25 Best Songs From 2006

2006 was a year of great songs and notable events. It saw punk rock mecca CBGB hold its final show, with Patti Smith and Flea frontlining the legendary establishment’s closing. Furthermore, music giant Tower Records closed, and MySpace opened a new avenue for music sales.

The following are some of the best songs from 2006 that made the year that much more memorable.

“Rehab” by Amy Winehouse

Song Year: 2006

Amy Winehouse’s signature hit single reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in the United States and worldwide.

This song started the singer’s most productive period—and her untimely downfall.

“Rehab” is mainly autobiographical. Winehouse wrote this song at the peak of her drug addiction when her friends and family tried to convince her to go to rehab.

In the song, she expresses her reluctance to seek help, a message that haunted her fans years later when Winehouse succumbed to her substance abuse in 2011.

“Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley

Song Year: 2006

Cee-Lo Green, the lead singer of Gnarles Barkley, was convinced that he would one day be famous despite years of futile efforts. “Crazy” is about toeing the fine line between insanity and having a dream.

While writing the song, Cee-Lo was going through a divorce and a difficult financial period. He wrote the song to remind himself—and others—that he could succeed in the music industry.

And succeed, he did. The song enjoyed tremendous popularity, topping the charts for weeks.

Today, it is considered one of the best hip-hop songs of all time.

“Irreplaceable” by Beyonce

Song Year: 2006

“Irreplaceable” concerns a woman whose live-in partner has been cheating on her and whom she decides to kick out of her house. She tells the man that he is replaceable despite his beliefs to the contrary.

The song was an immediate hit, and Beyonce's career has been prolific ever since, winning 28 Grammy Awards and 13 Billboard Music Awards, making her the eighth-most awarded artist.

“Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse

Song Year: 2006

According to composer Matthew Bellamy, “Supermassive Black Hole” compares a woman to the galaxy's center.

Bellamy explains that he wrote the song after several romantic relationships in which he felt entirely consumed by obsession.

Bellamy wrote that Prince, Kanye West, and Franz Ferdinand inspired the song. Its heavy alternative guitar and dance-like beat have inspired many artists since.

“Temperature” by Sean Paul

Song Year: 2006

“Temperature” was Sean Paul’s most significant hit, and the song dominated the club scene for years, inspiring dozens of hit singles after that.

Rendered in Jamaican patois, the song draws heavily on local colloquialisms and is difficult for English speakers to understand.

However, it touches primarily on themes of attraction and intimacy. Paul encourages a woman to come closer to him to enjoy the warmth of his body.

“Bad Day” by Daniel Powter

Song Year: 2006

Daniel Powter achieved international recognition with his hit single “Bad Day,” The song is about depression and trying to shed light in an otherwise dark place.

The music video demonstrates an interaction between two depressed individuals. The two are mechanically going through the movements of their unsatisfactory daily routines until they finally meet at the end of the song.

“The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani (Feat. Akon)

Song Year: 2006

Gwen Stefani was one of the most famous pop stars of the early 2000s—and “The Sweet Escape” is one of her top hits.

This song discusses Stefani’s attempts to reintroduce love into her otherwise damaged relationship. She asks her partner to join her for a second chance, appealing to him to run away with her and start over.

The song represents an unlikely union between Stefani and Hip-Hop/R&B singer Akon.

“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol

Song Year: 2006

“Chasing Cars” was featured on the hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy—three times—and is often cited as an example of the impact of illegal downloads on the music industry.

The song is about a couple seeking to escape their daily life challenges. The singer wants to break free from the rat race and “forget the world.”

“Snow (Hey Oh)” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Song Year: 2006

The Red Hot Chili Peppers had a prolific year in 2006, releasing many of their top hits in the album Stadium Arcadium, including “Snow” and “Dani California.”

“Snow” is about the lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, trying to survive his drug addictions. The song's title takes after his drugs of choice, China White heroin, and cocaine, which had a massively destructive impact on his life.

“The Funeral” by Band of Horses

Song Year: 2006

Band of Horses became famous after their song, “The Funeral,” appeared in the first iteration of the hit TV show Gossip Girl.

The song is about the singer’s deep-seated dread of popular holidays and birthdays. He sings about the pressure to please others and how meaningless it is since we will all attend funerals one day.

“Steady as She Goes” by The Raconteurs

Song Year: 2006

Jack White, the lead singer of The Raconteurs, reports that this song convinced him to form the band with composer Brendan Benson.  White wrote the lyrics to match Benson’s melody, and the band was born.

The song touches on healthy marriage and partnership. Moreover, it was presumably about White’s wedding. Ultimately, it’s a beautiful song about self-love and loving others.

“Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira

Song Year: 2006

Hit singer Shakira is known for her gorgeous body and incredible dance moves. Her song, “Hips Don’t Lie,” was released in 2006 and enjoyed immediate success.

Shakira revealed the song is about the perfect moment she writes a piece and realizes it is done. She knows when her song is done by the way her hips start to shake when it’s playing, hence the song’s title.

“Gold Digger” by Kanye West (Feat. Jamie Foxx)

“Gold Digger” by Kanye West (Feat. Jamie Foxx)

Song Year: 2006

In 2006, Kanye West was enjoying considerable success and presumably struggling to find a partner with integrity.

For the song  “Gold Digger,” West sampled a 1954 Ray Charles “I Got a Woman.” Charles’ music is about a woman who is generous with her husband, while West’s song touches on the opposite theme of exploitation.

This song is the first to feature an Academy Award-winning actor and to hit #1 in the US top 100.

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