Top 100 Songs of the Noughties


3 Doors Down – “Not Enough” – (2000)

The Better Life was a huge success. It had four huge singles, three of which were #1s on the rock chart and one was a top three single on the Hot 100. This was not a single, but it did receive airplay (at least where I live) on rock radio. It’s really not that bad either, and right in line with the rest of the album. Give it a go if you don’t know it.

John Mayer – “Bigger Than My Body” – (2003)

Look at how young John Mayer looks in this video. This was the first single from his second studio album, Heavier Things. The album title is John being snarky at his critics that said he only wrote light, poppy songs. In a different way, this song has much more electric guitar (a heavier sound) and was his first post-9/11 album (and light, poppy songs sort of disappeared for a bit). Yet this song is still upbeat and happy and very radio friendly (something Mayer seems to be grasping for at this point, but at the same time, I don’t think he cares).

The Lonely Island feat. Justin Timberlake – “Dick in a Box” – (2006)

Yeah, yeah. I know I always list the album release year as the date above, but because this was an SNL Digital Short in 2006, I listed it as that (the album came out in 2006). This was one of the biggest Digital Shorts they ever did. The song was recorded in one night and the music video shot in a day. SNL published the uncensored song online the day after it aired and it was a huge internet phenomenon. The song actually won an Emmy and the two characters that Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake created for this song have made re-appearances, releasing two more songs. And yes, I know I’m at the bottom of the duet barrel.

Gwen Stefani feat. Eve – “Rich Girl” – (2004)

Gwen Stefani’s debut solo album, while not No Doubt, really wasn’t too bad. “Interesting” might be one way to classify it, but hits like this propelled it to multi-platinum status with over seven million copies sold. This is actually a Dr. Dre-produced cover of a song from 1993 and features Eve. It was Eve who gave Gwen one of her first solo hits with her song “Let Me Blow Ya Mind.” This peaked at #7 on the Hot 100.

Counting Crows feat. Vanessa Carlton – “Big Yellow Taxi” – (2002)

“Big Yellow Taxi” is a song originally written and obnoxiously recorded by Joni Mitchell. It’s been covered a lot over the years, but most famously by Counting Crows with vocals by Vanessa Carlton. This was the biggest version, becoming an Adult Contemporary top five hit. This song came from an era of music where artists just covered older songs (looking at you Smash Mouth and Uncle Kracker). While I don’t love this song (but do love its message), it is infinitely better than the nerve-grating original.

DJ Sammy and Yanou feat. Do – “Heaven” – (2002)

Yeah, I’m really stretching the definition of “duet” here – slaughtering it really. DJ Sammy (who is from Spain) and Yanou (who is from Germany) are two DJs and they recruited Dutch singer Do to do vocals on this dance cover of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven.” While the Bryan Adams version hit #1, this version – or, the “Candlelight Mix” (which is a less-techno-y version) – ended up at #8 on the Hot 100. I prefer the faster, non-Candlelight version.

Common feat. Lily Allen – “Drivin’ Me Wild” – (2007)

Here was a song that I once saw featured on some near-the-end-of-it-all music video program on MTV or VH1. Probably VH1. Anyway, it was a minor hit in the U.K. – due to featured artist Lily Allen’s large fame. This song by Common was produced by Kanye West. It’s average. Lily Allen is the best part. As she usually is.

Jennifer Lopez feat. LL Cool J – “All I Have” – (2002)

This was the second single from J.Lo’s “Jenny From the Block” album (that’s not actually what the album’s called, but it’s the single it is best known for and how I refer to not only the album but this phase in J.Lo’s career – as if I do this a lot). This is one of those #1 hits that I don’t ever actually remember hearing on the radio. I remember the Christmas-themed video on MTV back in the day, but the song was somewhat foreign for many years. And this is one of the last songs I can recall from LL Cool J before he went all NCIS on us.

John Mayer feat. Taylor Swift – “Half of My Heart” – (2009)

Well 2009 is officially over five years ago, so I can feature songs from that year. And this duet between John Mayer and Taylor Swift gained significant radio popularity in the first half of 2010. It peaked at #25 on the Hot 100 and its best performance was on the Adult Top 40 chart, where it reached #2. This is the kind of song the Adult Contemporary crowd loves.

John Mellencamp feat. India.Arie – “Peaceful World” – (2001)

One of the purveyors of musical Americana had this minor hit in the aftermath of 9/11. The song was actually around prior to the attacks, but it really picked up steam afterwards – although it never officially charted, bubbling under at #104. Also, Mellencamp’s face is way too airbrushed on that album cover. Right?

Chad Kroeger feat. Josey Scott – “Hero” – (2002)

“Hero” was the theme song for the constantly-being-rebooted Spiderman back in 2002. The song was the result of Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger and Saliva’s Josey Scott. Theory of a Deadman frontman Tyler Connolly also co-wrote the song with the other two and performed as part of the group. Mike Kroeger (also of Nickelback) is on bass and the drummer is Matt Cameron (of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden fame). The song was very popular in the aftermath of 9/11 and received a lot of airplay, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 and in the top five of four other American Billboard charts – and it charted all over the world too. I grew tired of it quickly but I wouldn’t say I loathe it.

Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat – “Lucky” – (2008)

This song breaks my rule of not featuring any songs released in the last five years – but holy crap, 2008 was six years ago! Anyway, I figure it would never make any of my Top 100 countdowns so it would work here. It was only a top 50 hit on the Hot 100 but – guess where it excelled? That’s right, the Adult Contemporary (and they somehow different Adult Pop Songs chart) where it peaked at #10 and #9 respectively. This is far from my favorite Jason Mraz song and not even in my top five on this album. But it was popular.

Eve feat. Gwen Stefani – “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” – (2001)

The original purpose of this whole duet thing was to do duets and not songs that use the word “featuring” in the artist line. But there are just so many duets from the 1980s that I am quickly running out of those from the 1990s and, especially, 2000s to feature alongside them. I picked this song because I really liked it when it came out and, as I’m listening to it now, still enjoy it. The song is actually pretty good and it won the inaugural Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. It also reached #2 on the Hot 100.

Kid Rock feat. Sheryl Crow – “Picture” – (2001)

Statistically, this is Sheryl Crow’s second most-successful single in the U.S. Betcha didn’t know that. It was a top five hit on the Hot 100 – Kid Rock’s highest charting single ever. It’s a country rock duet that went mainstream – even flying up the Adult Contemporary chart. It was co-written by both performers and Rock also did a more country version with Allison Moorer. Yes, this song technically has “featuring” and not “and” in the artist line but it’s about as close to a duet in the classical definition as the 2000s has given us.

Aaron Lewis & Fred Durst – “Outside” – (2000)

Fred Durst was a big deal in 1999 and 2000. Limp Bizkit was huge and they did this little (okay it was huge) tour called “The Family Values Tour” with Korn, Orgy, Primus, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, DMX, Filter, The Crystal Method, and a little known band called Staind. That was the 1999 lineup and it was huge. “Outside” (which would later become a hit for Staind – a band led by Aaron Lewis and promoted and produced by Durst) was first performed live and acoustically in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1999 by Aaron Lewis featuring backing vocals by Durst. Some of the lyrics were made up on the spot. Radio stations started playing the acoustic version and it ended up at #56 on the Hot 100 in 2001. Later that year, Staind released Break the Cycle – which was a monumental album (in popularity). This song, for me, marked a transition from the bubblegum pop of 1999/2000 and the more rock-oriented days of 2001 and on.

Fredro Starr & Jill Scott – “Shining Through” – (2001)

This song was done as the theme for the movie Save the Last Dance (there was also a version released on Fredro Starr’s 2001 album Firestarr). This soundtrack was a multi-platinum seller with a number of really big pop songs on it. There were others that got more airplay but this is actually a pretty good song as Jill Scott’s voice is as awesome as ever.

Robert Plant & Allison Krauss – “Rich Woman” – (2007)

I love this album. This was the third and final single from the Grammy Award-winning Album of the Year for 2009. This song was in a movie called Mad Money which I barely recall being a movie. This is a cover of an old, old song but it’s a great example of when the right people come together they really can make magic.

Rob Zombie & Ozzy Osbourne – “Iron Head” – (2001)

Well this is a non-tradition duet (both Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osbourne would probably beat you to near death with a guitar if you called this a “duet”). Whatever – it’s two musicians and vocalists joining forces for one song and the word “featured” is not in the artist line. Originally, Zombie was going to record this solo after working with Ozzy on it but he felt it lacked that special touch so he invited Ozzy to sing on it as well. Something different and a little heavier for your Friday. (Oh crap, I forgot this would be posted on Valentine’s Day – I guess I coulda went with something a little more romantic, eh?)

Ricky Martin & Christina Aguilera – “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely” – (2000)

Here’s a big dose of the year 2000. Two of the biggest names of 1999 teamed up for a top 20 hit in 2000. It was a #1 elsewhere and on three other American Billboard charts (Hot Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs, Tropical Songs). This lost the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Grammy to “Lady Marmalade” – also featuring Aguilera. Ricky Martin also recorded a Spanish single. Remember when Christina Aguilera used to try and cash in on her Latin heritage? Anyway, this song (and video) is a good slice of nostalgia. Enjoy.

‘N Sync – “This I Promise You” – (2000)

This top five ‘N Sync hit was written by 80s pop star Richard Marx. The boy band of all boy bands released their version first, with Marx releasing twice thereafter. This was the group’s final single from No Strings Attached – and the final ‘N Sync single from the boy band era (sorry, Celebrity was a day late and dollar short – even just barely). This was a #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, which is unusual because adults didn’t necessarily care for music like this back when it was popular (they still don’t – but the people who liked this in 2000 are now adults… which is scary).

John Mayer – “3×5” – (2001)

Here’s another great song from John Mayer’s debut album. Say what you want about him or his behavior, songs, etc. now – he wrote some damn fine pop music back in 2001. This song didn’t even actually make the cut of the original release but was added when it had its major-label re-release. It’s really good. I love this album. I’ll probably end up featuring almost every track individually on this site.

Jack Johnson – “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” – (2005)

Jack Johnson is one of the unsung musical heroes of the 2000s. His music is really good, really relaxed, and really happy. It’s chill. But he never realized the commercial, mainstream success of some of his peers (who aren’t nearly as good as he is). But talk to people and everyone loves him. Then why won’t radio stations play it as much as they play some of the garbage that they do? In Between Dreams might be his best album to date and this song only reached #66 on the Hot 100. At least it got him a Grammy nomination.

Alice in Chains – “Rooster” – (1992)

This is one of Alice in Chain’s most well-known songs and it’s the one track that got me into the band (not literally, I’m not a member, but I was a pretty big fan). This song peaked at #7 on the Mainstream Rock chart and still receives airplay on hard rock radio stations. I like how the verses are almost just spoken while the chorus is this loud booming thing. In the era of 140 character tweets and six-second videos, this is among the rare 6+ minute songs that I don’t mind listening to in full.

John Mayer – “Neon” – (2001)

Room for Squares is a great album. Just about every song is a winner and this is one of the best. This was the early, more pop-focused John Mayer so it’s upbeat yet soft. This was never a single, but knowing how well the singles did from his first album, I have little doubt this would’ve been a solid adult contemporary hit back about 2002. This is one of my favorite songs of his.

Michael Buble – “Lost” – (2007)

Michael Buble does a lot of vocal standards. That’s most of his repertoire, but occasionally he puts out a pop song (to try and gain airplay and sell records) that is original to the album it appears on. This song was actually co-written by Buble himself and it’s not a happy one. It was an adult contemporary hit, reaching #2 on that specific chart, though it could only manage #97 on the Hot 100.

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