There are plenty of people who know about lots of different music on here. I'm not one. I listen to pop radio and whatever my friends tell me they think I'll like.
So my list of the top 100 pop songs isn't clever, isn't insightful and isn't coming from an aspiring music critic. These are just my favorite pop songs from the past 10 years.
I did institute some criteria. I researched mostly Billboard Top-40 songs (on their annual lists for each year), although I made a few exceptions. I considered the songs' videos as a part of their pop appeal. I thought about how much impact the songs made, how popular they were and how memorable. Ultimately, though, they had to be songs that I liked.
So here it is. Something to bump as you send off the Naughty Aughts tonight.
100. Mims, This is Why I'm Hot, 2007
I'm hot cuz I'm fly. You ain't cuz you not.
99. Britney Spears, Womanizer, 2008
This song proved to the world that Britney had overcome her crazies and, somehow, made herself into a star again.
98. Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten, 2005
There is something really familiar about this song. Maybe because it's the theme to The Hills. Or maybe it's in a bunch of commercials. It definitely has the feel of a Noxema ad.
97. K-Ci and JoJo, Crazy, 2001
I remember this being a terrific pop song back in '01, but upon revisiting it, it hasn't held up very well.
96. Fergie, Big Girls Don't Cry, 2007
Say what you want about Fergie, I like her. Even this song.
95. Joe, I Wanna Know, 2000
When I was in my first relationship as a 17-year-old, this was "our song." So yeah.
94. Avril Lavigne, My Happy Ending, 2004
It took me forever to realize what, if anything, I liked about Avril Lavigne. I realized this year it's the way she enunciates her words. "You were ev-er-y-thing, ev-er-y-thing, that I wanted..." Cool.
93. Joe ft. Mystikal, Stutter, 2001
92. Plain White T's, Hey There Delilah, 2006
This was probably the most overplayed song of 2006, but that doesn't dock it any points on this list. It's a nice little song that everyone has heard and has a quirky backstory that most people have heard by now.
91. Shaggy ft. RikRok, It Wasn't Me, 2000
The brashness behind this song is the only reason it sniffs the top 100. Really, Shaggy? RikRok's girlfriend caught him having sex on the bathroom floor, and even got it on video, and your advice is that he should say it was some other guy in his house that looks exactly like him? That's awesome.
90. Flo Rida ft. Kesha, Right Round, 2009
It's hard not to catch yourself repeating the chorus, which is a sample of the 1984 Dead or Alive song "You Spin Me Round." This song went to No. 1.
89. Beyonce, Irreplaceable, 2006
Written by Ne-Yo, I love Beyonce's swag in this song. Go ahead. Leave. "I could have another you in a minute." Ha.
88. Jesse McCartney, Leavin', 2008
Not sure what it is about this song I like, other than it's fun.
87. Colbie Caillat, Bubbly, 2007
This is a cutie, but ultimately it's a little too bubbly to move any higher on this list.
86. P!nk, There You Go, 2000
I actually miss the old Pink. This was her first single, and she has spent her career trying to move away from it. It's too bad, because she's way more fun to listen to when she's not taking herself seriously.
85. Shakira, Whenever, Wherever, 2001
Well, this is the video that introduced the English-speaking world to the planet's best hips. The song's not much, but the butt went straight to No. 1.
84. Keri Hilson, Knock You Down, 2009
Most of what I like about the song is that Kanye and Ne-Yo are both on it.
83. Dixie Chicks, Landslide, 2002
This much-covered Fleetwood Mac song is done really nicely by the Dixie Chicks.
82. N Sync ft. Nelly, Girlfriend, 2002
I'm the only person I've ever met who likes this song, so I won't try to justify it. But hey, it won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Hookup.
81. Dido, White Flag, 2003
I find this song really beautiful, and though it only went to 18 in the U.S., it fared much better in other countries.
80. No Doubt, Hey Baby, 2001
Man, No Doubt is the hippest shit ever.
79. Santana ft. The Product G&B, Maria Maria, 2000
This was my favorite song from the ridiculously successful Santana resurgence album "Supernatural."
78. Justin Timberlake, Cry Me a River, 2002
"Cry Me a River" came out when I still thought I was supposed to hate Justin Timberlake, and it's the first song that made me realize I wouldn't be able to for long. I guess it's the one where he's talking shit to Britney Spears after their breakup. I always wondered who the "him" was in the line "I found out from him."
77. Lil Wayne, Lollipop, 2008
This probably isn't in my top 10 from Tha Carter III, but it's still a fun song with some nice double entendres, like, "So I let her lick the rapper."
76. Fergie, Fergalicious, 2006
Nobody does pop oversaturation like the Black Eyed Peas. For someone reason I love the line "I be up in the gym just working on my fitness."
75. Nickelback, Rockstar, 2006
I think this is a tongue-in-cheek take on being famous. I think it is. If it is, it's fantastic.
74. Twista, Overnight Celebrity, 2004
That violin chick will be in my nightmares for the rest of my life.
73. Jagged Edge, Where the Party At, 2001
Jagged Edge was really hot for a minute. Wonder what happened to them.
72. Vanessa Carlton, A Thousand Miles, 2001
I remember being infatuated with this song (and Vanessa Carlton) when I was a freshman in college at Arizona State. I was also infatuated with A Walk to Remember at that time.
71. Tweet, Oops (Oh my), 2002
A kooky Timbaland beat carrying one of the great female masturbation tunes of the aughts. Also, give it up to the girl for the foresight of social networking.
70. Jay-Z ft. Rihanna and Kanye West, Run This Town, 2009
69. Christina Aguilera, What a Girl Wants, 2000
I've never told anyone this, but I used to use this song to get pumped up for basketball games.
68. Green Day, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 2004
It's cool that these guys are like 50 and still making popular music, but this song uses the same chords as Wonderwall.
67. Sara Bareilles, Love Song, 2007
66. Estelle ft. Kanye West, American Boy, 2008
This is what travel is really like.
65. Dido, Thank You, 2001
"Thank You" was actually recorded in 1998 but didn't gain widespread fame until Eminem used a sample of it for the chorus of "Stan." He won a Grammy for the song, and even performed it at the Grammy's, replacing Dido with Elton John. "Thank You," though, stands on its own as a very nice little ditty.
64. P. Diddy ft. Ginuwine, Loon, Mario Winans and Tammy Ruggeri, I Need a Girl (Part Two), 2002
Diddy is a horrible rapper, but this song is infectious in all the ways a pop song should be, so lyrics like "How I had a triflin' mental" don't bother me in the least.
63. The Fray, How to Save a Life, 2005
I though for like 4 years that this song was about a breakup, but my friends recently told me it's about an intervention. At any rate, it's easy to play on the piano.
62. Kanye West, Stronger, 2007
Kanye didn't have a lot of hits in the year-end top 40, but this is one. Daft Punk should have him rap over all their songs.
61. The Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood, 2001
Del Tha Funky Homosapien takes the mic in the concept band's first single.
60. No Doubt, It's My Life, 2003
A cover of a Talk Talk song, I think "It's My Life" feels classic, like I've heard it many times before. Maybe I've heard the Talk Talk version.
59. Kanye West, Heartless, 2008
How can you be so Dr. Evil?
58. Justin Timberlake, My Love, 2006
I might as well just put every FutureSex LoveSounds song on here, because they're all great pop. "Candle Guy" TI makes an appearance, too.
57. Jay-Z and Beyonce, '03 Bonny and Clyde, 2002
It's a rip-off of a great 2Pac song, and the Bonny and Clyde theme has been beaten into the ground, but this song is still awesome. See music's most important power couple drive around in a car together!
56. Twista ft. Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, Slow Jamz, 2003
"I told her to drive over in your new whip, brings some friends you're cool with, I'ma bring the Cool Whip, then I want you to strip." Also includes one of the great Michael Jackson lines of all time.
55. Beyonce, Crazy in Love, 2003
Great horn section in this track. Beyonce pretty much just makes hits anymore.
54. Aaliyah, Try Again, 2000
Had Aaliyah not died in 2001, a lot of people thought she'd be where Beyonce is now. I really would have liked to have heard some more of her music.
53. Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, Crank That (Soulja Boy), 2007
This is the most likely to annoy the most people, but you can't deny how big this song was. Soulja Boy came out with it on MySpace, and within a few months he was a millionaire. At the time it was the most-downloaded ringtone ever, and don't forget about the legions of people on YouTube immitating the dance. As for the moves, the Soulja Boy was the Macarena of the 2000s.
52. Alicia Keys, Fallin', 2001
Won the Grammy for Song of the Year in 2002.
51. Eminem, Lose Yourself, 2002
Eminem doesn't make many pop-friendly songs, and most of his singles are his worst songs, but "Lose Yourself" from the 8-Mile soundtrack is both well-written and appealing to a wide audience.
50. Linkin Park, In The End, 2001
49. Justin Timberlake, Rock Your Body, 2003
This one's from Justified, the Cry Me a River album, and features a beat by the Neptunes that was written for Michael Jackson.
48. Lady Gaga, Poker Face, 2009
It's still too early to tell, but Lady Gaga appears to be on a steeply inclined career path. She's like the next David Bowie or something.
47. Justin Timberlake, What Goes Around Comes Around, 2007
Another FutureSex hit. Justin teaches us about karma!
46. 50 Cent ft. Snoop Dogg, P.I.M.P., 2003
Not sure what I like about this song, but I always come back to it.
45. Missy Elliott, Work It, 2002
Missy's weird style is in full effect, with featured lyrics in reverse. The video features a car with images of Aaliyah and Left-Eye airbrushed in.
44. Black Eyed Peas, My Humps, 2005
Whatchu gonna do with all that breast? All that breast inside that shirt?
43. Pussycat Dolls, Don't Cha, 2005
Whenever I heard this song, I always reluctantly thought, "Yes, I do wish my girlfriend was hot and a freak like you." These chicks were like the naughty Spice Girls I guess. I bet you didn't know that this song was written by Cee-Lo Green, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Busta Rhymes.
42. Christina Aguilera, Beautiful, 2002
I'm not a huge X-Tina fan, but she shows off great pipes and a nice message in this one. Won a Grammy for best pop female vocal.
41. Coldplay, Viva la Vida, 2008
40. 112, Peaches and Cream, 2001
39. Chamillionaire, Ridin', 2006
Introduced white people to the phrase "Ridin' Dirty." The Louisville version is "Ridin' Derby." Look it up on Urban Dictionary.
38. Amy Winehouse, You Know I'm No Good, 2007
The (second?) verse, when "I'm on the tub, you on the seat," is one of the sexiest I've ever heard in a pop song.
37. Chris Brown, Run It, 2005
Chris Brown is quite a few steps behind Timberlake as America's top male pop star, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch him dance.
36. Missy Elliott, Get Ur Freak On, 2001
Timbaland at his best.
35. Justin Timberlake, Summer Love, 2007
Timbaland at his best.
34. No Doubt, Hella Good, 2002
It's a Neptunes song, which I'm not crazy about, but it's a nice beat, and I love the imagery in the video.
33. Katy Perry, I Kissed a Girl, 2008
Teenage boys have been waiting for a pop star to say that since Sandra Dee.
32. Miley Cyrus, Party in the USA, 2009
Most conversations about it go like this: "You're going to think I'm a total fag, but I love that new Miley Cyrus song."
31. Jay-Z, Dirt Off Your Shoulder, 2004
Obama's awareness of this song won him the presidency.
30. Ne-Yo, So Sick, 2006
This is probably way too high, but I love Ne-Yo.
29. Sisqo, The Thong Song, 2000
Maybe the biggest spring break hit of my life, and perhaps the most unforgettable song of the decade.
28. Eve ft. Gwen Stefani, Blow Ya Mind, 2001
There are 100 songs like this by male artists, but very few featuring females. It's a glorification of GirlSwag, it's produced by Dre and it's awesome.
27. Jamie Foxx, Blame It, 2009
It's certainly relatable.
26. MIA, Paper Planes, 2008
I guess this is a take-off of Rump Shaker, but its use of sound effects in the chorus makes it pretty unusual. MIA is nothing but fun.
25. Outkast, Hey Ya, 2003
This was probably the centerpiece of Outkast's Speakerboxxx/Love Below project, and it taught us how to shake it like a Polaroid picture.
24. Juvenile, Slow Motion, 2004
I'm not a Juvenile fan, but Slow Motion is the shit. Probably that guitar riff.
23. Gwen Stefani, Hollaback Girl, 2005
This shit is bananas!!! B- ....
22. Britney Spears, Toxic, 2004
Don't miss Tyson Beckford on a crotch rocket.
21. The Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc., 2005
20. Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx, Gold Digger, 2005
Making Ray Charles proud.
19. Flo Rida, Low, 2007
This is one of those songs I love to hear when I get in the car on a Friday night. When you hear "Low," it just feels like something's about to pop off.
18. Nelly, Country Grammar, 2000
I always thought of this as a cover of the handshake on "Big." "Shimmy shimmy Coco Puff..." The 2000s featured a lot of Nelly, most of it really bad, even for fans of mindless pop music, but Country Grammar was the warning shot. This one song spawned like 200 awfule Midwest rap albums.
17. Outkast, Ms. Jackson, 2001
The title "character" is the mother of Erykah Badu, whom Andre 3000 had a breakup with. Outkast has the unusual property of appealing to rap fans and people who claim to hate rap. I can't say how many times I've heard, "All rap is shit, except for Outkast."
16. Ne-Yo, Closer, 2008
Can't say what it is, but I love Ne-Yo.
15. Gnarls Barkley, Crazy, 2006
I remember hearing this everywhere in the summer of 2006. Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo's most popular, if not their best.
14. R. Kelly, Ignition, 2002
Hot and fresh out the kitchen. I will always think of the Chappell skits set to this after his, um, scandal.
13. Justin Timberlake, SexyBack, 2006
12. Jason Mraz, I'm Yours, 2008
I'm not embarassed to say I find this song truly uplifting. It always puts me in a good mood, and it's one of my favorites.
11. Lil Jon ft. Ying Yang Twins, Get Low, 2003
I sang this at karaoke with a bunch of coworkers once. Note: People do not like to hear "Get Low" sung at karaoke. Still, this was one of the biggest club hits of the decade.
10. Black Eyed Peas, Boom Boom Pow, 2009
I couldn't get enough of this song for like two months earlier this year. Will.I.Am has a gifted mind for pop.
9. 'N Sync, Bye Bye Bye, 2000
This was one of the first songs released this decade, and one of the most popular among teenagers. The video was No. 1 on TRL for 25 straight days. That's hard to do. This song was some of the best of the boy-band fad. People love to trash it, but I still love "Bye Bye Bye." I knocked over an old lady doing the dance at a wedding once.
8. Usher ft. Ludacris and Lil Jon, Yeah, 2004
This song always gets me up.
7. Rihanna, Umbrella, 2007
6. Beyonce, Single Ladies, 2008
If this list excluded videos, "Single Ladies" wouldn't be nearly this high. But if it was exclusively videos, it would be No. 1 and not even close. It's still a nice addition to Beyonce's independent-women catalog.
5. Outkast, The Way You Move, 2003
This is my favorite song from Love Below/Speakerboxxx, mostly because of the horns. It almost sounds as if it belongs on the Love Below. I think this would have been a nice Miami Vice theme song.
4. 50 Cent, In Da Club, 2003
One of the best club tracks of all time. The beat is infectious, and it happens to be at the same pace that I run at. When I'm on the treadmill, I sing this song and imagine 50 Cent drinking Vitamin Water and telling me to push harder. Really, I do that.
3. Jay-Z, 99 Problems, 2004
The best single from the Black Album. Rick Rubin's beat and Jay-Z's stories of his struggles as a black man are terrific complements. And also, it's nice to know who's the bitch he's talking about.
2. Amy Winehouse, Rehab, 2007
1. Justin Timberlake, LoveStoned, 2007
Essentially, this is my favorite song on my favorite album by my favorite pop artist. It's just really clean pop. When Michael Jackson died this year, I noticed a considerable increase in Justin Timberlake music on the radio. I think people are ready for Justin to take over as the King of Pop.