Humans have always loved love songs.
Charles Darwin believed that the first songs humans sang were sexy songs used to attract mates.
If you are looking for more modern hits, you can find quite a few gems among the love songs of the 2010s. For anyone feeling romantic and nostalgic, this is a list you won’t want to miss.
“Replay” By Zendaya
“Replay” was the lead single from Zendaya’s self-titled debut album. The song released in the summer of 2013 through Hollywood records.
Zendaya co-wrote the hit single along with Tiffany Fred, Paul Phamous, and Mick Shultz.
The electro R&B song received critical praise and reached number 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Replay” has since been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
“Stay With Me” By Sam Smith
English singer Sam Smith released “Stay With Me” as a single on his debut studio album In the Lonely Hour. The gospel-inspired ballad was written by Smith, William Phillips, and James Napier.
To date, “Stay With Me” is Sam Smith’s most successful single. It peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.
“Teenage Dream” By Katy Perry
“Teenage Dream” was the second single on Katy Perry’s third studio album. The album was also called Teenage Dream.
This mid-tempo pop song has a retro vibe that draws elements from electro-pop and power-pop. There are also notes of pop-rock and disco influence.
The song is Perry’s third number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified platinum eight times in the United States.
“Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” By Ne-Yo
American singer and songwriter Ne-Yo released “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” as the mainstream lead single on his fifth studio album R.E.D.
Ne-Yo experiments with synthpop and shares writing credits with the pop sensation Sia.
The song reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100, hit number one in the UK, and was also a huge hit in Ireland, Belgium, Japan, and Australia.
“Give Your Heart a Break” By Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato recorded this song for their third studio album Unbroken through Hollywood Records.
Critics loved the production quality of the song and Lovato’s spirited vocals.
It would go on to peak at number 16 on the US Billboard Top 100 and number one on Billboard’s Pop Song chart.
“Find Your Love” By Drake
Canadian rapper Drake co-wrote “Find Your Love” with Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West, and Jeff Bhasker. It was the 2nd single from his debut album, Thank Me Later.
The single is a dancehall-inspired R&B song with a soulful touch and Jamaican influences. Critics were impressed with Drake’s singing ability, and it was also a hit with fans.
“Find Your Love” was named the 8th best song of 2010 by Time magazine and was nominated for record of the year. This was at the 2010 Soul Train Awards.
“Your Love Is My Drug” By Kesha
American singer-songwriter Kesha released “Your Love Is My Drug” as the third single from her debut album Animal and shares writing credit with Pebe Sebert. Benny Blanco and Dr. Luke also produced it.
It reached the top 5 in both the United States and Australia and has since been certified platinum 4 times by none other than the RIAA and has sold more than four million copies.
“A Thousand Years” By Christina Perri
Christina Perry and David Hodges wrote and released “A Thousand Years” as a single for the Breaking Dawn Part 1 movie soundtrack.
It peaked at number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and served as Perri’s second top 40 hit.
In March of 2022, it was certified diamond by the RIAA for selling more than 10 million copies in the US.
“Love On The Brain” By Rihanna
Rihanna recorded “Love on the Brain” for her 8th studio album Anti in 2016. It was written by Rihanna and Joseph Angel with production credits to Fred Ball.
The soulful ballad uses lots of doo-wop elements. It was inspired by music from the 50s and 60s.
“Love on the Brain” peaked at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and marked Rihanna’s 22nd top 5 single. Easy one of the best 2010s love songs out there.
“Mirrors” By Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake released “Mirrors” as the second single from his third studio album The 20/20 Experience.
The progressive R&B ballad is a soulful song inspired by his relationship with Jessica Biel and his grandparent’s legendary love.
“Mirrors” peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was ranked number six on the Year-End Hot 100 chart for 2013.
“Call Me Maybe” By Carly Rae Jepsen
“Call Me Maybe” appeared on Carly Rae Jepsen’s EP Curiosity as well as her second studio album Kiss.
She co-wrote it with Tavish Crowe as a folk song, but during production, it was modified to a pop song. It transformed into a peppy, dance-pop track and would go on to top the charts in Canada, the US, the UK, and all over the world.
The song was nominated for 2 Grammys and was named Song of the Year by MTV.
“Thinking Out Loud” By Ed Sheeran
Written by Sheeran and Amy Wadge, “Thinking Out Loud” was released on the English singer-songwriter’s second studio album.
The song peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Canadian Hot 100.
Sheeran earned 2 Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Thinking Out Loud” that year.
“Mine” By Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift wrote and recorded “Mine” for her third studio album Speak Now. The country-pop hit served as the album’s lead single and received plenty of critical praise upon release.
“Mine” peaked at number three on the Us Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Hot Country Songs chart. It was certified triple platinum for selling more than 3 million units.
The video of Swift’s song won Video of the Year at the 2011 CMT Music Awards.
“Just the Way You Are” By Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars released “Just the Way You Are” as his debut solo single from his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.
Mars co-wrote the song with Needlz, Philip Lawrence, Khalil Walton, and Ari Levine.
The song earned Mars a grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards and peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
“Love You Like a Love Song” By Selena Gomez & the Scene
“Love You Like a Love Song” was Selena Gomez & the Scene’s second single from their third studio album When the Sun Goes Down.
Tim James and Antonina Armato wrote the electro-pop single with distinct hints of Euro disco sound. It peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard charts and number 10 on the Canadian Hot 100.
“Hello” By Adele
Adele released “Hello” as the lead single on her third studio album 25 in 2015. The haunting piano ballad describes a lost love and rings with nostalgic regret.
The song was a massive international hit, topping the charts in more than 30 countries.
It stayed at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 for 10 consecutive weeks and became the first song ever to sell more than a million digital copies in a week.
“All of Me” By John Legend
John Legend recorded this beautiful love song for his fourth studio album Love in the Future and dedicated it to his wife Chrissy Teigen.
It peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, Legend’s first chart-topper to date.
The song would eventually become the second best-selling song of 2014 with 4.67 million copies sold.
“Baby” By Justin Bieber and Ludacris
Canadian singer Justin Bieber burst onto the scene with this song as the lead single on his debut studio album My World 2.0.
Biber shares writing credits with Ludacris, Tricky Stewart, The Dream, and Christina Milian.
It topped the charts in Scotland and France and hit the top 10 charts in Norway, the US, the UK, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, and around the world.
“Drunk In Love” By Beyonce and Jay-Z
Beyonce and Jay-Z composed “Drunk In Love” with Andre Eric Proctor, Detail Rasool Diaz, Timbaland, Brian Soko, J-Roc, and Boots for Beyonce’s fifth studio album.
Full of chunky bass and trap beats, the song exudes sensuality and confidence. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard Top 100 chart and stayed in the top 10 for 8 weeks.
“Drunk In Love” won two Grammys for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance.
“Your Love” By Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj debuted “Your Love” as the lead single on her debut studio album Pink Friday. Minaj wrote the song with David Freeman, Andrew “Pop” Wansel, and Joseph Hughes.
It is a dreamy rap ballad that showcases Minaj’s range.
It sampled Annie Lennox’s 1995 cover of “No More I Love You's” by The Lover Speaks and peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“I’ll Never Love Again” By Lady Gaga
“I’ll Never Love Again” is a song from the 2018 film A Star Is Born starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Gaga and Cooper performed the song as well.
Lady Gaga wrote the song with Hillary Lindsey, Aaron Raitiere, and Natalie Hemby. It has topped the charts in Slovakia, Hungary, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, and Spain.
The song won a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media a year after another song from the soundtrack “Shallow” won in the same category.
“How to Love” By Lil Wayne
American rapper Lil Wayne released “How to Love” as the third single from his 9th studio album Tha Carter IV. It reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100.
It marks a departure for Lil Wayne and features a stripped-down sound based on drums and acoustic guitar.
Wayne was inspired by Tupac Shakur’s 1993 hit “Keep Ya Head Up” and allegedly he used no auto-tune during recording.
“Love Me Like You Do” By Elle Goulding
English singer Ellie Goulding recorded “Love Me Like You Do for the Fifty Shades of Gray soundtrack. It was written by Tove Lo, Max Martin, Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha and Ilya Salmanzadeh.
The power ballad is a mid-tempo electro-pop single with heavy drums and lots of synths.
The single Goulding earned her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.
“Stay” By Rihanna and Mikky Ekko
Rihanna released “Stay” as the second single from her 7th studio album Unapologetic. Mikky Ekko provides guest vocals and also co-wrote the song alongside Justin parker.
The ballad was well received by critics and charted high worldwide.
It peaked at number three in the US Billboard Top 100, Rihanna’s 24th top ten single.
“Shape of You” By Ed Sheeran
“Shape of You” was a double single from Sheeran’s third studio album. He also released “Castle on the Hill” at the same time.
The dancehall-inspired hit peaked at number one in more than 30 countries, including on the US Billboard Hot 100. It would go on to earn the title of best performing song of 2017.
The song stayed at number one for 12 consecutive weeks in the US and was the first song ever to hit 2 billion streams on Spotify.
“Lover” By Taylor Swift
The song blends country, folk, and pop influences with snare drums, acoustic guitars, and pizzicato strings.
It peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the charts in Singapore, Australia, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Canada.
“Love the Way You Lie” By Eminem and Rihanna
Eminem and Rihanna recorded “Love the Way you Lie” for his 7th studio album Recovery. Eminem hand-picked Rihanna to sing the chorus and together they created the hip-hop ballad.
The song was lauded as one of the best that year by critics though some of the themes and imagery created a bit of a stir.
The song sold more than 12 million copies in the US and over 1 million in the UK.
“As Long As You Love Me” By Justin Bieber and Big Sean
Justin Bieber released this song as a promotional single for his third studio album Believe. It charted in the top 10 in both the UK and the US.
The song made Biever the fifth Canadian artist to chart on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart.
“DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” By Usher and Pitbull
Usher and Pitbull recorded the first single from Usher’s Versus EP in 2010. The electronic dance song has a distinct Europop sound and peaked in the top 10 in more than 15 countries.
The single peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, serving as Usher’s 16th top 10 hit.
“Come & Get It” By Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez released “Come & Get It” as her debut solo single from her debut solo studio album Stars Dance.
She experiments with international music, dance-pop, and electro-pop in this song. It became Gomez’s first top 10 single on the US Billboard Hot 10 chart.
“Wrecking Ball” By Miley Cyrus
“Wrecking Ball” was the second single on Miley Cyrus’ fourth studio album Bangerz. It was written by Dr. Luke, Cirkut, Sacha Skarbek, Mozella, and Stephan Moccio.
It would become Miley’s first number one song on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and sell more than 3 million copies stateside.
The song earned Cyrus an award for World’s Best Video at the World Music Awards in 2014.
Top Love Songs Of The 2010s, Final Thoughts
While there are probably hundreds and thousands more love songs from the 2010s, this is a list of the best 2010s love songs.
If you want a perfect romantic playlist for that special someone, feel free to use this selection of love songs of the 2010s for a passionate inspiration.