The 2000s were a decade of change in the music industry. The decade witnessed the rise of many hip-hop and pop stars, such as Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Usher, who produced some of the best 2000s songs. Countless other artists had huge smash hit singles, as featured on this list.
Some of the iconic songs produced during this era include:
1. “Toxic” by Britney Spears
This song was released in 2003 and was a major hit single, becoming one of the biggest hits overall on this list. The song’s central theme is toxic love, and Britney Spears sings about experiencing such a situation. The song got ranked among the top 10 best hits of 2003.
“Toxic” achieved significant commercial success, topping charts in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Next: The best songs about toxic love in relationships (our list)
2. “Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige
This song was released in 2001 and is composed of a simple piano track with Mary J. Blige singing about her family. Although the song did not reach the commercial success of “Toxic,” it did win two Grammys for Best R&B/Soul and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
In the song, Blige sings about the beauty of her family, wishing that the whole world could see them through her eyes.
Next: The best songs about family ever made (our list of picks)
3. “Stan” by Eminem
“Stan” was released in 2000, and it is one of the best Eminem songs from that decade. He portrays himself as an obsessive fan that will do anything for Eminem to notice him in this track.
The song’s lyrics are about childhood memories. Eminem sings about the tragedies of his life, such as his mother leaving. The song went double platinum, won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance, and is among the greatest 2000s songs for sure.
Next: The best sad rap songs of all time (saddest hip hop tracks ever)
4. “Beautiful People” by Christina Aguilera
This song got released in 2002. It helped Christina climb to the top of pop music again, and it is a fan favorite to this day.
The song talks about how people see others. In this track, Aguilera sings about wanting to be just like the beautiful people she admires and has a strong desire to fit in with them.
Next: The top rock songs from the 2000s
5. “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg’s rap flows are iconic in their own right, and the infectious beat in this track combined with his voice skyrocketed the single’s success. The song was No. 1 for four weeks on Billboard Hot 100 and sold more than 1 million copies in the US alone, making it one of the best Snoop Dogg songs from the 2000s.
Next: The best rap songs of all time (top famous hip hop tracks)
6. “You’ll Think of Me” by Keith Urban
“You’ll Think of Me” was released in 2002. There’s something so heartfelt about great country love songs that puts us in a headspace hard to describe, and this track really captures that essence greatly.
Next: The greatest music videos of all time
7. “My Boo” by Alicia Keys and Usher
This is a ballad that talks about the love between her and Usher. In 2002, “My Boo” received two Grammy nominations for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance.
Next: The best R&B love songs ever
8. “Crazy in Love” By Beyoncé
This song is a sultry R&B track that won two major awards at the 46th Grammy Awards, including Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance. It also received three nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Rap Collaboration.
Next: The top hip hop love songs of all time (romantic rap hits)
9. “Friend of God” by Philips, Craig & Dean
“Friend of God” is the first track of “Awake” and was released in 2004. The song talks about how every person is God’s friend, and no one can take that away from us. This song takes us back to the simple message of Christianity – anyone can be like Jesus, a friend of God.
Next: The best worship songs for Jesus (a list of top Christian tracks)
10. “Me, Myself and I” by Beyoncé
The song is a hip-hop song that talks about how Bey wants to get her life back. In addition, “Me, Myself & I” won two Grammy Awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.
Next: The best 2000s R&B songs (our list)
11. “The World” by Brad Paisley
The song got released in 2006. He sings about how the world has changed and how the country is on its knees in this song. This song became Brad Paisley’s first number-one single, and it got nominated for two Grammys.
Next: The best patriotic songs about America ever made (our list)
12. “Hey Ya!” by Outkast
It really encapsulates the feeling of how people wear themselves out with daily life and stop enjoying the best parts of life. The song won three Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Outkast’s first Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo.
Next: The top albums ever made (best of all time)
13. “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake
This song was released in 2002 and was a top 20 hit on the charts. Britney and Justin had a relationship in the past, and we’re just glad that we were able to get this masterpiece of a track from their time together. Justin Timberlake does a slow ballad with heartbreaking lyrics about being cheated on by his girlfriend in this track.
Next: The top sad love songs of all time (saddest romance related tracks)
14. “Hung Up” by Madonna
The song talks about how a man who is making the wrong moves with a Madonna who’s getting sick of it, making her lonely and annoyed. In addition, the lyrics were empowering to women because Madonna sings about being strong, independent, and self-sufficient.
Next: The top women empowerment songs of all time (a list of our favs)
15. “I Run to You” by Lady Antebellum
It talks about how love is an essential thing in our lives. The song talks about how a couple loves each other, and when they are together, they feel like they are the only ones in the world.
These sorts of love tracks are popular in any decade, and the 2000s are no different.
Next: The greatest 2000s bands (our list)
16. “Love” by Keyshia Cole
Released in 2004, “Love” is the third single from Keyshia Cole’s debut album. In this song, she sings about love being so strong that everyone can feel it. It talks about how people can have love for each other no matter what they are going through. The song won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Next: Our favorite 2000s love songs
17. “Let Me Love You” by Mario
In this track, Mario sings about how he wants to love a woman no matter what she does because he thinks he can treat her better than anyone else. Mario also says that he will be there to help her through her everyday struggles and that they share a strong love bond.
Next: The best one hit wonder songs from the 2000s (our favs)
18. “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt
The song talks about how beautiful things are in life, like nature and people. In this track, James Blunt sings about a woman who being beautiful and his attraction is deeply felt.
This music video is one of the most iconic videos you’ll ever see, and chances are you’ve heard this track countless times! This song won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Next: The top one hit wonders of all time (a list of our best choices)
19. “Umbrella” by Rihanna
The song talks about a girl falling in love with a guy who has two different girls in his life.
Rihanna sings that if it rains, she will be there to protect him with her umbrella. In this track, Rihanna does not sing about love but about her presence for him when no one else can be there.
Next: The best songs about rain of all time (a list of our favorite choices)
20. “Chasing Pavements” by Adele
This song was released in 2008 and became Adele’s first number-one hit (one of many in her massively successful career). The song talks about how the love she shares with her ex-boyfriend was strong but is now gone. The song won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Next: Greatest breakup songs of all time
21. “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson
In 2009, this song became a number 1 hit for Kelly Clarkson, and it remained atop the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks. The song talks about how love can break your heart, and that love has the ability to make a person’s life happy.
22. “In Da Club” by 50 Cent
In this track, 50 Cent’s image becomes engrained in popular American music culture forever. This track will never fail to get people dancing and rapping, which makes it one of the best songs ever in our opinion. The song won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, deservedly so.
Next: The best 2000s hip hop songs (our list of favorites)
23. “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé
The song talks about a girl leaving her boyfriend because he has not been there for her when she needed him. The song won the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
24. “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay
Many people don’t actually understand that the song is about the French Revolution primarily. The track translates to “Long live life”, and this applies symbolically towards war, natural disasters, or even death itself.
Next: The best war and anti-war songs of all time (a list of our picks)
25. “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
In this track, Shakira and the man in the song are vibing to each other and Shakira invites him to her sensuality. The song won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording.
Next: The best sexy songs to make love to (our list)
26. “Rude Boy” by Rihanna
In 2009, this song has an amazing music video with vibrant colors and styles that we love. It’s one of the best Rihanna songs and talks about her taking over a sexual encounter and becoming dominant over the man. The song became a top 20 hit in the US as well.
Next: Best dance songs of the 2000s
27. “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys
In 2009, this song became one of the best Jay-Z and Alicia Keys songs quickly as it dominated the charts. New York is one of the most romanticized cities in the world, and this track is an ode of love to the city that never sleeps. It became a top 20 hit in the US, and it got nominated for a Grammy.
Next: The best songs about New York of all time
28. “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet
In this track. At the end of a long day in the summer there’s nothing quite as relaxing (and American) than kicking back and knocking back some drinks. What’s funny about this song, is that Alan Jackson does away with the 5 o’clock rule and wants to get drinking immediately.
Next: The best country songs from the 2000s
29. “A Milli” by Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne idealizes his life and focuses on the money he’s accumulated in his career. It got nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Song. This song became a top 10 hit in the UK as well, showing that everyone likes to imagine themselves being free, rich and powerful.
Next: The best songs about money of all time (our list of favs)
30. “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift
This song became one T-Swifts signature tracks early in her career. In this track, she sings about how love is something that you find once in a lifetime and the guy she likes is her one true lover. Even though she feels deeply for him, he is in a relationship with another girl. Unrequited and secret love can be hard, which many people have experienced in life.
This classic hi-school themed track brings us all back to those days, and that’s really why us and so many others will always love it. The song got nominated for a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Next: The best secret or forbidden love songs of all time
31. “Goodbye My Lover” by James Blunt
While nothing will ever top James Blunt’s “I’m Beautiful” (which was also featured on this list), we can’t deny that his track here is also a great 2000s track.
James Blunt sings about the pain he experiences when his partner and him split off. He also says that he will always love her and that she will always be his girl. This song is among the greatest 2000s songs of all genres. We consider this one of the best songs about saying goodbye to a loved one ever made.
Our ultimate list of the best karaoke songs from the 2000s
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.