What is a throwback song? Well, the simple definition is “a song that throws back to the ideas or elements of a song from an older era of music, emulating it in some way or form”. If you love the 1990s, then you will love our list of best throwback songs.
There is a reason why we still consider the 1990s a great era. There are hundreds and thousands of memes about being a 90s kid.
Some of these songs refer to the 1990s and some to the early 2000s. At the time, pop music was exploding with hip hop, pop, R&B, dance songs, and some alternative rock. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look back in time.
Get ready for your throwback Thursday with these best throwback songs.
The Black Eyes Peas – Where Is The Love
This song introduced the world to Will. I. Am, Fergie, and other members of the iconic group. Where is the love is a song that you can listen to in any era. The rhythm is amazing, and the song’s message transcends any period.
Fun fact: do you know that the song actually features vocals from Justin Timberlake?
Kelly Clarkson – Since You’ve Been Gone
Kelly Clarkson had a short, yet successful career in the 2000s. And while she didn’t record many hit singles, the singer had this one.
Usher – Yeah
Kids going to the disco and clubbing in the early 2000s remember this song all too well. The moment the beat started, everyone just started jumping and dancing.
Yeah was a huge hit. It made Usher a celebrity and a star. And many consider it the US’s second biggest song of the 2000s.
The track was part of the fourth album by Usher, Confessions. The lead single was followed by another popular hit single, Burn.
Alicia Keys – Fallin’
Alicia Keys has had a career spanning more than three decades. Yes, she has been that successful. Many Alicia Keys fans consider Fallin her first big hit. And they are right.
Akon – Lonely
If you need a sad song back in the day, Akon had it for you. The track appeared on his debut studio album, Trouble.
What made the song so special? Well, for starters, the lyrics and the topic. But also the fact Akon used an old track called Mr. Lonely by Bobby Winton. He then sped it up to make it super high-pitched.
Cascada – Every Time We Touch
Let’s talk about some dance hits of the early years. This song has received so many remixes, that many forget the original. But you just have to love it.
It is another popular song that you definitely listened to if you went clubbing.
‘N Sync – Bye Bye Bye
People nowadays forget that Justin Timberlake was part of this famous boy bend. ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys were the two most popular boy groups in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Bye Bye Bye was their huge hit, one that you can still hear on radio stations.
Avril Lavigne – Sk8er Boi
Avril Lavigne was a refreshment on the scene in the early 2000s. She came and made an instant influence with her rock style and street style. Skater Boy remains one of her greatest hits.
Some would say Avril was a one-hit-wonder. But she had a decent career in the 2000s.
Christian Aguilera – Beautiful
We can choose many songs by Christiana Aguilera for throwback Thursday and TBT. But we went with Beautiful as it remains one of the most powerful ballads to this day.
No, it is not a love song. It is a song that empowers women. Fans forget Christina was great at doing romantic songs. She is not all about Dirty and similar hits.
R Kelly – Ignition
Here is another 90s song that has received so many remixes people forget the original. R Kelly was such a popular artist during the 1990s. If you want something different, go with the Space Jam song, I Believe I Can Fly. Ignition is more of a clubbing song.
Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
When Gwen Stefani left No Doubt, she completely changed her style. She went from an alternative rock ballad singer to a pop star and celebrity.
Hollaback Girl is a perfect example of her transformation.
CeeLo Green – F**k You
Yes, the 1990s had some censorship. This song’s title had to be censored. But it was fun listening to it without any censorship at certain clubs.
P!nk – So What?
To this day, music fans love Pink because she is pure, authentic, and genuine, and says what she feels. There is no sugarcoating anything. Pink speaks from her heart. And that is how fans remember her. The rebel singer made a hit after a hit.
Sugababes – Push the Button
How good were Sugababes in the 1990s and 2000s? Well, Push the Button was one of their biggest hits. It was their lead single from the album Taller in More Ways. The line-up has seen a few changes. At the time of this song, the lineup was Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena, and Heidi Range.
TLC – No Scrubs
If you are listening to this song in the 2020s, your brain is functioning well. You definitely have great taste in music. We can congratulate you.
This song has always been a fan favorite. It is totally clean and pure talent from TLC. When you think about it, it was a huge hit back in the day. Today it might feel and seem conservative for the new standards.
Beyonce – Crazy in Love
Beyonce is another female singer that has proven to enjoy bigger success as a solo artist than in a group. She left Destiny’s Childs and raced to the top of the charts.
There are so many Beyonce hits we can name. But Crazy in Love is probably her signature 2000s song. After all, she and Jay Z were the IT couple at the time.
Flo Rida ft. T-Pain – Low
Do you remember what we said about Yeah, Usher’s hit? Well, usually, this song followed it at the club. These two songs were a must in any hip-hop club you went to. Simply put, they made the crowd go wild.
Beyonce – Single Ladies
Here is another Beyonce hit. We have to put this one because of the feminism topic. If you like it, put a ring on it. It is as simple as that.
Fun fact: this song won Grammy Award in three categories, including Song of the Year.
Eminem – Lose Yourself
The signature song from the 8 Mile movie was a huge hit back in the early 2000s. Eminem had many hit singles before that, but Lose Yourself became an anthem. People all over the world sang the song.
The song won a Grammy Award and Academy Award for Best Rap Song and Best Original Song.
Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body
If you thought only female singers could leave a band and enjoy a successful solo career, think again. Justin Timberlake proved he is much bigger than ‘N Sync.
Following the disbanding of the group, Justin started collaborating with Timbaland. And that is his best career choice. Together they made so many hits.
Outkast – Hey Ya
Outkast was a unique rap group back in the 2000s. Andre 3000 and Big Boi brought a different sound to the rap world. And this song is their signature piece.
Shaggy – It wasn’t Me
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Shaggy made a remake of this song. He released it exclusively for MTV when the program was trying to give people something to listen to and watch while stuck at home because of curfew.
Green Day – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
When we talk about the best songs from the early 2000s and 1990s, we have to mention some alternative rock bands and alternative rock songs as well. Pop was the dominant genre in the 1990s and 2000s, but there were some great rock songs as well.
Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
We have to mention another dance hit. And that is Crazy. Fun fact: while the song sounded fun and playful, it is actually based on the mental instability of the singer.
The song itself is a critique of the majority who go through life seemingly happy and in control, but who do not really question themselves.
Kellis – Milkshake
This has to be the most addictive song of the decade. Fun fact: the song was initially offered to Britney Spears. But she turned it down.
Then Kellis came in and swooped it. Her Milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.
Crazy Town – Butterfly
Come, come my lady. Do you remember those lyrics? Of course, you do. It was another popular disco song during the 2000s.
Missy Elliott – Work It
Missy Elliot was one of the most popular female singers back in the day. The American rapper was the Nicki Minaj of the 1990s and 2000s. She might not have worn clothes and outfits like Minaj, but her songs and collaborations were memorable.
Nelly – Hot in Here
I remember a lot of parties starting with this song. Nelly gave us the perfect hit single to start a party. Or to raise the temperature. The song was even more popular during the summer.
Blink 182 – All the Small Things
If you went to a rock party in the early 2000s, this is the song you must have heard. Nearly every local band that wanted to play at a club knew this song. And fans loved it.
The Pussycat Dolls – Don’t Cha
The Pussycat Dolls were one of the most popular female groups in the 2000s. Nicole had a solo career afterward, but the songs with the Dolls were the big hit.
Busta Rhymes makes an appearance on the track. He also helped write the song.
Eminem – The Real Slim Shady
Let’s finish off the list of best songs for throwback Thursday with Eminem. It is only fitting. He was among the most influential artists of the 1990s and 2000s. The Real Slim Shady basically made white males to want to dye their hair blonde. Amazing.