The 10 best ex-girlfriend songs embody the loss and fury experienced by the men-folk after being mishandled, betrayed, and unceremoniously dumped by their girlfriend. Spitting fire at the woman they once loved, aching male hearts can pop in one or all of these tunes to drown their sorrows in and maybe even find a kindred, if not vengeful, spirit in these 10 best ex-girlfriend songs.
- “What Goes Around…/…Comes Around” – Justin Timberlake. From JT’s "FutureSex/LoveSounds" album of 2006, this ode to ex-girlfriends was released as a single and soon compelled many a burned ex-boyfriend to croon along in righteous spite. Justin had a knack for these types of songs, as you’ll see below.
- “Ex-Girlfriend” – Nivea. Unique on the list of ex-girlfriend songs, Nivea’s ditty is from the new girlfriend’s point-of-view. Tired of her new beau always yakking about his last girl, Nivea calls him out: “No matter how you front, you always show/ That you ain’t never ever let her go.”
- “Ex-Girl to the Next Girl” – Gang Starr. Not to be left off the list, hip-hop has a contribution or two to make on the topic of exes. Guru spins a yarn about a seemingly crazy ex-girlfriend who just doesn’t make it worth his time in the end. Hence, he’s on to the next girl.
- “I Used to Love H.E.R.” – Common. Much like 2Pac’s “Me & My Girlfriend”, Common’s “I Used to Love H.E.R.” plays like it’s a straight ex-girlfriend song. The truth, however, is that Common uses this as a clever disguise to dish out his two cents on the state of hip-hop in the 90’s and its transition into gangsta rap, but the song has meaning either way.
- “Don’t Want You Back” – Backstreet Boys. From the Boys’ last relevant release, "Millennium", the song “Don’t Want You Back” is the tale of a girl that wants to return to the love she once knew. Fed up with how they were treated, however, Backstreet issues a stern rebuff that became the anthem for guys with an ex-girlfriend everywhere.
- “Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake. Allegedly about Britney Spears after her breakup with *NSYNC’s leading man, Timberlake went all out on this ex-girlfriend song and the accompanying video by sporting a Britney lookalike. Music fans everywhere agreed: in the PR wars following their public breakup, “Cry Me a River” was a first-round KO.
- “You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi. An early Jovi hit from the band’s heyday of the 80’s, “Bad Name” fumes over the heartache suffered at the hands of an ex-flame. So torqued up over what she did, Jon Bon holds nothing back: “An angel’s smile is what you sell/ You promise me heaven, then put me through hell.”
- “Bye Bye Bye” – *NSYNC. If you’re looking for the song that shot *NSYNC through the stratosphere, look no further. This ex-girlfriend song is a classic and premiered amidst an influx of late 90’s, early 00’s female-dominated musical acts that often lamented romantic pain initiated by their men.
- “Everything About You” – Ugly Kid Joe. This smash 1992 single from Ugly Kid Joe cemented their place atop many a one-hit wonder list. Lead singer Whitfield Crane bears his fangs and lets the venom drip on this perennial ex-girlfriend song.
- “Ex-Girlfriend” – No Doubt. Much like Nivea above, this song from No Doubt is strictly from the girl’s perspective. But unlike Nivea, Gwen Stefani is the one carrying the unfortunate title of ex-girlfriend. And while Stefani could have let herself grown bitter, she understands that she has no one to blame but herself: “I kinda always knew I'd end up your ex-girlfriend/ I hope I hold a special place with the rest of them/ And you know it makes me sick to be on that list/ But I should have thought of that before we kissed.”
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