemporaries wished they could’ve made, it was a song that people should be studying.

26. “Numb / Encore” by Linkin Park & Jay-Z

Established rapper Jay-Z and growing nu metal band Linkin Park come together to mash up some of their biggest songs together into something that, in all reality, shouldn’t work.

Numb / Encore” is just one example of what rap rock’s potential can live up to and their work together is a staple of the 2000s nature to create.

27. “Pyramid Song” by Radiohead

While one of Radiohead’s most complex songs, it still finds itself being one of their more easily enjoyable and celebrated songs.

If you’re looking for the perfect song to get in your feels towards, look no further than this rock masterpiece of the 2000s.

28. “Disturbia” by Rihanna

Before she was one of the biggest names in the music and beauty business, Rihanna was turning heads with her sensual and no-good attitude.

Disturbia” is an ode to those who struggle with mental issues and that mixed together with dance-pop elements makes us realize that Rihanna’s status as a cultural icon is well deserved.

29. “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes

If there was one word that could describe this song, it would be “comforting.”

The cozy “White Winter Hymnal” shows Fleet Foxes at their very best, with beautiful harmonies that make you feel at home and a melody for the ages.

Try listening to this song and not envision yourself snuggled up in a warm blanket with the autumn breeze passing by.

We dare you!

30. “Hey Ya!” by OutKast

Basically run by Andre 3000, “Hey Yah!” continues to perplex audiences for decades after its original release.

After looking at the lyrics, the song’s upbeat nature doesn’t feel all that compatible.

In a way, however, that only enhances the experience of the song.

On one side, you have people who feel for the message and on the other side, there are people who don’t care and just wanna dance!

31. “It’s Gonna Be Me” by *NSYNC

With the boy band craze being at its highest peak, *NSYNC destroys the competition with songs that even boy bands today wish they could make half as good.

From the moment the song starts, your attention is undivided and your soul is engaged.

32. “The Way I Are (ft. Keri Hilson, D.O.E. & Sebastian)” by Timbaland

There’s no doubt that Timbaland will go down as one of the greatest when it comes to producers and it’s songs like this that remind everyone why he’s as respected as he is.

33. “Since I Left You” by The Avalanches

One of the greatest artists in the plunderphonics scene, The Avalanches combine sunshine pop with glamorous samples on the title track to their debut album “Since I Left You.”

The result is a beautiful and uplifting song and one of the best in regards to 2000s songs.

34. “American Boy (ft. Kanye West)” by Estelle

Blending the sounds of hip hop from both the states and the UK, Estelle and Mr. West groove with their fun and bouncy hit “American Boy.”

The chemistry you’ll find in this song is immaculate and helps create the perfect vibe for when you’re looking to move your feet.

35. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World

It’s hard sometimes to fit in, especially during the 2000s when so many specific crowds were being created.

In “The Middle,” the band reassures those who feel lost and confused that they are not alone and that their comfort will come to them eventually.

36. “Get Ur Freak On” by Missy Elliott

In a genre ruled by men, Missy is here to prove that they aren’t the only ones who can participate.

When it came to the 2000s, no one was doing what she was doing when it came to having her unique sense of flow and charisma.

37. “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

From one of the most creative singer-songwriters of all time, Fiona Apple tells a tale of how hope can bring disappointment.

We’ve all found ourselves hopelessly lost at some point and it’s good to be reminded sometimes that we’re not alone in feeling that way.

38. “Clint Eastwood (ft. Del the Funky Homosapien)” by Gorillaz

Infamous for the music video attached to it and also for being a pretty damn great song, the virtual band’s start in the 2000s is just as monumental as the high points they would have throughout their career.

39. “Jumpers” by Sleater-Kinney

Not too many all-girl rock bands really thrived during the 2000s, but Sleater-Kinney wasn’t about to go unheard.

Every member proves to be amazing at what they do, especially in this song, creating one of the most iconic girl groups not just of the 2000s but of all time.

40. “Sexy Love” by Ne-Yo

Not enough songs use the harp, so thank you to whoever was in the room who had the genius idea of giving this song the sound it needed.

The love that emits from this song is unlike anything we’ve seen from those who’ve tried the same.

41. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

Originally a song made for the “8 Mile” soundtrack, “Lose Yourself ” has grown into much more than just Eminem’s biggest and most celebrated track.

When it comes to 2000s hit songs, Eminem somehow found a way to have the crowd rapping along to everything he’s saying, making the song more of an engagement than most other songs you’ll find released around the same time.

42. “Just Dance (ft. Colby O’Donis)” by Lady Gaga

Never underestimate the grasp that Lady Gaga had around our throats during the 2000s.

In her most timeless and simplest, she asks the audience to just let loose and dance their way through the night.

What was it about the 2000s that was just so dance-heavy?

43. “Thnks fr the Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy

One of the catchiest choruses not just of their career but of the entirety of the 2000s.

There’s this sense of tension throughout the song that you’re just aching to resolve and once that chorus hits, it’s like a shot through the soul.

44. “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.

After rising in the charts thanks to being featured on the soundtracks for “Pineapple Express” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” this song has left its mark on popular 2000s music as one of the more telling ones.

Here’s to M.I.A. one day getting the respect she deserves one day.

45. “Hips Don’t Lie (ft. Wyclef Jean)” by Shakira

Being both in English and Spanish, Shakira and Wyclef bring Latin pop to the radio and marvelously bridge the gap among several cultures.

Who else but Shakira could make a song so vibrant and groovy?

46. “Nine in the Afternoon” by Panic at the Disco

After the success of “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” Brendan Urie and company decided to take the band’s sound in a different direction.

Dropping the “!” from their name and rebranding into a group heavily inspired by the sounds of the 60s, the band would find themselves toying around and creating such songs like “Nine in the Afternoon,” where their talents for songwriting would make a grand leap.

47. “Too Little Too Late” by Jojo

Sometimes you reach a breaking point with someone and no matter how much they plead that they’ll change and be different, you know deep down that their chances are over.

It’s a good thing we have people like Jojo to tell us that no matter what, we are not alone in that feeling.

48. “Green Light (ft. Andre 3000)” by John Legend

If you’re ever looking for a song to show someone in order to make them dance like there’s no tomorrow, then have I got the song for you.

The energy that oozes from this song is infectious, with John Legend and Andre 3000 being patient zero.

49. “The Only Exception” by Paramore

The late 2000s was hit with a soft bang once Paramore dropped what would be their biggest song off their album “Brand New Eyes.”

Hayley Williams has gone on to say that she’s never written lyrics like what she wrote here and that she’s afraid but happy that love is around her.

50. “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’) (ft. Yung Joc)” by T-Pain

A smash hit from the moment of its inception, T-Pain was always one to create nothing but heat throughout the decade and beyond.

Much respect to him and everything he does for us.

51. “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley

Danger Mouse and Ceelo Green team up to create one of the biggest smash hits of the 2000s, alongside one of the best music videos of the decade.

A weird combination to say the least, but it’s amazing to see that the potential they had together was not for nothing.

52. “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff (ft. Rob Swire)” by deadmau5

EDM has a bright future coming for it in the future and artists like deadmau5 would help enlarge the scene to be as big as it is.

With “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” being one of his biggest hits, it’s great to see how creative current EDM was in its earliest inception during the 2000s.

53. “In the End” by Linkin Park

There weren’t many metal tracks that charted during the 2000s, but the new wave of nu metal changed all of that.

Being one of the more respected bands in the genre, Linkin Park’s ability to attract general audiences through hit songs like “In the End” was not something that was an easy achievement.

Luckily for them, it was just too easy.

54. “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey

Arguably the biggest hit of the 2000s, “We Belong Together” proves that Mariah is an artist for the ages as she successfully finds herself charting past the ’90s.

So many people thought that Mariah’s career would dwindle after her golden era, but that just proves that her prime was still in her and she wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

55. “Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior

At this point in the list, if you haven’t found something to even wiggle a finger to, perhaps this might change how you feel.

While short-lived, the splash this song made in the dance scene was so immense that just off of one song people would never forget the name Junior Senior.

56. “Bring Me to Life (ft. Paul McCoy)” by Evanescence

With goth culture becoming a more regularly accepted scene in the lives of adolescents, it’s no surprise that they would gravitate towards something as symphonic as “Bring Me to Life.”

Who else but Amy Lee could deliver such a haunting performance and still make it relatable to audiences everywhere?

57. “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens

When it came to ambitious chamber pop, Sufjan was there to deliver.

When it came to writing a compelling song full of blissful twists and turns, Sufjan was there to deliver.

When it came to giving nothing less than quality music, Sufjan was and will always be there to deliver.

58. “Umbrella (ft. Jay-Z)” by Rihanna

Music as a whole will be forever changed by musicians like Jay-Z but with new players like Rihanna hitting the scene, their forces would combine into one of the best pop songs of the 2000s.

59. “How to Disappear Completely” by Radiohead

Mixing rock and electronic music, Radiohead was really making a name for themselves as one of the most daring bands to come out in ages.

Here, however, they bring it back to basics (or what is basics in Radiohead speak) by not going overboard on the production side.

With its euphoric string builds and depressing chords, this song is meant for those who scream and cry at the same time.

60. “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance

Most people can remember the exact moment they heard this song for the first time.

What My Chemical Romance did with this song would help create a new generation of teens, ones who would eventually create the 2000s scene crowd and forever shift adolescent music as a whole.

Best 2000s Songs – Final Thoughts

It’s crazy how much the 2000s changed from the ’90s.

Of course, there will be people that say that music has gone downhill as the years have gone by.

But, I say that they’re just not looking hard enough and this list of the best songs of the 2000s should be enough proof of that.

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