35 Best Songs From 2004

The year 2004 was yet another amazing one in music, owned in large part by Usher and the new R&B/hip hop acts that finally entered the scene. In this article, we’ll use the Billboard year-end chart rankings to determine the 35 best songs of 2004. 

1. Yeah! – Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris

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

There quite literally wasn’t a bigger song in 2004 than Usher’s Yeah! Alongside Lil Jon and Ludacris, it wound up being the most popular track of the year and one that would live on in the decades after for anyone who was around when it came out. It served as the lead single for his fourth album Confessions, an album that will appear here a few times.

This track spent 12 weeks on top of the US Billboard Hot 100, only being dethroned by our next entry, also by Usher. That 12 weeks was the longest run at number one of the year, and it also topped the charts in several other countries. In the end, the combination of R&B and crunk music produced an infectious song that was hard to argue against as the best track of the year.

Recommended: Top hit songs of the 2000s

2. Burn – Usher

Usher - Burn (Official Music Video)

Burn was the song that dethroned Yeah! from the top spot of the Hot 100, also coming from Usher’s Confessions album in 2004. While this was originally intended to be the lead single of the album, it served as the second single after Yeah! received such favorable responses.

Burn would top the Hot 100 for eight non-consecutive weeks, and combined with our first entry, gave him 19 consecutive weeks on top of the US Hot 100. Outside of the US, it topped both UK charts it was eligible for and was the number two song on the Eurochart for quite some time. 

3. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys - If I Ain't Got You (Official HD Video)

Alicia Keys was inspired to produce If I Ain’t Got You following the death of Aaliyah in 2001 and several other personal and national events that year. The whole point of the track was to relay a message that material things don’t actually feed your soul and that having people around is much more important for happiness.

It would eventually peak at number four on the Hot 100 and take the top spot of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for six weeks. She would win the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the track as well. She would later reimagine the song for the soundtrack of the Queen Charlotte series on Netflix in 2023. 

4. This Love – Maroon 5

Maroon 5 - This Love (Official Music Video)

Maroon 5’s songs tend to stick around for quite a while. This Love was originally released as the second single from their debut album in 2002 but was released at the beginning of 2004. The track described Adam Levine’s break-up with an ex-girlfriend, something that was universally relatable and translated to chart success. It would reach the Top 10 on most charts internationally, taking the number one spot on the Hot Adult Top 40 chart and reaching number five on the US Hot 100. 

5. The Way You Move – Outkast feat. Sleepy Brown

Outkast - The Way You Move (Official HD Video) ft. Sleepy Brown

Outkast’s double album had two lead singles, with The Way You Move standing as the lead single for Big Boi’s side of things. It would quickly rise to the top spot of the Hot 100 in 2004, becoming their third number-one pop single. Billboard would name it as one of the most successful tracks of the 2000s, and it remains one of the highlights of the entire Speakerboxxx//The Love Below album. 

6. The Reason – Hoobastank

Hoobastank - The Reason (Official Music Video)

Hoobastank’s power ballad title track of their second album was a masterpiece of their work. The Reason was one of the songs that got the pop-punk and emo genres into the hands of mainstream audiences during the early 2000s. It would end up being nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance at the Grammys, surging all the way to number two on the Hot 100 and number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. 

7. I Don’t Wanna Know – Mario Winans feat. Enya and P. Diddy

I Don't Wanna Know (feat. Enya & P. Diddy) (2016 Remaster)

I Didn’t Want To Know might have been the biggest chart loser to make this list so high. It sat at the number two spot on the Hot 100 for eight weeks thanks to Usher’s Burn and Yeah! Despite this, it was a number-one hit in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. It was perhaps the most perfect blend of beats and synthesizers the year saw, drawing on the Fugees and EPDM for inspiration. 

8. Hey Ya! – Outkast

Outkast - Hey Ya! (Official HD Video)

The flip lead single to The Way You Move, Hey Ya! is probably the first Outkast track that comes to mind. Today, it ranks as one of the best songs of the 2000s and Rolling Stone has placed it among the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It soared up the charts, taking the number one spot in the US, Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.  

9. Goodies – Ciara feat. Petey Pablo

Ciara - Goodies ft. Petey Pablo (Official Video) ft. Petey Pablo

Goodies was Ciara’s debut single and the title track of her debut album. It was essentially an answer to Petey Pablo’s Freek-A-Leek, with the woman in the song refusing the sexual advances of a man trying to get with her. It would eventually reach number one on the Hot 100, spending seven weeks at that spot and becoming the longest-running number-one by a debuting female artist since 1977. It also made her the First Lady of Crunk&B, turning her into an overnight star. 

10. Lean Back – Terror Squad feat. Fat Joe and Remy Ma

Terror Squad - Lean Back (Official Music Video) ft. Fat Joe, Remy Ma

Lean Back was the second single to come from Terror Squad’s second album True Story. It was one of those tracks made for the club, an uptempo dance number from the hip hop world. It spent a total of three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 and seven weeks on top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. 

11. Tipsy – J-Kwon

J-Kwon - Tipsy (Official Video)

J-Kwon would debut in 2003 with Tipsy serving as the rapper’s lead single for his 2004 album Hood Hop. The song spent 14 weeks on the Hot 100 before reaching the number two spot, the same rank it achieved on the Hip-Hop/R&B chart. An official remix would shortly follow that saw him team up with Chingy and Murphy Lee. 

12. Confessions Part II – Usher

Confessions Part II

Confessions was a really interesting album outside of its biggest hits. The title track of the album starts with a man confessing his infidelity, and the second part—this song—sees him confessing to impregnating his mistress. Confessions Part II would serve as the third single from the album, reaching number one on the Hot 100 to give Usher his third-consecutive number-one single release. 

13. Slow Motion – Juvenile feat. Soulja Slim

Juvenile - Slow Motion ft. Soulja Slim

Slow Motion remains Juvenile’s only number-one single on the Hot 100, a spot it held for two weeks in August 2004. It was the first number-one for both Soulja Slim and Juvenile, though it was a posthumous run to the top for Soulja Slim. The song wasn’t written as a tribute, but the music video was used to honor Soulja Slim. 

14. Freek-a-Leek – Petey Pablo

Petey Pablo - Freek-A-Leek (PAL Dirty)

Petey Pablo released Freek-A-Leek as the second single from his Still Writing In My Diary: 2nd Entry in 2004. It took advantage of the height of the crunk genre and had a solid chart run, with a long runtime on MTV. It peaked at number seven on the Hot 100 and number two on the Hot Rap Songs chart. 

15. Here Without You – 3 Doors Down

3 Doors Down - Here Without You (Official Music Video)

Here Without You was a power ballad for all the people who had to hit the road and leave loved ones behind. It was the third single from 3 Doors Down’s second album Away From The Sun. The song would quickly make progress on the charts, peaking at number five on the Hot 100 and taking the top spot of both the Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Top 40. 

16. Slow Jamz – Twista feat. Kanye West and Jamie Foxx

Slow Jamz (feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx)

Slow Jamz would serve as the lead single for Twista’s fourth studio album Kamikaze and the second single from Kanye West’s debut album The College Dropout. It would become the first number-one single of Twista’s, West’s, and Jamie Foxx’s careers when it reached the top of the Hot 100. It would also reach number three on the UK Singles chart and earned a Grammy nomination the following year. 

17. Someday – Nickelback

Nickelback - Someday (Official Video) [HD Remaster]

Someday would end up serving as the lead single of Nickelback’s fourth studio album The Long Road in 2003 and instantly became a smashing hit. It took the top spot on the Canadian charts for three weeks and would reach number seven on the US charts, spending a total of 50 weeks on official charts and becoming their longest-charting single. 

18. Naughty Girl – Beyoncé

Beyoncé - Naughty Girl

Once Beyoncé started her solo career, everyone knew she was going to become huge. Her debut album produced several hits, one of which would be Naughty Girl, the fourth and final single to be released from the album. It combined Arabic, funk, and reggae to produce one of the sexiest songs of the year. It would peak at number three on the Hot 100, giving the star her fourth-consecutive top-five hit single. 

19. My Immortal – Evanescence

Evanescence - My Immortal (Official HD Music Video)

Evanescence’s debut album was the one that captured the hearts of the world. My Immortal was one of the most popular releases and served as the third single from the album. Several versions have been recorded over the years, with the one used in the debut album coming from the band’s demo CD Origin. It would peak in the Top 10 in more than 10 countries, rising as high as number seven on the Hot 100 and number one in Canada. 

20. Sunshine – Lil’ Flip

Lil' Flip - Sunshine (Video)

Sunshine was the second single to be released from Lil Flip’s third album U Gotta Feel Me. It would rise to number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, Hot Rap Songs, and Hot 100 charts. The only thing holding it from the top spot was Terror Squad’s Lean Back. Tyga would remake this track in 2022, featuring new lyrics and a new lineup of artists. 

21. Dirt Off Your Shoulder – Jay-Z

JAY-Z - Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Dirt Off Your Shoulder was the second single released from Jay-Z’s The Black Album in 2003. It would actually be referenced by the Presidential candidate Barack Obama during his 2008 run against Hillary Clinton. The track would make it to number five on the Hot 100, number two on the Hot Rap Songs, and number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. 

22. Move Ya Body – Nina Sky feat. Jabba

Nina Sky - Move Ya Body (Official Music Video) ft. Jabba

Nina Sky teamed up with Jabba for her debut single Move Ya Body. It served as the lead single for her eponymous debut album in 2004 and is best known for its use of riddim and bongos. The song would break into the top five of the Hot 100 by reaching number four on the Hot 100 and would also reach number six on the UK Singles chart.

23. Dip It Low – Christina Milian

Christina Milian - Dip It Low (Official Music Video)

Dip It Low was the lead single for Christina Milian’s second album It’s About Time. It would feature Fabolous on the original version, which was a limited release, but a solo version would get a widespread international one. The song took the top spot on the US Dance Clubs and UK Hip-Hop/R&B charts while peaking at number two and five on the UK Singles and Hot 100 respectively. 

24. My Boo – Usher and Alicia Keys

Usher, Alicia Keys - My Boo (Official Video)

My Boo was included on the reissue of Usher’s Confessions album and saw him perform an incredible duet with Alicia Keys. It rose to the top of the Hot 100 and remained in that position for six weeks, becoming almost as successful as Yeah! and Burn. It did beat out those two when it came to its debut on the charts, coming in higher than those other two at the number 29 position. 

25. One Call Away – Chingy

Chingy - One Call Away

One Call Away was a rap ballad that showed the softer side of Chingy as he talked to his girl on the phone. It would be released as the third single from his debut album Jackpot and would rise to the number-two spot on the Hot 100. It did take the top spot of the Hit Rap Songs chart, a position it held on to for three weeks in total. 

26. Me, Myself and I – Beyoncé

Beyoncé - Me, Myself and I (Video Version)

Me, Myself, And I was the third single to come from Beyoncé’s debut album Dangerously In Love, and it was meant to be much deeper than the pop-esque songs she released before. Her performance of the track from The Beyonce Experience Live earned a Grammy Nomination as late as 2009 and the original would win an ASCAP Pop Award. The track would peak at number four on the Hot 100, her fourth-consecutive top-five hit single as a solo artist.  

27. Turn Me On – Kevin Lyttle feat. Spraga Benz

Kevin Lyttle - Turn Me On (feat. Spraga Benz) [Official Video]

Kevin Lyttle’s career got started with his debut single Turn Me On. It served as the lead single from his eponymous debut album and was remade into a dance song by the time it got released in the US. It would become an international hit, peaking within the Top 10 of 17 different countries. 

28. The First Cut Is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow - The First Cut Is The Deepest (Official Music Video)

The First Cut Is The Deepest was originally written by Cat Stevens in 1967 that was included on his New Masters album. It’s one of those tracks that has been recorded by numerous different artists over the years, all to varying degrees of success. Sheryl Crow’s version in 2003 would peak at number 14 on the Hot 100, but it would take the top spot on the Adult Alternative Songs, Adult Contemporary, and Adult Alternative Songs charts. 

29. You Don’t Know My Name – Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys - You Don't Know My Name (Official HD Video)

You Don’t Know My Name was the lead single of Alicia Keys’ second studio album in 2003 and would become her third Top-10 hit in the US. It would eventually peak at number three on the Hot 100, but it would reign atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for eight consecutive weeks. It then went on to win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.

30. My Place – Nelly

My Place was the lead single of Nelly’s fourth album Suit in 2004 and saw him teaming up with Jaheim and Kim Johnson. It wound up topping the charts in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand in the process of peaking at number four on the US Hot 100. 

31. Overnight Celebrity – Twista

Twista ‎- Overnight Celebrity (Official Video)

Overnight Celebrity was another awesome song from Twista’s album Kamikaze. Kanye West would provide both production and uncredited vocals to the track. Twista watched this song help turn him into one as it ran up the charts to peak at number six on the Hot 100 and earn him a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance. 

32. Hotel – Cassidy feat. R. Kelly

Cassidy - Hotel (VIDEO) ft. R.Kelly

Hotel was the commercial debut single of Cassidy, a song that was the lead single for his debut album Split Personality. R. Kelly would provide featured vocals for the track, and it quickly rose to number three on the UK Singles chart and number four on the US Hot 100. 

33. Numb – Linkin Park

Numb (Official Music Video) [4K UPGRADE] – Linkin Park

Numb was the third single to come from Linkin Park’s second album and served as the closing track of the album. It sat on top of the Alternative Songs chart for 12 weeks, six weeks in 2003 and six in 2004. It would also spend three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and peaked at number 11 on the US Hot 100. 

34. Diary – Alicia Keys feat. Tony! Toni! Tone! And Jermaine Paul

Alicia Keys - Diary (Official Live HD Video) ft. Tony! Toni! Tone!, Jermaine Paul

Diary was the third single to come from Alicia Keys’ second album and was sometimes released as a double-A side with If I Ain’t Got You. It peaked at number eight on the Hot 100 and two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, earning her a nomination for Best R&B Performance in the process.

35. She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved (Official Music Video)

She Will Be Loved was the third single to come from Maroon 5’s album Songs About Jane. It peaked at number five on the Hot 100 and number four in the UK but held the top spot in Australia for five weeks. The track was a double-edged sword for the band, as it caused them to be removed from alt-rock stations for being too light, however, it was hugely popular, so it canceled out.

Recommended Next:

Best songs from 2005

Best songs from 2003

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