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Top 40 Essential Pop Songs

Songs That Define Pop Music Today

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These are the 40 current songs that the world is hearing. They are today's definition of pop music.

1. Nico & Vinz - "Am I Wrong"

Nico & Vinz - Am I Wrong
Courtesy Warner Bros.

Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz are of African descent and they incorporate hip hop influences into their brand of mainstream pop music.  The result has been an international sensation.  The pair rank as one of the top breakout pop acts of 2014 in the US.

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2. MAGIC! - "Rude"

MAGIC! - Rude
Courtesy SME

Canadian reggae pop band MAGIC! are led by successful songwriter and producer Nasri. "Rude" has already reached the pop top 10 at home in Canada as well as in Australia and New Zealand. It is an adult pop and mainstream pop radio hit.

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3. Sam Smith - "Stay With Me"

Sam Smith - Stay With Me
Courtesy Capitol

The BBC picked Sam Smith as the winner of their annual Sound Of 2014 poll at the beginning of the year. As it turns out he has become one of the top breakout artists of the year.  While featuring on the hits "La La La" and "Latch," his own solo song "Stay With Me" is quickly rising pop airplay and sales charts boosted by a triumphant Saturday Night Live performance.

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4. Ariana Grande - "Problem" featuring Iggy Azalea

Ariana Grande - Problem featuring Iggy Azalea
Courtesy Republic

Ariana Grande's pop music career has been on a dramatic upward trajectory since she hit the top 10 a year ago with her debut single "The Way" featuring Mac Miller.  "Problem" opened at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 just missing #1.  It includes a featured performance by red hot Australian rapper Iggy Azalea.

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5. Maroon 5 - "Maps"

Maroon 5 - Maps
Courtesy Interscope

Maroon 5's "Maps" is the band's sixth consecutive top 10 pop hit in the US and follows the band's previous style of pop-soul music. Both Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco co-wrote and co-produced the song.

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6. Disclosure - "Latch" featuring Sam Smith

Disclosure - Latch featuring Sam Smith
Courtesy PMR Records

The duo Disclosure are one of the most critically celebrated electronic dance music acts. At home in the UK they have released five top 40 pop hit singles. "Latch" was their first and it is the song that is breaking them into the pop mainstream in the US. It features the vocals of hot artist Sam Smith.

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7. Iggy Azalea - "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX

Iggy Azalea - Fancy featuring Charli XCX
Courtesy Island

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea is breaking into pop charts worldwide with this hit. The chorus sung by Charli XCX, who also featured on Icona Pop's "I Love It," has strong echoes of Gwen Stefani's solo work. Iggy Azalea is one of the biggest new pop starts of 2014.

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8. Sia - "Chandelier"

Sia - Chandelier
Courtesy Monkey Puzzle

Australian singer-songwriter Sia has had major success in the last few years writing and appearing on big hits by other artists. Now it is her turn to step into the pop spotlight with "Chandelier" from the album 1000 Forms Of Fear.

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9. OneRepublic - "Love Runs Out"

OneRepublic - Love Runs Out
Courtesy Interscope

"Love Runs Out" was left off the first release of OneRepublic's album Native because the group couldn't figure out a proper chorus according to band leader Ryan Tedder.  However, with the official re-release of the album it is turning into a major pop hit.  The distinctive percussion heavy mix is pure OneRepublic.

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10. Charli XCX - "Boom Clap"

Charli XCX - Boom Clap
Courtesy Atlantic

Charli XCX is no stranger to the US pop charts.  She is a featured performer on Icona Pop's top 10 breakthrough hit "I Love It" and sings the hook on Iggy Azalea's #1 smash "Fancy."  Now it is her turn and the loud, brassy "Boom Clap" has become the first big Charli XCX solo smash.

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