A catchy little number by a bonafide pop princess is the best type of song to rock out to and practice your own vocals. We all had our favorite singers and our favorite songs from the peak of pop celebrities in the late 90s and early 2000s. There were some serious rivalries when it came to your favorite pop princess. Remember the petty arguments of who was better, Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera? It could get crazy. And the answer? They both had their positves and negatives. Both are still thriving today, meaning the debate will forever live on.
These popular songs were the best of the best when it came to overplayed pop music. You know all of the lyrics and definitely some of the dance moves from the music videos. Keep reading to relive some childhood memories and experience the best that pop music has to offer.
23. “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson (2004)
This is a Kelly Clarkson classic from her iconic second album Breakaway. It’s a rock-pop song that showcases Clarkson’s vocal range which is A+, by the way. The song was first written for Pink, then given to Hilary Duff before settling with the American Idol. “Since U Been Gone” is the perfect breakup anthem. Too bad we can never hit those high notes like Kelly does (that’s why Hilary Duff rejected it, too!), but that didn’t stop us from trying.
22. “Like a Prayer” by Madonna (1989)
Madonna is arguably the OG pop princess who’s inspired generations of pop princesses after her. She used her empowering sexuality to sell singles and sung about everything from sex to relationships, shopping and rampant problems in the world. “Like a Prayer” definitely took Madonna into a more gospel/religiously inspired realm, but it was still just as classic as her others. Honestly, it’s a go-to karaoke song to this day.
The music video was pretty controversial at the time of its release because of — you know — the burning crosses, twists on religious imagery and Jesus’s portrayal as a black man. Nowadays it probably wouldn’t be as *shocking* but gotta love Madonna for breaking boundaries.
Watch the 80s vid here.
21. “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy & Monica (1998)
This duet was huge! Remember it now? Brandy and Monica both achieved number-one single status and won a Grammy for this R&B;/pop song about two women fighting over a man. Not something we usually condone (duh — feminism), but the lyrics are as just as sharp as their vocal performances.
Enjoy this ’90s hit here.
20. “Heartbreaker” by Mariah Carey ft. Jay-Z (1999)
Back when Mariah Carey was well… still a huge diva but in the late ’90s, she was the biggest pop star around with hit after hit. There’s no doubt that she has a phenomenal singing voice, vocal range and a signature style that can not be imitated (no matter how hard we try). “Heartbreaker” has a similar sound to other Carey classics like “Fantasy,” but IM(H)O “Heartbreaker” is just a better song overall.
Check out the movie-like music video here.
19. “He Loves U Not” by Dream (2000)
This song is so catchy! Girl group Dream recorded this hit song with P. Didddy‘s label Bad Boy Records and with his support it became a huge commercial success. We all rooted for this one to win number one on TRL, but it somehow never made it. Dream broke up a long time ago, tried to get back together, and broke up again. We’ll always have fond memories of “He Loves U Not.”
Remind yourself how great this song is by clicking to here.
18. “I Wanna Be Bad” by Willa Ford (2001)
Willa Ford did her best with the single, “I Wanna Be Bad,” hoping to emulate the same success as Britney and Christina, but she just couldn’t quite do it the way they did. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good pop song (trust, it is), there was just some stiff competition. “I Wanna Be Bad” was just about that… wanting to be bad. And who wants to be more bad than groups of preteen and teenage girls? Quite frankly, probably no one. There’s no way to not sing this whenever it comes on.
Watch the seductive video here.
17. “Stuck” by Stacie Orrico (2003)
Thanks to thousands upon thousands of video plays on the Disney Channel, “Stuck” will forever live on in the memories of millennial gals forever. It was a main song featured in Disney Channel Original Movie, Stuck in the Suburbs. This was Stacie Orrico‘s first (and biggest) hit and we were not just obsessed back then, but still are to this day.
Fun fact: Her BF in the video is played by her cousin. Watch the video here.
16. “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears (1998)
Of course, “Baby One More Time” had to make this list. This is the single that launched Britney Spears’s career and inspires yearly Halloween costumes for lazy girls everywhere. It was our intro to all things Britney and it took us by storm. The video, the lyrics, the music, the dancing, her outfits… we were blown away. This is the definition of a pop princess bop and we love it today just as much as we loved it then.
Watch the video in all of it’s glory here.
15. “Get the Party Started” by Pink (2001)
Yes, I am aware that Pink is more of an anti-pop princess, but when it comes down to it, her first few albums fit all the criteria of the pop genre. “Get the Party Started” is edgier than most pop princesses are willing to go, but that’s exactly what makes us love Pink so much. It’s also one of those songs you sang along to when you were too young to realize what was going down at this party we wanted to start.
Rock out to the MTV staple here. You’ll be amazed by how much Pink has evolved as a singer.
14. “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus (2009)
“Party in the USA” was Miley Cyrus‘s first “bad gal” single. Following in the path of Brit and Xtina, she was trying to separate herself from her good-girl Disney image and planned to do it with a pair of short-shorts and a tune that is a must-listen every fourth of July still.
Super catchy, undeniably fun, it’s an iconic pop princess song. Get your dance on here.
13. “What a Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera (1999)
We know you’ve been waiting for this girl to show up on our list. This song was classic Christina. She was always a bit showy with her vocals, but we would be too if we had a voice like that. “What a Girl Wants” was an early hit for the singer. The video showcases the choreographed dancing that was super popular at the time and established Christina Aguilera as more than just a teen pop star because her vocal range was second to none.
Watch the video here.
12. “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift (2009)
Right after she was full-on country, but before she became an iconic superstar, Taylor Swift tried out some bubblegum pop. And it tasted good. “You Belong With Me” is the familiar tale of liking a boy who’s with someone else even though she quite clearly sucks. The music vid had Taylor playing both the popular girlfriend and the relatable girl next door who was crushing hard. With this genius, we should have predicted her complete music takeover sooner.
Watch the video here.
11. “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande (2016)
Ariana Grande is our modern day pop princess currently at the top of her game. Her vocals are comparable to the greats like Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera but her songs are uniquely her own. “Dangerous Woman” is just one of many hit songs that Ariana belts out in her ~grand~ style. It’s sexy, smooth and we’ve got no choice but to belt it out right along with her. Sure, it’s one of the newer pop songs on this list, but we’re feeling pretty confident it’ll be a classic for years to come.
Listen to it here and feel dangerous youself.
10. “Everywhere” Michelle Branch (2001)
This melodic, guitar song is both pop and rock. Though not exactly a pop princess (she doesn’t dance and she plays an instrument), Michelle Branch fits some of the criteria. She’s also just so talented we’ll take any excuse to talk about her. She was a young girl singing about the unrequited love (SAME) and made us wish we had her guitar playing talents and songwriting abilities so we could therapeutically release some of our emotions (and get money for it, nonetheless).
9. “Stars Are Blind” Paris Hilton (2006)
Paris Hilton is definitely a princess. The reality star socialite was famous for being rich and existing before the Kardashians were even a thing. When she decided to give singing a try, people weren’t expecting much. To our surprise, “Stars Are Blind” is actually a good song! Sure, the vocals aren’t exactly impressive, but one’s got to admit that it’s a bop. 2006, what a time to be alive.
You can watch the totally 2006 (and very Paris) video here.
8. “Leave (Get Out)” JoJo (2004)
Dare I say — duhhhh! JoJo blessed us all with the ultimate break up song. Haven’t we all wanted to yell at someone to “Get out! Leave!”? When someone does you wrong, some of us can’t help but channel this pop princess — who was 13 years old at the time, mind you. No matter how old you are when listening to this one, it’s seriously relatable. Sure, most of us were single tweens in 2004, but something about this song screamed “ME” no matter your relationship status.
Get angry at that guy who dumped you years ago by listening here.
7. “Whenever, Wherever” Shakira (2001)
Shakira had already been a Latin American singing sensation when “Whenever, Wherever” was released in the U.S. Obviously it was a hit because we all still love it 16 years later. It’s fun, fast, catchy, and had us all (unsuccessfully) trying to belly dance. We may not be able to move like Shakira but we can still enjoy her music NMW.
Study the video now and start practicing.
6. “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani (2005)
After leaving No Doubt to go solo, Gwen Stefani had a lot to prove and she proved it with “Hollaback Girl.” Sure, it’s kind of odd to be a grown woman dancing around in a cheerleader outfit but who are we to judge? Little known fact, this song is a comeback to Courtney Love after she said being famous is like high school and Gwen was the cheerleader.
Well, Gwen heard that she’d “been talking sh*t and you didn’t think that I would hear it,” but, oh she heard alright.
I know you sing this song whenever you need to spell the word banana. Debate the true definition of a Hollaback girl with the video.
5. “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” by Kylie Minogue (2001)
Kylie Minogue was referred to as the princess of pop before Britney and Christina could even cross the street alone. She’s the highest selling Austrailian recording artist of all time and has done very well in the U.S. too. Surely, you remember a catchy little song called “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.” It was the dance-pop hit of the millennium and we can all relate to not being able to not get someone out of our head cuz you know… crushes.
Bask in the glory of Kylie and her OG pop princess style here.
4. “Candy” Mandy Moore (1999)
This was Mandy Moore‘s very first single and she was only 15 when it was released! Crazy. Anyway, “Candy” is the ultimate bubblegum pop song perfect for car rides to the mall and sleepover dance parties. It’s still fun to sing today, but admittedly a little shallow. On the bright side, now you can brag that you were a Mandy Moore fan before the This Is Us mania and always believed in her as an entertainer.
Be amazed by how dated the video is and wonder if Mandy looks back on it proudly or if she’s a bit embarrassed. She made bank, either way.
3. “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera (1999)
If “Genie in a Bottle” comes on the radio, to this day, we will turn this sh*t up and sing like no one can hear us — even if there are other people in the car. This was Christina Aguilera’s first single and the start of her pop princess phase that’s been dominating ever since. It’s a good song with a decent beat and completely inappropriate lyrics that the 10-year-olds singing didn’t understand at all.
So basically, the best kind of pop song there is plus her award-winning voice.
Reminisce with this iconic video.
2. “Oops I Did It Again” by Britney Spears (2000)
Do you remember this epic video? That tight red, leather jumpsuit, the weird space theme, and the completely doable dance? It was the best for tween girls of the era. We already loved Britney after “Baby One More Time” and her debut album, and she completed avoided the sophomore slump with this number one single.
Do the dance the best you can. Here’s the video.
1. “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls
What’s better than one pop princess? Five! Well, not really because they all argued and broke up too soon, but when they were together, they were magic! We all had our favorite spice girl and we all have fond memories of this song, their others, and the fantastically horrible Spice World movie. “Wannabe” is lyrically lacking, NGL, but the gals make up for it with attitude, a little rap, and lot of fun. It’s a great song and a guilty pleasure.
Watch the classic video here and try not to sing along. DARE YOU.