10 Best ’90s Pop Songs

The stylistic variances of that decade resist categorization, which makes the 10 best '90s Pop Songs a list that will stir debate, discussion and dissent. If the musical legacy of the 1980's was heavy metal, new wave and the birth of gangster rap, then the 1990's were dominated by the resurgence of pop music and the edgy, guitar-driven sounds of grunge-style rock. 

  1. "I Will Always Love You" Whitney Houston's stirring pop ballad about eternal love, released in November of 1992 was recorded for the soundtrack of the film "The Bodyguard", which also starred Houston as a singer in need of protection from a crazed fan. The single sold over 12 million copies, and was voted number one on VH1's 100 Greatest Love Songs and remains one of the best '90s pop songs.
  2. "Baby One More Time" Britney Spears' 1998 debut hit single launched her into super stardom with its catch refrain and bouncy rhythm. The embodiment of "bubblegum Pop", the single sold over 9 million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
  3. "I Want It That Way" Released in 1999, this hit single by the Backstreet Boys off their mega-selling album Millennium is still played by radio stations today, and its heartfelt lyrics and smooth harmonies make it one of the definitive and best pop songs of the 1990's.
  4. "MMMBop" This 1997 single by the youth band Hanson reached number one in the United States and sold over 700,000 copies. An infectious and harmless pop song about the nature of real friendship, it was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1998.
  5. "My Heart Will Go On" If you owned a radio in 1997, chances are, you heard this Celine Dion tearjerker at least five times a day. Made popular as the signature song on the soundtrack to the film "Titanic", it won the 1997 Academy Award for best Original Song and four Grammys in 1998, including Song of the Year. Thirteen years later it still ranks as one of the very best '90s pop songs and an all-time classic.
  6. "Waterfalls" This 1995 soulful pop song by the group TLC remained at number one on Billboard's chart for seven weeks. Its creative video and encouraging theme of staying true to yourself resonated with audiences around the world, which is why fifteen years later, the song is still in rotation.
  7. "Don't Speak" Lead by fashion icon and tough-girl, Gwen Stefani, the band No Doubt released this poignant song about a breakup in 1995, and the refrain, "Don't Speak, I know just what you're thinking", has branded itself into pop history. Stefani's aching vocals and plaintive sorrow rank this as one of the best pop songs of the 1990's and the past 25 years.
  8. "Livin' La Vida Loca" This 1999 song by Ricky Martin celebrated the party lifestyle and good times that made the 1990's an era of excess. The song was a forerunner to the emergence of Latin pop in the early 2000's, and stayed at number on Billboard's chart for five weeks.
  9. "Tearin' Up My Heart" Released in 1997, this 'N Synch song never hit number one, peaking at number 59, but its effusive beat and broken-hearted lyrics captured teenaged fans around the world, helping the boy-band become the fastest-selling group of all time.
  10. "One Of Us" Joan Osborne's 1995 song hit number 10 on the Billboard chart and was nominated for three Grammys in 1996. Osborne's tune asked basic questions about people's belief in God, reducing Him to human terms. A simple, yet brilliant expression of faith, the song's refrain continues to linger in the mind, long after the echoes of Osborne's voice have faded.

 

 

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