Top 100 Staff Picks – Billboard

The popular music of the 2000s found its center in 2002. The teenage pop explosion of the late 90s was officially over, with its original stars maturing and the hottest mainstream newcomers sounding more at home. minivans that NMT. Emo became a truly mainstream concern, while the supposed New Rock Revolution (highly publicized the previous year) also finally exploded onto radio and video in the United States, and the clubbing side of the underground new- Yorkers fused the worlds of indie and dance in a way that would have long-lasting reverberations. Meanwhile, the old rock and country icons have found new vitality as they reinvent themselves for the 21st century — a couple from beyond the grave, even.

But the biggest musical story of 2002 was that of rap cementing its status as the most essential genre of the decade. Eminem pushed his superstar into cross-platform territory, officially becoming the biggest domestic mononym in music since the early years of MTV. Missy Elliott and Timbaland have had some of their biggest hits to date, both through their own teams and working with other related hip-hop and R&B minds. The Neptunes, already on a long winning streak of total pop ubiquity, had their biggest run ever, with both the biggest top 40 crossover hit and the street banger the most acclaimed of the summer. And Ja Rule, Ashanti and the entire Murder, Inc. family were simply on top of the world, a business peak that wouldn’t last too long beyond 2002 – thanks in part to a feud with another rising New York star. , whose own mainstream rise began in earnest that year — but who defined the period as much as anyone.

This week, we look back on a defining year in 21st century popular music with a number of 2002-themed articles to be found on, detailing some of the most compelling stories from this pivotal time. But first, our list of the 100 greatest songs of the year – a mix of enduring classics, forgotten gems and adorable one-offs that simply couldn’t have happened at any other time in history. pop. Aside from singles released in 2002, songs were counted as 2002 if they debuted on the Billboard charts (or if they hit No. 1 for the first time) that year. But if they debuted or topped the charts in 2003 – like tATu’s “All the Things She Said”, Coldplay’s “Clocks” or B2K’s “Bump, Bump, Bump” – we’ll commemorate their 20th year. next.

Check out our list below – with a Spotify playlist here of all 100 songs – and prepare to lose yourself in the music of the year when the 2000s officially became the 2000s.

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