This Article Explores the 30 Best Songs of The 2010s

Updated on June 15, 2024

What made the decade of 2010 unforgettable? It was a decade filled with countless hits. This article explores the 30 best songs of the 2010s, highlighting the tracks that left a lasting mark on popular culture.

1. “Someone Like You” by Adele

“Someone Like You,” released in 2011, is a moving ballad from Adele's second studio album, “21.”

It features a simple arrangement, mainly driven by piano and Adele's strong vocals.

The melody is haunting and evocative, capturing the pain and longing expressed in the lyrics. 

This song deeply connected with listeners, becoming a global hit and solidifying Adele's status as one of the most influential artists of the decade.

2. “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish's 2019 hit “Bad Guy” made her a star and became one of the most popular songs of the 2010s. 

This song has a memorable bassline and Eilish's distinctive whisper-like vocals. 

The lyrics challenge traditional expectations in a playful way. 

“Bad Guy” showcased Eilish's ability to mix genres and connecting with a generation that wanted to be themselves.

3. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth

“See You Again” was a tribute to the actor Paul Walker and was featured in the soundtrack of the movie “Furious 7.”

It combines hip-hop and pop music, with Wiz Khalifa's sincere verses and Charlie Puth's soulful vocals in the chorus. 

The song's melody is both hopeful and sad, capturing the feelings of loss and remembrance. 

Its lyrics talk about friendship, nostalgia, and the bittersweet nature of saying goodbye. 

“See You Again” was a worldwide hit, reaching the top of the charts and becoming one of the most streamed songs of the decade.

4. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars

“Uptown Funk” was released in 2014 and is a mix of funk, pop, and R&B music. 

It was inspired by the sounds of the 80's and features a funky bass line and brass instruments.

The song talks about feeling good about yourself and having fun. 

For Twitter users, this song was a big hit and made people dance at many events during the decade.

5. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

“Happy,” released in 2013, was a song that encouraged people to be positive and enjoy life.

It was written for the animated movie “Despicable Me 2.”

This song has a catchy melody and upbeat tempo.

The lyrics are about being happy and celebrating the simple things in life. 

“Happy” is a song that will continue to be popular for many years to come.

6. “Can't Feel My Face” by The Weeknd

In 2015, The Weeknd released “Can't Feel My Face,” a song that brought him into the mainstream. 

It is a groovy mix of pop, R&B, and funk, with The Weeknd's signature smooth vocals. 

The lyrics use metaphors to describe the struggle of being in a destructive relationship with substances. 

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According to Reddit users, this song enters the “top 5 pop songs of the 2010s”.

“Can't Feel My Face” had a big impact on the decade, solidifying The Weeknd's status as a global superstar.

7. “Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities

“Safe and Sound,” is an upbeat indie-pop song released in 2011.

This song quickly won over listeners with its vibrant melody and positive message. 

Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian blended electronic and pop music to create a distinctive sound.

It was a huge success, topping charts around the world

Also, this song was an anthem of positivity and friendship throughout the decade.

8. “Roar” by Katy Perry

“Roar,” released in 2013, marked a big comeback for Katy Perry. 

It was a powerful song that inspired people all over the world during 2010s.

The song was written about Perry's own life experiences and how she found her own strength. 

It has a catchy melody and a fun pop-rock sound. 

Its lyrics tell people to find their inner strength, overcome challenges, and be themselves.

This song was a success, and it became one of Katy Perry's most popular songs. 

9. “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink, Nate Ruess 

“Just Give Me a Reason” is a touching song released in 2013 by singers Pink and Nate Ruess. 

It talks about the struggles of relationships and the hope for reconciliation. 

The song features piano sounds, heartfelt vocals, and a powerful chorus. 

It was number one on the charts around the world. 

This moving ballad connects with people who are going through the ups and downs of love.

10. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele 

Adele's 2010 song “Rolling in the Deep” launched her into international fame and became a defining song of the decade. 

This song was Inspired by Adele's personal experience of heartbreak.

It has a powerful melody driven by Adele's strong vocals.

Also, it blends blues, pop, and soul influences. 

The lyrics express a mix of anger, resilience, and a desire to move on. 

“Rolling in the Deep” had a big impact, topping charts worldwide and becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.

11. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons

“Radioactive,” released in 2012, is a song by the band Imagine Dragons that has a unique alternative rock sound. 

It has a catchy melody and powerful guitar riffs and drums.

The lyrics talk about rising up and how we can improve ourselves.

“Radioactive” won a Grammy Award and topped the charts for 87 weeks.

This song played an important role in the alternative rock scene.

12. “Firework” by Katy Perry 

“Firework,” released in 2010, became a popular song that encouraged people to believe in themselves. 

The song's message was about being strong and overcoming challenges.

It also told people to be proud of who they are. 

The song features a catchy tune and strong vocals. 

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A Reddit user commented “Firework by Katy perry already tracends her, it always has a comeback moment every 4th of July.” 

This proves, the song had a big impact on the 2010s, as it became an anthem for many national events. 

13. “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood

“Sweater Weather” quickly became a hit, especially among fans of indie-pop music. 

The song's melancholy and evocative sound, combined with its thoughtful lyrics, resonated with listeners seeking more than just a catchy track. 

Its melody is driven by a catchy guitar riff and haunting vocals.

The lyrics explore the complexities of relationships and the desire for emotional connection. 

“Sweater Weather” is still considered to be one of the best indie-pop songs of the 2010s.

14. “Lean On” by DJ Snake, Major Lazer, MØ

“Lean On” blends elements of trap, tropical, and dancehall music, creating an upbeat sound that was new and exciting when it was released. 

It features a catchy tune and a chorus that people can't forget. 

This song reminds people of the carefree and summery vibes of the mid-2010s.

Even though it came out in 2015, "Lean On" is still a popular song played on playlists, at parties, and on the radio. 

15. “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction

"What Makes You Beautiful" is an iconic pop song that captured the hearts of millions worldwide.

Its catchy melody, uplifting message, and harmonious vocals make it a timeless classic. 

The song's uplifting message of self-acceptance continues to inspire listeners to cherish their individuality.

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Some Twitter users fondly remember this song and point to it as the defining song of the 2010s.

“What Makes You Beautiful” not only launched One Direction's career but also left an indelible mark on the landscape of pop music.

16. “New Slaves” by Kanye West 

“New Slaves” is a thought-provoking song that challenges the status quo. 

The song's harsh sound creates a backdrop for Kanye West's powerful criticism of consumerism, racism, and social injustice.

The lyrics are both personal and political, delving into the challenges faced by groups who are excluded from society.

It also received good reviews and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

“New Slaves” was a major cultural moment, sparking important conversations about race and inequality. 

17. “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO 

“Sexy and I Know It,” released in 2011, is a fun and energetic party song.

It took over dance floors and became a pop culture sensation. 

The song has electronic beats, and funny lyrics. 

The lyrics are jokingly boastful, celebrating self-confidence and the freedom to express oneself. 

The song was a huge success, reaching the top of the charts worldwide

It inspired many parodies, and was a staple at parties and clubs throughout the decade.

18. “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z 

“Suit & Tie” marked Justin Timberlake's highly anticipated return to music after a long break. 

It features a collaboration with the rapper Jay-Z, who adds a layer of charisma to the song 

This song blended modern and classic R&B sounds, paying tribute to the golden era of soul music. 

It features a smooth and refined melody, complemented by funky basslines and a polished production style.

“Suit & Tie” had a significant impact on the decade, reviving interest in R&B.

19. “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar 

“Alright,” struck a chord with listeners because irs powerful blend of music and socially conscious messaging. 

Inspired by the prevailing racial tensions and social unrest, Lamar aimed to create an uplifting and empowering track. 

It has a captivating melody, a fusion of jazz, funk, and hip-hop elements.

“Alright’ serves as an anthem for those who are marginalized and oppressed. 

It inspired social justice movements and earned critical acclaim for Lamar's artistry and activism. 

20. “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” by Arctic Monkeys

This captivating indie rock song from 2013 showcases Arctic Monkeys' evolving sound.

“Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” features a mesmerizing melody characterized by its catchy guitar riffs.

Its lyrics explore themes of longing, miscommunication, and the complexities of relationships.

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A Reddit user commented “Brilliant song, always stuck in my head in a good way.”

This shows how the audience is still connected with the song. 

21. “Self Care” by Mac Miller

“Self Care” is a moving track by the late rapper Mac Miller, known for his honest and introspective lyrics. 

It reflects Miller's personal struggles with mental health and addiction.

The song features a gentle and atmospheric melody.

Its lyrics explore self-reflection, self-preservation, and the journey of personal growth.

It connected with listeners on their own paths of self-discovery and self-care.

22. “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry, Juicy J

Released in 2013, this is an energetic pop song by Katy Perry, featuring a collaboration with rapper Juicy J. 

“Dark Horse” has a memorable melody with a hypnotic beat and Middle Eastern-inspired instrumentation.

The lyrics tell the story of a mysterious and captivating  love interest in a metaphorical game of love. 

The song was a major success, topping charts worldwide and solidifying Perry's status as a pop icon. 

23. “Yonkers” by Tyler, the Creator

“Yonkers,” was a game-changer for rapper Tyler, the Creator, becoming a defining song of the decade.

This song is notable for its bold lyrics and unconventional sound. 

The track's inspiration stems from Tyler's desire to challenge societal conventions and push boundaries within the hip-hop genre. 

It features a dark and minimalist melody fueled by eerie piano chords.

This song catapulted him to fame and sparked discussions about authenticity and artistic expression in hip-hop.

24. “Side to Side” by Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

“Side to Side” is an energetic and empowering track that explores female sexuality and confidence. 

The song's catchy melody is complemented by Grande's impressive vocal register and Nicki's fast-paced rapping.

The lyrics playfully reference the physical effects of intense activity.

This encourages listeners to embrace their desires and express their sexuality freely.

“Side to Side” was a commercial success, sparking discussions about female sexuality and empowerment in popular music.

25. “Hello” by Adele 

“Hello,” released in 2015, marked Adele's long-awaited comeback to the music scene.

It captivated audiences with her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics. 

This song grew out of Adele's personal reflections on nostalgia and reconciliation.

It has an emotional melody with piano accompaniment and orchestral elements.

“Hello” broke records and dominated music charts worldwide.

It cemented her position as one of the most talented and successful artists of her generation.

26. “I'm Not the Only One” by Sam Smith

Released in 2014, “I'm Not the Only One” by Sam Smith is a soulful and emotionally charged ballad.

The melody is accompanied by moving piano chords and a beautiful arrangement of instruments.

Its lyrics talk about the pain of being in a one-sided relationship. 

It explores themes of betrayal, longing, and the struggle to move on. 

This song earned critical acclaim for Smith's powerful vocal performance.

27. “Please Me” by Cardi B, Bruno Mars

In 2019, Cardi B and Bruno Mars teamed up to create the seductive song “Please Me.” 

This collaboration combines their different styles, resulting in a unique theme.

The song features a funky and retro-inspired melody.

It was a commercial success, and showcased their ability to captivate audiences worldwide.

28. “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

“Blank Space” showcases her songwriting skills and ability to create relatable music. 

The song is about Swift's public image and how the media often portrays her love life. 

It has a catchy melody and infectious pop production.

“Blank Space” solidified Taylor Swift's status as one of the successful pop stars during 2010s. 

29. “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé, Jay-Z

Released in 2013, “Drunk in Love” is a captivating collaboration between power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

This track has an atmospheric tune and soft rap verses. 

The minimalist beat and seductive vocals create an anthem for couples in the clubs.

“Drunk in Love” showcased their undeniable chemistry and musical prowess. 

30. “Work” by Rihanna, Drake

“Work,” released in 2016, is an infectious collaboration between Rihanna and Drake.

This track blends elements of dancehall and R&B to create a catchy melody. 

The lyrics are playful and evoke the feeling of staying connected through physical and emotional intimacy.

This song marked the influence of Caribbean music over mainstream pop.

These tracks showcase the varied sounds, themes, and emotions that characterized the decade, and they continue to inspire and entertain us today. So put on your headphones, and let these timeless tunes take you back to the 2010s.