The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
By the mid-1990s, rap was officially recognized as a music genre worthy of mainstream radio waves. One of the most legendary names in the East Coast sound is that of New York resident The Notorious B.I.G.
Juicy is actually the first single that The Notorious B.I.G. ever released, which highlights his own personal journey. The song was also co-produced by P. Diddy, further solidifying the song’s undying legacy.
James Blunt – You're Beautiful
If you were on Myspace during the glory days of social media, you probably encountered James Blunt’s song, You’re Beautiful. The track was a popular choice for people to have as their profile’s theme song.
You’re Beautiful conquered the top of the charts in 11 different countries and is Blunt’s greatest achievement. Today, the song still holds the same power it delivered back in 2005.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop ft. Wanz
Thrifting has always been a hobby, with some circles embracing thrift fashion as an aesthetic. The indie music community has always been especially embracing of vintage fashion.
Well, all of that changed when Macklemore’s Thrift Shop dropped in the fall of 2012. All of a sudden, thrifting became a phenomenon, just in time for the kids to do their back-to-school shopping.
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
Drugs and music often seem to be intertwined, often resulting in the downward spiral of an artist’s life. Amy Winehouse’s story continues to be one of the most tragic modern examples of songs released under these circumstances.
However, she did leave behind Back To Black, which many consider to be the greatest album of her career. The track is full of vintage vibes, with Winehouse’s vocals being especially intoxicating.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
There are a few names associated with the sound of southern rock, with Lynyrd Skynyrd being the most prominent. Their multi-guitar approach and beer-stained vocals are some of the hallmark features of the classic rock genre.
Sweet Home Alabama continues to be one of the most popular classic rock songs to date. It’s full of iconic guitar parts, many of which are common learning fodder for beginning guitarists.
Blake Shelton – God's Country
If you’ve been trying to actively avoid popular country music, you probably still know about Blake Shelton. He’s definitely considered to be one of the modern giants of the pop country genre.
His song, God’s Country, is a relatively recent release that displays the prowess Shelton commands in his delivery. In sonic terms, Shelton taps into that Hollywood frontier cowboy movie sound with that Southern sparkle.
Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
In a world where AI music artists actually exist, it isn’t too hard to conceive of an animated band. But, despite being a fictional group, Gorillaz remains legendary in the lexicon of pop culture.
The group produced a number of hits, with Feel Good Inc. being one of the most successful. There’s a lot to like here, especially in its infectious bass line driving the song.
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Billie Eilish is generally considered to be one of the artists that brought bedroom pop to the mainstream. It is her DIY ethic that sets her apart from so pop artists who have infinite funds at their disposal.
This authenticity is on full display with her hit track, Bad Guy, accompanied by an innovative music video. It had the viral qualities necessary to knock Old Town Road out of the #1 chart position.
Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.
Kendrick Lamar hit upon sonic gold when he released his album, DAMN., in 2017. Many consider it to be the greatest modern rap album released in the last decade.
The song, HUMBLE., is just a small taste of a masterpiece with what this epic album has to offer. It would top the charts and win a basket of awards for both the song and the music video.
Chris Stapleton – Tennessee Whiskey
David Allan Coe is probably not what you think of when it comes to songwriters penning genre-transcending songs. This is likely something that David Allan Coe himself would probably be willing to admit.
But, when Chris Stapleton did a cover of Tennessee Whiskey, it became a country hit with massive crossover success. The song’s smooth guitar leads and smoky vocal delivery is impossible to deny.
Sia – Chandelier
Sia has seemingly always been a presence in the music community since the 1990s, bouncing between various projects. It wasn’t until 2000 that she was given a record deal to embark on her own solo career.
Sia has always been moderately successful, but it was 2014’s Chandelier that broke her into the mainstream. The song is perfectly complimented by an artistic music video featuring a young girl performing choreographed dance moves.
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
Carly Rae Jepsen is one of the many modern artists who got their start on a singing competition television show. Her international success is more of a byproduct of incubation and percolation rather than forceful feeding.
Before Call Me Maybe was released in 2012, Jepsen was primarily known in Canada. This love song would help Jepsen go on to become one of the biggest pop stars of the modern era.
Frank Sinatra – Somethin’ Stupid
Crooner music is generally defined by a few singers, with Frank Sinatra being one of the most famous. His baritone voice, and relaxed delivery (along with maybe some underworld help) turned him into an absolute giant.
Somethin’ Stupid is one of the most popular tracks in the massive catalog of Frank Sinatra recordings. This track features a delightful duet with Nancy Sinatra, his daughter.