Top artists and songs of the 2000s (By sales and awards)

If you've been slacking on your music knowledge during trivia, this article is for you. While it's hard to know which artists were most popular in the 2000s, we have pooled the data to determine who was at the top of the music industry throughout the decade.
Conde Nast Media Group Presents Fashion Rocks 2004 - Red Carpet
Conde Nast Media Group Presents Fashion Rocks 2004 - Red Carpet / Jim Spellman/GettyImages
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Radio Plays

LA Reid, Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey's Sweet 16th #1 with We Belong Together Shares Pantheon with The Beatles and Elvis / Johnny Nunez/GettyImages

Billboard releases information on what songs have been played most on the radio each week. In the 2000s, this was shared through the "Hot 100 Airplay" list. The following shows which songs topped the charts in the 2000s.



How long was it on top?


"Try Again" by Aaliyah

9 weeks


"Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mýa, Lil' Kim; "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys; "I'm Real" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule

6 weeks


"Dilema" by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland

12 weeks


"In Da Club" by 50 Cent; "Baby Boy" by Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul

9 weeks


"Yeah" by Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris

12 weeks


"We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey

16 weeks


"Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige

9 weeks


"No One" by Alicia Keys

9 weeks


"Lollipop" by Lil' Wayne featuring Static Major

10 weeks


"Dead and Gone" by T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake

7 weeks

Note: Some of these songs might have had longer runs that extended past their peak year.

Other interesting facts about 2000s radio airplay:

  • Usher had both the most number one singles (6) and the most cumulative weeks at the top (43)
  • If you add Destiny's Child's numbers to Beyoncé's, she had the most number one singles (9) and cumulative weeks at number one (58).

Digital Sales

Gwen Stefani
2005 Teen Choice Awards - Show / John Shearer/GettyImages

As the Internet became more accessible, music lovers began to ditch physical media, instead collecting their music online. iTunes debuted on January 9, 2001, though it would take a few years to become the music purchasing, sharing, and sorting tool so many users loved. This ultimately led Billboard to publish the Hot Digital Songs list in 2005. However, these stats may be skewed by how many people either used YouTube (which debuted in 2005) or pirating websites to find their music.

The following details the top song for each year, according to the Billboard Hot Digital Songs List:

  • 2005: "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani
  • 2006: "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
  • 2007: "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie*
  • 2008: "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain
  • 2009: "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas

*This song never had the top sales weekly, but did have the highest number of sales for the year.

The next slide discusses how different award shows recognized music in the 2000s.