10 Songs That Were Huge 10 Years Ago

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Ten years ago, most college age students had just begun middle school. Meanwhile, Chris Brown started his career, Mariah Carey and Madonna came back better than ever, and Gwen Stefani gave the entire world a lesson in spelling. Check out 10 of the biggest songs from 10 years ago.

1. Mario – “Let Me Love You”

Mario’s biggest hit stateside “Let Me Love You” kicked off his sophomore album campaign right with a nine week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Maybe the song was so popular because it contained the keyboard riff from Tina Turner’s 1984 hit “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” or perhaps it was the cheesy video that took this gooey ode to a love interest straight into the hearts of millions.

2. 50 Cent feat. Olivia – “Candy Shop”

It’s a rare occurrence for a rap song to top the mainstream charts, but this Middle Eastern inspired midtempo track did it in roughly a month thanks to its hook. While the rap verses were mostly forgettable, the chorus of “I’ll take you to the candy shop / I’ll let you lick the lollipop” was a clever sexual innuendo that was later repeated in Lil Wayne’s 2008 “Lollipop” — a track that saw similar success to its predecessor.

3. Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl”

This sly middle finger to Courtney Love’s remark about Stefani propelled her to the status of a pop “it girl” in 2005. It took just a single “uh-huh” to let everyone who it was. Add in the marching drum beat, a brass line and a bridge that taught everyone the right way to spell bananas and you’ve got the makings of a hit that’s still popular a decade later.

4. Mariah Carey – “We Belong Together”

Touted as Carey’s comeback single following several years of declining commercial success, “We Belong Together” proved she was still in the game. The song spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at #1, received two Grammy awards and broke radio records until “Blurred Lines” was released in 2013. This song is considered to be one of Carey’s signature songs and was labeled as “the song of the decade” by Billboard.

5. Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx – “Gold Digger”

West’s song about women who are only with men for their money is still his biggest worldwide hit to date. Created back before his ego ballooned, this timeless track contains a Ray Charles sample and a relentless flow that doesn’t allow the listener a moment to breathe before going on to the next verse. Ten years later this song is still being covered by countless artists.

6. Chris Brown – “Run It!”

Chris Brown’s immensely catchy debut single “Run It!” began his troubled career by ingraining itself into the hearts of teenage girls. The video also showed him as a serious performer by allowing him to showcase his dancing abilities. The softer vocals of the song are a perfect contrast to the hard edged production on the song and are something Brown has yet to repeat on his five other albums.

7. Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone”

A departure from the fluffy R&B styled pop from her debut, Clarkson’s first taste of her sophomore effort Breakaway was noticeably more rock oriented than previous singles “Low” and “Miss Independent.” Her risky move paid off as the bitter “Since U Been Gone” remains one of Clarkson’s biggest tracks to date and is yet another reason why Clarkson’s career has lasted longer than most other American Idol winners.

8. Pussycat Dolls – “Don’t Cha”

It’s a surprise the internet wasn’t broken by the Pussycat Dolls “Don’t Cha” long before Kim Kardashian’s attempt with her oily seminude photoshoot. This siren song oozes sexuality as the Nicole Scherzinger led group taunts men to date women that look like them. The inclusion of Busta Rhymes in the video filled with scantily clad dancers pandered to nearly everyone and it paid off in the long run.

9. Madonna – “Hung Up”

Following the critical panning and commercial failure of American Life, Madonna harkened back to her disco roots with the Stuart Price produced “Hung Up.” This jarring electronic song put her name back in everyone’s mouth and sought to prove she was far from being over. Madonna’s reinvention brought her career full circle back to the clubs she started out at as the track peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Club Play.

10. Ciara feat. Missy Elliott – “1, 2 Step”

Besides for being automatic, supersonic, hypnotic, and funky fresh, Ciara’s second single off her debut Goodies inspired a dance craze around the world. A Missy Elliott feature that encouraged women to shake it like Jell-O further propelled the song to success and it remains her biggest worldwide hit. The song made its way to the top of the pop chart ten years ago and sounds just as fresh today as it did upon its release.

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