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Top 10 Decade Defining Songs of the 2000s

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Sean Harris. Hook up your headphones or set-up your speakers: it’s music for a new millennium and it’s never sounded better! For this list, we’ve looked at a combination of the 2000s’ most commercially successful songs, as well as the most influential records and the tracks that best reflect the period. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 decade defining songs of the 2000s. Special thanks to our users Alex Guzman, Andy Roehl, Awesome One, Tyler Blanks, Jaime Enrique Gutierrez Pérez, hkdbf24, Opst3r, milkman0973, Jimmy Kowaleski, Margaret Rd and Kwansiu Pang for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Hook up your headphones or set-up your speakers: it’s music for a new millennium and it’s never sounded better! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 decade defining songs of the 2000s.

For this list, we’ve looked at a combination of the decade’s most commercially successful songs, as well as the most influential records and the tracks that best reflect the period.

#10: “Californication” (2000)
Red Hot Chili Peppers

We kick things off with a made-up word to express a very real concern. Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis wraps his unique voice around a wealth of lyrics that lay down the problems with a plastic modern society. Everyone wants to be famous, no one wants to age, and a lot of people aren’t satisfied with themselves – and for the band, this stems from Hollywood. To them, L.A. is a dangerous ideal; for us, this song is dangerously good!

#9: “Cry Me a River” (2002)
Justin Timberlake

Break-up songs are a staple component in any music era, and this one’s up there with the most bittersweet. Following his much-publicized split with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake put pen to paper and got his own back in a big way! While the later “SexyBack” was also a huge hit, “Cry Me a River” launched the performer onto the global stage, and his humility and character earned him many admirers! An ambitious pop record, it was one of the first in this millennium to truly stand out.

#8: “Just Dance” (2008)
Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis

When she broke through our stereos and onto our dance floors, Lady Gaga caused an almighty stir. Her weird raunchiness was headline news, and her debut single was an unprecedented success. With its punchy lyrics and electronic sound, it seemed to capture exactly what the noughties nightclub generation was all about – drinking, dancing… drinking… and some more dancing! It’s a song you either love or hate… and if you hate it, you probably still secretly love it!

#7: “In the End” (2000)
Linkin Park

The fourth and final single from their hugely successful debut album, and released at the very beginning of our decade, “In the End” is a tune that has lasted. Linkin Park emerged out of a dicey rap-metal scene, and became one of the first major success stories of the genre. This track deals with broken trust, and quickly became their anthem. It has since proven to be the most played song of their live shows – ultimately, in the end, it did matter!

#6: “Crazy” (2006)
Gnarls Barkley

A collaboration between Danger Mouse and CeeLo Green, Gnarls Barkley has to be one of the most influential acts of the decade – and their 2006 debut single was truly something spectacular! Written in the wake of Green’s divorce, “Crazy” was met with huge acclaim. Dissecting the idea of sanity, it treads the thin line between reason and madness. With a smooth, relaxed backing track, it’s as sensual as it is psychoanalytic.

#5: “Crazy in Love” (2003)
Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z

Undoubtedly a standout song, this record is perhaps as famous for its lovebird legacy as it is for its critical and commercial success. Beyoncé and Jay-Z were rumoured to have been dating even before its release, so “Crazy In Love”, and its vivacious video accompaniment, served as musical confirmation of their status. In the song, Beyoncé’s empowered female character has butterflies in her stomach and bounce in her voice. It’s love-struck lyrics and daring dance-routines – and a top tune of the two thousands!

#4: “One More Time” (2000)
Daft Punk

In the late 1970s, musicians in Daft Punk’s native France actually tried to ban the synthesizer from pop music altogether… My, how far things have come since then. Consistently ranked amongst the greatest dance tracks ever recorded, “One More Time” is an atmospheric, anthemic record that a night on the town is not complete without. Whether you’re in an Ibiza nightclub, at the gym, or just driving home from work – “One More Time” gets you every time!

#3: “All the Small Things” (2000)
Blink-182

Throwing Blink-182 from their pop-punky roots onto mainstream charts, this track became an ever-used soundtrack for the ten years that followed. Written by Tom DeLonge for his girlfriend, the song proved a catalyst for romance as Mark Hoppus also met his future wife while filming the music video. Love was in the air for band-members and fans alike, as the record smashed the band’s previous chart successes! The boy-band bashing irony and playful punk image truly pushed “Small Things” into the big time!

#2: “Hey Ya!” (2003)
OutKast

It’d be impossible to rank music in the noughties without commenting on the rise of the digital download – and our next track was a clear pioneer in that field! OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” spent a staggering 17 weeks atop the Billboard Hot Digital Tracks chart, and was, for some time, the most downloaded track ever! A crossover record that pleased fans of many genres, it’s an “ice cool” effort that romped across the decade, inspiring dance-moves people didn’t even know they had!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Umbrella” (2007) Rihanna feat. Jay-Z
- “In da Club” (2003) 50 Cent
- “Clocks” (2002) Coldplay
- “Rehab” (2006) Amy Winehouse
- “Seven Nation Army” (2003) The White Stripes
- “99 Problems” (2003) Jay-Z

#1: “Lose Yourself” (2002)
Eminem

Though these ten years also included the sensational “Stan,” “Lose Yourself” is our ultimate decade-definer! Written during filming breaks on the set of “8 Mile,” this is Eminem at the peak of his powers. The record draws on past experience, and speaks to the listener like little has before it. A huge production, when music is this powerful, it has you believing you really can do anything! With Grammy Awards, an Oscar and our top-spot, it’s clearly Eminem’s crowning achievement!

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favourite noughties song? For more chart-topping Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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