17 Songs That Defined the 2020s


In the ever-evolving landscape of music, the 2020s have been a decade marked by innovation, diversity, and resilience. From the rise of streaming platforms to the global impact of social justice movements, music in the 2020s has transcended boundaries and captured the essence of a generation. Let’s delve into 17 songs that have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape of this decade.

1. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd (2020)

Kicking off our list is The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” a synth-pop anthem that dominated airwaves and charts alike. With its infectious beat and nostalgic vibe, “Blinding Lights” set the tone for the pop resurgence of the early 2020s.

2. “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo (2021)

Olivia Rodrigo’s breakout hit “Drivers License” took the world by storm, becoming an instant phenomenon among Gen Z listeners. Its raw emotion and relatable lyrics propelled Rodrigo to superstardom and solidified her status as a voice of her generation.

3. “WAP” by Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion (2020)

Bold, unapologetic, and empowering, “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion sparked controversy and conversation with its explicit lyrics and infectious beat. Love it or hate it, “WAP” undeniably made its mark on the cultural zeitgeist of the 2020s.

4. “Dynamite” by BTS (2020)

As K-pop continued its global ascent, BTS broke records with “Dynamite,” a feel-good disco-pop track that transcended language barriers and captivated audiences worldwide. With its catchy chorus and vibrant energy, “Dynamite” became an anthem of hope during uncertain times.

5. “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga ft. Ariana Grande (2020)

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande joined forces for “Rain on Me,” a dance-pop collaboration that celebrated resilience and redemption. With its infectious hook and empowering message, “Rain on Me” became a symbol of strength for listeners navigating through life’s storms.

6. “The Box” by Roddy Ricch (2019)

Released at the tail end of 2019 but dominating the charts well into the 2020s, “The Box” by Roddy Ricch showcased the artist’s unique blend of trap and melodic rap. Its addictive beat and catchy ad-libs made it a defining track of the decade.

7. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa ft. DaBaby (2020)

Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” transported listeners to a euphoric disco paradise, blending retro influences with modern production to create a dance-floor anthem for the ages. With its infectious groove and playful lyrics, “Levitating” became a staple of playlists worldwide.

8. “Savage Remix” by Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé (2020)

Megan Thee Stallion joined forces with the queen herself, Beyoncé, for the remix of “Savage,” catapulting the track to new heights of success. With its confident swagger and empowering lyrics, “Savage Remix” became an anthem for self-assurance and female empowerment.

9. “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa (2019)

Dua Lipa continued her reign with “Don’t Start Now,” a disco-infused pop gem that oozed confidence and resilience. Its catchy hooks and irresistible groove made it a staple of dance floors and playlists alike, solidifying Lipa’s status as a pop powerhouse.

10. “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus (2019)

A genre-bending crossover hit, “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X blurred the lines between country and hip-hop, defying conventions and capturing the imagination of listeners worldwide. Its infectious melody and playful lyrics made it a cultural phenomenon and a defining track of the decade.

11. “Rockstar” by DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch (2020)

DaBaby and Roddy Ricch joined forces for “Rockstar,” a gritty hip-hop anthem that dominated charts and airwaves with its raw energy and infectious rhythm. Its unapologetic lyrics and hard-hitting beat made it a standout track in the hip-hop landscape of the 2020s.

12. “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles (2019)

Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” served up a slice of summery bliss, with its breezy melodies and infectious hooks capturing the essence of carefree summer days. Its feel-good vibes and nostalgic undertones made it a standout track in Styles’ repertoire.

13. “Say So” by Doja Cat (2020)

Doja Cat’s “Say So” became a TikTok sensation, with its catchy chorus and funky groove inspiring viral dance challenges and catapulting the track to the top of the charts. Its infectious energy and playful vibe made it a standout hit of the 2020s.

14. “Yummy” by Justin Bieber (2020)

Justin Bieber returned to the spotlight with “Yummy,” a smooth R&B-infused track that showcased his evolution as an artist. Its sultry vibes and infectious melody made it a standout single in Bieber’s discography and a defining track of the 2020s.

15. “Good as Hell” by Lizzo (2016, re-released in 2019)

While technically released in 2016, Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” enjoyed a resurgence in the late 2010s and continued its reign well into the 2020s. Its empowering message and infectious energy made it an anthem of self-love and confidence for listeners worldwide.

16. “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves (2018)

Kacey Musgraves’ “Rainbow” served as a beacon of hope and resilience during turbulent times, with its poignant lyrics and heartfelt delivery resonating deeply with listeners. Its message of perseverance and optimism made it a standout track of the decade.

17. “Praying” by Kesha (2017)

Kesha’s “Praying” captivated listeners with its raw emotion and powerful vocals, serving as a testament to the artist’s strength and resilience in the face of adversity. Its anthemic chorus and heartfelt lyrics made it a defining track of the decade, inspiring countless listeners to find hope in the darkest of times.


The 2020s have been a decade of musical evolution and innovation, with artists pushing boundaries and defying conventions to create music that resonates deeply with audiences worldwide. From pop anthems to social justice ballads, the songs of the 2020s reflect the diversity and complexity of the human experience, serving as a soundtrack for the times we live in.


1. What criteria were used to select the songs on this list? The songs were chosen based on their cultural impact, chart performance, and significance within the musical landscape of the 2020s.

2. Are these songs ranked in any particular order? No, the songs are listed in chronological order of release.

3. Were there any notable trends or themes in the music of the 2020s? Yes, some notable trends include the rise of streaming platforms, the influence of social justice movements, and the continued dominance of pop music.

4. Were there any songs that narrowly missed making it onto this list? There were many deserving songs that could have been included, but we chose to highlight those that had a significant impact on the decade.

5. How do you think music will continue to evolve in the coming years? Music will likely continue to evolve and diversify, with artists pushing boundaries and exploring new genres and styles.