The Top Pop Songs of the Decade were influenced by leading ladies — Britney, Kelly Clarkson and Evanescence’s Amy Lee — all who deliver powerful vocals and emotional words about vulnerability lost love and separation.
But in the 2000s, dance club beats prevailed, with newcomer Lady GaGa and producer mogul Timbaland reigning the airwaves, the latter dropping collaborations with Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, and even OneRepublic.
See below for AOL Radio’s Top Pop Songs of the Decade, rated by our radio listeners.
‘Every time‘ (2004)Britney Spears
‘Every time’ song written by Britney Spears and her background vocalist Annette Artani, in this single piano-led the ballad with string instruments was a really different approach.
This song has a unique style from the rest of the single published in the album ‘In the Zone’. the lyrics were Questioned by the press, clarifying that the song is about her relationship with ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake.
This single made to apologize for the mistakes done by Britney Spears to Justin Timberlake.
‘SexyBack’ (2006) Justin Timberlake
Described as “club funk,” this was the beginning of Timberlake’s new sound — breaking away from his previous R&B/pop-sounding album ‘Justified’ and moving into more rock with the help of producer Timbaland.
Included on his sophomore album ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds,’ the song was inspired by David Bowie and David Byrne’s cover of James Brown’s ‘Sex Machine’.
‘SexyBack’ was not only certified 3x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) but won a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
Fans loved the new sound as well, honoring Timberlake the People’s Choice Award for Favorite R&B Song.
‘All the Things She Said’ (2002) t.A.T.u.
The English version of “Ya Soshla S Uma” (literal translation: I’ve lost my mind) is the first single from Russian t.A.T.u.’s debut English album ‘200 km/h in the Wrong Lane’.
This song spread worldwide successfully, got silver to 2x platinum certification in ten countries.
The music video caused controversy, which features the duo Yulia and Lena (and their lesbian facade) in school-girl uniforms kissing in front of a crowd of on-lookers.
‘Apologize’ (2007) Timbaland
A remix of OneRepublic’s 2006 ‘Apologize,’ this top pop song was featured on Timbaland’s debut ‘Timbaland Presents Shock Value’.
On the track, Timbaland mixes in his own vocals and drum beats in the chorus, which was produced by not only Timbaland but also Greg Wells and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. The song was certified 3x platinum by RIAA.
‘Promiscuous’ (2006) Nelly Furtado
With a catchy melodic back-beat, this was the first Nelly Furtado/Timbaland collaboration, sung as a conversation between a man and woman with “promiscuous” intentions.
The lyric created to show the love talk between a boy and a girl, those trying to build love.
This pop album has been nominated for Best Pop collaboration for Grammy Awards in 2006.
Additionally, this song won the single of the year at the Juno Award 2007.
‘Too Little, Too Late’ (2004) JoJo
At 16 years-old, JoJo’s breakthrough song (and also her lead single of ‘The High Road’) caught the attention of critics, who compared the singer/actress’s pipes to Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson.
In the catchy R&B/pop song’s music video (directed by Chris Robinson), JoJo comes to terms about her relationship with her unappreciative boyfriend, role-played by UCLA Bruin’s soccer player Mike Zaher.
The video also shows soccer footage of Zaher and his teammates, which was fortuitously filmed at the same time as the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
‘A Thousand Miles’ (2002) Vanessa Carlton
This piano-driven pop song with string arrangements originally gave Carlton a huge case of writer’s block, taking her a year to finish.
But the final product had huge success, being nominated for three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).
Dabbling with the idea of reality vs. fantasy, Carlton wrote the song about a guy she was crushing.
She adds that the tune is “about a love that so consumes you that you do anything for it. That’s how I felt at that time”.
‘Since U Been Gone’ (2004) Kelly Clarkson
A great post-breakup song to rock out to — the Max Martin and Dr. Luke produced track is arguably Clarkson’s biggest single to this day, which expresses relief about a previous failed relationship.
The pop song (with rock elements) went on to be the second US digital download to sell over one million copies.
‘My Immortal’ (2003) Evanescence
Written by former guitarist Ben Moody (with lead singer Amy Lee’s additions in the chorus) the piano ballad’s music video shows Moody meandering through streets morning the “fictional death” of Lee.
This song all about convincing the lady he loved for avoiding breakup and expressing the pain and feel if she leaves for him.
Lee later tells ‘Rock Sound’ magazine the irony of the video’s theme of separation; specifically that the group did not realize Ben Moody would later leave the band: “It’s almost like the director knew what was going to happen, but he [couldn’t] have known. It’s just one of those fate things”.
‘Just Dance’ (2008) Lady GaGa
GaGa supposedly wrote the Akon-collaborated song in just 10 minutes, which refers to being intoxicated at a club.
With lyrics like “How’d I turn my shirt inside out,” and “I love this record but I can’t see straight anymore” we can’t help but dance along to her party-ready tune.
The song made AOL Radio’s Best Party Songs list and was nominated for a 2009 Grammy in the Best Dance Recording category, but lost to Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’.