The Top 30 Modern Pop Songs

The essential classics below, from OMI's "Cheerleader" to Selena Gomez's "Good for You," reflect the scope and inventiveness of modern pop music.

01
of 30

OMI - "Cheerleader"

OMI Cheerleader
OMI - "Cheerleader". Courtesy Ultra Music

This breakthrough hit single from Jamaican artist OMI was one of the biggest pop hits of 2015. The song reached #1 in the U.K. and many other countries. It was remixed by German electronic dance music producer Felix Jaehn.

02
of 30

Taylor Swift - "Bad Blood"

Taylor Swift Bad Blood
Taylor Swift - "Bad Blood" featuring Kendrick Lamar. Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift has ruled the pop music world for several years. The fourth single from her #1 smash album "1989" was "Bad Blood." The song, featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar, was turned into a stunning action-packed music video.

03
of 30

The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face"

The Weeknd Can't Feel My Face
The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face". Courtesy Republic

With this hit, Canadian artist The Weeknd proved that his pop chart breakthrough with "Earned It" was no fluke. The song digs into an irresistibly catchy bass groove with influence from the late 1970s work of Michael Jackson. It was one of the breeziest dance-pop hits of 2015.

04
of 30

Walk the Moon - "Shut Up and Dance"

Walk the Moon - Shut Up and Dance
Walk the Moon - "Shut Up and Dance". Courtesy RCA

Cincinnati alternative pop band Walk the Moon broke into the pop mainstream with their catchy hit single "Shut Up and Dance." The song is perfect for a prom playlist and for playing all summer long in the car.

05
of 30

Fetty Wap - "Trap Queen"

Fetty Wap - Trap Queen
Fetty Wap - "Trap Queen". Courtesy RGF

24-year-old Willie Maxwell, a.k.a. Fetty Wap, was one of the major new talents to emerge in 2015. He has received words of support from artists including Kanye West. His song "Trap Queen" topped the rap chart on its way to the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

06
of 30

Tove Lo - "Talking Body"

Tove Lo - Talking Body
Tove Lo - "Talking Body". Courtesy Republic

With songwriting credits on Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do," Sweden's Tove Lo has proved she is equally formidable as an artist and a songwriter. The mid-tempo sway of her hit "Talking Body" has equal appeal on the dance floor and mainstream pop radio.

07
of 30

Wiz Khalifa - "See You Again"

Wiz Khalifa - See You Again featuring Charlie Puth
Wiz Khalifa - "See You Again" featuring Charlie Puth. Courtesy Atlantic

Rapper Wiz Khalifa roared to the top of the charts with this heartfelt hip hop ballad from the soundtrack to the hit film "Furious 7." The song is a tribute to the late actor Paul Walker, star of the "Fast and Furious" series. The hit is Wiz Khalifa's second pop #1.

08
of 30

Fifth Harmony - "Worth It"

Fifth Harmony - Reflection
Fifth Harmony - Reflection. Courtesy Epic

Girl group Fifth Harmony had successively greater chart success with each of their four singles. Their first three have all been certified gold for sales, but "Worth It" was the first to break into the top 35 on the Billboard Hot 100.

09
of 30

DJ Snake and AlunaGeorge - "You Know You Like It"

DJ Snake and AlunaGeorge - You Know You Like It
DJ Snake and AlunaGeorge - "You Know You Like It". Courtesy Island

"You Know You Like It" was first released as a single by AlunaGeorge in the U.K. in 2013. It found minor success there, peaking at #55 after being used in a commercial by the supermarket chain Tesco. A remix by DJ Snake gave the song even greater life on the pop charts.

10
of 30

Rachel Platten - "Fight Song"

Rachel Platten - Fight Song
Rachel Platten - "Fight Song". Courtesy Columbia

Singer-songwriter Rachel Platten had her chart breakthrough back in 2011 when her single "1,000 Ships" reached the top 25 on adult pop radio. After signing with major label Columbia Records, she released her anthemic hit "Fight Song."

11
of 30

Major Lazer and DJ Snake - "Lean On"

Major Lazer DJ Snake Leaon On
Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MO - "Lean On". Courtesy Mad Decent

Major Lazer is a dance music project put together by DJ and producer Diplo. For "Lean On," he collaborated with French DJ and producer Snake. The song reached #1 on the Australian pop singles chart.

12
of 30

David Guetta - "Hey Mama"

David Guetta - Hey Mama featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack
David Guetta - "Hey Mama" featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack. Courtesy Atlantic

French dance music master David Guetta works well with rapper Nicki Minaj on "Hey Mama." This was their third collaboration, and both of their previous collaborations reached the top 15 on the pop charts in the U.S. This time Minaj helped bring David Guetta his first top 40 pop hit in the U.S. since 2011. Minaj's singing is a focal point here instead of just her rap style.

13
of 30

Skrillex and Diplo - "Where Are U Now"

Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber - Where Are U Now
Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber - "Where Are U Now". Courtesy Mad Decent

Skrillex and Diplo are two of the top heroes among electronic dance music fans. However, neither reached the pop top 40 as lead artists until the release of "Where Are U Now." The song features vocals from Justin Bieber.

14
of 30

Jason Derulo - "Want to Want Me"

Jason Derulo - Want To Want Me
Jason Derulo - "Want To Want Me". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Jason Derulo was inspired by classic '80s R&B on his hit single "Want to Want Me." With the song, Derulo firmly established himself as one of the most dependable hitmakers among modern solo artists.

15
of 30

Silento - "Watch Me"

Silento Watch Me
Silento - "Watch Me". Courtesy Capitol

Teenage hip hop artist Silento had a smash hit on his hands with "Watch Me." There is not a lot here beyond a solid beat and dance instructions, but the song is infectious. "Watch Me" is the latest descendant of a pop legacy that includes the mega smash hits "The Twist" and "The Macarena," among others.

16
of 30

Andy Grammer - "Honey, I'm Good"

Andy Grammer - Magazines Or Novels
Andy Grammer - Magazines Or Novels. Courtesy S-Curve

Singer-songwriter Andy Grammer broke into the top 10 on adult pop radio chart with his debut "Keep Your Head Up" back in 2011. With "Honey, I'm Good," he took his upbeat, sunny style into the mainstream top 40 for the first time.

17
of 30

Natalie La Rose - "Somebody"

Natalie La Rose - Somebody featuring Jeremih
Natalie La Rose - "Somebody" featuring Jeremih. Courtesy Republic

Dutch artist Natalie La Rose emerged as one of the top breakout pop artists of 2015. Her single "Somebody" was a perfect summation of the trends in R&B and hip hop music.

18
of 30

Demi Lovato - "Cool for the Summer"

Demi Lovato Cool for the Summer
Demi Lovato - "Cool for the Summer". Courtesy Hollywood

Demi Lovato moved further beyond her Disney pop roots here, establishing herself as one of the top mainstream female pop vocalists. The song toys with same-gender sexual attraction and features a powerfully catchy pop melody. It is an outstanding slice of summer pop.

19
of 30

Omarion - "Post to Be"

Omarion Post To Be
Omarion - "Post To Be" featuring Chris Brown and Jhene Aiko.

Omarion reunited with Jhene Aiko for "Post to Be," a sunny, breezy example of mid-tempo R&B.

20
of 30

Selena Gomez - "Good for You"

Selena Gomez Good for You featuring A$AP Rocky
Selena Gomez - "Good For You" featuring A$AP Rocky. Courtesy Interscope

Former Disney pop princess Selena Gomez continued to dig into more adult themes with her single "Good for You." She seems to be channeling Lana Del Rey as she sings about looking good for her lover. The concentration on that one element is repeated to the point of claustrophobic obsession in this challenging pop hit.

21
of 30

Fall Out Boy - "Uma Thurman"

Fall Out Boy American Beauty American Psycho
Fall Out Boy - American Beauty / American Psycho. Courtesy Island

Fall Out Boy's "Uma Thurman" samples the theme song to the 1960s TV series "The Munsters." The song was inspired by a fascination with actress Uma Thurman and the Quentin Tarantino film "Kill Bill." The song reached the top 40 on the adult pop radio chart.

22
of 30

Tori Kelly - "Should've Been Us"

Tori Kelly Should've Been Us
Tori Kelly - "Should've Been Us". Courtesy Capitol

Tori Kelly's single "Nobody Love" was her mainstream pop breakthrough. Don't expect any emotional histrionics, just a pleasing pop singalong.

23
of 30

Nick Jonas - "Chains"

Nick Jonas - Chains
Nick Jonas - "Chains". Courtesy Island

After his single "Jealous" hit the top 10, Nick Jonas looked back to the previously released "Chains" to be rejuvenated as his next single. This turned out to be a sound strategy, and the vocal performance here is particularly strong. With the release, Jonas joined the ranks of the most promising modern solo artists.

24
of 30

Ed Sheeran - "Photograph"

Ed Sheeran Photograph
Ed Sheeran - "Photograph". Courtesy Atlantic

Ed Sheeran's second studio album "x" remained a top 10 hit on the album chart for over a year. His song "Photograph" is an example of the singer-songwriter's wistful balladry.

25
of 30

Adam Lambert - "Ghost Town"

Adam Lambert Ghost Town
Adam Lambert - "Ghost Town". Courtesy Warner Bros.

To kick off promotion of his third studio album "The Original High," Adam Lambert released this single. He works here with Max Martin to create a dark but danceable sound. Lambert's stellar vocals are the focus, and his disco heart is fully present.

26
of 30

Little Big Town - "Girl Crush"

Little Big Town Girl Crush
Little Big Town - "Girl Crush". Courtesy Capitol Nashville

Country group Little Big Town achieved a rare country crossover into pop radio hit with their single "Girl Crush." The song has been certified gold and reached the top 40 on adult pop radio chart.

27
of 30

Flo Rida - "I Don't Like It, I Love It"

Flo Rida I Don't Like It I Love It
Flo Rida - "I Don't Like It, I Love It". Courtesy Atlantic

Flo Rida, the undisputed king of pop rap, joins forces here with Robin Thicke and bass player Verdine White of legendary soul group Earth, Wind & Fire. The song is an effervescent piece of summer fluff.

28
of 30

Sam Hunt - "Take Your Time"

Sam Hunt Take Your Time
Sam Hunt - "Take Your Time". Courtesy Capitol

Singer-songwriter Sam Hunt uses an attention-getting half-spoken singing style on his hit "Take Your Time." The song has been certified platinum and became a top 30 hit on the adult pop radio chart.

29
of 30

Kaya Stewart - "In Love with a Boy"

Kaya Stewart In Love With a Boy
Kaya Stewart - "In Love With a Boy". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Kaya Stewart is the daughter of Eurythmics member and distinguished pop producer David A. Stewart. Her voice possesses a deep, resonant sound that is highly impressive, especially on her debut "In Love with a Boy."

30
of 30

Nicki Minaj - "The Night Is Still Young"

Nicki Minaj The Night Is Still Young
Nicki Minaj - "The Night Is Still Young". Courtesy Cash Money

Nicki Minaj's "The Night Is Still Young" is an upbeat dance track that features both her singing and rapping. It is another single from her hit album "The Pinkprint."

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