55 Best Songs Of The 2000s (Top Picks)

The 2000s saw new innovations in music, from the iTunes store and digital downloads becoming mainstays of the industry to new and old artists alike releasing incredible singles. It was the decade when hip hop took control of the pop music world and major shifts happened in every genre’s most popular styles. In this article, we’ll look at the 55 best songs released in the 2000s, including the biggest and most successful hits of the decade. 

1. Lose Yourself – Eminem

Eminem - Lose Yourself

Look, I recognize that Lose Yourself wasn’t the biggest chart hit of the 2000s—though it has been ridiculously successful. But it was the song that set Eminem’s career off in a big way, turning him into Billboard’s Artist of the Decade for the 2000s and beginning his run to becoming one of the best-selling artists of all time. It was a central track to the theme of the film 8 Mile, a signature song for him as an artist, and easily one of the best and biggest tracks of the 2000s.

Recommended: Top rappers of the 2000s

2. Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams [Official Music Video]

Our number two song remains Green Day’s most successful track of all time in terms of the US Hot 100. They had a big run of success before Boulevard Of Broken Dreams came out in 2004, but this and their American Idiot album found a place in fans’ hearts that wouldn’t ever be taken. In a Reader’s Choice poll of songs of the 2000s by Rolling Stone, this came in as the number-one track of the decade. Worldwide, sales of the song exceed five million copies, and it won them a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. 

3. Drop It Like It’s Hot – Snoop Dogg Feat. Pharrell Williams

Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot (Official Music Video) ft. Pharrell Williams

There are few songs as iconic of the 2000s as Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot. It was the most popular rap track of the decade according to a poll by Billboard and the most commercially successful single of his career. To this day, its three-week reign at the top of the Hot 100 is his best chart run, and it was the song that helped Pharell Williams and The Neptunes’ production careers.

There are more than enough remixes and mashups of this one to keep you busy for hours as well, so it’s well worth a deep dive as a standalone single. 

4. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (Official Music Video)

The White Stripes wrote and recorded one of the best and most iconic guitar riffs of all time when they produced Seven Nation Army. The song became one of the shining keystones of the garage rock revival movement and changed their career beyond recognition—in a positive way.

It will always be remembered as one of the greatest tracks of all time, let alone the decade. In the years since it was released, it organically became synonymous with sporting culture in the US, which sees it played at almost every sporting event you can attend. 

5. I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At the Disco

Panic! At The Disco: I Write Sins Not Tragedies [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

The emo culture was at its peak in the 2000s and so was the pop punk genre. I Write Sins Not Tragedies was the second single to come from Panic! At The Disco’s debut album and remained their biggest success for almost a decade. It’s one of the songs that became near and dear to the hearts of fans but was also backed up with commercial success. Of all the music videos made in the 2000s, the one for this track very well could have been the top video.

6. In Da Club – 50 Cent

50 Cent - In Da Club (Official Music Video)

Rapper 50 Cent was another artist at the apex of their game during the 2000s. At one point, he was the biggest name in hip hop, and he owed a lot of that mainstream success to songs like this one. In Da Club remains an iconic track in the annals of 2000s hip hop. You couldn’t walk out on the street without hearing someone bumping this one in their car. It was everywhere, with no escape. And that’s okay with me because it’s still a bop. 

7. Paper Planes – M.I.A.

M.I.A. - Paper Planes

Paper Planes was a massive surprise success for alternative hip hop artist M.I.A. She wrote it alongside Diplo, creating one of the most critically acclaimed songs of the decade and one that calls out the American perspective on immigrants and the immigration process as a whole. Pitchfork, NME, and Rolling Stone all included it on their lists of the best tracks of the decade, and it’s easy to see why. While it ended up being the only top-100 hit in the US she produced, it remains one of the best of the 2000s. 

8. Bring Me To Life – Evanescence

Evanescence - Bring Me To Life (Official HD Music Video)

Amy Lee’s vocal performance in Bring Me To Life is one of the best I’ve ever heard. The song served as Evanescence’s debut single and immediately brought them incredible success. It capitalized on the mainstream success of alternative rock genres by mixing nu-metal, rap, and gothic metal elements to produce a track that will bring goosebumps up on your arms and impart all the energy you can handle. 

9. Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz

Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. (Official Video)

Gorillaz might be a virtual band, but there was nothing virtual about the success that followed the lead single of their second album. Feel Good Inc. had all the political commentary they had become known for, but it brought success that catapulted them into the stratosphere. It rose to number 14 on the US Hot 100 and spent eight weeks on top of the Modern Rock chart en route to earning them three Grammy nominations and a win for Best Pop Collaboration. 

10. Misery Business – Paramore

Paramore: Misery Business [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Paramore’s Riot! album is one of those albums that became a formative part of many teenagers’ lives. Even today, this song is in my all-time favorites playlist, as Misery Business is the perfect mixture of hard rock and angst. It was their breakthrough hit, becoming a mainstream success and ending up as perhaps their best track of all time. 

11. Hey Ya! – Outkast

Outkast - Hey Ya! (Official HD Video)

Hey Ya! Was the first single to come from André 3000’s side of Outkast’s lauded double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. It became a huge hit, topping charts in several different countries en route to winning a Grammy Award and becoming one of their most beloved songs. 

12. Get Low – Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz feat. Ying Yang Twins

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz - Get Low (feat. Ying Yang Twins) (Official Music Video)

Legendary and iconic are adjectives that get thrown around a lot when you discuss songs that came out in the 2000s. But it’s really hard to name a more iconic chorus than the one from Lil Jon’s Get Low. This isn’t just one of the best hip hop tracks to dance to of all time, it’s one that will immediately have everyone screaming “To the window (Give dem di dance now) To the wall (To the wall).”

13. Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly

R. Kelly - Ignition (Remix) (Lyrics)

I can’t condone R. Kelly as a person, nor can I say that I’m a massive fan of a lot of his music. However, Ignition (Remix) is easily one of the best songs of the 2000s. It’s a fun, funky, mid-tempo track that will always be remembered as the biggest hit he produced during his career. 

14. Umbrella – Rihanna Feat. Jay-Z

Rihanna - Umbrella (Orange Version) (Official Music Video) ft. JAY-Z

Rihanna produced plenty of smash hits in the 2000s, but it’s hard to beat the massive success of Umbrella. It topped the charts in more than 17 countries, set records, and earned her numerous different awards and accolades. It also might be the most covered song in her catalog, with artists from all sorts of genres taking a turn with it. 

15. Toxic – Britney Spears

Britney Spears - Toxic (Official HD Video)

We can’t talk about the best songs of the 2000s without including at least one Britney Spears song. Out of her biggest hits, Toxic has to be near the top of any of these lists. It’s one of the most iconic pop tracks of all time, with an amazing shrill riff in it that appears between the infectious lyrics and beat of the song. While she was perhaps the biggest name in pop at points during the 2000s, she was undeniably at her peak with this track. 

16. Lose Control – Missy Elliott Feat. Ciara And Fat Man Scoop

Missy Elliott - Lose Control (feat. Ciara & Fat Man Scoop) [Official Music Video]

Lose Control was the lead single for Missy Elliott’s sixth studio album, and it saw her take her music in a different direction. Teaming up with Fatman Scoop, she produced an electronic dance song that featured her legendary hip hop skills. 

17. Hot In Herre – Nelly

Nelly - Hot In Herre (Official Music Video)

To this day, you can’t say “It’s getting hot in here” to people alive in the 2000s without them thinking about taking off all of their clothes. Nelly broke records with his Country Grammar album, and it was on the back of songs like Hot In Herre that he became a mainstream juggernaut. 

18. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Official Video)

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor is another one of the iconic post-punk and garage rock scenes of the 2000s. It was also Arctic Monkeys’ debut single, squarely placing them on the mainstream map and earning them a cult following. It’s been included on lists of the greatest songs of all time, but perhaps its greatest claim to fame came when it was played at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics

19. Ms. Jackson – Outkast

Outkast - Ms. Jackson (Official HD Video)

While Hey Ya! might have been a bigger hit, it was Ms. Jackson that catapulted Outkast to mainstream success. The iconic chorus of “Sorry Ms. Jackson, I am for real” has been memed into oblivion, but it remains iconic in spite of it. It wasn’t just a number-one single on the Hot 100, it won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance as well. 

20. Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira Feat. Wyclef Jean

Shakira - Hips Don't Lie (Official 4K Video) ft. Wyclef Jean

Shakira is a legendary name in music, but her commercial success has mostly been limited in the US. Not so for this song, as Hips Don’t Lie was a Hot 100 number-one single and topped the charts in a further 16 countries. It was one of the best Latin songs of the entire decade and a global phenomenon when it was released in 2006. 

21. 99 Problems – Jay-Z

Jay-Z - 99 Problems

Jay-Z wasn’t the first rapper to use the hook in 99 Problems, but he was the one who made it famous around the world. It’s one of the most fondly remembered hip hop singles of the 2000s, telling a story of him dealing with rap critics, the police, and aggressive rivals. 

22. Crazy In Love – Beyoncé

Beyoncé - Crazy In Love ft. JAY Z

Speaking of Jay-Z producing iconic songs in the 2000s, Crazy In Love was released on Beyoncé’s debut solo album and was an immediate hit that featured ad-libs from her eventual husband Jay-Z. It marked the beginning of one of the most successful solo careers of all time—for her—and won her two Grammy Awards in addition to the massive chart success it became. 

23. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (Official Video) [4K Remaster]

Crazy? I was crazy once. Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy is often placed as perhaps the best song that was released during the 2000s. It got leaked months before its release date, but once it was officially out, it became the first song to top the UK Singles Chart solely based on digital downloads. A Record of the Year nominee in several countries, it became a worldwide success and a track that’s always in contention among the best of the decade. 

24. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone (VIDEO)

Few songs express freedom and a lifted burden as well as Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson. This bouncy anthem became one of the best pop tracks of the decade, and its power-pop style earned it a number-two slot on the Hot 100. 

25. Hurt – Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash - Hurt

Johnny Cash wasn’t the first artist to record Hurt, that honor went to Nine Inch Nails. But his cover of the song was so emotional, so powerful, that it essentially became his track after his version was released. His haunting vocals and the evocative lyrics paired together were a match made in heaven, producing one of the best songs of the decade. Sadly, it ended up being one of the last recordings he ever made, but damn was it a good one.

Recommended: Top cover songs of all time

26. One More Time – Daft Punk

Daft Punk - One More Time (Official Video)

Daft Punk’s One More Time might have been a bigger hit overseas than in the US, but it was still one of the biggest songs of the 2000s. Its music video served as part of a 2003 anime film titled DAFT PUNK & LEIJI MATSUMOTO’S INTERSTELLA 5555: THE 5TORY OF THE 5ECRET 5TAR 5YSTEM. In France, it reached number one on their composite chart and peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. 

27. Gold Digger – Kanye West Feat. Jamie Foxx

Kanye West - Gold Digger ft. Jamie Foxx

Kanye West’s Gold Digger is one of the most iconic songs of the decade, thanks in large part to how fun it was. At the time of its release, it set a record for most digital downloads in a single week at over 80,000. It was the funny ideas and playful lyrics that made this track such a great one in its era. 

28. Mr. Brightside – The Killers

The Killers - Mr. Brightside (Official Music Video)

Mr. Brightside is largely considered the best song The Killers ever released, and few songs can make you scream out the lyrics from the opening line the way this one does. It was first released in 2003 but gained massive popularity the following year after it was re-released, notching a top-10 slot on both the Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart. 

29. Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet

Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Are You Gonna Be My Girl is one of the most popular Australian rock songs of all time. It’s even still played on modern rock radio stations today, giving it longevity that matches or exceeds many of the great tracks on this list. Though its initial release peaked at number 20 on the Hot 100, it was and is Jet’s highest entry to the chart. 

30. Use Somebody – Kings of Leon

Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody (Official Video)

Kings Of Leon released Use Somebody in 2008 as the second single of their fourth album and achieved massive worldwide success. It was a major chart hit across Europe and in the US, winning several awards along the way. It took home the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song. 

31. Get The Party Started – P!nk

P!nk - Get The Party Started (Official Video)

P!nk has released more influential and important songs than Get The Party Started, but none beat its success for a long time. This one was a number-one single in six countries and a top 10 inside of the US. 

32. Idioteque – Radiohead

Idioteque was included on several Radiohead albums and compilations during the 2000s, and it marked a fun time for them when they were experimenting with their sound. The point of the song was to capture the absurdly loud sound of speakers in the club, so loud that it’s damaging your ears. Hence, both the title and sound of the track. 

33. Sugar, We’re Goin Down – Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Goin Down (Official Music Video)

Fall Out Boy became one of the hottest bands of the 2000s and early 2010s, but it was Sugar, We’re Goin Down that set their career off with a bang. It’s considered their first major hit, reaching number eight on the Hot 100 and becoming their first top-10 hit. By 2015, it was certified quadruple platinum and had opened a huge new mainstream audience for the band. 

34. Dear Maria, Count Me In – All Time Low

All Time Low - Dear Maria, Count Me In (Official Music Video)

Dear Maria, Count Me In by All Time Low was just like our last entry, in that it was their first mainstream chart entry. While it didn’t rise to the same level in any way, it’s still one of the most fondly remembered songs of the decade and is sure to bring out the emo teen in all of us. 

35. Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects

The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell (Official Music Video)

Gives You Hell wasn’t just successful in the 2000s, it’s still the most successful song The All-American Rejects released. It topped the Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40 charts, peaking at number four on the Hot 100 and becoming one of the best lead singles of the decade.

36. That’s What You Get – Paramore

Paramore: That's What You Get [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

There were plenty of awesome tracks on Riot!, but behind Misery Business, That’s What You Get was probably the next best offering from Paramore. It was a huge crossover success, charting high on both the Mainstream Top 40 and Alternative Songs charts in 2007. 

37. Nine in the Afternoon – Panic! At the Disco

Panic! At The Disco: Nine In The Afternoon [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Nine In The Afternoon went through several evolutions as Panic! At The Disco worked on it, changing keys and lyrics on occasion between 2007 and 2008. It was the result of them scrapping an entire album’s worth of songs and coming up with this one, inspired by a jam session where they had no idea what time it was outside. 

38. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyoncé

Beyoncé - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) (Video Version)

Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) was an important song for the Beyoncé universe, as it was coupled with If I Was A Boy to highlight the perspective differences between her and her alter ego Sasha Fierce. It was a huge hit single, topping the charts in 2008 and winning three Grammy Awards before becoming a staple of her concerts. 

39. Lollipop – Lil Wayne Feat. Static

Lil Wayne - Lollipop (Official Music Video) ft. Static

Lil Wayne cemented his place as one of the greatest rappers in hip hop history during the 2000s, so there is a menagerie of songs that could have been chosen for this list. A Milli, Fireman, and Steady Mobbin’ all come to mind. But it was Lollipop that earned a place as one of the top tracks of the 2000s because it was the most popular ringtone of the decade, even securing that spot according to Billboard. 

40. My Girls – Animal Collective

Animal Collective - My Girls (Official Video)

My Girls was a song that got overlooked by a lot of people when it was released, coming from Animal Collective’s 2009 album Merriweather Post Pavilion. Critics didn’t miss it though, and it would become one of the seminal early examples of the house music genre.

41. Try Again – Aaliyah

Aaliyah -Try Again (Original Video)

Aaliyah recorded Try Again for the film soundtrack of Romeo Must Die. It ended up being a bonus track on her third studio album and received massive critical praise. It went on to sit on top of the Hot 100 based solely on airplay, the first song to achieve such a feat. 

42. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl (Official Music Video)

Hollaback Girl is solely responsible for thousands of kids growing up in the mid-2000s learning how to spell “Bananas.” It was a huge hit for Gwen Stefani, who wanted to create a fun and silly dance record. It ended up reaching number one in the US and was a top-10 hit on most international charts. 

43. Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River (Official Video)

Cry Me A River was one of the tracks that introduced the world to Justin Timberlake as a solo artist after the end of *NSYNC. A standout track on his Justified album, it won him the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2004 and peaked at number three on both the Hot 100 and Pop Songs charts. 

44. Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse - Rehab

Rehab was released as the lead single from Amy Winehouse’s final studio album, detailing the time she refused to enter a rehab facility for alcohol addiction. It was a huge hit from her Back To Black album, peaking at number seven in the UK and number nine in the US, which gave her her only top-10 hit in the US. 

45. Complicated – Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne - Complicated (Official Video)

Unlike Avril Lavigne’s love life, nothing was complicated about how beloved this song became. It was released as the lead single from her debut album Let Go in 2002, producing one of the most infectious pop-rock anthems of the decade. Complicated eventually peaked at number two on the Hot 100 and spent 16 weeks atop the Adult Top 40 chart. 

46. Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Official Video)

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head was the lead single for Kylie Minogue’s eighth studio album in 2001. A dance-pop song that verged on falling into the nu-disco genre, it topped charts in 40 different countries and appeared on almost every decade-end list you can find of the 2000s. 

47. Work It – Missy Elliot

Missy Elliott - Work It [Official Music Video]

Work It saw Missy Elliott team up with Timbaland to produce one of her most successful mainstream chart hits. It reached number two on the Hot 100 and spent 10 weeks in that position. Later, a remix was released with 50 Cent, which was just as awesome as the original release. 

48. Yeah! – Usher Feat. Lil Jon And Ludacris

Usher - Yeah! (Official Video) ft. Lil Jon, Ludacris

Usher was another artist who crushed the charts in the 2000s. Yeah! was an easy lock for number one on the Hot 100, and it spent 12 weeks in that spot before being dethroned by his follow-up single Burn. In 2004, it had the longest run at number one and was the most successful single of the entire year. 

49. Say My Name – Destiny’s Child

Destiny's Child - Say My Name (Official Video)

Alright, Say My Name came out in 1999, but it was in October, so its chart run happened in the 2000s, and this was one of Destiny’s Child’s biggest hits. It also marked the end of their original lineup, with the recording being with the originals and the music video featuring the second. It rose to number one on the Hot 100, becoming the girl group’s second number-one single together, and won two Grammy Awards along the way. 

50. Drops of Jupiter – Train

Train - Drops of Jupiter (Official Video)

Drops Of Jupiter was played so much, people often got sick of it. Released as the lead single for Train’s second album, it became one of their biggest hits by rising to the top five of the Hot 100 and spending 29 weeks inside of the top 40 of that chart. 

51. How You Remind Me – Nickelback

Nickelback - How You Remind Me

Even if I tried, Nickelback wasn’t getting left off of this list. There are quite a few songs you could choose for their best work in the 2000s, but How You Remind Me is easily one of their best tracks. It’s emotional, it moves through several speeds, and it’s quintessential Nickelback. 

52. Kryptonite – 3 Doors Down

3 Doors Down - Kryptonite (Official Video)

Kryptonite is a personal favorite and one of those songs that was quintessential for alternative rock in the early 2000s. It spent nine weeks on top of the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, 11 weeks on the Modern Rock charts, and five non-consecutive weeks on top of the Adult Top 40. 

53. Picture – Kid Rock Feat. Sheryl Crow

Kid Rock - Picture feat. Sheryl Crow [Official Music Video]

There haven’t been many—by that, I mean zero—country tracks on this list so far. It’s odd since Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and even Garth Brooks were all active during that decade. But I’m giving the nod to two singers who don’t really do country for this one. Kid Rock and Cheryl Crow’s Picture is one of the most iconic and amazing duets in history, deserving of a spot on a list of the best songs of the 2000s. 

54. Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado Feat. Timbaland

Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous (Official Music Video) ft. Timbaland

Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado was one of the most fun and sexy songs of the decade. It was a big chart hit, but its longevity on people’s playlists is what makes it one of the greatest. The beat is infectious, the fast tempo is perfect for the track, and the back-and-forth playful lyrics put it over the top. 

55. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s

Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah

Hey There Delilah was the track that put the Plain White T’s on the map. Originally appearing as an EP for their third album All That We Needed, it was added and released as a single from their fourth album Every Second Counts in 2007. A massive sleeper hit, it reached the top of the Hot 100 and earned Grammy nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance.

Recommended Next:

The top artists of the 2000s

Leave a Comment