Top 10 Pop Songs of 1998

1998 was a year of musical diversity. From Celine Dion's traditional big pop ballad "My Heart Will Go On" to Madonna and Jay-Z pushing musical boundaries with their latest work. Musical eclecticism is the order of the day for 1998.

With her first completely new studio album in 4 years, Madonna brought electronica to the top of the pop charts. Working with collaborator William Orbit, the music sounded fresh, new, and invigorating. The song peaked at #5 on the US pop chart and features a celebrated Jonas Akerlund music video.

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Jay-Z consolidated his status as the best of East Coast rappers with this brilliant single that weaves a showstopping number from the Broadway musical Annie into a stunning hip hop opus. Pop audiences were made aware that the range of experimentation in hip hop was limitless. Peaking at #15 on the pop singles chart, "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" became Jay-Z's biggest pop hit to date.

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With the backlash against boy bands, too few remember that some great pop songs were recorded by these all male vocal groups. This is a pop masterpiece that helped the Backstreet Boys conquer the hearts of millions. Peaking at #4 on the pop singles chart, it was the group's second top 5 charting smash.

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This song is a gorgeous r&b ballad, but revved up with a club mix, it is one of the top dance hits of the decade. Record industry execs intended Deborah Cox to be the next Whitney Houston. That didn't quite work, but she did contribute this timeless smash. The song peaked at #2 on the pop singles chart while going all the way to #1 on the dance chart. It also topped the R&B chart for a phenomenal 14 weeks.

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Sarah McLachlan's voice is almost other-worldly in its beauty. This single came out as the Lilith Fair all-female concert tour, organized by McLachlan, was kicking into gear. Peaking at #3 on the pop chart, it was Sarah McLachlan's top 10 breakthrough in the US.

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Ben Folds and company brought the issue of abortion on to the pop charts, from a male point of view. A particularly fascinating twist is that it seems the male narrator of the song is selfish and a bit of a jerk. Lyrically, this is one of the most unique major hit songs of the 90's. It was a top 10 hit on the modern rock chart and broke into the top 20 on the pop chart.

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Will Smith set out solo for the first time, and the results were very pleasing. His brand of clean, good-humored, party hip hop caught on instantly. The song went all the way to #1 and earned a gold certification for sales.

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This is one of Alanis Morissette's most memorable, and lyrically uncluttered, songs. The gothic, foreboding musical textures match well with her vocal intensity. It was her fifth top 10 pop hit peaking at #4. "Uninvited" topped the mainstream pop radio chart.

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For many, the mileage varied on Barenaked Ladies' breakthrough hit. The pure kinetic energy of "One Week" certainly invigorated pop radio playlists, but a little of the cheeky, self-indulgent humor can go a long way. The song served as Barenaked Ladies commercial breakthrough in the US going all the way to #1 on the pop singles chart.

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This was certainly one of the most over-played ballads of the year. However, if you listen once again, the song is beautiful, and Celine Dion is one of the most reliable voices in the business. The song was a worldwide #1 pop smash.

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