35 Best Songs From 2006

The year 2006 saw some massive names debut their music careers and gave us some of the most memorable tracks of the 2000s. In this article, we’ll look at the 35 best songs of 2006 by scanning the year-end Billboard charts. As usual, the tracks are ranked on this list at the same place they ranked on those year-end rankings. With that out of the way, let’s get started. 

1. Bad Day – Daniel Powter

Daniel Powter - Bad Day (Official Music Video) [HD]

Bad Day by Daniel Powter is one of those cheesy songs that you hear once and remember forever. It hits all the right notes to be a perfect pop track and was so universal that it got used in all kinds of other media and became a national sensation. It was a song that almost never happened too, being used in a French Coca-Cola commercial before a record label even picked it up and released it as his lead single.

In the US, this track topped the Hot 100, Pop 100, Adult Top 40, and Adult Contemporary charts. Unsurprisingly, it finished at the top of the year-end charts and was the most successful song of 2006.

Recommended: Best songs of the 2000s

2. Temperature – Sean Paul

Sean Paul - Temperature (Official Video)

Temperature by Sean Paul had quite the run on the charts as well. It spent 17 weeks in the Top 10 in addition to a week at the number one spot, at least until our next entry pushed it out. It was his second US single, a featured song on his third studio album The Trinity. Even today, it remains his biggest hit track in the US, and it was the second-longest-running song in the Top 10 of 2006. 

3. Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland

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

For me, this was one of the best songs of 2006, and it shows in the year-end rankings. Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado was a lot of people’s favorite tracks to bump that year thanks to an amazing beat and the chemistry on display in the back-and-forth between Furtado and Timbaland in the song. It became her first US number-one single, spending six weeks at the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100

4. You’re Beautiful – James Blunt

James Blunt - You're Beautiful (Official Music Video) [4K]

You’re Beautiful by James Blunt was the third single from his debut album at the end of 2005, but it found massive success in 2006. It wound up reaching number one in the US, Canada, and the UK while taking the number-two spot in Australia. According to him, it took two minutes to write the song after he ran into his ex with a new partner. 

5. Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean

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

Hips Don’t Lie is a rework of Wyclef Jean’s earlier release Dance Like This, which appeared on Shakira’s seventh studio album and became a massive international success. As big a star—even in English markets—as she would become, this remains to this day her only number-one single in the US. At the time it was released, it broke the records for the fastest-selling digital download song and most radio plays in a single week. 

6. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield

Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten (Official Video) (as featured in Anyone But You)

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield is another one of those quintessential mid-2000s songs. It was the title track of her debut album and served as the third single of the album to get an official release. It would go on to become the most-played song of 2006, has been used in countless other media like the MTV show The Hills, and peaked at number five on the Hot 100. 

7. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

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

Crazy was Gnarls Barkley’s debut single in 2006. It would accidentally leak in 2005 and be played on BBC Radio 1. On top of astounding chart runs in both the US and the UK, it would win a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and would get a nod for Record of the Year. 

8. Ridin’ – Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone

Chamillionaire - Ridin' (Official Music Video) ft. Krayzie Bone

Ridin’ was the second single to come from Chamillionaire’s debut album The Sound Of Revenge. It discussed a lot of heavy topics like police brutality and driving vehicles with drugs in it, but it remained one of the best hip hop singles of the year. Plus, it spawned plenty of song parodies that were excellent, with White And Nerdy being the funniest. 

9. SexyBack – Justin Timberlake feat. Timbaland

Justin Timberlake - SexyBack (Official Video) ft. Timbaland

Justin Timberlake had to do something special to have a successful solo career after leaving NSYNC and SexyBack was the answer. It was his first number-one in the US, spending seven weeks at the top of the charts and winning a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2007. 

10. Check on It – Beyoncé feat. Bun B And Slim Thug

Beyoncé - Check On It (Video) ft. Bun B, Slim Thug

Beyoncé recorded Check On It for the 2006 version of the Pink Panther film, but it wound up not being included on the soundtrack. It eventually got released as a single on her B’Day album and spent five consecutive weeks at number one on the Hot 100. 

11. Be Without You – Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige - Be Without You (Official Music Video)

Like most of the songs on this list, Be Without You ranked as one of the most-played tracks of 2006. Mary J. Blige released the song as part of her seventh studio album and immediately saw it rise to number three on the charts. It wound up being named the most successful R&B track of the year and won the Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Performance. 

12. Grillz – Nelly Feat. Paul Wall and Ali & Gipp

Nelly - Grillz ft. Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp

The song that lost out to Ridin’ for Best Rap Performance at the Grammys. Grillz was an international hit for Nelly—not Furtado. It wound up reaching the top of the Hot 100 and was a top-20 hit in Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. 

13. Over My Head (Cable Car) – The Fray

The Fray - Over My Head (Cable Car) (Video)

While How To Save A Life might be the better-known song by The Fray today, Over My Head was the more successful single in 2006. It was the lead single of their debut album and was the fifth-most downloaded track of the year. While it would only peak at number eight on the Hot 100, it charted on every US chart it was eligible for and spent most of the year within the top 20 of those charts. 

14. Me & U – Cassie

Cassie was another artist who had a massively successful debut in 2006. Me & U was the lead single on her debut album and immediately found success on the charts, rising to number three on the Hot 100 and spending five months within the top 40. The ‘bad boy’ remix of the song saw Diddy and Yung Joc hop on the track for another hit. 

15. Buttons – The Pussycat Dolls feat. Snoop Dogg

The Pussycat Dolls - Buttons (Official Music Video) ft. Snoop Dogg

The 2000s was when we were finally blessed with the debut of the Pussycat Dolls. Buttons was a track on their debut album that included a remix version featuring Snoop Dogg. The buttons in question were apparently their own, asking for help undressing. It would become an international hit and make it to number three on the Hot 100 while owning the Mainstream Top 40 and Dance Club Songs charts. 

16. Run It! – Chris Brown feat. Juelz Santana

Chris Brown - Run It! (Official HD Video) ft. Juelz Santana

Run It! wound up being one of the biggest hip hop team-ups of the year. Chris Brown worked with Juelz Santana, Bow Wow, and Jermaine Dupri to create this hit, and the radio version was insanely popular. It wound up reaching number one in the US and was a top-20—or better—song in 11 other countries. 

17. So Sick – Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo - So Sick (Official Music Video)

So Sick was a bit more emotional and smooth than most people expected of a Ne-Yo song in 2006, but that was part of what made it such a hit. It peaked at the top spot of both the US and UK charts and was even a number-one single on the Eurochart Hot 100. 

18. It’s Goin’ Down – Yung Joc feat. Nitti

It's Goin' Down (feat. Nitti)

Yung Joc blew onto the scene with his debut single It’s Goin’ Down. Introducing the world to the snap genre of hip hop, this track was one of the most successful singles of 2006. It made it to number three on the Hot 100 and spent eight weeks at the top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. 

19. SOS – Rihanna

Rihanna - SOS (Official Music Video)

Rihanna’s SOS was one of the most fun songs of 2006 and was the lead single on her album A Girl Like Me. While she very much found more success later, it was her first track to reach the top spot of the Hot 100 en route to also topping the Hot Dance Club and Mainstream Top 40 charts. 

20. I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! at the Disco

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

There’s not a lot I feel I have to say about this track, you either know or you don’t. To this day, it remains a beautiful alternative song that will force the emo child in you to reemerge upon hearing it. I Write Sins Not Tragedies was Panic! At The Disco’s first track to break into the Top 40, peaking at number seven on the Hot 100

21. Move Along – The All-American Rejects

The All-American Rejects - Move Along (Official Music Video)

Move Along was mainly the product of The All-American Rejects becoming fed up with the creative process and questioning whether or not they would even be making a second album. Thankfully, they did, resulting in this hit that rose to number 15 on the Hot 100 and won them an MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video/Award.

22. London Bridge (Oh Snap) – Fergie

Fergie - London Bridge (Oh Snap) (Official Music Video)

Yep, Fergie debuted in 2006 too. London Bridge (Oh Snap) came from her debut studio album The Dutchess in 2006, and despite some critics questioning it for its sexuality, it reached the Top 10 in 13 separate countries. 

23. Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California [Official Music Video]

While Red Hot Chili Peppers wasn’t at its peak in 2006, it still produced some of its best work. Dani California would rise to number six on the Hot 100 and won two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. 

24. Snap Yo Fingers – Lil Jon feat. E-40 and Sean Paul Of Youngbloodz

Lil Jon - Snap Yo Fingers (feat. E-40, Sean Paul of Youngbloodz) (Official Music Video)

Snap Yo Fingers was meant to be Lil Jon’s debut single as a solo artist but wound up on a Crunk Hits album. It was a great club track that wound up reaching number seven on the Hot 100 and took the top spot on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at one point as well. 

25. Lean wit It, Rock wit It – Dem Franchize Boyz Feat. Peanut & Charlay

Dem Franchize Boyz - Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It (Official Music Video) ft. Peanut & Charlay

Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It was the track that shot Dem Franchize Boyz into the mainstream hip hop world. Its uptempo beat helped it rise to number seven on the Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Rap Songs chart. 

26. What Hurts the Most – Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts - What Hurts The Most (Album Version)

Country music tends to not make it onto the year-end charts, but Rascal Flatts did it with What Hurts The Most. While theirs wasn’t the first version of the song to be produced, it wound up being the most memorable.

27. How to Save a Life – The Fray

The Fray - How to Save a Life (Official Video)

The Fray’s debut single found a place on this list, and their second one does now as well. How To Save A Life would peak at number three on the Hot 100 and spent 58 consecutive weeks charting on the Hot 100 before becoming one of the best-selling digital rock songs of all time. 

28. Unfaithful – Rihanna

Rihanna - Unfaithful (Official Music Video)

Unfaithful is the second single of Rihanna’s A Girl Like Me album, and her second entry to the 2006 year-end charts. This one was a rock-inspired hit that made it to number six on the Hot 100 and topped both Dance/Club charts in the US. 

29. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars (Official Video)

Chasing Cars was a mild success upon release, but after it was used in the second season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, the song surged in popularity in the US and the UK, breaking into the top five in the US. 

30. Lips of an Angel – Hinder

Hinder - Lips Of An Angel (Official Music Video)

Lips Of An Angel served as Hinder’s breakthrough single, reaching the Top 10 of several different Billboard charts en route to reaching number three on the Hot 100. 

31. Everytime We Touch – Cascada

Cascada - Everytime We Touch (Official video)

Everytime We Touch was undeniably one of the best dance songs of 2006. Cascada released it as part of their debut album and saw it reach number 10 on the Hot 100 in the US. 

32. Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera

Ain't No Other Man

Ain’t No Other Man by Christina Aguilera was inspired by her 2005 marriage. The lead single of her album that year, it would win her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and just missed out on the top five of the Hot 100 by peaking at number six. 

33. Dance, Dance – Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy - Dance, Dance (Official Music Video)

Dance, Dance set a high level of expectations for Fall Out Boy when it became their second-consecutive Top-10 hit song. Few singles have been used in as many different video games as this track, finding a place in nearly 10 titles across several genres. 

34. Gold Digger – Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx

Kanye West - Gold Digger ft. Jamie Foxx

Gold Digger by Kanye West is still one of the most quotable songs of all time. Alongside Jamie Foxx, West would break the record for most digital downloads in a single week—at the time, that was a lot—and it made the year-end lists of several publications for both 2005 and 2006. 

35. Money Maker – Ludacris feat. Pharrell

Ludacris - Money Maker (Official Music Video) ft. Pharrell

Money Maker gave Ludacris his third number-one single in the US, reimagining the 1961 blues track Shake Your Moneymaker. It wound up winning Best Rap Song at the Grammy Awards and topped the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts in addition to the Hot 100. 

Recommended Next:

Best songs of 2007

Best songs of 2005

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