40 of the Most Popular Songs from the 90s


40 of the Most Popular Songs from the 90s


It's undeniable that a bunch of hit songs and bops came from the 1990s. These songs have stood the test of time, and continue to be enjoyed around the world. From Nirvana to Madonna to Aerosmith, these are 40 of the most popular songs from the 90s. Which are your favourites?


1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

Kicking off our nostalgic journey is Nirvana's grunge anthem, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". This song not only defined a genre but also became the voice of a generation, with its raw energy and unforgettable guitar riffs.

Nirvana-Smells-Like-Teen-SpiritDGC Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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2. "…Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears

Britney Spears burst onto the scene with this catchy pop hit.

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Its iconic music video and catchy chorus made it a staple of late '90s pop culture, showcasing Spears as a rising pop princess.

Britney Spears Performing, Las Vegas, January 29, 2014Rhys Adams on Wikimedia Commons

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3. "Vogue" by Madonna

Madonna's "Vogue" brought the underground ballroom scene to mainstream pop. With its stylish video and danceable beat, it's a timeless classic that had everyone striking a pose.

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Taipei Madonna Concert-172 (26251183970)jonlo168 on Wikimedia Commons

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4. "Wannabe" by Spice Girls

The debut single from the Spice Girls, "Wannabe," became an anthem for female friendship and empowerment. Its energetic vibe and catchy lyrics made it an instant hit worldwide.

1024Px-Spice Girls 2008 02Eric Mutrie from Canada on Wikimedia Commons

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5. "No Scrubs" by TLC

TLC's "No Scrubs" was a powerful anthem about self-respect and independence. Its smooth R&B sound and strong lyrics resonated with many, making it a '90s classic.

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Tlc 2016The Come Up Show from Canada on Wikimedia Commons

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6. "Wonderwall" by Oasis

"Wonderwall" by Oasis is a quintessential '90s Britpop track. Its melancholic lyrics and memorable melody made it a favorite at parties and karaoke bars alike.

Oasis Noel And Liam WfWill Fresch on Wikimedia Commons

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7. "California Love" by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre

This hip-hop masterpiece by 2Pac and Dr. Dre brought the West Coast sound to the forefront. "California Love" is known for its catchy beat and iconic music video.

Tupac Graffiti By Kexx, Fairmeadow Opeway, Redruth, Cornwall - Jul;Y 2022Mutney on Wikimedia Commons

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8. "Losing My Religion" by R.E.
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M'.s "Losing My Religion" is a hauntingly beautiful song with its mandolin riff and introspective lyrics. It's a standout track that showcased the band's unique sound.

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9. "Enter Sandman" by Metallica

Metallica's "Enter Sandman" is a heavy metal classic. Its hard-hitting riffs and intense vocals made it a hit among rock enthusiasts and introduced Metallica to a broader audience.

1024Px-Metallica At The O2 Arena London 2008Kreepin Deth on Wikimedia Commons

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10. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You" is a breathtaking showcase of her vocal talent. Originally by Dolly Parton, this version became one of the best-selling singles of all time.

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Whitney Houston Welcome Home Heroes 1 CroppedPH2 Mark Kettenhofen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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11. "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio

Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" offered a gritty, reflective look at life in the streets. Its haunting melody and thought-provoking lyrics made it a standout track of the '90s.

1024Px-Coolio 5U.S. Army soldier or employee., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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12. "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden

Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" stood out with its psychedelic music video and Chris Cornell's powerful vocals. It's a grunge masterpiece that captures the essence of the era.

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Soundgarden 2012baudman  on Wikimedia Commons

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13. "Creep" by Radiohead

Radiohead's "Creep" with its raw emotion and distinct sound, resonated deeply with listeners. It remains one of the band's most iconic tracks.

RadioheadSamuel Wiki on Wikimedia Commons

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14. "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer

MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" is known for its catchy hook and unforgettable dance moves. It's a fun, energetic song that defined early '90s pop culture.

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Techcrunch August Capital - Mc HammerBrian Solis on Wikimedia Commons

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15. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion

Celine Dion's powerful ballad for the "Titanic" soundtrack became a global phenomenon. "My Heart Will Go On" is a poignant love song that tugged at the heartstrings of millions.

1701801891116.pngYoyo76300 on Wikimedia Commons

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16. "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice

Taking us back to the early '90s, Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" is a hip-hop classic with its catchy beat and memorable lyrics. It's a song that, once heard, stays with you for a while, encapsulating the era's fun and energetic vibe.

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Vanilla Ice Concert (4743161178)wonker from London, United Kingdom on Wikimedia Commons

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17. "Tearin' Up My Heart" by NSYNC

*NSYNC captured hearts everywhere with "Tearin' Up My Heart". This catchy pop tune, combined with their smooth dance moves, made them a teen sensation and a staple in pop music history.

1024Px-Logo Of 'N Sync (1998)RCA Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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18. "Ray of Light" by Madonna

Madonna reinvented herself yet again with "Ray of Light," blending electronic music with her iconic pop style. This song stands out for its fast-paced rhythm and spiritually infused lyrics, showcasing Madonna's versatility as an artist.

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Madonna - Rebel Heart Tour 2015 - Paris 1 (24093169206)chrisweger on Wikimedia Commons

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19. "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers gave us "Under the Bridge" - a melodic, introspective track that contrasts with their usual funky style. It's a deeply personal song that resonated with many, showcasing the band's range.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Rock Am Ring 2016 -2016156230752 2016-06-04 Rock Am Ring - Sven - 5Ds R - 0068 - 5Dsr5953 ModSven Mandel on Wikimedia Commons

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20. "Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees

The Fugees' rendition of "Killing Me Softly" is a soulful and smooth track that brought a fresh perspective to a classic song. Lauryn Hill's stunning vocals are unforgettable, making this version a '90s highlight.

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FugeesmontageUnknown on Wikimedia Commons

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21. "Livin' la Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin's "Livin' la Vida Loca" brought Latin pop to the forefront of mainstream music. Its energetic beat and catchy lyrics made it impossible not to dance along.

Ricky Martin In Performance (2011)Usuario Gozamos on Wikimedia Commons

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22. "I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" is a pop anthem that needs no introduction. Its harmonious vocals and heartfelt lyrics made it a fan favorite and a defining song of their career.

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Backstreet Boys (48914290528)jenniferlinneaphotography from Denver, CO, USA on Wikimedia Commons

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23. "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base

Ace of Base's "All That She Wants" is a reggae-infused pop track that became an instant hit. Its catchy tune and unique sound made it a memorable track of the '90s.

Aob TourCrushNush at en.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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24. "Don't Speak" by No Doubt

No Doubt's "Don't Speak" is a heartfelt ballad that showcased Gwen Stefani's powerful vocals. This song, with its emotional depth, struck a chord with many, becoming one of the band's most iconic tracks.

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No Doubt 327B Brian MccauleyBrianTheMute on Wikimedia Commons

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25. "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day

Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" is a bittersweet acoustic track that became an anthem for farewells and graduations. Its poignant lyrics and simple melody make it timeless.

Green Day - Hella Mega Tour - August 10, 2021ECarterSterling on Wikimedia Commons

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26. "Return of the Mack" by Mark Morrison

Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack" brought a groovy, R&B flavor to the '90s. Its smooth beat and catchy chorus made it a dance floor favorite.

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Kevin-Laminto-Hseh-3Id830-UnsplashPhoto by kevin laminto on Unsplash

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27. "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve

The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is known for its orchestral sound and philosophical lyrics. This song's haunting melody captures the complexity of life, making it a standout track of the decade.

Verve MsgMaxcoles135, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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28. "MMMBop" by Hanson

Hanson's "MMMBop" is a pop-rock track that took the world by storm. Its upbeat tempo and catchy chorus made it a feel-good hit that defined the lighter side of '90s music.

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Jason-Leung-6Rgjqry0 Wi-UnsplashPhoto by Jason Leung on Unsplash

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29. "Believe" by Cher

Cher's "Believe" revolutionized pop music with its pioneering use of Auto-Tune. This dance anthem, with its empowering message and futuristic sound, became a massive hit.

Chero2201019-43 (48933231397)Raph_PH on Wikimedia Commons

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30. "Waterfalls" by TLC

TLC's "Waterfalls" is a powerful song with a message that's still relevant today. Its smooth R&B sound, combined with socially conscious lyrics, made it one of the most impactful songs of the '90s.

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93.5 Throwback Bash With Tlc @ Td Echo Beach (29632197270)The Come Up Show from Canada on Wikimedia Commons

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31. "Hero" by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey's "Hero" is a powerful ballad that showcases her incredible vocal range and emotive delivery. This inspirational song became an anthem for many, offering a message of inner strength and hope.

Mariah Carey Neighborhood Ball In Downtown Washington 2009 CroppedUnknown on Wikimedia Commons

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32. "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" by Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys brought us the ultimate party anthem with "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)". This song, complete with its catchy chorus and iconic dance routine, solidified their status as pop royalty.

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Bsb Old Navy PerformanceKrystaleen on Wikimedia Commons

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33. "Genie in a Bottle" by Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera's debut hit, "Genie in a Bottle," was a game-changer in pop music. With its sultry lyrics and Christina's powerful vocals, it became a defining song of her career and a '90s staple.

Liberation Tour (45997616942) (Cropped 2)jenniferlinneaphotography from Denver, CO, USA on Wikimedia Commons

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34. "Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart" is a soul-stirring ballad that tugs at the heartstrings. Her deep, emotive voice, combined with the song's poignant lyrics, made it a standout track of the decade.

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Toni Braxton Press Photo 2015Umusic on Wikimedia Commons

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35. "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" brought an upbeat, alternative rock sound to mainstream music. Its catchy melody and unique lyrics made it an irresistible hit that still gets people singing along.

Third Eye Blind At Suny GeneseoBenjamin D. Esham (bdesham) on Wikimedia Commons

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36. "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba

Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" is an anthem of resilience and determination. With its famous chorus "I get knocked down, but I get up again," this song became a symbol of enduring spirit in the '90s.

1701804629813.pngSchorle on Wikimedia Commons

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37. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" is a masterful blend of hip-hop and R&B. Its insightful lyrics and Hill's stunning vocal performance make it a timeless classic and a high point of '90s music.

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1024Px-Ms. Lauryn Hill @ The Mayan 10 18 2019 (49311869387)Justin Higuchi from Los Angeles, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

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38. "Scar Tissue" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

"Scar Tissue" by Red Hot Chili Peppers stands out with its melodic guitar riffs and reflective lyrics. This song showed a softer side of the band and became one of their most beloved tracks.

Rhcp Live In London 26 June 2022Kreepin Deth on Wikimedia Commons

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39. "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai

Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity" is known for its funky sound and thought-provoking lyrics about modern society. The song's innovative music video further cemented its place in '90s music history.

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Jamiroquai 2018 Coachella18W1-148 (40250209740) (Cropped)Raph_PH on Wikimedia Commons

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40. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith

Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," famously featured in the movie "Armageddon," is a sweeping power ballad that captured hearts worldwide. Steven Tyler's impassioned vocals give this song a deeply emotional resonance.

Aerosmith July 16 2014bobnjeff on Wikimedia Commons

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