Back in the 90s, pop music was everything. People couldn't get away from it, whether they wanted to or not. Boy bands, solo artists, and plenty of other musicians dominated the airwaves, providing hit after hit. The songs of the 90s are still fondly remembered today, and many of them had an obvious influence on modern music. There are plenty of artists making music now who grew up in the 90s listening to artists like Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Boys II Men, Britney Spears, and Destiny's Child.
There was really something special about the pop music of the 90s. Not only was it really eclectic, encompassing a range of different styles, but it was also super catchy. Hardly a day would go by without people humming the latest tune they heard on the radio (this was back in the day before people could just stream whatever they wanted!). It was also the era of the music video, with MTV playing all of the hits and their vibrant, colorful videos around the clock. It was a great time to be a music fan since you could hear almost any song you wanted at any time of day.
There were also plenty of guys in the 1990s that drove women wild with their good looks and cool attitudes. Posters of them were sold at almost every store, and it was hard to get away from them! Go ahead and pick or pass on these pop songs from the 90s to get a 90s hubby!
Unbreak My Heart
Toni Braxton’s absolutely heart-wrenching song is one of those break-up anthems that everyone remembers. It’s hard to sing along to this song without tearing up at least a little bit. Hearing Toni really pour her heart and soul into the lyrics and sing about how she just wants all of the hurt to end could make anyone with a concrete resolve feel the sadness. It’s hard to deny that this is a classic 90s pop song. So does this one get picked or passed?
TLC reigned supreme in the 1990s as one of the best musical groups out there. They had several huge hits in their heyday, including the song Waterfalls, which carried a message that its better to try and stay on the right path, because people never know when something is going to happen that just can’t be changed or taken back. It was an indelible part of the 90s era, and continues to be a popular song choice. Does this massively famous pop hit by TLC get picked, or will it be passed?
Back in the 1990s, the Spice Girls were absolutely everywhere. It was hard to go through a single day without someone proclaiming “girl power!” This five-person group from England stormed the world and their music was absolutely inescapable. That was especially true of their breakout hit, Wannabe. Everyone knew this song and couldn’t help but sing along with it when it came on the radio. Is this incredibly popular hit song that was on everyone's mind in the 1990s going to get picked, or will it be passed?
Snow was a rapper from Canada who specialized in a certain style of music that combined hip hop with reggae. His hit song Informer was all over the airwaves and many people either loved it or were not fans of it at all. Either way, it remains a staple of the 1990s, and its relevance to the time period cannot be understated. Whether people liked the song or not, it's hard to deny that it was woven into the fabric of the 1990s. Will it be picked or is it going to get passed on?
All star might be more of a meme than a popular song at this point in history, but back when it first came out, it was totally inescapable. This catchy pop rock ditty was on all of the rock radio stations constantly, and it turned Smash Mouth into a major musical force. However, their star has fallen somewhat in recent years. Still, it’s hard to deny the cultural legacy that has been created by this one particular pop song. So is it going to get picked, or is this one a pass?
Truly Madly Deeply
This band had several big hits in the 90s, but Truly Madly Deeply was by far the one that seemed to connect the most with an audience. Its heartfelt lyrics and proclamation of love and devotion really touched people in a way that not many other pop songs could do at the time. It was definitely one of the big love songs of the 90s. So is this major pop hit going to get picked, or will it be passed over?
In the 1990s, Smooth was the absolute perfect radio hit. It featured Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20, which gave it some modern cred, but it also prominently featured guitar work from Carlos Santana, a master of the instrument who made a big splash with his own band back in the 60s and 70s. They even played at Woodstock! Smooth brought two generations of music together. Is it going to be picked as one of the favorite songs of the 90s, or will it be passed?
Was there a song that had more of an earworm chorus than MMMBop by Hanson? This song was either beloved or absolutely rejected by people. However, despite what a person’s taste might be, there’s no denying that the writing and musicianship in the song was actually quite underrated, particular the syncopated vocals in the now famous chorus. Hanson continued to make music together, but they never really topped this major hit. So is this one going to be picked, or is it going to be passed on?
Step By Step
New Kids on the Block were big in the 1980s, but they weren’t done conquering the world of pop in the 1990s. They released their hit song Step by Step during this formative decade, and with it they captured the attention of a whole new audience. While they would soon be replaced by other boy bands like Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, there was no question that New Kids on the Block paved the way for them. Does this song get picked or passed?
Angel of Mine
Monica was a huge act in the 1990s. Her soulful voice and meaningful lyrics connected with a wide audience. Her biggest hit by far was the song Angel of Mine, which included lyrics such as “Nothing means more to me than what we share, no one in this whole world can ever compare.” The lyrics were sweet, romantic, and just the thing that people looking for love needed to hear. Does this massively popular pop song from the 1990s get picked, or is it going to be a pass?
Livin' La Vida Loca
There were plenty of danceable songs from the 1990s that would get people up and moving on the dance floor, but none of them could hold a candle to Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca. This song, with its infectious horn line, its sing-along chorus, and its absolutely fun beat could make even the most sedentary person get up and start moving their body to the beat. So what is it going to be for this fun track: pick or pass?
Mariah Carey is one of the queens of pop music, and she made a name for herself by displaying her vocal prowess in her early songs. She was one of the only pop stars in the world who could hit several different octaves. Her vocal talent was something that no one could deny, and it was out in full force in her song Honey. This track was the kind of pop hit where even people who didn’t like it had to admit that Carey had real talent. Pick or Pass?
Justify My Love
Madonna was already a massive hitmaker in the 1980s, and she continued making a name for herself in the 1990s. However, her persona began to transform. She was no longer the young pop star who was just trying to make it. Now, she was certifiably famous, and she was branching out into more mature territory with her music. Justify My Love was the kind of song that really knocked people back a bit. So is this song going to get picked, or does it get passed on?
If You Had My Love
Jennifer Lopez made a name for herself in the 1990s by being both an actress and a singer. She continues this track today, regularly releasing new songs and still appearing in major motion pictures. Her song If You Had My Love was a major hit for her, and it really put her on the map as a singer that people should be taking seriously as a real performer. So does this song get picked, or does it get passed on?
Doo Wop (That Thing)
Lauryn Hill first made a name for herself in the musical world while she was a member of the Fugees, but when she went solo, she had plenty of really great hits, including Doo Wop (That Thing) which might just be her most popular and beloved hit from her time as a solo artist. This song had great lyrics, a catchy beat, and of course, Hill’s soulful vocal performance to bring it all together. So does this famous song get picked or will itbe passed?
You Oughta Know
Alanis Morrisette was, and still is, a super talented songwriter and singer. Her music straddled the line between alternative rock and straight up p-op. Her early hits were far more pop-influenced. However, with the release of her most famous album, Jagged Little Pill, she proved that she had grown up, and was willing to push the boundaries of what you could say or sing about in a pop song. You Oughta Know was the most famous example of this.
The Boy is Mine
This song by Brandy and Monica was major hit, and was part of the wave of 1990s songs where the singers were doing more than just performing. They were playing a role and telling a story. In this song, the singers were arguing with each other over who a particular boy belonged to. It was the kind of song that could have sparked a million internet debates about who he actually belongs to. So what is it going to be for this pop song: pick or pass?
All My Life
Kci and Jojo were the secret masters of the heartfelt pop song, and All My Life was one of their biggest hits. This song was so romantic and sweet that there was no way it didn’t end up being played at weddings all over the world. Its sincerity and earnestness in how it wore its heart on its sleeve made it an instant hit, and it still stands as one of the best pop songs of the 90s. So is it a pick or a pass?
I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
Armageddon was a huge film in 1998, and it put filmmaker Michael Bay on the map, for better and for worse. It was a giant spectacle of a film, and it called for a giant spectacle of a theme song, which came in the form of Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing. This song was a huge hit, and it helped Aerosmith continue their reign of fame well into the 2000s. So what is it going to be for this massive pop rock hit: does it get picked, or is it a pass?
My Heart Will Go On
Speaking of massive hit pop songs from movies, the other one that everyone remembers is Celine Dion’s Oscar winning tune, My Heart Will Go On from the motion picture titanic. This was one of those songs that was impossible to escape. It was on almost every radio station, and it was part of the worldwide conversation about the film from which it came. Whether people liked it or not, it was a massive hit of the decade. So is this one getting picked, or is it going to be passed on?
Speaking of songs that just so happened to be everywhere and were truly divisive, there’s One Week. This song, with its creative lyrics, catchy hook, and undeniably fun spirit really put some people off. The song was one of those hits that was constantly being played on the radio, and it became one of the biggest hits in the world for this band. It might get mocked a lot now, but back in the 90s, it was one of those songs that people could get into at least a little bit.
Aqua was a colorful, over-the-top pop band that had a major hit with their song Barbie Girl. This song really put the band on the map, and there was hardly a day that went by after its releaser that it wouldn’t be played on either the radio or television. The video was in heavy rotation, and its colorful and infectious vibe really got people’s attention. While plenty of people couldn’t stand the song, it remained a staple of the decade.
No Doubt was one of the only pop rock bands in the 90s that had their own signature sound. Gwen Stefani and the rest of the band members did a great job in capturing many different kinds of music in their sound, mainly the ska and pop punk sounds of the early 90s. However, they were also able to perform truly heartfelt tracks like Don’t Speak, an ode to a bad relationship that really carried a lot of weight in the vocal performance and lyrics.
All-4-One scored a massive hit with their truly romantic pop song I Swear. This song expressed so much love and romance in the lyrics, that it’s no surprise it became a huge hit. There were plenty of love songs in the 90s, but none of them quite lived up to I Swear in terms of being truly romantic, sweet, and well-performed. This song was everywhere, and it was beloved by many. So what is it going to be for I Swear: Pick or Pass?
S Club Party
“There ain’t no party like an S Club Party!” That was the bold proclamation made in this song by Aussie pop group S Club 7. Following in the traditions of the Monkees and the Partridge Family, this band was created solely for the purpose of making a TV show about them. While they had plenty of hits across the world, they never really had all that much staying power. Still, people remember them, and there’s no question that their music and TV show were a part of the decade.
Cher had already been a household name for decades before she released the song, Believe. This was yet another song that was really divisive. There were people who loved it, and people who found the use of autotune as well as the overproduced beat absolutely grating to their ears. Still, there’s no denying the fact that this song thrust Cher back into the conversation about pop music, and it made her relevant to an entirely new generation of music fans.
Say My Name
Before she achieved superstardom on her own, Beyonce was one third of Destiny’s Child, the girl group that released plenty of great hits throughout the 90s and early 200s. One of their earliest hits was Say My Name, a song that cemented the group as women who were willing to sing more empowering songs, a trend that continued into their later hits as well. Together, the singers could harmonize perfectly, and make songs that seemingly everyone loved. So does this hit get a pick or a pass?
TLC makes it into a second question with their massive, popular hit No Scrubs. This song was an anthem about wanting women to expect more from the men in their lives. It was a song that illustrated how women really felt about some of the more unsavoury behavior that some men exhibited. TLC didn’t want no Scrubs, and they wanted everyone else to adopt that position as well. No Scrubs was a huge hit, but is it going to be picked, or will it be passed on?
Gettin' Jiggy With It
Before will Smith was a certified A-List movie star, he was just an innocent rapper from Philly, who wrote songs about partying, growing up, and just generally having fun. His song Gettin’ Jiggy With It was a massive hit, and stuck to his formula of writing songs that were just fun to listen to and could get an entire crowd of people on the dance floor. What is it going to be for this purely fun song: is it going to be picked or passed?
Tearin' Up My Heart
N*Sync were just starting to become a huge group in the late 90s, and their song Tearin’ Up My Heart was just the beginning. This song was in direct contrast to many other pop songs, which focused on love and good relationships. This one, on the other hand, was about how hard it was to be around someone who wasn’t a good partner. The song was a massive hit and came just a few years ahead of the massive invasion of boy bands that would eventually spring forth.
Baby One More time
Britney Spears was just starting to take over the world of pop music in the 90s. She burst forth in to the world with her hit song Baby One More Time. The song instantly became a huge hit and marked Britney Spears as a pop star who was going to rise quickly. Although she faced many challenges in her private life that the public never knew about, she always maintained a happy face and put on great live shows, some of them with snakes!
I Want It That Way
The Backstreet Boys still remain one of the most popular boy bands in the world, regularly touring and putting on live shows. They got their start, just like N*Sync, in the 90s. Their hit song I Want it That Way remains almost as popular as ever (and was even featured in a hilarious Brooklyn Nine-Nine cold open). The song was one of those pop songs that everyone could sing along to. So is it going to be picked or passed on?
Genie in a Bottle
Christina Aguilera came bursting onto the 90s pop music scene with her massive hit Genie in a Bottle. This song set Christina apart from other pop stars because it had a much more mature sound and theme to it. People liked to pit her against Britney Spears, but the two surprised everyone by performing live together. Christina Aguilera continued to make great pop songs throughout her career, and she is still going strong today. So does her big hit get a pick or a pass?
Everybody remembers this massive pop song by Los Del Rio. If people say they never danced to the Macarena, whether it was at a wedding or a middle school dance, then they are not telling the truth. This song was a massive hit and was played everywhere. When it came on, people knew it was time to do the famous dance. Everyone knew all of the steps, and even if they didn’t, it was an easy dance to learn. Does the Macarena get picked or passed?
Blackstreet teamed up with Dr. Dre to release the song No Diggity, and the team up was a massive success. The song became an instant hit, and is still popular today. It is defined by its sing. Along chorus, great verses, and catchy piano hook. This is the kind of song that everyone could get behind and relate to, and that is why it seemed to reach such a wide audience and becomes o popular. So does No Diggity get picked, or is it getting passed on?