Classic Songs That Are Turning 20 in 2018
The year 1998 was one where people were still into boy bands and girl groups. Moviegoers were watching a family comedy where a father can talk to animals and a dramatic sci-fi movie where a father is separated from his daughter. It was also the year of the World Cup.
All of these things had an effect on music and what was making it to the top of the charts. In 2018, all of these hits will turn 20 years old, so we decided to look back on them. So what was everyone listening to — for better or for worse? Here are 25 classic songs that are turning 20 in 2018.
1. ‘The Boy Is Mine’ by Monica ft. Brandy
The collaboration had Monica Arnold and Brandy Norwood singing lyrics fighting over a boy. In the music video, their feud ends with them teaming up against the cheater. It’s actually inspired by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet “The Girl Is Mine.”
The song became a No. 1 pop hit and topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer. It has an interesting legacy, given the singers feuded at the time and are still feuding. Back in the day, they reportedly refused to be in the same room together and once they were at the MTV VMAs, they reportedly got into a physical altercation.
So this led to people wondering if there is more to the song that paired them up in the first place. “People are still asking, ‘Who got the boy?’ and there was no boy!” Norwood said on HuffPost Live. “We played up the dramatics of it all, but we were 16 and 17 — there was no boy, no beef.”
But even in 2017, the two did exchange heated words remembering Whitney Houston on her birthday. We may never know the truth.
Next: This father sang a sentimental song about his daughter for this movie.
2. ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ by Aerosmith
The power ballad is a father singing about his love for his child, which is fitting given the song was for Armageddon. The fact that it was also sung by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith as his daughter, Liv Tyler, played one of the lead characters in the movie made it even more sentimental than the lyrics already suggest.
Next: This song is still driving listeners to create dark theories.
3. ‘One Week’ by Barenaked Ladies
The hit has very fast rap lyrics that tell the story of a man getting into a fight with a woman. It’s also a bit of an earworm, so it popped up everywhere, including movies like American Pie and 10 Things I Hate About You.
Years later, listeners are still coming up with dark theories about the lyrics.
Next: This single went platinum and had numerous actors in the music video.
4. ‘Ghetto Supastar’ by Pras ft. Mya and Ol’ Dirty Bastard
The platinum single was a collaboration in almost every step of the process. It is performed by Pras, Mya, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. It also samples from “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
Halle Berry, Warren Beatty, Oliver Platt, and Joshua Malina star in the music video.
Next: This country singer had everyone singing along about kissing.
5. ‘This Kiss’ by Faith Hill
The hit peaked at 12 on the Billboard chart and lasted 28 weeks on it. The feel-good song got nominated for Grammys for Best Country Song and Best Female Vocal Performance.
Next: This female rapper made history with this song.
6. ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’ by Lauryn Hill
The rapper changed the game by debuting with this single. It eventually made it to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The single previously held the record and was the longest to hold that spot by an unaccompanied female rapper until Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.”
“Doo Wop (That Thing)” eventually won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the Grammys.
Next: This pop princess made it on the music scene with this debut single.
7. ‘…Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears
Britney Spears started taking her spot in pop music with this debut single. The music video shows the singer in a Catholic school girl outfit, daydreaming about dancing around a school. The lyrics are also fun, even if they aren’t exactly clear.
Songwriters Max Martin and Rami Yacoub explained “hit” actually means “call,” so it’s reportedly about a breakup and someone wanting their ex to call once again.
Next: This hit single famously had a baby laughing on the track.
8. ‘Are You That Somebody’ by Aaliyah
The single was recorded for the movie Dr. Dolittle, so the music video includes clips of the film. The song was reportedly written in just four hours.
There is a baby famously cooing in it and, years later, sound engineer Michael Scott Goldbaum said he was the one who captured a baby giggling with a microphone.
Next: This rapper was inspired by a famous musical with this song.
9. ‘Hard Knock Life’ by JAY-Z
The rap song samples from the same titled song in Annie. It made it to No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jay-Z talked about why he decided to tie himself to the fictional character.
“I wasn’t worried about the clash between the hard lyrics and the image of redheaded Annie,” he wrote in Decoded. “Instead, I found the mirror between the two stories – that Annie’s story was mine, and mine was hers, and the song was the place where our experiences weren’t contradictions, just different dimensions of the same reality.”
Next: This was the song of the FIFA World Cup.
10. ‘La Copa de la Vida’ by Ricky Martin
This was the official song of FIFA World Cup so it made the rounds internationally. he title translates to “The Cup of Life.” The music video was shot at Ricky Martin’s concert in Puerto Rico.
Next: This dance song is about a man getting … excited.
11. ‘Too Close’ by Next
This fun song was everywhere, despite it being about a man getting sexually aroused from dancing too close to someone. The group members liked the hidden meaning of the lyrics.
“I take a lot of pride in being able to cleverly say something that fooled the world,” said Robert ‘R.L.’ Huggar according to Uproxx. “And had every radio station playing it before they realized what it was about. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Next: This country star was close to the top spot on the chart for this song.
12. ‘You’re Still the One’ by Shania Twain
This single topped at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also won two Grammys for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Other country performers are still keeping the song alive by performing it, including groups like Lady Antebellum.
Next: This band made it big with their debut album, and this song was a hit at weddings.
13. ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ by Savage Garden
The Australian pop band had success with this single from their debut album in the United States this year. The romantic song has become popular for weddings.
The band has continued long after that and, to celebrate their 20th anniversary, they released Savage Garden: The Singles.
Next: This song made the rounds on the radio being sung by two different women.
14. ‘How Do I Live’ by LeAnn Rimes
This song made it to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and set a record for staying on the chart for 69 weeks. LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood were both up for the song, “How Do I Live,” in a single Grammy category — which was a first for the awards show — and Yearwood won.
Next: This dance hit made it big leading to a slowed-down remix.
15. ‘Together Again’ by Janet Jackson
This song from The Velvet Rope album is a fun dance hit that topped the charts for two weeks. It has two music videos, with one set in Africa and the other set in an apartment. The remix is a much slower tempo than the hit.
Next: This song was revised and released after Princess Diana’s death.
16. ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ by Elton John
This was originally recorded in 1973 by Elton John, but he revised the lyrics after Princess Diana died. They were close friends, so he wanted to do a tribute to her.
He performed it only once and probably won’t ever again, but it became the fastest-selling single in the U.K., according to The Sun.
Next: This action star was also known for rapping back in the day.
17. ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It’ by Will Smith
Remember when the action star was a clean rapper? Well, this was a good year for his music career, given this song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. It also won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Next: This boy band was back and wanted everyone to know it.
18. ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ by Backstreet Boys
We were still in the middle of the boy band craze in 1998. Backstreet Boys came back with their second album and made sure to announce their return with this single.
It’s definitely one of those songs that is more about nostalgia than quality.
Next: It’s probably no surprise this singer charted for a sad song in 1998.
19. ‘Adia’ by Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan is very much still around, mostly through those ASPCA commercials that use her song “Angel.” But in 1998, people were listening to “Adia.” It’s another sad song where McLachlan talks about letting Adia down.
This was McLachlan’s first top 5 song on Billboard Hot 100.
Next: This girl group made history with this spicey song.
20. ‘Spice Up Your Life’ by Spice Girls
The same young people who were singing about Backstreet Boys were also probably singing “Spice Up Your Life.” This single helped Spice Girls become the first act to have their first five singles top U.K. Singles Chart.
It’s still one of their signature songs.
Next: Even these band members can’t believe how their song made it so big.
21. ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ by Third Eye Blind
Given the song is about crystal meth and oral sex, the band was shocked it became such a hit. “I wrote a song about drugs and f*cking, and I’m pretty much about clean living on the road,” Stephan Jenkins told Rolling Stone.
He added, “We can’t even believe it got onto the radio. ‘Coming over you’ is just really what it reports to be: ‘She comes around, and she goes down on me.’ It’s not cryptic.”
Next: Before The Hunger Games, this is what this actor was up to.
22. ‘Fly Away’ by Lenny Kravitz
Back then, Lenny Kravitz was still more about rock-and-roll, and this song became his most popular one. Now, he’s more into acting in movies, like The Hunger Games and Precious.
Next: Madonna was at the top of her game this year.
23. ‘Ray of Light’ by Madonna
The pop icon was on the radio for this electronic dance song. It became Madonna’s highest charting track at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Although Madonna has a large catalog, this one has lasted over time and was once included in Glee.
Next: This wedding song also made it big this year.
24. ‘All My Life’ by K-Ci & JoJo
This R&B single topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for three weeks. It went platinum and is still their most successful song. This is another song that has benefitted greatly from weddings.
Next: This slow jam by Usher continued his streak.
25. ‘Nice & Slow’ by Usher
Usher was still early in his career at this point and this song came from his second album. It hit No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100.
Feeling nostalgic now? Check out all of these old-school hits below:
Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.
Read more: Movies That Are Turning 20 in 2018
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