Pop music is probably the most representative genre of current culture and trends.
Even though it can get annoying to hear the same songs on the radio, there’s no denying that overplayed songs are hits for a reason—they’re good! The pop formula ensures a great beat and singable melodies that will get stuck in your head.
You’ll find some of the best pop songs that are inescapably catchy on this list!
- Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
- Estelle – American Boy ft. Kanye West
- A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
- Paper Planes – M.I.A.
- Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
- Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) – Beyoncé
- Hey Ya! – OutKast
- Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
- Rehab – Amy Winehouse
- Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue
- Poker Face – Lady Gaga
- Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
- Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
- Good as Hell – Lizzo
- Viva La Vida – Coldplay
- Dynamite – BTS
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
- No Tears Left to Cry – Ariana Grande
- Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
- Levitating – Dua Lipa ft. DaBaby
- I Love It – Icona Pop and Charli XCX
- Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean
- Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee
- Purple Rain – Prince
- Hung Up – Madonna
- Take on Me – A-Ha
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
‘Uptown Funk’ is filled with lively horns and catchy melodies, continuing Bruno Mars’ unbeatable streak of addictive pop songs. This funk anthem is about having a good time and feeling so hot that you’ll “make a dragon wanna retire.” The hit song features lyrics that boost confidence and group vocals that just make you want to have fun.
Related: Keep the party going with these good dance songs.
Estelle – American Boy ft. Kanye West
In this song, Estelle is excited about a new relationship and fantasizes about everything they can do together. If you’re on TikTok, you’ll definitely recognize this song, as it is often used as a background sound for various videos on the app. The pair wants to travel the world together, and Estelle sings, “I really want to come kick it with you. You’ll be my American boy.”
Related: Recently fell in love? Here’s our playlist of new love songs.
A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
This emotional song toes the line between romantic and devastating. The narrator compares the person he loves to “a sky full of stars,” telling us that the beauty and wonder of this person are life-changing. But, he can only see the sky from far away, and it seems like this love is an intangible one with the power to tear him apart. The song centers around a cinematic piano, and we can hear the influence of the brilliant Avicii (who helped produce the track) in the rise and fall of the beat.
Related: Check out our playlist of star songs.
Paper Planes – M.I.A.
‘Paper Planes’ has a catchy beat and fun melodies to sing along to, but the lyrics carry an interesting commentary on immigration that you might miss on the first listen. M.I.A. has said that the chorus, which features the line, “all I wanna do is…take your money,” references the often unfounded fear that immigrants are “stealing” domestic jobs.
Related: Appreciate the new millennium with these 2000s songs.
Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
‘Blinding Lights’ is one of the biggest songs of all time, breaking the record for weeks spent on the Billboard Hot 100 for a total of 90 weeks. In the synth-filled track, The Weeknd sings about his restlessness when he is away from the person he loves. The city feels overwhelming and empty, and all he wants is to be with this person, saying, “I’m blinded by the lights, no, I can’t sleep until I feel your touch.”
Related: You’ll want your sunglasses for these songs with light in the title.
Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) – Beyoncé
If you ever need an activity idea for a girls’ night, try learning the ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ dance. This is a fun song that is empowering at the same time—Beyoncé makes sure her listeners know their worth. If a man isn’t committing to you, that’s on him! Now you are free to dance at the club and sing, “up in the club, we just broke up, I’m doing my own little thing.”
Related: Head over to our playlist of the best ring songs.
Hey Ya! – OutKast
The clapping rhythm and upbeat feel of this song are sure to get you in a good mood, as long as you don’t listen to the lyrics too closely! ‘Hey Ya!’ is about the struggle of keeping a relationship alive. OutKast acknowledges the difference between the beat and the lyrics with the line, “y’all don’t want to hear me, you just want to dance,” and they have a point! It’s always easier to dance than to face complicated feelings.
Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
‘Titanium’ is an empowering song full of awesome beat drops. Sia’s powerhouse vocals show her determination not to let life’s difficulties beat her down. No matter the challenges life throws at her or the hurtful things people say to her, Sia trusts her thick skin to protect her. She belts, “you shoot me down, but I won’t fall; I am titanium,” with no hesitation, encouraging us to stand strong.
Related: This song features on our playlist of songs about willpower.
Rehab – Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse was known for her enchanting vocals, and ‘Rehab’ is a great example. She sings about resisting going to rehab despite people close to her encouraging her to go. It’s a dark song but takes on an even more tragic meaning because of the fate Winehouse ended up meeting.
Related: Here are some more addiction songs.
Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue
This earworm of a song is aptly named because once you listen, you won’t be able to get it out of your head. Kylie Minogue sings about a boy who has consumed all of her thoughts and feelings. She tells him, “your lovin’ is all I think about,” and asks him to stay with her always.
Related: Got a crush? Listen to these songs about liking someone.
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is unreadable in this electronic hit from her debut album, using metaphors to compare playing poker to being with a man. Gaga has said that having a poker face during intimacy with a man alludes to the fact that she thinks about being with a woman but hides it from the guy she is with. ‘Poker Face’ is amazingly catchy, but its lyrics contain many interesting layers.
Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran consistently delivered hits in the 2010s, and ‘Shape of You’ was one of the biggest on the pop charts. A simple riff is repeated throughout the song, giving it its catchy rhythm as Sheeran sings about the captivating looks of the girl he loves. The physicality of this love is unmatched, and the chemistry is undeniable, which is clear by the lines, “I’m in love with the shape of you. We push and pull like a magnet do.”
Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
This song’s heavy bass and unique production give Billie Eilish’s soft vocals an ominous edge. Eilish mocks her ex and his insufferably macho attitude with lines like, “so you’re a tough guy, like it really rough guy.” The song won the Grammy for record of the year in 2020, just one of the five awards Eilish took home that year!
Related: Burn some calories with the best workout music.
Good as Hell – Lizzo
Lizzo is an advocate for self-love on social media and in her music. Many of her songs center around discovering your self-worth, and ‘Good as Hell’ specifically talks about regaining your confidence after a bad breakup. Lizzo does not want her audience to be torn up over a guy that never valued them, singing, “if he don’t love you anymore, walk your fine ass out the door.”
Related: Feel as good as Lizzo with these female empowerment songs.
Viva La Vida – Coldplay
‘Viva La Vida’ translates to “long live life” and tells the story of a king who has lost his kingdom. The king reflects on his reign and regrets how it ended, and the song has elements of blame and self-reflection as he grapples with his legacy. The intense strings and cinematic bells make it feel monumental, inspiring us to reflect on how we rule over our own lives.
Related: Good morning! Here is the best wake up music.
Dynamite – BTS
‘Dynamite’ was BTS’s first song to be released entirely in English, and it hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020. It’s a perfect pop song with catchy melodies, a steady beat, riffing guitar, and celebratory horns. The song is about feeling so good that you’re among the stars, singing, “watch me bring the fire and set the night alight.”
Related: Build up your confidence with these songs that make you feel powerful.
Happy – Pharrell Williams
‘Happy’ was initially written as the second Despicable Me movie’s theme song but quickly topped charts everywhere because of the pure joy it created. It was a great song to show the shift in the main character’s personality, Gru, from villain to loving boyfriend. The steady beat and smooth vocals are simple and vibrant, making you say, “can’t nothing bring me down.”
Related: The songs on our happy playlist will put a smile on your face!
No Tears Left to Cry – Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande sings about coming out of one of the lowest periods of her life in ‘No Tears Left to Cry.’ She sings, “ain’t got no tears left to cry, so I’m lovin’, I’m livin’, I’m pickin’ it up.” It was a dark time for her, but she refused to be broken down completely and looked ahead to something better. It’s an even more inspiring mentality knowing that this was the first song to be released after the fatal attacks at Grande’s Manchester concert in 2017.
Related: It’s alright to cry. Here’s our list of songs with crying in the title.
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
This piano ballad carries intense feelings of longing and nostalgia as the narrator dreams of a simple life with someone he loves. The question “oh, simple thing, where have you gone?” could be applied to so many things in life. Maybe you’re longing for the simplicities of childhood or the honeymoon phase of an unburdened relationship. No matter what we go through, there is always a time we want an escape to “somewhere only we know.”
Related: Got a secret? Enjoy these songs about forbidden love.
Levitating – Dua Lipa ft. DaBaby
One of the biggest songs from Dua Lipa’s Grammy-winning album Future Nostalgia, ‘Levitating’ is an addictive pop song about how love can make you feel like you’re floating. DaBaby’s verse adds an element that somehow makes the song even more catchy. This love takes the couple into the galaxy, singing, “I got you, moonlight, you’re my starlight.”
I Love It – Icona Pop and Charli XCX
If you’ve ever felt recklessly unhinged after a breakup, ‘I Love It’ is the perfect song for you. This song is often played at clubs due to its consuming beat and cathartic lyrics. There’s just something about screaming along to lines like, “I crashed my car into the bridge, I watched, I let it burn,” and, “I don’t care, I love it,” that can make any romantic drama retreat to the background of your mind for a few minutes.
Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean
A quintessential Shakira song, ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ is a great track that is impossible not to dance to. Shakira is known for keeping the beat by moving her hips, and this song shows us the powerful role dance plays in having a good time. Wyclef Jean takes the perspective of a man infatuated with Shakira’s dancing, singing, “I can see your body moving, and it’s driving me crazy.”
Related: Have some fun with these dance party songs.
Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee
The alluring guitar riff of this song immediately hooks the listener, and the smoothly delivered lines keep you invested throughout the song. ‘Despacito’ translates to “slowly,” which is the kind of loving the narrator wants. This love is slow and passionate, and nothing else matters when the two are together. The remix with Justin Bieber brought even more success to this awesome chart-topper, making it a smash hit.
Related: Sing with confidence with the most popular karaoke songs.
Purple Rain – Prince
After a relationship full of roadblocks, Prince looks back with regret and wishes the other person the best. He knows they caused each other pain, but now all he wants is for this person to have peace, singing, “I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain.” This song quickly became a hallmark of Prince’s discography. If you haven’t seen his Superbowl performance of ‘Purple Rain’ during an actual downpour, it is a mesmerizing must-watch!
Related: Here’s a musical rainbow of the best songs with colors in the title.
Hung Up – Madonna
Madonna is literally and metaphorically hung up on a guy. He is all she can think about, and she can’t seem to function without him. At the same time, she is waiting for his call. She sings “time goes by so slowly” over and over to make the listener feel the same anticipation she is experiencing while waiting for this call.
Related: Don’t let these songs about calling someone go to voicemail!
Take on Me – A-Ha
This iconic tune was one of the most popular songs in the 80s and remains well-known today. It probably has one of the most recognizable synth riffs of all time, and it’s always hilarious when people attempt the high notes. ‘Take on Me’ is about hoping someone will give you a chance. All you want is an opportunity to be with them, but you know you can’t hold out forever. “Take me on. I’ll be gone in a day or two.”
Related: Listen to these popular 80s songs.