Although we like to divide our lists by years, sometimes we also like to group them into a single entry. It’s true that this way we don’t delve into each of the chosen songs, but it also helps to select favorites from the whole. That’s what we did with the 2000s music in this case, for example. We created a playlist with 1000 songs from 2000 to 2009 for all audiences. From fans of more commercial or chart-topping sounds to followers of more underground or independent styles. The charm, in any case, lies in witnessing the evolution of certain groups and genres over the span of 10 years, and in turn, their loss or gain of freshness.
Who are the best musical groups of the 2000s for you? Do you have an unmatched artist whose every publication you consume? We invite you to discover or confirm it with our playlist of 2000s songs. And if you want to learn more about each year of that decade, we invite you to read our article covering music in the year 2000, which continues with 2001, 2002, and so on until the end of the decade.
Furthermore, in this annual selection, you’ll find 2000s songs in English, but also international, in Spanish, Portuguese, and Brazilian, while in this entry, we’re focusing solely on the first language since there are so many songs in a single list. We thought it would be easier for everyone if we added a new entry for songs with lyrics in Romance languages. That way, lovers of one language as well as the other will have different options, especially if you truly enjoy Latin music and nothing Anglo-Saxon, or vice versa.
The best 2000s songs: a list with artists from the 2000s and 1000 songs from 2000 to 2009
So, here you’ll find the Spotify playlist of 2000s songs and the mentioned list of the most important groups and songs of the 2000s for us. In this regard, the criterion on which we base the highlights is the number of times they appear throughout these 10 years of music to be remembered.
This means that, for instance, if a singer had two successful albums in one year we extracted 3 singles from each of them, they could appear here even if they hadn’t done anything else in their career. A criterion that also includes the number of collaborations with other artists, something that undoubtedly benefited the most famous rappers of the time, which we won’t mention yet.
Viewed this way, it might not be the best way to decide the most relevant names, but it makes sense and serves as a sample for diving into the best songs of the 2000s worldwide. Especially because we limited the annual presentations to 3 songs per album to avoid personal tastes prevailing over the global perspective.
Since we don’t want to go on for too long about each artist or band in the selection, as we know you’re here for the music, let’s try to summarize why Ja Rule is the rapper and artist who appears the most in our list of 1000 songs in English. Despite now being somewhat insulted even among his fans. It’s because, for many, rap had its greatest commercial success and its golden phase from around 1995 to 2010, and Ja Rule is the perfect example of 2000s hits maker.
Largely, this was due to what he produced, as the Gangsta Rap boom seemed to be fading, Ja Rule along with Murder Inc., his label, with which they launched other important names like Ashanti, with whom he achieved great success in romantic rap. The success is exemplified by songs like “Always On Time,” “So Much Pain” (his particular tribute to 2Pac), “Mesmerize,” “Murder Reigns,” “Put It On Me,” or “Wonderful,” as well as the songs he composed for soundtracks (see “Furious,” with Vita), or collaborations like “Rainy Dayz” by Mary J. Blige, “What’s Luv” by Fat Joe, and “Ain’t It Funny” or “I’m Real” by Jennifer Lopez.
It seems unthinkable to think about it today, but perhaps one of the reasons he became less popular, apart from the drop in the quality or freshness of his new works, was the diss (or what we would call beef today) he maintained for a few years with Eminem and the rest of his crew.
With the same number of 2000s hits (12), we find the band of the late Chester Bennington and the tireless Mike Shinoda. Linkin Park burst onto the MTV scene in the 2000s at the height of the Nu Metal boom, which at the same time, perhaps unknowingly, was about to fade as well. Many hated Linkin Park then for having much greater success than their predecessors who, by 2023, deny belonging to that subgenre, although at the time it was almost indisputable. Thus, between reasonable similarities and late appearance, the number of fans and haters increased with every new single or album.
Fortunately, over time, the haters became irrelevant, and the good things remain with us, whether we like them more or less. One step closer to the edge, and I’m about to break. Somewhere I belong, near the end, or crawling. Also, somewhere in there, I’m sorry. Also, we should mention “Pts.Of.Athrty” on Reanimation or “Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer” with Jay-Z. And let’s not forget “Bleed It Out,” “What I’ve Done,” “New Divide” (from the Transformers soundtrack), or that collaboration with DJs X-Ecutioners in “It’s Goin’ Down” (although this time Chester was missing, yes).
If we think not only about this decade, but directly about all the music of the ’90s and 2000s, another indispensable name would be Jay-Z. To this day, one of the wealthiest names in international hip-hop, in strong competition with Puff Daddy (known as P. Diddy in this decade). Reasons for amassing such wealth? Probably due to all the music rights where he was involved in some way, but also his keen eye for profitable business ventures, like his music platform Tidal (where Kanye West was also at the time).
Additionally, there’s the music with Linkin Park that we’ve already mentioned, collaborations with Beyoncé (whom he married in 2008) like Crazy In Love or 03′ Bonnie & Clyde, or solo tracks like 99 Problems, La La La (Excuse Me Miss Again), Girls, Girls, Girls, Izzo (H.O.V.A.). Moreover, he has teamed up with Alicia Keys on Empire State Of Mind, with the criminal R. Kelly on Fiesta (Remix), with Rihanna on Umbrella, and, seemingly carefree in his career direction (which might appear so), with Panjabi MC on Beware (Jay-Z Remix).
Already a legend, Eminem’s career is entwined with meeting producer Dr. Dre. And specifying producer because it’s Dre who turns his lyrics and rap style into great songs with tremendous beats. It’s evident that Dre is much more than that, highly respected in the rap game despite not writing his own verses, so he deserves to be mentioned here as the architect of a ’90s musical movement that the white rapper (in his own unique, often humor-violence blend) and many others followed afterward.
In his list of hits, we highlight The Real Slim Shady, Stan (featuring Dido), The Way I Am, Without Me, Sing For The Moment, ‘Till I Collapse (with backing vocals by Nate Dogg), his classic Lose Yourself, Go To Sleep (alongside DMX and Obie Trice), Just Lose It, or We Made You. And this is not counting his successes with D12, his group with his best friend Proof, who tragically passed away in a shooting in 2006. Highlights of this decade include Purple Pills, Fight Music, 40 Oz., My Band, and How Come, among others.
But enough about rap and metal from that era, let’s delve into the realm of 2000s pop music with one of its biggest names that comes to mind: Coldplay. Chris Martin’s band is a bit different in terms of the number of appearances, totaling 8, but perhaps with a bit more merit since they lack any collaborations between them. Those would come especially from 2010 onwards, actually.
From their first album, Parachutes, we recall Don’t Panic, Yellow, and Trouble. From X&Y, we bring back Fix You and reminisce about its music video, much like we do with The Scientist from the album A Rush of Blood to the Head, where we also highlight In My Place, not forgetting Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, which included Viva La Vida and Violet Hill – songs that seemed to mark a new direction in the British group’s career, exploring slightly more joyful sonorities than before.
Their album Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water was one of the biggest hits of 2000 and, consequently, the 2000s in general, with tracks like My Generation, Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle), or Take A Look Around (from the Mission Impossible 2 movie soundtrack), among many others. So much so that it’s still recognized today as the best-selling hard rock album in its first week of release.
This is how they began the decade, even though they didn’t finish it with the same luck, mainly after Wes Borland’s departure in 2001. The charismatic guitarist seemed to have a direction in mind for the band that didn’t align with the one proposed by vocalist Fred Durst, leading to a temporary hiatus and the arrival of a new member, Mike Smith, who would leave the band in 2004 after Borland’s return to the lineup. A discarded man, indeed, though it was a good thing for most fans.
Although he returned before we reached the mid-2000s, Borland’s return to the band could only be enjoyed on the album The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) (which currently lacks a second part), where his riffs stand out above everything else, unlike what we find in Results May Vary, which didn’t feature him. In this album, Durst’s voice stood out much more, and the style was somewhat closer to post-grunge than rap metal. Examples of this are Build A Bridge or Behind Blue Eyes (a cover of The Who), not so much their first single, Eat You Alive. Finally, remember their remix album, featuring the track My Way (William Orbit Remix), where they attempted to blend hip-hop culture even more with their distinct metal style.
Now, to tone down a bit and relax without losing the energy from where we came, let’s talk about Lifehouse. This American band never stood out for worldwide fame, nor did they have a memorable name for music fans, but the truth is, without making much noise and consistently maintaining a high level across all their works, they’ve delivered several great hits throughout the 2000s.
Proof of this includes Hanging By A Moment, Everything (which many will associate with the Smallville series and the almost impossible love between Lana Lang and Clark Kent), Spin, You And Me, Blind, Storm, or Broken. Since their first album, they’ve consistently shown their ability to navigate calm moments, romanticism, and energy. Highly recommended for those who love 2000s pop-rock.
Without a doubt, Alicia Keys is the standout artist of the decade, if not the 21st century up until 2022. Her talent is immense, her presence undeniable. She possesses a unique voice and is capable of anything and everything across genres – from the most precious intimacy to stadium-filling explosiveness with impactful messages and social commitment.
In addition to the aforementioned songs, noteworthy tracks include Fallin’ or A Woman’s Worth from the album Songs In A Minor, You Don’t Know My Name from The Diary Of Alicia Keys, No One from the album As I Am, or collaborations with Eve on Gangsta Lovin’ and with Jack White on Another Way To Die (from the soundtrack of 007 Quantum of Solace).
On April 9, 2021, after several days in a coma, the death of rapper Earl Simmons, artistically known as DMX, one of the greatest names in hip-hop for many years, was announced. For followers of this culture that extends beyond music, this news was quite challenging, as he had become one of those MCs capable of making you dance to anything he rapped.
In our memory remain works like Where The Hood At or Get It On The Floor, X Gon’ Give It To Ya or Who We Be, or I Miss You alongside Faith Evans, where he also demonstrated a great talent for R&B. We also can’t forget songs like Tear It Up (from the Drumline soundtrack) alongside Young Wun, Lil Flip, and David Banner.
To wrap up our 2000s music selection, let’s delve into the Swedish group The Sounds. Their presence is important not just for the number of great songs they’ve given us over the years, but also for shedding light on musicians from other countries and showcasing a genre that was on the rise again after leading the charts in the ’80s, now returning since the mid-2000s.
With tracks that somewhat harken back to Blondie, perhaps also due to the charismatic and magnetic vocalist Maja Ivarsson, the truth is that they were essential in the revival we experienced, particularly in new wave and post-punk. Basic examples for assessment include Seven Days A Week, Living In America, Queen Of Apology, Tony The Beat (Push It), No One Sleeps When I’m Awake, 4 Songs & A Fight, or My Lover.
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.