For this updated rundown of the best pop songs of all time, we’ve recalibrated the canon and focused solely on 21st-century hits. Yes, really: the 40 songs on this list were all released between 2000 and 2021. We've excluded straight-up rock, alternative (whatever that means), and hip hop bangers and focused instead on radio-friendly popular songs that even the stodgiest music snob will sing along if nobody’s looking.
These are the buzzy, zeitgeisty songs that no millennial or Gen Z music fan can get enough of; each one proudly carries on the pop tradition laid out by Motown, MJ and Madge. And once they reach a certain age, they’ll fit snugly on a ‘best songs of all time’ playlist alongside the likes of The Beatles and The Supremes. These are the 21st-century pop songs that stand tall among the greatest of all time.
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