Table of Contents
- 1. “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People
- 2. “Misery” by Maroon 5
- 3. “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles
- 4. “OMG” by Usher featuring will.i.am
- 5. “Waiting for the End” by Linkin Park
- 6. “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy
- 7. “My First Kiss” by 3OH!3
- 8. “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna
- 9. “Like a G6” by Far East Movement
- 10. “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry
- 11. “Firework” by Katy Perry
- 12. “There Goes My Baby” by Usher
- 13. “POWER” by Ye
- 14. “Nothin’ On You” by B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars
- 15. “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
- 16. “Animal” by Neon Trees
- 17. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars
- 18. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg
- 19. “Cooler Than Me” by Mike Posner
- 20. “Airplanes” by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore
The year 2010 marked the beginning of a new decade and brought with it a slew of memorable and influential songs across various genres. From pop to hip hop, rock to electronic, the music of 2010 has left a lasting impact on listeners and the industry. In this article, we will take a look at the top 20 greatest songs from 2010 that continue to resonate with audiences today.
The list includes songs that topped charts, won awards, and captured the spirit of the times. From Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” to Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” these tracks showcased the best of what music had to offer in 2010. Each song tells a story and has a unique sound, highlighting the diversity of the music landscape in that year. Whether you were dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” or belting out the lyrics to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” the songs on this list are sure to bring back memories and nostalgia for a time when music was at its peak.
1. “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People
“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People is a catchy indie pop/rock song with dark undertones. The song’s upbeat tempo and infectious melody contrast with the lyrics, which tell the story of a troubled teenager planning a school shooting. The protagonist’s troubled mind and violent intentions are revealed through lyrics such as “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, outrun my gun.” Despite the serious subject matter, the song became a massive hit upon its release in 2010, propelling Foster The People to stardom and earning them a Grammy nomination.
2. “Misery” by Maroon 5
“Misery” by Maroon 5 is an upbeat pop rock song that explores the emotional turmoil of a failing relationship. The song features lead singer Adam Levine’s signature falsetto vocals and catchy guitar riffs. The lyrics describe the agony of being unable to let go of a lover, even though the relationship is causing pain and heartbreak. The chorus, “So what you want to do? Where you want to go? I’ll take you there,” is a desperate plea to try and salvage the relationship despite the obvious signs of trouble. “Misery” was a commercial success for Maroon 5, reaching the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
3. “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles
“King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles is an empowering pop song that encourages listeners to stand up for themselves and their beliefs. The song features Bareilles’ distinctive piano-based sound and powerful vocals, which are perfectly suited to the song’s message of self-assertion. The lyrics address a controlling and overbearing person in the singer’s life, with lines like “Who cares if you disagree? You are not me. Who made you king of anything?” Bareilles urges the person to back off and let her live her life on her own terms. “King of Anything” was a hit for Bareilles, peaking at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
4. “OMG” by Usher featuring will.i.am
“OMG” is an electro-pop and R&B song by Usher featuring will.i.am. The song’s energetic beat and catchy chorus make it a perfect dance track, with will.i.am’s auto-tuned vocals adding to the futuristic vibe. The lyrics focus on a chance encounter with a woman who has the singer completely smitten. The chorus, “Baby let me love you down, there’s so many ways to love ya, baby I can break you down,” is a steamy invitation to explore their chemistry. “OMG” was a commercial success for Usher, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries and becoming one of the biggest hits of 2010.
5. “Waiting for the End” by Linkin Park
“Waiting for the End” by Linkin Park is an emotional rock ballad that explores the themes of loss, regret, and acceptance. The song features Chester Bennington’s powerful and emotive vocals, backed by a haunting melody and electronic beats. The lyrics speak of the pain of letting go of a relationship that has run its course, with lines like “All I want to do is trade this life for something new, holding on to what I haven’t got.” The chorus is a plea for understanding and acceptance, with the repetition of the phrase “waiting for the end to come” serving as a reminder that all things must pass. “Waiting for the End” is a poignant and heartfelt track that showcases Linkin Park’s versatility and emotional depth.
6. “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy
“Billionaire” by Travie McCoy is a catchy hip-hop/pop track that celebrates the joys of having wealth and success. The song features Bruno Mars’ smooth vocals on the chorus and a bouncy beat that makes it impossible not to dance along. The lyrics describe the singer’s desire to become a billionaire, and the things he would do with all that money. Despite the materialistic themes, the song has an uplifting message of hope and perseverance, with lines like “I wanna be a billionaire so freaking bad, buy all of the things I never had.” “Billionaire” was a commercial success, reaching the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming one of the biggest hits of 2010.
7. “My First Kiss” by 3OH!3
“My First Kiss” by 3OH!3 is a playful and catchy pop song that captures the excitement and anticipation of a first kiss. The song features Kesha’s distinctive vocals and 3OH!3’s electronic beats and synth-heavy sound. The lyrics speak of the nervousness and excitement that comes with the first kiss, with lines like “My first kiss went a little like this, and twist, and twist.” The chorus is an infectious chant that celebrates the joys of young love, with the repetition of the phrase “my first kiss” creating a memorable hook. “My First Kiss” was a hit for 3OH!3 and Kesha, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
8. “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna
“Love the Way You Lie” is a powerful collaboration between rapper Eminem and pop singer Rihanna that explores the destructive cycle of domestic violence. The song features Eminem’s raw and emotional verses, which describe the intense and volatile nature of an abusive relationship. Rihanna’s haunting vocals on the chorus add a sense of vulnerability and sadness, making the song a truly heartbreaking listening experience. The lyrics address the complex emotions that come with abusive relationships, with lines like “Just gonna stand there and watch me burn, but that’s alright because I like the way it hurts.” “Love the Way You Lie” was a commercial and critical success, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries and earning praise for its honesty and emotional depth.
9. “Like a G6” by Far East Movement
“Like a G6” is a dance-pop and hip hop song by the American group Far East Movement, featuring The Cataracs and Dev. The song, released in 2010, was a huge commercial success and quickly became a club and party favorite. The lyrics refer to the luxury lifestyle associated with a Gulfstream G650 private jet, using it as a metaphor for feeling high and powerful. The upbeat, catchy melody and fast-paced electronic beats create an energetic and euphoric atmosphere that encourages listeners to let loose and dance. The song’s success contributed to the mainstream popularization of electronic dance music (EDM) in the early 2010s.
10. “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry
“Teenage Dream” is a pop song by American singer Katy Perry. Released in 2010, the song was a chart-topping hit that celebrated the carefree joys of youth and the exhilarating rush of first love. The lyrics depict a teenage romance and the blissful feeling of being with someone who makes you feel young and alive. The upbeat tempo, guitar riffs, and Perry’s signature high-pitched vocals create an infectious and nostalgic sound that transports listeners back to their teenage years. The song’s success helped cement Perry as a pop superstar and remains a beloved anthem of the early 2010s.
11. “Firework” by Katy Perry
“Firework” is a power ballad by American singer Katy Perry. The song, released in 2010, quickly became an anthem of self-empowerment and inner strength. The lyrics encourage listeners to embrace their uniqueness, overcome their insecurities and be proud of who they are. The song’s uplifting message is complemented by the soaring melody, lush instrumentation, and Perry’s emotional and powerful vocals. “Firework” quickly became a commercial success and remains one of Perry’s most popular and inspiring songs. It has been used in several inspirational contexts, including as the official song for the 2011 New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York City’s Times Square.
12. “There Goes My Baby” by Usher
“There Goes My Baby” is an R&B slow jam by American singer Usher. The song was released in 2010 as the third single from his album “Raymond v. Raymond”. The song’s smooth and sensual melody, combined with Usher’s soulful and seductive vocals, create a romantic and intimate atmosphere. The lyrics describe the beauty and allure of a special someone, as Usher reminisces about a past love. The song was a commercial success and peaked at number 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100. “There Goes My Baby” remains a popular slow jam and a standout track in Usher’s discography.
13. “POWER” by Ye
“POWER” is a rap song by American artist Kanye West, released in 2010. The song features a driving beat, a haunting vocal sample, and West’s confident and aggressive rapping. The lyrics are a celebration of West’s success and fame, as he declares his status as a cultural icon and a force to be reckoned with. The song’s epic and bombastic sound has made it a popular anthem for sports teams and other events, while its defiant and unapologetic lyrics have resonated with fans of West’s music. “POWER” remains one of West’s most popular and enduring songs.
14. “Nothin’ On You” by B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars
“Nothin’ On You” is a hip-hop and pop song by American rapper B.o.B, featuring Bruno Mars on the chorus. The song, released in 2010, became a massive commercial success and helped launch both artists’ careers. The song’s laid-back and catchy melody, combined with Mars’ smooth vocals and B.o.B’s clever and playful rhymes, create a playful and romantic atmosphere. The lyrics describe a man’s love for his girlfriend and how nothing in the world compares to her. The song’s success helped establish B.o.B as a major hip-hop artist and introduced Mars as a pop superstar in the making.
15. “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
“Just the Way You Are” is a pop ballad by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, released in 2010. The song was an instant hit and became a chart-topping success in several countries. The lyrics describe the beauty and perfection of a loved one, reassuring them that they are loved just the way they are. The song’s simple and sweet melody, combined with Mars’ soulful and emotive vocals, create a romantic and heartfelt atmosphere. The song has become a popular wedding and love song, cementing Mars’ status as a modern-day crooner and one of the most versatile and talented artists of his generation.
16. “Animal” by Neon Trees
“Animal” by Neon Trees is an upbeat alternative rock song with catchy hooks and pulsing rhythms. The song’s lyrics describe the exhilarating feeling of falling in love and the animalistic instincts that come with it. The lead singer, Tyler Glenn, delivers a dynamic vocal performance that perfectly captures the excitement and intensity of the song’s message. With its infectious melody and energetic instrumentation, “Animal” is a perfect example of Neon Trees’ ability to blend pop sensibilities with rock and roll attitude. The song’s music video, which features the band performing in a neon-lit warehouse, is just as vibrant and lively as the song itself.
17. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars
“Grenade” by Bruno Mars is a soulful pop ballad that showcases Mars’ powerful vocal abilities. The song’s lyrics tell the story of a man who is willing to do anything for the woman he loves, even if it means sacrificing his own well-being. The song’s emotional depth is matched by its simple but effective instrumentation, which features a driving beat and soaring strings. Mars’ heartfelt delivery and the song’s universal message of love and sacrifice make “Grenade” a standout track in his discography.
18. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg
“California Gurls” by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg is a playful, fun-filled pop anthem that celebrates the carefree spirit of California beach culture. The song’s bouncy beats and catchy melody are perfectly complemented by Perry’s effervescent vocals and Snoop Dogg’s laid-back rhymes. The lyrics celebrate the sun, surf, and sand of the California coast, as well as the beautiful women who inhabit it. The song’s bright, colorful music video features Perry and Snoop Dogg in a candy-coated fantasy world filled with dancing cupcakes, gummy bears, and other sugary delights. “California Gurls” is a summertime classic that captures the sunny spirit of the Golden State.
19. “Cooler Than Me” by Mike Posner
“Cooler Than Me” by Mike Posner is an electro-pop track that perfectly captures the feeling of being left behind by a former lover. The song’s lyrics describe a woman who thinks she’s too cool for the narrator, but in reality, she’s just playing games. The song’s catchy hook and danceable beat make it a crowd-pleaser, while Posner’s laid-back vocal delivery adds an air of cool detachment to the proceedings. “Cooler Than Me” is a great example of early 2010s pop, with its blend of electronic production and relatable lyrics about relationships and self-image.
20. “Airplanes” by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore
“Airplanes” by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore is a poignant hip-hop ballad that reflects on the struggles and aspirations of ordinary people. The song’s chorus features Williams’ powerful vocals, which speak to the dreams and desires of people everywhere. B.o.B’s verses reflect on his own experiences and those of people he knows, from childhood ambitions to the struggles of daily life. The song’s production is stripped down and simple, with a basic piano riff and a subdued beat. “Airplanes” is a touching and relatable song that captures the hopes and fears of people from all walks of life.