As we almost wrap up the decade, we look back at some of the best songs we’ve heard since 2010. We thought it was appropriate to leave 10 positions blank since we’ve got a tenth of the decade still to go. Let’s get into the best 90 songs of the past 9 years. If you like them, you can add the Apple Music playlist here.
90. “The Heart Wants What It Wants” – Selena Gomez
Selena’s premature Greatest Hits album hosted the best of her numerous Top 40 hits. Its purely B&W music video makes the song pop even more.
89. “Neon Lights” – Demi Lovato
In 2013, Demi Lovato released what is possibly her best album. A no-skip slapper, DEMI included Ryan Tedder-produced banger “Neon Lights,” a Top 40 U.S. platinum-certified hit.
88. “Formation” – Beyoncé
Beyoncé’s 2016 avalanche began with this iconic social anthem.
87. “SpaceBound” – Eminem
Eminem’s position as a Rap God remained untarnished with his 2010’s releases. He ventured more into the Pop realm and mixed his still-legendary raps with Pop choruses from Rihanna, most prominently, and P!nk, among others. “Space Bound,” however, stands out as his most perfect Pop/Rap blend.
86. “Not Myself Tonight” – Christina Aguilera
Xtina’s trainwreck of a comeback earlier on this decade became iconic. Amidst Lady Gaga and Madonna comparisons, the Grammy winning Pop princess failed to put together a solid hit, but nearly a decade on, Bionic and “Not Myself Tonight” are iconic Pop moments from the 2010’s.
85. “N****s In Paris” – Jay-Z & Kanye West
Kanye and Jay-Z’s collaboration album, Watch the Throne, became a benchmark for rap in the 2010’s. On “In Paris,” the two rap experts flow over a classic instrumental that will be remembered for a long time.
84. “Liability” – Lorde “Liability”
“Liability” will possibly be the best sad breakup ballad for life.
83. “I’m a Ruin” – Marina & The Diamonds
Welch indie Pop star Marina Diamandis may have peaked (yet again) artistically with this song and its accompanying music video.
82. “Rise Up” – Andra Day
A vocal event.
81. “Thunder” – Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons’s massive chart success this decade included “Thunder”’s slow but steady ascent to the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.
80. “Let It Go” – Idina Menzel
This Oscar-winning hit became nearly annoying, but setting its global popularity aside, “Let It Go” is actually a wonderful song.
79. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift
Despite its controversial music video, “Wildest Dreams” is one of Swift’s most endearing songs from her Pop eras.
78. “Faded” – Alan Walker
77. “Born To Die” – Lana Del Rey
76. “Team” – Lorde
May have possibly been overshadowed by the success of “Royals.”
75. “Ghost” – Ella Henderson
This Top 40 U.S. hit is sadly Ella’s only hit. She seems to have disappeared since her 2014 debut, but “Ghost” remains an eternal bop.
74. “Nightcall” – London Grammar
On this haunting ballad, the band details a lonely breakup call.
73. “Ride” – twenty one pilots
72. “Partition” – Beyoncé
“Partition” is of the greatest hoe anthems of all time. The “Yoncé” / “Partition” combo on BEYONCÉ is truly one of the decade’s best musical moments.
71. “Sign of the Times” – Harry Styles
The 1D boys all gave good music after the boyband’s split. Harry was the one who delivered the highest level of artistry and vocal ability on his debut single, an Elton John-inspired power ballad.
70. “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons
One of the longest runs ever on the Billboard Hot 100.
69. “Rose Colored Glasses” – Kelly Rowland
In the late 2000’s, Kelly Rowland struggled to score a hit. “Rose Colored Glasses” was one of the singles she put out which failed to make an impact with sales, but it left a mark as a great song.
68. “The Night We Met” – Lord Huron
Perhaps “The Night We Met” relies slightly on a cliche. The song is best known from Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, but it outlived the show’s short buzz and proved the band’s artistry.
67. “Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were huge during their “Thrift Shop” era. Their collaboration with vocalist Ray Dalton made this song stand out.
66. “Passionfruit” – Drake
Drake’s latest album releases have all hosted big hits. “Passionfruit” is special because it’s simply fun.
65. “Replay” – Zendaya
Before becoming a style icon, Zendaya made this gem a Top 40 hit. “Replay” merges the singer’s soft vocals with a futuristic dance-pop beat.
64. “Jar of Hearts” – Christina Perri
Perri’s first U.S. hit came as a surprise when “Jar of Hearts” was used in American dance competition show So You Think You Can Dance? The song was covered by the Glee cast and it has become one of the most dramatic and theatric breakup ballads of the past 9 years.
63. “#Beautiful” – Mariah Carey & Miguel
This retro class-A vocal duet deserved better.
62. “If I Could Change Your Mind” – HAIM
One of the decade’s most beloved girl bands went 80’s on this beauty and it paid off.
61. “Don’t You Worry Child” – Swedish House Mafia
SHM broke the mold and scored an EDM global success with “Don’t You Worry Child.”
60. “Take Me To Church” – Hozier
Hozier delivered a vocally and lyrically complex and exciting song in 2013.
59. “Give Me Everything” – Pitbull, Ne-Yo & Nayer
This NYE banger helped Pitbull transition into a certified hitmaker.
58. “Primadonna” – Marina & The Diamonds
Marina started off as an “indie star with Pop ambitions.” Her Electra Heart era was incredibly complex with metaphors and intriguing characters. Primadonna was the kind of girl Pop stans lived for. Marina presented the character both seriously and sarcastically, which raised interest in her as an underrated talent in Pop’s underbelly. This electropop anti-chorus banger served eargasmic beats and powerful vocals.
57. “Starboy” – The Weeknd
56. “No Light No Light” – Florence + The Machine
Florence + The Machine introduced their magnum opus, Ceremonials, with this soundtrack-to-a-revolution of a song.
55. “Written in the Stars” – Tinie Tempah feat. Eric Turner
54. “Down On Me” – Jeremih feat. 50 Cent
53. “Into You” – Ariana Grande
One of the most popular gay anthems of the 2010’s.
52. “F*ck You” – Cee Lo Green
An exciting funk retro track from the artist who gave us “Crazy.”
51. “Pity Party” – Melanie Martinez
Melanie’s indie concept venture, Crybaby, included this mesmerizing indie pop experience.
50. “Rude Boy” – Rihanna
One of the decade’s earliest hits, “Rude Boy” stands out as a song and as a music video among Riri’s numerous hits.
49. “Just Give Me a Reason” – P!nk & Nate Reuss
On this collaboration, P!nk redefines herself as a singer, songwriter and artist.
48. “Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus
Perhaps one of the most iconic songs and music videos of the decade, “Wrecking Ball” is a beautifully-written Pop ballad with an incredibly catching chorus.
47. “Scars to Your Beautiful” – Alessia Cara
This Grammy winner inspired millions of girls with “Scars,” her biggest hit so far.
46. “Feel It Still” – Portugal The Man
45. “Ship to Wreck” – Florence + The Machine
Florence + The Machine crafted beautiful music in the 2010’s. Their work in 2015 followed one of the decade’s best albums, Ceremonials, and it did not disappoint. “Ship to Wreck” is one of their many poems-turned-songs. It depicts the fallout of a relationship as well as the internal struggles that hinder one’s personal life.
44. “All Too Well” – Taylor Swift
Despite never being a single, “All Too Well,” one of Swift’s final rounds in the country realm, is a big fan-favorite. The song sits on this list for its standout incorporation of storytelling with song.
43. “Stay” – Rihanna & Mikky Ekko
Ever the non-conformist, Rihanna once again served up a dish she’d never cooked before. “Stay” is the 2010’s ultimate Pop piano duet.
42. “Kill V. Maim” – Grimes
Special shoutout to this banger’s epic music video.
41. “Love on the Brain” – Rihanna
In a surprise twist, Riri went full on Soul on her 2016 surprise album ANTi. “Love On the Brain” ultimately became a Top 5 hit without a music video. (Still mad about that).
40. “What About Us” – P!nk
Straying from her usual habit of releasing a pop rock banger for a lead single, P!nk went social-critical on “What About Us.” This global hit continued P!nk’s tradition of criticizing the leaders. The singer-songwriter famously sneaks in her messages inside Pop frames and her 2017 hit stays true to that.
39. “Firework” – Katy Perry
“Firework” is of the most iconic songs of the 2010’s, and one of overall six Hot 100 number-one hits from the Teenage Dream era. During the It Gets Better era, “Firework” helped many people cope, and continues to be one of Perry’s best songs.
38. “Do You Miss Me At All” – Bridgit Mendler
This song sadly did not help Mendler’s career. The ex-act experimented with R&B/Soul elements on her last EP, Nemesis, and served up good songs. “Do You Miss Me At All” balanced that experimentation with good Pop.
37. “Symphony” – Clean Bandit feat. Zara Larsson
Frankly, Clean Bandit are the equivalent of throwing 10 balls at the ring and hoping one goes in. “Symphony” is a slam dunk.
36. “When Love Hurts” – JoJo
After years struggling to put out material, JoJo gave her thirsty fans a dance diva moment with “When Love Hurts.”
35. “Crying for No Reason” – Katy B
34. “Airplanes” – B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
One of the decade’s best rap/sung team-ups, “Airplanes” is a beautiful moment in music. The song presented Hayley Williams in a new, very well-received way.
33. “This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna
Calvin Harris and Rihanna make an excellent team. Co-penned by Harris’s then-girlfriend Taylor Swift, “This Is What You Came For” is an outstanding dance experience. We can’t help but wonder, though, how the song would’ve sounded if Taylor had stood behind the mic that day.
32. “I Follow Rivers” – Lykke Li
The remix (below) is as good as the original.
31. “Blown Away” – Carrie Underwood
Underwood’s discography can find repetitive themes and styles, but with “Blown Away,” the country singer took a new approach. This Wizard of Oz-inspired song earned Underwood a Grammy and a Top 20 hit in the U.S.
30. “212” – Azealia Banks ft. Lazy Jay
No one can say Azealia Banks isn’t an immense talent, and “212” is proof. The song showed so much promise for a new rapper who could possibly take over and have massive impact.
29. “Cold Little Heart” – Michael Kiwanuka
This 10-minute masterpiece is a testament to Kiwanuka’s musical abilities.
28. “Sweet Nothing” – Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch
The few times Florence went dance, it went very well. The incredible vocalist left her dark indie style with The Machine and cooked up a dance banger with Calvin Harris.
27. “Wings” – Birdy
“Wings” was singer-songwriter Birdy’s interpretation of Pop rock. With some help from Ryan Tedder, the message was delivered meticulously and beautifully. “Wings” made us yearn and reflect with its lyrical depth and production.
26. “Ex’s & Oh’s” – Elle King
Elle King kicked the door and walked right in with attitude and that rock n’ roll spirit with “Ex’s & Oh’s.”
25. “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” – Paloma Faith
This Diane Warren-penned heartbreaker is one of the most pain-filled, most passionate love songs of the decade.
24. “You Ruin Me” – The Veronicas
Having served up “Untouched” the previous decade, the Australia twins reshaped their pop formula and hit us with a remarkable breakup piano ballad in 2014.
23. “It Will Rain” – Bruno Mars
A highlight from the Twilight era.
22. “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry
21. “Praying” – Kesha
Kesha’s comeback could not have been more beautiful. The “TiK ToK” singer stripped away all the glitter and confetti for a somber ballad telling the story behind her five-year absence.
20. “Sail” – AWOLNATION
A marriage of alternative rock to edgy electronica, “Sail”
19. “E.T.” – Katy Perry
18. “Habits (Stay High)” – Tove Lo
17. “Dancing on My Own” – Robyn
16. “Flesh” – Simon Curtis
A not very well known Pop star, Simon Curtis crafted a massive banger with “Flesh.” Despite not being very active in the music industry, his mark was made with this epic dance number. A sex song for the ages, “Flesh” gives the full pop fantasy with influences from Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake laced to its bombastic elements.
15. “Counting Stars” – OneRepublic
OneRepublic always came out with songs that took their sweet time turning into hits. “Counting Stars” stands out as their first song to top the success of their Timbaland-assisted debut “Apologize.”
14. “The Edge of Glory” – Lady Gaga
Of all the hits Lady Gaga served up in her decade-old career, “The Edge of Glory” is most likely to be performed by the Pop chameleon when she’s 80 years old with nothing but her voice and piano.
13. “Try” – P!nk
As one of the best Pop stars of the decade, P!nk thrives when she goes deep. On “Try,” one of her very few songs she did not write, P!nk successfully details the burning fires of a long term relationship in all its ups and downs.
12. “Gemini Feed” – Banks
Banks, an autobiographical songwriter, captures the essence of a toxic relationship on her catchiest song yet.
11. “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
One of the most honest moments in Taylor Swift’s discography, “Blank Space” employs intelligent lyrics over Max Martin production. It mocks the public’s perception of Swift’s love life with both its lyrics and its iconic music video.
10. “Wide Awake” – Katy Perry
Of all the bops Katy Perry sent to the top of the charts, “Wide Awake” is one of her most special songs. Lyrically honest, well-produced and vocally good, “Wide Awake” was a peak moment for the decade’s top hitmaker.
9. “Let It Happen” – Tame Impala
This strange nearly 8-minute track is why Tame Impala is lovable. From its subtly-told message of letting it be, to its experimentation with various sounds and instruments, “Let It Happen” is an inflection point for Alternative music.
8. “No Tears Left to Cry” – Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande’s first post-Manchester tragedy song did the victims of that tragedy honorably. This mournful anthem is unaftaid of delving into sadness but still inspires hope and redemption. It does not accomplish this lyrically only, but also with its tone and melody. The music video’s “upside down” concept was done beautifully and showed Ariana in a new light.
7. “Wildest Moments” – Jessie Ware
Jessie Ware is one of the best vocal talents of the 2010’s. “Wildest Moments” is the proof. On this otherworldly track, the singer subtly displays her glamour and femininity over a classic beat.
6. “Lights” – Ellie Goulding
“Lights” launched the careers of one of the most underrated hitmakers of the past nine years. Its shimmery instrumental is absolutely infectious and blends perfectly with Goulding’s effortless vocals.
5. “Chandelier” – Sia
Sia’s reinvention proved that an artist can be successful without necessarily carrying the baggage of fame. “Chandelier” reintroduced Sia and gave the “U.S.” section of her Wikipedia discography good numbers.
4. “Do I Wanna Know” – Arctic Monkeys
This alternative rock experience is the crowning jewel of Arctic Monkeys’ discography. A detailed mental journey of falling in love, “Do I Wanna Know” is subtly sexy and unapologetically honest.
3. “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele
No one saw a powerful vocalist like Adele catapult into global success when this gem was released. It slowly worked its way up the charts and became one of the biggest hits of the 2010’s. This is not why “Rolling in the Deep” is up here. The song’s massive vocal element in terms of power and layers, as well as its retro production style are what make it one of the defining moments of the 2010’s.
2. “Mirrors” – Justin Timberlake
Timberlake’s return followed the formula of releasing a ballad as a second single. The song was a hit in the U.S. but is somehow one of JT’s underrated gems. “Mirrors” saw the singer reunite with Timbaland for another massive hit, and its music video won Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards.
1. “Euphoria” – Loreen
This Eurovision winner is arguably one of the best entries in the contest’s 60+ year history. The infectious dance song combined powerful vocals with a catchy melody and surprising twists.