When 18 year old Christina Aguilera topped the pop singles chart with "Genie in a Bottle" in 1999, many wondered if it was just a one-time dance-pop hit for her. However, she came storming back with this hit showing more vocal versatility and proved she was planning to stay for awhile. "What a Girl Wants" was nominated for a Grammy and five MTV Video Music Awards.
The Neptunes were the hottest production unit around when one of the pair, Pharrell Williams, decided to strike out on his own with a solo recording. An assist from rapper Jay-Z helped the song become a major hit. Pharrell insisted it was a one-time thing, but a solo album In My Mind hit stores in the summer of 2006.
Moby's moody ambient pop album Play seemed to be everywhere in 2000 as the soundtrack to commercials, TV shows, shopping malls and more. Late in the year his recording of the song "South Side" featuring Gwen Stefani of No Doubt was released as an official single and quickly became a deserved pop radio hit. It celebrates going out for the night with friends and was inspired by the south side of Chicago. However, it still does not escape Moby's brand of melancholia. The version of "South Side" on Play does not include Stefani's vocals.
From the first synthesizer blips that kick off "Fireflies," you feel yourself being taken off to a playful and fanciful musical world. It's no surprise then that the song's lyrics unveil thoughts about such unlikely top 40 songs topics as lightning bugs, dancing, and insomnia. Adam Young, who records as Owl City, turned his homemade sound into one of the biggest left-field hits of the decade.
It wasn't the biggest hit from the Killers' debut album, but this is quite possibly the most enduring. With the stunning, "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier," chorus, the song has been used multiple times in movie soundtracks. Most recently 2009 American Idol champion Kris Allen performed the song regularly on the show's group concert tour.