Top 100 Pop Songs of 2001

R&B with an old soul topped the year's best songs, but there was a healthy dose of upbeat party music vying for top spots as well. This is your introduction to the best in pop music in 2001.

The ballad "Bad Day" was the final single from the double platinum album Something Like Human from the rock band Fuel. It has the distinction of being a top 20 mainstream and alternative rock hit while also hitting the top 10 of the adult contemporary chart.

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"My Everything" was the seventh and last top 20 pop hit for the boy band 98 Degrees before they went on extended hiatus. The song is a swaying pop ballad.

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The romantic R&B ballad "Differences" went clear to #4 on the pop singles chart. That makes it the highest charting hit for Ginuwine. The song is reminiscent of hits by R. Kelly in style.

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With songwriting and studio success under her belt, Christina Milian emerged as a solo artist with this single. It landed in the R&B top 10 and the pop top 40 fitting closely beside contemporary hits by Destiny's Child.

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It was originally released in 1999, but when "Start the Commotion" by electronica duo The Wiseguys appeared in a Mitsubishi TV commercial, it was propelled into the pop top 40. The song features multiple samples. Unfortunately the Wiseguys disbanded later in 2001.

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"Drowning" was originally planned for the Backstreet Boys Black & Blue album, but was held back. It then was released as a single and included on the compilation album The Hits: Chapter One. "Drowning" was the group's last single before going on a three year hiatus.

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With its midtempo pop feel, this is one of the singles that cemented Faith Hill's status as a crossover artist. It followed "Breathe" into the top 10 becoming the second major pop hit from the #1 album Breathe.

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"Bouncing Off the Ceiling" was the first original song released as a single by Swedish pop act A*Teens. It became the group's only top 10 hit in the UK with the bouncy ABBA-influenced sound. In the US it failed to rise beyond #93.

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Willa Ford concocted a self-conscious "bad girl" image, and this became her theme song. The sound is in the vein of the period's most successful teen pop. "I Wanna Be Bad" peaked at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Willa Ford's most successful release.

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The girl group Dream signed to Diddy's Bad Boy label. This was their first single. The song went to #2 on the pop singles chart. However a follow up barely made the top 40 and, despite the group's debut album hitting the top 10, the second album was never released until it showed up on iTunes in 2008.

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Heavy rockers Queens of the Stone Age paved their way for future success with this first single to gain widespread attention in both the US and the UK. Included on the album R it reached the top 25 of the mainstream rock chart in the US and the pop top 40 in the UK.

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This sweet pop ballad brought S Club 7 mania to the US. It was the sixth consecutive top 3 pop hit for the group in the UK and became their first top 10 in the US. The group made an appearance on MTV's TRL to promote the single.

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O-Town were a boy band formed from the winners of the first season of ABC's competition show Making the Band. "All Or Nothing" was the group's second and biggest hit rising to #3 on the charts.

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This title single from Jessica Simpson's second album generated some controversy due to the sexuality of its lyrics and heavily processed vocals. It went to #15 on the pop singles chart.

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"This I Promise You" was *NSYNC's fourth consecutive top 5 hit. It was the last from their album No Strings Attached. The group scored their first adult contemporary hit with the single and it spent 13 weeks at #1 there.

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Although at the time its performance was somewhat disappointing for a Backstreet Boys single, "More Than That" did sell 800,000 copies and just missed the top 10 in the UK. It was the group's 10th top 40 pop hit in the US.

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"Stronger" was the third single from Britney Spears' Oops! I Did It Again album. It has a catchy, uptempo danceable beat and just missed the top 10 landing at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Irish singer Samantha Mumba was signed to a contract as a teenager by noted boy band manager Louis Walsh. This was her follow up to the top five hit "Gotta Tell You." It reached #5 in the UK but failed to make the top 40 in the US.

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This collaboration between two stars with Latin backgrounds received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. It was also a #1 Latin pop hit while going to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It did not have an official physical single release and most likely would have charted much higher if that had been the case.

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R&B trio City High blasted into the pop top 10 with this socially conscious debut hit. It remains a well-received song for its sensitive treatment of the personal perils of economic struggle.

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Irish pop-rock family band the Corrs had four top 10 pop hits in the UK before "Breathless" brought them top 40 success in the US. It is polished, upbeat pop. The song was co-written and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange, known for the multi-platinum success of his productions with Def Leppard and wife Shania Twain.

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This cover version of Samantha Sang's #1 pop classic became Destiny's Child's third top 10 pop hit from the Survivor album and their eighth top 10 overall. The song, as a slow ballad, was a change of pace for the group.

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R&B quartet 112 rose to success as Diddy proteges. "It's Over Now" became the group's first pop top 10 as lead artist and their first R&B #1.

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R&B singer Toya had a quick rise into the spotlight with her first single "I Do!" riding a catchy upbeat track to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately she never reached the top 40 again as a solo artist.

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This song was a smash debut hit single from German pop group ATC most everywhere in the world but the US. It samples a song called "Pesenka" by Russian recording artist Ruki Vverkh. It is by far the group's biggest hit single.

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The pop-rap group LFO earned massive success from their first album. This was the lead single from their second album and, although it followed closely the sound of their first success, it failed to reach the pop top 40. Rich Cronin of the group died in 2010 of leukemia at the age of 36.

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"Where the Party At?" was the third consecutive #1` R&B hit from the group Jagged Edge. It also turned into their biggest pop hit peaking at #3. It features contributions from Nelly who was having his own massive success.

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This was the third single from the multi-platinum album of the same name by Matchbox Twenty. Although it failed to reach the pop top 40 it reached #5 at adult pop radio. It was their seventh consecutive top 10 there.

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"Stutter," featuring rapper Mystikal in a remixed version, became the first and only #1 pop hit for R&B singer Joe. The stuttering of the title refers to the behavior of the girlfriend of the song's protagonist who is presumably trying to hide cheating.

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The accompanying music video for "New York, New York" was filmed just four days before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York. This song brought alt-country performer Ryan Adams into the top 20 of adult top 40 radio and earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal.

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"Island In the Sun" has an unusually light touch for Weezer. The song was a #11 alternative songs hit for the group.

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"You Rock My World" was the lead single from Michael Jackson's final studio album Invincible. It did not have strong commercial success for a Michael Jackson song only reaching #10 on the pop singles chart. However, it did chart well around the world.

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This is the debut single from the funk hip hop collective N.E.R.D. put together by Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. The song did not have significant chart success but garnered the collective positive critical attention with its catchy rhythmic structures.

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Producer Timbaland uses a prominent clarinet sample from John Ottman's "Tricks of the Trade" here. The song was a top 20 R&B hit in the US and became Aaliyah's second top 20 pop hit in the UK.

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Heavy rock band System of a Down blasted into the top 10 of the modern rock chart with this hit. It also earned them their first Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance. Clear Channel radio included the song on their list of tracks that radio stations were encouraged to avoid after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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This frothy pop confection was the first single from J.Lo, the second album from Jennifer Lopez. It went to #3 on the US pop singles chart.

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"Romeo" is the lead single from the critically acclaimed second album Rooty by English house music duo Basement Jaxx. It did not have significant success in the US but was a top 10 hit in the UK. The song features a distinctive club sound of the era.

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Uncle Kracker first gained notice as DJ for Kid Rock. However, his first hit single "Follow Me" reached audiences across a much wider range of genres. The song was a #1 adult pop hit while also reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. It uses significant auto-tune processing of the vocals.

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The laidback relaxed feel of "Drive" brought alternative rock band Incubus their pop breakthrough peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became the group's first of multiple modern rock #1 hits.

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"Only Time" became new age artist Enya's biggest mainstream pop hit after being used in the film Sweet November and as advertising music for the TV series Friends. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, its use in accompanying imagery surrounding the event caused the song to have another surge in popularity.

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R. Kelly added a Latin feel to his party approach here. The result was a #6 pop hit and a #1 R&B smash. It was the only major hit from the album TP-2.com.

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This lead single from R.E.M.'s album Reveal references the 1959 film Imitation Of Life. The song was a relative commercial if not critical disappointment for the group only reaching #83 on the pop singles chart.

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"Elevation" won U2 the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group. It was included on the soundtrack to the movie Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider. It was a top 10 modern rock hit for the group in the US.

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"Best I Ever Had" was the third consecutive top 10 adult pop hit for rock band Vertical Horizon. It is a beautiful, romantic ballad that became a top 10 country hit for Gary Allan in 2005.

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This third US single from Irish singer Samantha Mumba was included on the soundtrack for the film Legally Blonde. It is an anthem for independent women promoting the recognition of inner beauty.

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Producer Timbaland helped Southern rapper Bubba Sparxxx have a major pop hit with his first single. "Ugly" features a sample from Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On," and it went to #15 on the US pop singles chart.

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"E.I." was the second hit single from Nelly's #1 debut album Country Grammar. It has the notable St. Louis rap style which made Nelly distinctive.

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For the soundtrack to the film Shrek, Smash Mouth covered one of the biggest pop hits of the 1960s, the Monkees "I'm a Believer." It is true to the feel of the era. The song became Smash Mouth's fourth top 10 adult pop hit.

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"Free" was the third single from Mya's second album Fear Of Flying. It is silky upbeat R&B in sound but was a commercial disappointment in the US. However, in the UK it went to #11 and was a top 10 hit in Australia.

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Released as the first single from Matchbox Twenty's album Mad Season, "Bent" took its elegant rock song to #1 on the pop singles chart remaining a major pop radio staple for months.

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Reggae pop singer Shaggy followed his #1 comeback hit "It Wasn't Me" with this gently swaying song built around "Angel of the Morning," a major pop hit for Merrilee Rush and Juice Newton. It reached #1 on the pop singles chart in both the US and the UK.

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"Jaded" was released as the first single from Aerosmith's platinum album Just Push Play. The song's swaggering rock brought the group their eighth top 10 pop single. The band performed it at the Super Bowl halftime show in January 2001.

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British singer Craig David released "Fill Me In" as his debut single in the UK when he was just 18. It went to #1 and later climbed to #15 in the US. Craig David emerged from the UK garage scene.

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With the strummed guitar and striking words, "You cannot quit me so quickly / Is no hope in you for me," the Dave Matthews Band launched their first official top 40 pop hit single. Earlier singles had been ineligible to chart due to rules about what constituted an official single. "The Space Between" climbed to #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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"Everywhere" introduced us all to the talents of singer-songwriter Michelle Branch. Produced by John Shanks, it has an appealing rock crunch with a pop-friendly chorus. She turned 18 shortly before the single was released.

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"You Make Me Sick" was Pink's third single from her double platinum debut album Can't Take Me Home. It is slinky, sexy R&B in style. The song peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Jennifer Lopez' #1 smash "I'm Real" is notable for the striking deep-voiced rap from Ja Rule. It also generated controversy due tot he use of an uncredited sample from Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Firecracker."

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"Last Nite" was the second single from the garage rock renaissance ignited by the Strokes. It landed at #5 on the modern rock chart and just missed the Billboard Hot 100. The opening guitar figure is said to be borrowed from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "American Girl."

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This was an instant smash hit for Janet Jackson and it spent seven weeks at #1 on the pop singles chart. The song is built around a sample from "The Glow Of Love" by the disco group Change. It was the longest reigning #1 pop hit of 2001.

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Eve 6 seemed like a one-hit wonder after they failed to follow up their first hit single "Inside Out" which hit the top 40 in 1998. Then along came the midtempo, wistful "Here's To the Night" which landed inside the top 40 as well. It has since become a favorite graduation song.

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Pop punk band American Hi-Fi burst into the mainstream with this attitude filled hit single. "Flavor Of the Weak" landed at #5 on the modern rock chart. The song is heavily melodic guitar fueled punk pop.

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The smooth midtempo R&B of "U Remind Me" topped the pop singles chart and was Usher's first single from the album 8701. It earned Usher his first Grammy Award being recognized as the Best Male R&B Vocal.

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At age 17 Mandy Moore released the lead single for her third album Mandy Moore. It received acclaim for a more adult approach to her sound, but commercial performance suffered. "In My Pocket" incorporates Middle Eastern flourishes with a club friendly beat. It was a top 40 radio hit.

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R&B vocal group 112 earned their only Grammy Award nomination as Best R&B Duo or Group for "Peaches & Cream." It became the group's biggest pop hit as well peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Destiny's Child welded a rock groove to their R&B vocals by kicking "Bootylicious" off with a guitar riff from Stevie Nicks' classic "Edge of Seventeen." The result was a fourth #1 pop hit for the group. Stevie Nicks makes an appearance in the video and the clip also highlights a number of Michael Jackson dance moves.

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Weezer kicked off promotion of their third album with this hard rocking single. It features Rivers Cuomo in a squeaky high falsetto. The song became the group's second #2 modern rock single and became a top 40 pop hit in the UK.

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Nelly won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video with the "Ride Wit Me" clip. It was the third and biggest hit single from his debut album Country Grammar. Featuring Nelly's half-brother City Spud, "Ride Wit Me" went all the way to #3 on the pop singles chart.

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The swirling heavy rock of "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" spent twelve weeks at the top of the modern rock chart for Fuel. It helped propel the album Something Like Human to double platinum status. The song also reached #30 on the pop singles chart.

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Although he had plenty of album sales success and critical acclaim, it had been nearly 10 years since Lenny Kravitz reached the pop top 10 until the release of "Again." It reached #4 and won Lenny Kravitz the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal. The song has a slow but propulsive beat and features a Lenny Kravitz guitar solo.

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"Crystal" is the lead single from Get Ready, the first new studio album from electropop group New Order in eight years. It has a heavier guitar rock feel than most New Order music. The song landed in the pop top 10 in the UK and topped the US dance chart.

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Boy Band *NSYNC answered their critics with this lead single from the group's third studio album Celebrity. Arguably it is one of the group's top artistic successes but commercial appeal did not follow with the song only reaching #19 on the pop singles chart. Don't miss Justin Timberlake's beatboxing.

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This Michael Jackson cover was a major breakthrough hit for alt rock band Alien Ant Farm. It intensified the rock elements in Michael Jackson's music and topped the modern rock chart while climbing to #23 as a pop single. The music video includes many nods to Michael Jackson most notably the band doing the anti-gravity lean dance move from Michael Jackson's video.

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Canadian pop punk band Sum 41 blasted into consciousness with this rock and hip hop blend that topped the modern rock chart and made inroads as a pop single. The debut album All Killer and No Filler reached the top 10 while going platinum.

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Britney Spears received critical acclaim for the slinky, adult R&B groove of this single. The public responded less enthusiastically with the song only reaching #27 on the pop singles chart, but the album Britney reached #1 and was ultimately certified four times platinum.

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U2's Bono wrote this song in the wake of the suicide of INXS lead vocalist Michael Hutchence. The sound of the song borrows a great deal from gospel music. The group earned a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal for this recording.

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The catchy rap and rock combination on "Butterfly" put Crazy Town on the map and went to #1 on the pop singles chart in 15 different countries including the US. The group has remained a one-hit wonder never returning to the pop top 40.

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"Kryptonite" was a very slow building hit for 3 Doors Down having been first released in 1999. It hit #1 on the modern rock chart for 11 weeks and then eventually climb to #3 on the pop singles chart. 3 Doors Down have gone on to have two #1 hit albums and two more top 10 pop singles, but none have matched the success of their first hit.

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Reggae pop singer Shaggy first gained significant US chart success in 1995 with a pair of top 3 hits. However, he failed to return to the top 10 until six years later with this clever song about defending an undefensible act. It became Shaggy's first #1 pop hit in the US and topped the charts in the UK as well.

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Pop fans in the US first became aware of Dido's "Thank You" due to its use as a sample in Eminem's hit single "Stan." Then, in an unusual twist of events, the original track became a hit after the song which sampled it. "Thank You" remains Dido's only top 10 pop hit in the US.

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The soundtrack for the movie Moulin Rouge was the occasion for this collaboration among young female superstars. The original recording of the sexually suggestive song by LaBelle went to #1 on the pop charts in 1975. This version hit #1 as well. It won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

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Janet Jackson's breezy "Someone To Call My Lover" is built around loops from two other works. A guitar loop from America's hit "Ventura Highway" kicks off the song and the chorus includes a looped phrase from Erik Satie's classical piece Gymnopedie No. 1. "Someone To Call My Lover" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal and went to #3 on the pop singles chart.

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"Clint Eastwood" is the debut single from the cartoon pop band Gorillaz. Clint Eastwood is not mentioned in the lyrics, but the sound of the song is somewhat reminiscent to the music from the film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly which stars Clint Eastwood. The verses are rapped by Del the Funkee Homosapien and the chorus is sung by Damon Albarn.

"Clint Eastwood" peaked at #4 on the UK pop singles chart and #57 in the US.

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Ironically "When It's Over" was the fifth and final top 40 pop single from the band Sugar Ray peaking at #13. The song features the group's classic bright, poppy hooks and sunny sounding outlook even if there is an underlying sadness in the lyrics.

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Jay-Z's autobiographical hit was produced by Kanye West. Stars including Nelly, OutKast, and Destiny's child appear in the video. The chorus "H to the Izz-O, V to the Izz-A" spells out the nickname H.O.V.A. which is short for Jehovah or Jay-Z's self-proclamation as God of the MC's.

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Madonna's third and final single from her album Music explores the theme of women hampered by social expectations of politeness and submissiveness. The video garnered significant controversy due to violent content. The song reached #23 on the US pop singles chart but landed in the top 10 in the UK and hit #1 on the US dance chart.

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Reportedly Destiny's Child member Beyonce was inspired to write "Survivor" after reports about three members of the group having already left, and it compared it to contestants being voted off the TV show Survivor. The song won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance By a Duo or Group and an MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video.

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R&B singer-songwriter Blu Cantrell made a big splash with this ultra-catchy song about getting revenge against one's cheating spouse. It went all the way to #2 on the pop singles chart, but it remains Blu Cantrell's only major hit single.

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Rapper Eve was a major R&B and hip hop star when this collaboration with Gwen Stefani broke her into the pop top 10 for the first time. The stripped down sound is mesmerizing. "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" hit #2 on the pop singles chart and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap / Sung collaboration as well as an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video.

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India.Arie burst into the spotlight with this debut single. The message of self esteem helped the song earn Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It has a gentle, swaying vibe that landed outside the pop mainstream but caused critics and music industry insiders to take serious notice of the newcomer.

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French electronic music duo Daft Punk brought classic disco sounds back to the mainstream with this song. It features a heavily auto-tuned vocal from Romanthony. The song went to #2 in the UK, #1 in Canada and topped the US dance chart.

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Moby's album Play was already a huge success due to a string of dance hits and use of his ambient tracks in a variety of advertising and television shows. However, it was his collaboration here with Gwen Stefani that brought him a major pop hit rising to #14.

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Lee Ann Womack was a major country star with a string of top 10 hits when this instant classic inspirational song was released. The result was a crossover hit that topped the adult contemporary chart and reached #14 on the pop singles chart. It won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and was nominated for Song of the Year.

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Although it only peaked at #2 on the pop singles chart, this debut hit song by the group Lifehouse spent twenty weeks in the top 10 and more than a year on the pop singles chart causing Billboard to name it the biggest hit single of 2001. In 2008 Billboard named "Hanging By a Moment" the 25th biggest rock song of all time.

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Missy Elliott collaborated here with Timbaland for an instant classic. The song is built around a beat borrowed from the Indian dance music Bhangra. The song became Missy Elliott's second top 10 hit peaking at #7.

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San Francisco based pop-rock band Train had their first top 10 pop hit with this classic song. Lead singer Pat Monahan claims the first lines of the song's unusual lyrics came to him in a dream. "Drops of Jupiter" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song and was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

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This debut single introduced Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado to pop audiences. Her unique vocals helped the song become a huge hit single around the world peaking at #9 in the US, #5 in the UK and #1 at home in Canada. Nelly Furtado won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Female Vocal and was nominated for Song of the Year.

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"Ms. Jackson" was the pop breakthrough for the rap duo OutKast climbing to #1 on the pop singles chart. The title character in the song is the mother of Outkast Member Andre 3000's girlfriend Erykah Badu. The song is about the domestic difficulties caused by the breakup of a couple. "Ms. Jackson" won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group.

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"Yellow" was the first single released in the US by emerging rock band Coldplay. Although it missed the top 40 in the US, it hit the top 5 in the UK. The song has gained popularity over time and is now one of the favorite Coldplay songs among fans. "Yellow" contains the classic surging sound that has made Coldplay pop superstars.

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With the release of the first single from her album Missundaztood, Pink unleashed one of the top party anthems of all time. The song was written by singer, producer, and songwriter Linda Perry. It went to #4 on the US pop singles chart, but has proven to be one of Pink's most durable classics.

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The gospel-influenced song "Fallin'" was the powerful debut hit single from Alicia Keys. It went to #1 on the pop singles chart and won three Grammy Awards including Song of the Year. Her album Songs In A Minor went on to debut at #1 on the album chart.

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