Lou Bega – Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)
The late 1990s were a bit of a weird time in the landscape of mainstream music. Pop singers, boy bands, and rap groups were all at a culminating point amidst the dying throes of mainstream rock.
But what’s even more interesting is that Lou Bega’s Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…) became a gigantic success. This feel-good big-band mambo sound was unlike anything being heard on the radio at the time.
Wizkid – Essence ft. Tems
Nigeria has produced a surprising number of successful rappers over the last 2 decades. One of the most renowned around the world is Wizkid, who has been on a consistent upward trajectory.
Some of Whizkid’s greatest hits have resulted from collaborations with other artists (including Drake). His collaboration with Tems on the song, Essence, found massive reception outside of Nigeria.
Tim McGraw – Humble And Kind
Country music has always had its periods of mainstream success, with each decade having a distinct sound. In the 1990s, country music soared back to the mainstream limelight with numerous artists, including Tim McGraw.
And while McGraw’s biggest hits may have come from that specific golden era, his career remains alive and thriving. His recording of Humble And Kind went on to be named the best country song of 2016 multiple times.
J. Cole – MIDDLE CHILD
Recording an entire song is generally not something that happens in today’s day and age of recording techniques. It’s even more rare for such an occurrence to happen in the rap world, a genre noted for its production.
But some songs are just too potent to be contained, which is what J. Cole’s MIDDLE CHILD is. This track garnished J. Cole some serious hype, making him one of the best rappers of the current generation.
Willie Nelson – Always On My Mind
Willie Nelson is one of the greatest songwriters on the planet, with a catalog to show for it. In fact, some of the greatest songs ever recorded were written by Willie and recorded by other artists.
But, aside from performing his own songs, Willie Nelson found wondrous successes with a few cover songs. His version of Always On My Mind is a staple country song from the early 1980s.
Meek Mill – 1942 Flows
In terms of the last decade, Meek Mill could be considered one of the biggest rappers on the planet. Colossal albums and a few handfuls of feuds and controversies have ornamented his career.
One of the songs that many fans hold dear to their hearts is 1942 Flows, from his 3rd album. The album itself was critically acclaimed and exploded with listeners as a result of the hype surrounding its release.
Stevie Wonder – I Just Called To Say I Love You
Let’s face it, Stevie Wonder will go down in history as one of the greatest musicians of all time. Several of his albums are landmarks and his musical reach extends far beyond what is generally known.
It’s almost too difficult to name one song as his best, as people know him for different songs. In terms of overall success, the song that is his greatest is, I Just Called To Say I Love You.
Lemar – If There's Any Justice
How many times have you caught feelings for somebody that was already in a relationship? In music, this is a recurring subject that appears in some of the greatest songs ever written.
Lemar found that the relation to this feeling was all too prevalent when he released If There’s Any Justice. The track became an international hit and was a giant on the UK charts throughout 2005.
Editor's note: This is one of my personal best songs ever.
Michael Bublé – Feeling Good
The golden days of crooner music might be long past, but Michael Bublé has been carrying on the tradition. From a very young age, Bublé has been turning heads with his effortless vocal delivery.
Throughout the early 2000s, Michael Bublé became a household name due to his ginormous mainstream success. One track that served him well was Feeling Good, for which singer, Nina Simone is also known.
Dizzee Rascal – Fix Up, Look Sharp
Throughout the early 2000s, rap music began to become increasingly popular all around the world. British rappers were some of the first to adopt this sound, with Dizzee Rascal being one of the biggest.
Dizzee Rascal burst onto the scene with a debut album that found immediate recognition. A number of hit singles came from this album, but Fix Up, Look Sharp, remains a modern classic.
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up
How many times in the last 15 years have you clicked a link to find Never Gonna Give You Up? If you’re like any normal person, you’ve been “Rick-rolled” more times than you can count.
The song’s resurgence due to this popular internet joke has made Rick Astley a cultural phenomenon. But, during its original release, the song’s success was anything but a joke.
Fredo – Netflix & Chill
Internet slang seems to be created daily, but only a few phrases seem to withstand the test of time. Just about everybody in the modern technological age understands what it means to “Netflix and chill”.
In fact, the phrase was usually the only thing people would put in their online dating bios. British rapper Fredo hit upon some serious pay dirt when he released Netflix & Chill in 2019.
Rick James – Give It To Me Baby
Rick James is known for a wide variety of different things, including his stylish hair and funky music. His track, Super Freak, is one of the greatest mainstream funk songs of all time.
Before 1981, Rick James was only moderately successful with just a handful of chart-topping hits. When he released Give It To Me Baby, Rick James found his career spanning heights he could only dream of.