The Most Popular Songs in the World for the Last 20 Years 

We all love to listen to music and chances are you have a favorite song or two. But what about the most popular songs in the world? Every year, millions of people around the globe search for their favorite tunes (like thousands of people searching for the Aviator game), but which ones stand out from […]

We all love to listen to music and chances are you have a favorite song or two. But what about the most popular songs in the world? Every year, millions of people around the globe search for their favorite tunes (like thousands of people searching for the Aviator game), but which ones stand out from the rest? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular songs from each year over the last 20 years! 

2003: “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z – In 2003, Beyoncé released “Crazy in Love” featuring her husband Jay-Z, and it quickly became one of the most popular songs of that year—and one of her signature anthems. The single was part of her debut album Dangerously in Love, which earned her five Grammy Awards. The song features a sample from Chi-Lites’ 1970s song “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So).” It reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and remained there for eight weeks. To this day, fans still love to dance to this hit! 

2004: “Yeah!” by Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris – Usher dropped his fourth studio album Confessions in 2004 and it was an instant success. One of its singles, “Yeah!,” featured Lil Jon and Ludacris and went on to become a massive hit with its catchy chorus—especially among teenagers who loved singing along to it at parties or school dances. It spent 12 consecutive weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and won Usher his first Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2005. 

2005: “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey made a huge comeback with her tenth studio album entitled The Emancipation of Mimi in 2005, which included her hit single “We Belong Together.” This love song was written by Carey herself along with Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal Jr., Johnta Austin, Bryan Michael Cox, and Daryl Simmons and reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 14 non consecutive weeks—making it Carey’s longest running number one single on that chart. It also won three Grammy Awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance; Best R&B Song; and Best Contemporary R&B Album in 2006! 

2006 – “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean: It was hard to escape this song no matter where you were in 2006. The infectious Latin-pop track was a worldwide smash, spending 25 weeks on top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time with over 10 million digital copies sold. It was also notable for being Shakira’s first English language single and still remains her biggest hit to date. 

2007 – “Umbrella” by Rihanna ft Jay Z: This song skyrocketed Rihanna to international superstardom when it dropped in 2007. Produced by The Dream and Tricky Stewart, “Umbrella” was an instant success both critically and commercially, topping charts around the world and winning two Grammy Awards including Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The accompanying music video only went further to cement its legacy as one of 2007’s defining tracks. 

2008 – “Low” by Flo Rida ft T-Pain: When Flo Rida released his debut studio album Mail on Sunday in 2008, it featured “Low,” one of the year’s most iconic singles. A hip hop/R&B fusion track produced by frequent collaborator DJ Montay, “Low” broke multiple records upon its release—including becoming the longest running number-one single on Billboard’s Hot 100 since its inception—and remains one of Flo Rida’s most recognizable hits today. 

2009 – “Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga burst onto the scene with her debut album The Fame and its lead single “Poker Face.” Despite courting controversy for its suggestive lyrics, “Poker Face” became a massive commercial success selling more than 14 million copies worldwide and setting multiple records including becoming Gaga’s first Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 2009. To this day it remains one of her signature songs having been certified platinum nine times over! 

2010 – “We Found Love” by Rihanna ft Calvin Harris: This upbeat dance track marked Rihanna’s 11th top ten single on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart—a record bettered only by Madonna—as well as being named Song Of The Decade at 2010′s UK Music Video Awards ceremony due to its incredible success both critically and commercially. Not bad for a song written in 15 minutes!  

2011 – “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele: Adele’s sophomore effort 21 announced itself with this powerhouse piano ballad that became an instant classic upon its release in 2011.. Written solely by Adele herself alongside producer Paul Epworth (who won Producer Of The Year at this year’s Grammys), “Rolling In The Deep” topped charts around the world while going six times platinum domestically making it one of 2011′s signature tracks without question!  

2012 – “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye ft Kimbra: Gotye saw unprecedented success with his third studio album Making Mirrors thanks largely to the international smash hit “Somebody That I Used To Know.” A stunning collaboration between Gotye himself and New Zealand singer Kimbra, this melancholic indie-pop opus topped charts across five continents while selling millions upon millions of copies worldwide earning it accolades such as Record Of The Year at last year’s ARIA Awards ceremony as well as multiple Grammy nominations including Song Of The Year! 

2013 – “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell Williams – This was an instant classic when it first dropped in 2013 and it remains one of the decade’s most recognizable hits. With its catchy beat and memorable lyrics, “Blurred Lines” is considered one of Robin Thicke’s biggest successes. 

2014 – “Happy” by Pharrell Williams – Who could forget this feel-good anthem? Released in 2014 as part of Pharrell’s album G I R L, “Happy” quickly became an international hit with its upbeat melody and positive message. This song was so successful that it went on to win two Grammy Awards, including Best Music Video. 

2015 – “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Another chart-topping hit from 2015 was Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ collaboration “Uptown Funk.” With its infectious groove and groovy bassline, this song quickly rose up the charts and stayed there for months on end. It even earned a Grammy Award nomination for Record of The Year! 

2016 – “One Dance” by Drake ft. Wizkid & Kyla – This summer bop became Drake’s first ever number one single on Billboard’s Hot 100 list when it was released in 2016. Featuring Wizkid and Kyla on vocals, “One Dance” is a dancehall-inspired track that has since become one of Drake’s signature hits. No surprise here! 

2017 – “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran – Ed Sheeran’s 2017 hit “Shape Of You” is undoubtedly one of his biggest successes to date. A combination of reggae-pop beats, pop melodies, and folk lyrics made this track an instant smash hit worldwide. It even went on to become Sheeran’s first number one single in America! 

2018 – “God’s Plan” by Drake – 2018 saw Drake continue his run as king of pop music with his chart-topping single “God’s Plan.” A mix of rap verses paired with a soulful chorus gave us all something to bop our heads to throughout that year—and beyond! Plus, who can forget those inspiring lyrics about making something out of nothing? 

2019 – “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nas X ft Billy Ray Cyrus – 2019 saw Lil Nas X skyrocket into mainstream success with his breakout single “Old Town Road.” Although he initially released it independently in late 2018, its popularity eventually caught fire after he enlisted country legend Billy Ray Cyrus to feature on a remix version early in 2019—which sent both artists straight to number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.     

2020 – “Dance Monkey” by Tones And I– One cannot talk about 2020 without mentioning Tones And I’s global sensation “Dance Monkey.” This Australian artist had everyone dancing along to her infectious tune which spent more than three months at number one across multiple countries worldwide! With its earworm chorus and unique soundscape, this track will no doubt be remembered as one of 2020’s defining songs!  

2021 – “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo – Fresh off the success of her Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actress Olivia Rodrigo burst onto the music scene early 2021 with her debut single “drivers license”. Quickly rising up streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music alike, this heartbreak anthem continues to dominate charts worldwide even today!   

2022 – TBD – As we move into 2022 who knows what kind of musical hits we’ll see this year? Will any new artists rise up like Olivia Rodrigo did or will we be seeing more collaborations between established acts? Only time will tell but until then let us enjoy all these great tracks from years past!                                                       

Conclusion: Music has always been an integral part of our lives; whether it be providing us comfort during hard times or soundtracking our happiest moments each song can evoke different emotions within us all. Over the last 20 years some truly amazing songs have come out that have gone down as classics such as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, Pharrell William’s feel good anthem “Happy” or Ed Sheeran ballad “Shape Of You”. Who knows what kind musical gems 2022 will bring us so until then let us enjoy all these wonderful tracks from years past!