In 2002, music was dominated by pop and rap stars. Some of the biggest names in music that year were Eminem, Nelly, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears. But there were also some great songs from lesser-known artists. Here are 20 of the greatest songs from 2002.
- 1. “Dilemma” by Nelly (feat. Kelly Rowland)
- 2. “The Scientist” by Coldplay
- 3. “Without Me” by Eminem
- 4. “Foolish” by Ashanti
- 5. “Freak Like Me” by Sugababes
- 6. “Work It” by Missy Elliott
- 7. “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
- 8. “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age
- 9. “Hot in Herre” by Nelly
- 10. “Made You Look” by Nas
- 11. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
- 12. “Gangsta Lovin'” by Eve ft. Alicia Keys
- 13. “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton
- 14. “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake
- 15. “I Need a Girl, Pt. 1” by P. Diddy featuring Usher & Loon
- 16. “Clocks” by Coldplay
- 17. “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen
- 18. “U Don’t Have to Call” by Usher
- 19. “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips
- 20. “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson
- Final Thoughts
1. “Dilemma” by Nelly (feat. Kelly Rowland)
Starting off the list is one of the most popular songs of 2002. Nelly’s “Dilemma” was a huge hit, spending weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song features Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child and is about a man who is torn between his current girlfriend and his ex.
2. “The Scientist” by Coldplay
A total change of pace from “Dilemma,” Coldplay’s “The Scientist” is a beautiful ballad. The song is about lead singer Chris Martin trying to get back together with his ex-girlfriend. It’s one of their most popular songs that still holds up today as one of the best from 2002.
3. “Without Me” by Eminem
This next song is from one of the most controversial and successful rappers of all time, Eminem. “Without Me” was the lead single off of his fourth studio album The Eminem Show and became one of his biggest hits. The song is a comical take on his rise to fame and critics who didn’t believe he would amount to anything.
4. “Foolish” by Ashanti
Ashanti is a singer, songwriter, and actress. In 2002, she released her self-titled debut album which featured the hit single “Foolish.”
Reaching more than 180 million views on Youtube, you know this song is a classic. “Foolish” is about a woman who is head-over-heels in love with a man who doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings.
5. “Freak Like Me” by Sugababes
“Freak Like Me” was originally performed by Adina Howard in 1995. The song is about a woman who is confident in her sexuality and isn’t afraid to flaunt it. This cover by the Sugababes was released in 2002 and helped the group achieve mainstream success.
6. “Work It” by Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer. “Work It” is one of her most well-known songs and was released in 2002 as the lead single from her fourth studio album Under Construction. This now has over 130 million views on Youtube and can be streamed on all music platforms out there.
7. “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne was quite popular in the early 2000s with her punk-rock image and songs about love and relationships. “Complicated” was the lead single from her debut album Let Go. This song is about a young woman who is sick of all the games that boys her age are playing.
8. “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age
“No One Knows” is the first single from Queens of the Stone Age’s third studio album Songs for the Deaf. It’s a heavy rock song with a catchy chorus that helped the band gain mainstream success. You can still hear this song on rock radio stations today.
9. “Hot in Herre” by Nelly
You probably remember exactly where you were when you first heard Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” The song, released in the spring of 2002, was inescapable that summer, thanks to its steamy combination of a catchy hook and an even catchier beat.
10. “Made You Look” by Nas
A song that will forever be remembered for its opening line, Nas’ “Made You Look” was one of the hardest-hitting tracks of 2002. The Queensbridge MC rides the song’s sparse production perfectly, delivering a series of verses that are both clever and menacing.
11. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Another entry from Eminem, “Lose Yourself” is one of the most unforgettable songs of the last 20 years. The song, which finds Em rapping about his struggles to make it in the rap game, is as inspiring as it is catchy, and its success helped propel the rapper to superstardom.
12. “Gangsta Lovin'” by Eve ft. Alicia Keys
Eve and Alicia Keys team up for this 2002 collaboration, which finds the two ladies trading verses about finding a good man. It’s an instant classic from one of the greatest years in hip-hop history. You can stream it on all music platforms out there.
13. “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton
Of course, no list of 2002 songs would be complete without Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.” The song, which was the debut single from Carlton’s album, became a huge success, due to its infectious melody and relatable lyrics.
It has been featured in various movies and TV shows over the years, and its popularity has only grown in the intervening years.
14. “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake
“Cry Me A River” was Justin Timberlake’s first solo single, and it quickly established him as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.
The song, which is rumored to be about Timberlake’s ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, is a heartbreak anthem that will resonate with anyone who has ever been through a break-up.
15. “I Need a Girl, Pt. 1” by P. Diddy featuring Usher & Loon
“I Need a Girl, Pt. 1” is the first single from P. Diddy’s 2002 album, and it features two of the biggest R&B stars of the time: Usher and Loon.
The song is a smooth, seductive ode to the ideal woman, and its catchy hook and production make it impossible to forget. It peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
16. “Clocks” by Coldplay
With over 400 million views on Youtube, it’s safe to say that “Clocks” is one of the most popular songs of the last 20 years.
The song, which is from Coldplay’s album A Rush of Blood to the Head, is a slow-building ballad that culminates in a huge, anthemic chorus.The song has been remixed several times, and its melody has been used in many other songs.
17. “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen
A song that will leave you feeling both hopeful and heartbroken, “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen was released in 2002, features Springsteen’s trademark soaring vocals and an uplifting message of hope and resilience.The song was used as the first credit ending for the 2002 World Series broadcast on Fox Sports.
18. “U Don’t Have to Call” by Usher
Written by Pharell Williams, “U Don’t Have to Call” is a classic R&B slow jam from Usher’s album, 8701. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. No wonder it’s one of the most popular songs of 2002!
19. “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips
From the Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots album, “Do You Realize??” is a beautiful, life-affirming song from The Flaming Lips. Rolling Stone ranked the song as number 31 out of 100 for the best songs of 2000s. You can stream the track on all music platforms out there.
20. “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson
Wrapping up the list is an iconic song from Kelly Clarkson – “A Moment Like This”. The song was released in 2002 as Clarkson’s debut single, and it went on to become a massive hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It’s a track that will stay with you long after the first listen.
There you have it – a list of 20 of the greatest songs from 2002! These songs are sure to get you reminiscing about the good old days, and maybe even dancing a little bit in your seat. We hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane!