The Biggest Songs Turning 20 in 2024

The Biggest Songs Turning 20 in 2024

With the imminent arrival of 2024, we find ourselves reflecting on the musical treasures that graced our ears two decades ago. The year 2004 was a transformative period in pop music, characterized by a dynamic fusion of genres. It witnessed the rise of pop-punk and emo, with bands like Green Day and My Chemical Romance shaping the sound of a generation; R&B and hip-hop continued to dominate the charts, propelled by the success of artists like Usher and OutKast; Female powerhouses such as Beyoncé and Britney Spears asserted their dominance with iconic hits; and the impact of reality television was palpable, with the show American Idol launching the career of Kelly Clarkson, among others.

We've put together a list of 10 of the biggest songs turning 20 next year which are still great to learn and play two decades on from their release.



Breakway, Kelly Clarkson

Co-written by Avril Lavigne, pop-rock hit "Breakaway" was originally intended for Lavigne's debut studio album, Let Go, but ended up being recorded by Kelly Clarkson for the soundtrack to The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement before featuring on her album of the same name. Its cross-generational appeal and use in graduations have made it an anthem for life changes.

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Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Green Day

Released as the second single from Green Day's seventh studio album, American Idiot, the melancholic ballad "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" expresses the isolating experience of fame. The song was a huge commercial success, winning Record of the Year at the 2005 Grammy Awards, and it remains one of the band's signature songs.

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Yeah!, Usher (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris)

Featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, Usher's infectious hit "Yeah!" is an electrifying blend of crunk and R&B which not only dominated charts worldwide, but earned Usher a Grammy Award to boot. The song's pulsating rhythm and memorable hook made it a staple in clubs and parties, and it remains a dancefloor-filler to this day.

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The Reason, Hoobastank

Hoobastank's 2004 anthem "The Reason" catapulted the Californian band from anonymity to mainstream success. With soaring vocals and heartstring-tugging lyrics that explore the complexities of love and redemption, it's the ultimate ballad for a relationship on the rocks.

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Somebody Told Me, The Killers

Las Vegas band The Killers burst onto the scene in 2004 with their hugely successful debut album Hot Fuss, from which "Somebody Told Me" was released as the second single. Blending new wave and post-punk influences, and featuring catchy guitar hooks coupled with Brandon Flowers' distinctive vocals, the song remains one of the band's signature songs and a staple of the mid-2000s indie rock scene.

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Take Your Mama, Scissor Sisters

Taken from their eponymous debut album, Scissor Sisters' "Take Your Mama" became a disco-infused sensation, shimmying into charts worldwide. The infectious track is a witty, celebratory anthem about taking one's conservative mother out to experience the wild, liberating nightlife, and it still sounds great today.

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Somewhere Only We Know, Keane

Released as the lead single from Keane's debut album, Hopes and Fears, "Somewhere Only We Know" is characterized by its distinctive piano-driven sound (a hallmark of the band's musical style) coupled with Tom Chaplin's emotive vocals. The song was a chart success in several countries, and its popularity was further boosted when it was covered by Lily Allen for the John Lewis Christmas advert in 2013.

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Drop It Like It's Hot, Snoop Dogg (feat. Pharrell)

Released as the the lead single from Snoop Dogg's seventh studio album, R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, "Drop It Like It's Hot" was a huge commercial success, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and several other charts worldwide. With Pharrell's slick beats, Snoop's laid-back flow, and its pure West Coast swagger, the song has established itself as a veritable hip-hop classic.

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Vertigo, U2

Bolstered by its usage in a TV ad for Apple's iPod (remember that?), U2's "Vertigo" — the lead single from their album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb — was a huge commerical success, and won three awards at the 2005 Grammys. The song marked a return to a more rock-oriented sound for the band, with The Edge's killer guitar riffs and Bono's iconic vocals in fine form.

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Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand

Alongside bands like Artic Monkeys and The Strokes, Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand played a key role in the mid-2000s indie rock revival. With its angular guitar riffs, danceable rhythm, and shoutable chorus, "Take Me Out" remains the band's most iconic track.

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