Electronic dance music, usually abbreviated as EDM, has been around in one form or another since the 1980s. The genre covers any kind of electronic, percussion-heavy music meant for clubs or raves. These top EDM songs have gotten dance floors pumping all over the world.
1. No Good (Start The Dance) — The Prodigy
One of the biggest EDM songs of the mid-1990s was No Good (Start The Dance) by the English band The Prodigy. The song samples both house and funk songs, creating a completely unique feel that is impossible to resist. It was a striking response to the electronic Eurodance that was prominent at the time, blurring the lines between EDM and other genres.
2. Titanium — David Guetta feat. Sia
Titanium has often been credited for moving EDM back into mainstream attention, sparking a trend that would continue through much of the 2010s. The 2011 track featured vocals by Chandelier singer Sia and was an international hit, reaching the Top 10 in the UK, Canada, and the US.
3. Sweet Nothing — Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch
Scottish DJ Calvin Harris rose to prominence during the 2010s for his EDM collaborations with many well-known pop stars. One of these was Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine, with whom he collaborated on 2012’s Sweet Nothing. Thanks to its electric, escalating rhythm, the song was a hit dance track throughout the years.
4. Closer — The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey
Closer was released in 2016, a collaboration between The Chainsmokers and Halsey. It was noted for blending past and future styles, most particularly dubstep and trap, with an 80s-inspired synthesizer track. The song was a wild success, topping the charts for 12 weeks in 2016 and receiving a nomination for a Grammy Award.
5. Opus — Eric Prydz
The mid-2010s saw a return of EDM, with DJs around the world rising to international attention. One of these was Swedish DJ Eric Prydz, who released Opus in 2016. The purely instrumental piece was a massive hit in Europe, where it topped the dance charts for much of the year thanks to its trap house elements and superfast beat.
6. Lean On — Major Lazer
Major Lazer’s 2015 EDM hit, Lean On, swept the charts in 2015. The electric dance track combined a mid-tempo beat with a hypnotic, repeated chorus. It was an international success and topped the charts in the US, becoming one of the biggest songs of the year. Lean On also incorporated elements of the lesser-known Moombahton genre.
7. Alive — Krewella
EDM group Krewella released Alive in 2012 as part of their debut EP. It was noted for its softer feel than many dubstep songs of the time, with a gentler beat and lyrics and elements of house music. It was a chart success and remains one of their biggest hits to this day.
8. Lights — Ellie Goulding
British songstress Ellie Goulding released Lights in 2010 on her debut album of the same name. The song was a success around the world, noted for Goulding’s delicate vocal performance, which contrasted beautifully with the heavier electronic beat. Lights has become one of Goulding’s best-known songs, and she continues to perform it live.
9. Till The World Ends — Britney Spears
Britney Spears isn’t normally associated with the world of EDM, but her 2011 single Till The World Ends, taken from her album Femme Fatale, showed her venturing into that genre. The song was a collaboration with musician Ke$ha, making it a joint venture between two of the biggest pop stars of the 2010s.
10. Levels — Avicii
Swedish DJ Avicii was considered a king of modern EDM until his death in 2018 at the age of 28. One of his earliest and biggest hits was the 2011 progressive house song Levels. The song samples the 1962 song Something’s Got a Hold On Me by Etta James, incorporating jazz and Gospel into electronic music in a truly creative fusion.
11. Digital Love — Daft Punk
One of the most famous EDM groups of the early 2000s was the French duo Daft Punk, whose music featured in clubs around the world. The 2001 song Digital Love was one of their most iconic songs of the era. It sampled George Duke’s I Love You More and incorporated elements of retro EDM songs in a combination of old and new sounds.
12. Don’t You Worry Child — Swedish House Mafia feat. john martin
Swedish House Mafia’s 2013 hit Don’t You Worry Child was the group’s biggest hit, ironically released mere months before they disbanded. The song was one of the biggest tracks of 2013 and earned a Grammy Award nomination. Its hopeful lyrics were taken directly from Michel Zitron’s personal life.
13. Children — Robert Miles
Children stands out in the world of EDM for its slower, more melodic feel. It was intended to help club patrons calm down before the end of the night, ensuring that they were collected before getting in cars to leave. The song was a hit not just for this reason but also for its dream trance instrumentals that made it the biggest club song of 1996.
14. Cinema — Benny Benassi
Cinema was initially released in 2011 by Benny Benassi. It became widely known after it was covered by the dubstep group Skrillex the next year, topping the dance charts for two years. The original song also became popular and has been covered by many other artists on social media platforms.
15. Shivers — Armin Van Buuren
Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren is the creative mind behind many of the 21st century’s most popular EDM songs. One of the most notable was the 2005 track Shivers, on which he collaborated with Dutch singer Susana. A popular EDM dance hit of the mid-2000s, it also became widely known as a track on Dance Dance Revolution.
16. We Found Love — Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
Pop star Rihanna dominated the music charts throughout 2011 when she collaborated with EDM artist Calvin Harris. We Found Love is a hypnotically catchy, upbeat electro house song that proved popular around the world. It won a Grammy Award and was one of the biggest tracks of the year, launching Harris to international stardom.
17. Clarity — Zedd feat. Foxes
Clarity was a 2012 collaboration between Russian-German DJ Zedd and the British singer known professionally as Foxes. The result was an upbeat electro-house track that proved popular around the world. Foxes’ mellow vocals provided a blueprint for a mellower EDM sound throughout the 2010s. Clarity won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
18. Put Your Hands Up For Detroit — Fedde Le Grand
Fedde Le Grand might be a DJ from Holland, but he came to national attention with a song celebrating Detroit, Michigan. His track was a remix of a song by Matthew Dear. Le Grand’s version came to international attention, becoming one of the hottest dance hits in Europe throughout 2009.
19. D.A.N.C.E. — Justice
D.A.N.C.E. is an EDM song that was released by French duo Justice in 2007. Michael Jackson’s music heavily influenced the song, and the lyrics reference a number of the pop star’s hits, as well as sampling Me Against The Music by Britney Spears. It was one of the biggest hits of the year.
20. Bangarang — Skrillex feat. sirah
Few groups are as fundamentally associated with the dubstep genre as Skrillex. Bangarang was one of his greatest hits, released in 2011 in collaboration with Sirah. The song was heavily influenced by the story of Peter Pan, particularly as retold in the 1991 film, Hook. Bangarang won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
21. Get Lucky — Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Get Lucky was a collaboration between French duo Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams that famously took 18 months to complete. It fused funk, disco, pop, and house music in an infectiously-upbeat dance track that proved incredibly popular. Released in 2012, the song won two Grammy Awards and debuted in the Top 40.
22. Spaceman — Hardwell feat. mitch crown
Spaceman was released in 2012 by Dutch DJ Hardwell and was considered a rather niche EDM song at the time. However, after several different versions were released, the song became popular on dance charts worldwide. Today, Spaceman has been called one of the most important house songs ever made.
23. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger — Daft Punk
The 2001 song Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger is undoubtedly one of the most iconic songs that Daft Punk ever produced. The track samples an ancient funk song that had largely been forgotten but proved wildly popular when it was reintroduced. The song set the course for EDM throughout the first years of the 21st century.
24. Strobe — Deadmau5
The turn of the 2000s into the 2010s saw an increase in instrumental EDM tracks. One of these was Deadmau5’s Strobe, released in 2009. The progressive house/ambient track was released in three versions: a 10-minute original, a six-minute club version, and a three-minute radio edit. These longer, wordless trance songs made it possible for dancers to lose themselves in the music.
25. Sandstorm — Darude
The 1999 track Sandstorm by Finnish DJ Darude has become something of a legend in the world of EDM. The dance hit gained widespread popularity throughout the 2000s due to its popularity in sports, video games, and live-streaming; it has even become a reference in a running internet gag and meme.
26. Wake Me Up — Avicii
Swedish DJ Avicii was one of the biggest influences on EDM throughout the 2010s, producing a huge number of hits. His most iconic song was 2013’s Wake Me Up. But it was controversial when first released due to Avicii’s use of acoustic instruments, unusual in the EDM industry. Despite this, the song proved to be an international hit and became an icon of the folktronica subgenre, which blends country music and EDM.
27. Fast Car — Jonas Blue feat. dakota
EDM artists are masters of adapting songs from other genres, and one of the best is Jonas Blue’s cover of Fast Car. The 2015 cover gives an EDM makeover to the Tracy Chapman classic, turning an old ballad about lost dreams into a modern, heart-pumping dance track.
28. Right Here, Right Now — Fatboy Slim
Right Here, Right Now might be one of the strangest and most creative EDM mixes ever made; it has been called one of the best dance tracks of all time. The 1998 mix is the project of British DJ Fatboy Slim, who sampled the song Ashes, The Rain, & I as well as the film Strange Days for the track.
29. Sad Machine — Porter Robinson
Porter Robinson released the synth-pop track Sad Machine in 2014. The song was noted for its use of instrumentals and sound effects meant to evoke 1990s video games, particularly The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. It also used female vocals provided by a software program, making the song a duet between a human and a robot.
30. Animals — Martin Garrix
Dutch DJ Martin Garrix released Animals in 2013, and it became an instant hit, making the then-17-year-old one of the youngest DJs to produce an international EDM track. It topped both EDM and dance charts around the world and has been called one of the most iconic big house tracks in history.
31. Where Are Ü Now — Diplo, Skrillex, & Justin Bieber
Where Are Ü Now was a 2015 collaboration between three artists: dubstep/EDM artists Diplo and Skrillex and pop star Justin Bieber. The song started as an emotional piano ballad composed by Bieber before being reinvented as a electronic dance track. It was a huge success, topping charts around the world and winning a Grammy Award.
32. Pursuit Of Happiness — Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi is mainly known as a hip hop artist, and his 2009 hit Pursuit Of Happiness seamlessly blended this genre with electronic rock. The song is a warning about the dangers of escaping reality through alcohol and drug abuse. The original release proved popular; DJ Steve Aoki released a remix later that year that also topped the dance charts.
33. Sun & Moon — Above & Beyond feat. richard bedford
British group Above & Beyond released the trance/house track Sun & Moon in 2011. Though it wasn’t well-known around the world, it charted highly in the UK and Scotland, where it was a popular dance song throughout the year.
34. Adagio For Strings — Tiësto
Dutch DJ Tiësto made an extraordinarily creative decision when he decided to sample a classical piano song in an EDM track. The 2005 track is based off the piano piece by Samuel Barber and manipulates the time signature to a more danceable 4/4. It was a daring venture, and one that has made Adagio For Strings called one of the best dance tracks of the century.
35. Inner Light — Elderbrook & Bob Moses
Inner Light was a collaboration between Elderbrook & Bob Moses released in 2021. The song tells the story of a person who is afraid to dance but finds strength in their own “inner light.” It earned praise for its upbeat, hope-infused melody.
36. Calling (Lose My Mind) — Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso feat. Ryan tedder
Calling (Lose My Mind) was a 2011 collaboration between Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder. The progressive house track topped dance charts around the world throughout 2011 and 2012 and was later featured on Swedish House Mafia album, Until Now.
37. I Can’t Stop — Flux Pavilion
The start of the 2010s was the height of the dubstep craze, with many of the most popular EDM tracks reflecting this. One of these was 2011’s I Can’t Stop, produced by British DJ Flux Pavilion. In typical dubstep fashion, the track relied on rhythm and repetition to achieve its catchy beat.
38. Promises — Nero
British EDM group Nero rose to international attention with the release of their 2011 song Promises. The track combined dubstep and breakbeat genres. Nero later collaborated with Skrillex on a remix version that proved even more popular and won a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording.
39. Alone — Marshmello
The iconic DJ Marshmello isn’t just known for his odd “marshmallow” helmet, but also for his many hit songs. One of his best is 2016’s Alone, which topped charts around the world. The song is a mix of trap and future bass styles, resulting in a percussion-heavy track that was perfect for the dance floor.
40. Feel So Close — Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris was one of the biggest EDM producers in the 2010s, collaborating with pop stars such as Rihanna and Ellie Goulding. But his 2011 album, 18 Months, saw him venture into solo work, which included singing. One of the biggest tracks from the album was Feel So Close, which topped charts in both the US and the UK.
41. Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff — Deadmau5 feat. rob swire
Canadian producer Deadmau5 released Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff in 2008, but he had been working on variations of the track since the early 2000s. The electro house song proved to be a sleeper hit, climbing slowly to the top of dance charts in the US before peaking in May 2010.
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