The Top 21 Girl Anthems of the 21st Century

Admit it.  There was at least a little tiny part of you that thought the world might end on Dec. 21.  You watched the clock and celebrated when you knew we would make it to 2013.  What better way to celebrate than a countdown of the songs that made these past 13 years unforgettable?  In the eyes of our generation’s females, these 21st Century jams will forever be the anthems of our “child-turned-almost-adult” lives.

21. Party in the USA- Miley Cyrus (2009): Goodbye Hannah, hello Miley.  This pop favorite was originally intended for up and coming British artist Jessie J.  Jessie passed it on to Miley, who led the single to be a huge success.  Miley had several singles prior to “Party in the USA,” but the pop song continues to be her best-charting single.   

20. We Found Love- Rihanna (2011): You can’t make a list of anthems without including the beautiful, sensational Rihanna.  This classic was written as an Electric Dance record by Calvin Harris but was made famous by Rihanna’s impeccable vocals and catchy melody.

19. Born This Way- Lady Gaga (2011):  When it comes to “Born This Way,” everyone is a Little Monster.  Lady Gaga has the music that makes you want to move and you can’t help but sing along.  As Gaga puts it, this award-winning single is her “this-is-who-the-f***-I-am anthem” and we have to love her for it.

18. Fergalicious- Fergie (2006):  This Black Eyed Peas beauty really set her name apart from the group with her 2006 album The Dutchess.  Everywhere you went Fergalicious was the most memorized definition.  After the success of “My Humps” only one year prior, “Fergalicious” was and is an equal success in the pop world.

17. Super Bass- Nicki Minaj (2011): Even though it was the fifth single on her debut album, Nicki kills it in this pop-hip-hop classic.  Its intriguing rap lyrics and catchy chorus puts the song at the top of our timeless female anthems list, where it’s likely to stay for years to come.

16. Tik Tok- Kesha (2009):  There’s no question that America’s most controversial party girl deserves a spot in the Top 21.  Her carefree debut song “Tik Tok” took America by surprise in 2009 but quickly rose to the top of the charts in 11 countries.  Her rap-singing style and “hot mess” demeanor was certainly unique but we wouldn’t have loved her any other way. 

15. Call Me Maybe- Carly Rae Jepsen (2012): Newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen came onto the music scene in 2012 with her teen pop song about love at first sight.  “Call Me Maybe” is the most covered video by YouTube users.  At times it is the song that you hate to love, but once the song is in your head it is there for good. 

14. Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)- Christina Aguilera (2000):  Who can forget the 16 year old that stole our childhood hearts.  The superstar’s debut album had several hits, but this one inevitably stuck like glue.  It was the third number-one single on the self-titled album and was the first with which she was allowed a large amount of creative control.   

13. Sk8er Boi- Avril Lavigne (2002):  Avril’s simple but catchy girl jam is unforgettable for both its lyrics and its music video.  Her punk rock look caught on quickly and girls were idolizing her within months of the album’s release.  At only 17, Avril stepped out of Canada and onto the music scene and hasn’t let us down since.

12. Teenage Dream- Katy Perry (2010):  When Katy surprised us with her debut single “I Kissed a Girl,” she had “one hit wonder” written all over her.  But boy were we wrong!  Since then Katy has been co-writing single after single including the super-relatable smash single “Teenage Dream.”  The single has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive years and rightfully so.

11. Milkshake- Kelis (2003):  How many people thought that ten years later we would still be singing about our milkshakes and the yard all the boys come to because of it?  It was nominated for a Grammy in 2004 and in 2013 we still know all the words.

10. Leave (Get Out)- JoJo (2004):  This smash hit named 13-year-old JoJo as the youngest solo artist to ever have a number-one single in the United States.  Needless to say, her song landed her right at the top with other forever favorites like Britney and Christina.

9. Oops!... I Did it Again- Britney Spears (2000): Before Britney was the beautiful comeback artist we know her as now, she was a 16 year old teen pop sensation.  Together with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake, Britney was found at a young age on Mickey Mouse’s Club House.  “Oops!... I Did it Again” is an all-time favorite about the crazy emotions that come from the game of love.  The song even makes references to Titanic, making it even more beloved than any other Britney song.

8.  Just Like a Pill- P!nk (2002):  Pink is the ultimate face of female pop-rock.  This single is off of her second studio album Missundaztood and hits close to the heart in dealing with any break up.  It hit top 10 in several countries, including number 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K.  “Get the Party Started” gave Pink a name in the party world, but this single set her apart and added her to every girl’s ultimate break-up playlist. 

7.  Love Don’t Cost A Thing- J.Lo (2001):  Jennifer Lopez’s all-time fan favorite is the first single off of her self-titled album.  Her inspiration for the song came from a relationship with male rapper Diddy in 2000.  The meaning is in the title, that love doesn’t come in diamonds or money.  “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” is still one of JLo’s most successful songs to date, but she undoubtedly has more to come.

6.   Everywhere- Michelle Branch (2001):  Every girl has had that guy.  That guy we see everywhere we turn or every time we close our eyes, but isn’t actually there.  Michelle really hit home with her 2001 pop-rock single about seeing the boy she wants and wondering if he sees her too.  This is easily the most relatable song on our list because whether you’re with the one you want to be with or not, he’s everywhere and in everything.

5. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)- Beyoncé  (2008):  How do you pick just one Beyoncé song and call it your favorite?  Year after year, album after album, she wows us with her girl jams.  But this was the one most talked about and the most danced to across the world.  After peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, “Single Ladies” won three Grammy Awards that year along several other awards and nominations. 

4.  Say My Name- Destiny’s Child (2000):  Before Beyoncé became a solo artist she was a part of this successful girl-power group.  The song was featured on the group’s second album along with other favorites like “Jumpin, Jumpin.”  Thirteen years later, members Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams are joining together to write and produce another album.  The music world anticipates the upcoming album with hopes that it will be even better than the past’s.

3.  A Thousand Miles- Venessa Carlton (2002):  With the telltale piano intro, this song was an immediate success off of Venessa’s debut album.  Although not considered a “one hit wonder,” this remains to be Venessa’s signature song and is one of the most covered songs in the world.  Nominated for three Grammy Awards, “A Thousand Miles” has been one of the most popular female songs worldwide for over 10 years

2. Lady Marmalade- Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil’ Kym, and Pink (2001):  Made famous in 1974 by Labelle, “Lady Marmalade” is one of the most popular and well-know songs ever to hit number one.  In 2001, these familiar ladies brought the song back to number one with their collaborated cover.  They originally made the version for the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge!   The song skyrocketed from there, holding the number-one spot for five weeks.  The original is now listed on the Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” 

1. Since You Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson (2004):  And the number one spot goes to none other than the great Kelly Clarkson.  This is that “I don’t care if I lose my voice, I’m just gonna scream it cuz I have to” kind of song.  The song was written with Pink in mind, but Kelly’s voice is unmatched by anyone in the business.  She rocks this break up anthem and makes any girl believe that they can be just as strong.  Male of female, this song is still considered to be one of the best pop songs in the last decade.

When it comes down to pregame dance parties and road trips with the girls, it’s impossible to find the absolute ideal playlist.  Take a look at some other female favorites that came close but didn’t quite make the cut:

22. Toxic- Britney Spears (2004)

23. Crazy in Love- Beyoncé (2003)

24. With You- Jessica Simpson (2003)

25. Survivor- Destiny’s Child (2001)

26. Pieces of Me- Ashlee Simpson (2004)

27. Lose Control- Missy Elliot ft. Ciara (2005)