The 1990s were the pinnacle of pop. To make an all-encompassing list of the best pop songs from the decade would take, well, a decade itself.
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Here is a sample of the best of the best. There is no *NSYNC or Backstreet Boys—for those bands, check out this boy band list. We had to draw the line somewhere.
Below, though, enjoy a taste of the best pop songs from the decade.
1. “Baby One More Time”
Originally written for TLC, Brittney Spears made this 1998 track an epic global hit thanks to the performance and the sultry teenage music video.
The 1996 smash hit by the Spice Girls put friendship front and center. If Justin Timberlake brought “sexy back” in the early 2000s, then the Spice Girls brought camaraderie back ten years earlier.
3. “No Scubs”
“No Scrubs” is the lead single from the TLC album FanMail, released in 1999. You couldn’t get away from this track if you lived in secluded underground caves when it came out. Carson Daly would personally come to your cave and play it on Total Cave Request Live.
4. “Are You That Somebody”
“Are You That Somebody” is the 1998 smash hit from the late Aaliyah. The pop star died in 2001 in a plane crash but not before releasing big tracks with producer Timbaland. “Are You That Somebody” is at the top of the list.
5. “No Diggity”
The music video for the 1996 monster hit from Black Street—produced by Dr. Dre—featured a Lil Penny-like character playing the keys. The song knocked “Macarena” from the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
6. “Barbie Girl”
Get ready to hear “Barbie Girl” even more with the forthcoming release of the Margot Robbie-led Barbie movie. The song, from the Danish group Aqua, was written after a band member went to a kitsch culture exhibit.
7. “Baby Got Back”
The 1992 favorite from Sir Mix-a-Lot made having a pronounced posterior popular.
8. “Genie in a Bottle”
“Genie in a Bottle” was recorded by Christina Aguilera. Just as Britney Spears was taking off, Aguilera comes to throw her pop star hat in the ring, releasing the song in 1999.
9. “What Is Love”
Once you hear the chorus you can never un-hear it. “What Is Love,” by Haddaway, was released in 1993 on the album The Album.
Bonus: “Man, I Feel Like a Woman”
The country-pop sensation that is Shania Twain released “Man, I Fell Like a Woman” in 1997. It was actually required by law that department stores play the song once an hour that year.
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