Top 100 Pop Songs 2006

01
of 10

100-91

Fergie, London Bridge
Courtesy A&M

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

100 - Paris Hilton - Stars Are Blind

This year's top 100 kicks off with the most annoying song of the year. However, if a bit of mindless reggae pop with a particularly weak voice is your thing, then Paris is your singer.

Review

99 - Yung Joc - It's Goin' Down

Repetition is the key - "it's goin' down" everywhere!

98 - Fergie - London Bridge

Fergie's first solo single was clumsily built around a raunchy sexual metaphor. Pop radio loved it, but many of us got tired of it...quickly.

Review

97 - Blue October - Hate Me

The song of the year for those into self loathing.

96 - Young Dro featuring T.I. - Shoulder Lean

Atlanta brought us some brilliant grooves this year, but this wasn't among the best.

95 - Jibbs - Chain Hang Low

It is fun and entertaining the first time through, but the "Turkey in the Straw" connections still raise some disturbing questions.

Review

94 - Gwen Stefani - Wind It Up

Gwen revisits Broadway with less satisfying results than "Rich Girl."

93 - Diddy featuring Nicole Scherzinger - Come to Me

Somewhat undistinguished sexy pop is not really what Diddy was aiming for in a big comeback.

92 - Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg - Buttons

It's not among the best songs from their string of huge pop hits, but "Buttons" is still listenable.

Review

91 - Clay Aiken - Without You

For the first single from the album A Thousand Different Ways, Clay Aiken turned in a strong version of this pop classic, but it promptly sank with little support from pop radio.

02
of 10

90-81

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

90 - Webstar and Young B - Chicken Noodle Soup

The Harlem dance craze was fun, but there is little more here than a very, very simple hook.

89 - Hinder - Lips of an Angel

An Oklahoma band makes it big on the coattails of Nickelback. The success is all in the voice.

88 - Beyonce - Ring the Alarm

Beyonce's second single from B'Day featured one of the most intense videos of the year...and those sirens.

87 - RBD - Tu Amor

The Mexican pop superstars reached US radio airwaves with this pleasant, but disposable, pop tune.

86 - Mario Vazquez - Gallery

Mario proved there can be a life for an American Idol drop out, but his song doesn't stick long in the memory.

85 - John Mellencamp - Our Country

John Mellencamp attempted an end run around pop radio by publicizing this song via the World Series and Chevy Silverado ads with mixed results, but it was good to hear his voice again.

84 - Chris Brown - Yo (Excuse Me Miss)

Chris Brown featured his softer side in this followup to the monster hit "Run It!"

83 - Akon featuring Snoop Dogg - I Wanna Love You

Starpower carried this relatively weak tune to the top of the pop charts.

82 - All-American Rejects - It Ends Tonight

The third single from the album Move Along brought All-American Rejects back into the top 10.

81 - Gym Class Heroes - The Queen & I

Big things could be just around the corner for this alterna hip hop group.

03
of 10

80-71

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

80 - Prince - Black Sweat

The purple one returned with a serious funk workout for the first single from the album 3121.

79 - Chris Brown - Say Goodbye

While it pales in comparison to "Run It!" Chris Brown's charisma shines through on this uptempo groove.

78 - Nickelback - Far Away

If it fits your situation, "Far Away" is a classic tearjerking pop ballad.

77 - Danity Kane - Show Stopper

Diddy's proteges are just a bit too close to being second-string Pussycat Dolls.

76 - Akon featuring Eminem - Smack That

Pleasing banger that's ultimately disposable.

75 - Rascal Flatts - What Hurts the Most

These country-pop superstars uncorked one of the biggest selling albums of the year and crossed over from the country charts with this monster ballad.

74 - Vanessa Hudgens - Come Back to Me

It didn't take long for Vanessa to prove there is teen dance-pop stardom beyond High School Musical.

73 - Cartel - Honestly

It's nearly picture-perfect punk pop...almost too perfect.

72 - Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober

Amy Lee is back in powerful vocal form, but this song sounds a bit too much like we've heard it before.

Review

71 - Bow Wow featuring Chris Brown and Johnta Austin - Shortie Like Mine

To kick off his album The Price of Fame, Bow Wow enlisted some serious young starpower to join in.

04
of 10

70-61

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

70 - KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See

This song proved, in catchy pop fashion, that KT Tunstall was no one-hit wonder.

69 - Ashlee Simpson - Invisible

Ashlee Simpson turns over the songwriting duties to others and delivers one of her best performances.

Review

68 - Lil Jon featuring E-40 and Sean Paul of The YoungBloodz - Snap Yo Fingers

Lil Jon woke us all up with this confident reappearance on the pop scene.

67 - Taking Back Sunday - MakeDamnSure

Taking Back Sunday reminded us that there are other bands in the melodic hardcore realm than Fall Out Boy and Hawthorne Heights.

66 - OK Go - Here It Goes Again

Everyone remembers the treadmill video, but the song is catchy and memorable, too.

65 - Ciara - Promise

A more adult Ciara turned to smoldering ballad territory with mostly positive results.

64 - Saving Jane - Girl Next Door

As long as there are teen girls feeling left out, there will be a need for songs like "Girl Next Door."

Review

63 - Kanye West featuring Lupe Fiasco - Touch the Sky

It's all rather overblown, but no one can dismiss Kanye's obvious talent.

62 - Lady Sovereign - Love Me or Hate Me (F**k You!)

She may be tiny, but Lady Sovereign's feisty debut won't be quickly forgotten.

61 - Ne-Yo - Sexy Love

This second major hit from Ne-Yo as an artist goes down easy in almost any pop music setting.

05
of 10

60-51

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

60 - Dem Franchize Boyz - Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It

Just try to resist snapping and moving those shoulders.

59 - Nelly Furtado - Maneater

This is one fierce dance song that is only a bit weaker on the car radio.

58 - Nick Lachey - What's Left of Me

There is a real pop melody here under all the post-Jessica weepiness.

Review

57 - Ciara featuring Chamillionaire - Get Up

The best way to enjoy "Get Up," if you can keep up, is learning the dance moves via the DVD included with Ciara's The Evolution album.

56 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion

This driving tune very nearly broke the Yeah Yeah Yeahs into the big time.

55 - Ashley Parker Angel - Let U Go

If he could have sustained the roar that kicks this tune off, O-Town alum Ashley Parker Angel would have been found much further up the year-end line.

54 - AFI - Miss Murder

Eyeliner, skintight shirts, and rock.

53 - Teddy Geiger - For You I Will (Confidence)

Teddy proved he is one of the most talented teen musicians around with this debut hit.

Review

52 - Daughtry - It's Not Over

This is not an instant classic, but Chris Daughtry's first single fills the pop-rock radio niche perfectly.

51 - Jessica Simpson - A Public Affair

Much of this may have been lifted from Madonna, but Jessica knew the part of Madonna's catalog to borrow from.

Review

06
of 10

50-41

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

50 - Cherish featuring Sean Paul of The YoungBloodz - Do It To It

This is one of the best new sister groups to come along in some time.

49 - Dixie Chicks - Not Ready to Make Nice

The Dixie Chicks proved they still are a bit upset about the George W. Bush incident.

48 - Madonna - Sorry

This is the great lost Madonna classic. Radio completely ignored a top-notch pop performance.

47 - Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats

One of the strongest tracks from a very, very good debut album.

46 - Kelly Clarkson - Walk Away

"Walk Away" is significantly better than a 5th single from an album has a right to be.

45 - Mariah Carey featuring Snoop Dogg - Say Somethin'

Listen to this catchy tune to hear why Snoop Dogg was the supporting player of the year for 2006.

Review

44 - The Wreckers - Leave the Pieces

The Wreckers, Michelle Branch's current project, lean to pure country and get a #1 country hit in the bargain, but this also sounded great on pop radio.

43 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California

Even if it was borrowed from Tom Petty, there's nothing denying the charisma of the Chili Peppers.

42 - Rihanna - Unfaithful

It's all about that one word...murderer.

41 - John Mayer - Waiting on the World to Change

John Mayer speaks here for US citizens numbering in the millions.

Review

07
of 10

40-31

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

40 - Paula DeAnda featuring the DEY - Walk Away (Remember Me)

South Texas native DeAnda vaulted to the top of the pack of teen singers with this catchy dance pop.

39 - Daniel Powter - Bad Day

Use as a theme for American Idol resulted in the song being overplayed, but it remains an uplifting tune for those days we all have.

38 - Fall Out Boy - This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race

Fall Out Boy show there's more to their music than thrashing guitars.

Review

37 - Avril Lavigne - Keep Holding On

Avril Lavigne takes an inspiration turn for the movie Eragon and it's a rousing success.

36 - All-American Rejects - Move Along

An upbeat successor to R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts."

35 - Cassie - Me & U

This ultra-catchy skeletal r&b made ex-model Cassie an instant star.

Review

34 - Arctic Monkeys - When the Sun Goes Down

The second single from the Arctic Monkeys' arresting debut album is another mini epic.

33 - Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around...

It may or may not be about Britney Spears, but the swirling melody is difficult to get out of your head.

Review

32 - Rihanna - S.O.S.

Rihanna's pounding dance floor smash got us through the doldrums of late winter 2006.

31 - Sean Paul - Temperature

Sean Paul's dancehall hit was a well-deserved smash on the radio and in dance clubs.

08
of 10

30-21

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

30 - KT Tunstall - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall appeared seemingly out of nowhere with this slice of unique rocking pop.

29 - Elton John - The Bridge

Elton John's best single in many years is a lesson on aging gracefully.

28 - U2 and Green Day - The Saints Are Coming

Two of the world's greatest rock bands put together a moving tribute to and benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

27 - Pink - Stupid Girls

Razor-sharp wit made Pink a hero to teen girls everywhere.

26 - Nelly Furtado - Say It Right

Nelly Furtado and Timbaland slow the tempo down and leave us mesmerized.

25 - Mary J. Blige and U2 - One

Mary J. Blige proves rock ballads are no serious challenge to her amazing interpretive skills.

24 - Lily Allen - Smile

It could be considered vicious and mean, but at the same time it is hysterically funny.

23 - Ne-Yo - So Sick

With sterling production from the Norwegian duo, Stargate, Ne-Yo proved he can be in front of the mic not simply in the background as songwriter.

Review

22 - Weird Al Yankovic - White and Nerdy

This is one of Yankovic's best parodies of a long and, um, distinguished career.

21 - Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing

The most danceable hit ever about not dancing.

09
of 10

20-11

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

20 - The Fray - Over My Head (Cable Car)

This powerful tune of romantic naivete introduced us all to a hot new band from Denver, Colorado.

Review

19 - Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man

Christina Aguilera makes marriage sound like an amazing amount of fun.

18 - Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone - Ridin'

Unforgettable from the first time you hear it.

17 - JoJo - Too Little Too Late

Teen star JoJo returned with a modest slice of pop perfection.

Review

16 - Fergie - Fergalicious

This is the heart of Fergie's solo debut - hot, funny, and a swirl of references to past pop greatness.

Review

15 - Panic! At the Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies

Catchphrases and rumors at a wedding in a brilliantly catchy pop tune.

Review

14 - Justin Timberlake - SexyBack

Justin Timberlake certainly caught our attention from the first chords. Most fans love it or hate it - there's little room for waffling.

Review

13 - Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland - Promiscuous

The song of summer 2006.

12 - Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean - Hips Don't Lie

A towering happy accident that turned into a massive worldwide hit.

11 - Fort Minor - Where'd You Go?

This song successfully vented pent up emotion for millions.

Review

10
of 10

10-1

This is admittedly a subjective list based on judgements of quality instead of sales figures or radio airplay. A number of songs have expanded reviews - click on the word 'Review' to read more information about the song.

This list should be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great pop music to be found here.

10 - My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade

A pop epic with heavy influence from Queen and Green Day.

9 - The Fray - How to Save a Life

Heartbreaking, but also a tribute to human spirit and connection.

8 - Mary J. Blige - Be Without You

This elegant song became one of the biggest r&b hit singles of all time.

Review

7 - The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes

This is the most joyously noisy pop-rock song of the year.

6 - Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. - My Love

Timbaland's production here is one of his most masterful works. Justin Timberlake's falsetto is unforgettable.

Review

5 - Christina Aguilera - Hurt

Christina Aguilera wades through all of the tearjerker cliches and turns out an instant classic transcending any pitfalls.

4 - Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars

If you thought there was nothing original left to say in a love song, Snow Patrol changed your mind.

Review

3 - Beyonce - Irreplaceable

"To the left, to the left," is there anything more to say?

2 - Gnarls Barkley - Crazy

Irresistible from the first time you hear it. You'll be singing along before the song ends.

1 - Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

Pop perfection that can lift you up on the grayest of days. A star is born.