Usher presents onstage at the VH1 - Big in '04 on December 1, 2004 at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles, California. Kelly Clarkson performs on stage at the 5th Annual "Women Rock!," Lifetime Television's fifth annual signature concert for the fight against breast cancer, held at the Wiltern on September 28, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. Lindsay Lohan attends the MTV's Iced Out New Years Eve celebration on December 31, 2004 in New York City.

The early 2000s in pop was such a magical time for music. Artists that have become legends were just starting out. Disney were still bursting onto the music scene in 2004, with actors like Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff. Then, you had returning pop mainstays like Gwen Stefani, Destiny’s Child, Avril Lavigne, The Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, and Usher releasing music that year. Newcomers to the industry released tracks that may have been their one-hit-wonders or claim to fame in 2004, like JoJo with “Leave (Get Out)” and Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.” Pop music that came out this time were either dance bangers or songs that would pull on your heartstrings.

Gotta Let It Burn

What a time to be alive: we relate to, and return to, the pop music that came out twenty years ago more than the music that came out in 2014. In 2004, Maroon 5, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and Ciara were all enjoying massive hits. Usher was officially the biggest artist of 2004 when his Confessions album was named the best-selling album of the year, and his single “Yeah!” was named the most-played song of the year, according to MTV. According to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, Usher took the top spot with “Yeah!” featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris. Hoobastank’s “The Reason” came in second, with Maroon 5’s “This Love” in third. Usher’s other hit from his Confessions album took the number four spot with “Burn,” and in fifth was Nickelback’s “Someday.” We may never get music as diverse as these artists were in 2004. If we don’t, we’ll always come back to the music of this era to jam out on some throwback tunes.

 

Check out our list of seven songs we love from 2004 that turn 20 years old in 2024:

  • 'Rumors' -- Lindsay Lohan

    In 2004, Lindsay Lohan took a shot at a singing career with her debut album, Speak. It released the same year she had back to back movies, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and the iconic Mean Girls. Turning 18 years old in July of that year, Lohan’s album features different styles of music such as pop rock, dance-pop, rock ballads. She said previously, “I wanted to have a mixture like that because I love those kinds of club tracks that you can listen to before you go out at night with all your friends. And I also wanted stuff that was a little bit more rock that you could get into if you were like angry or depressed or sad or that. I wanted to be able to touch upon all those feelings and I wanted to speak about all different things, too, which is why I titled the album Speak.”

  • 'Leave (Get Out)' -- JoJo

    JoJo was just 13 years old when she came out with “Leave (Get Out)” in 2004. She became the youngest female pop solo artist to have a number-one single in the United States. She began performing in singing competitions and local talent shows as a child in New England. In 2003, record producer Vincent Herbert noticed her after she competed on the television show America’s Most Talented Kids.

  • 'Unwritten' -- Natasha Bedingfield

    The English singer-songwriter burst onto the scene with the smash hit, “Unwritten,” which became the theme song for the popular MTV reality show The Hills, two years after its initial release. Bedingfield, who initially wrote the song for her brother’s 14th birthday, said her favorite line in the song is: “‘We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way.’ I give myself such a hard time. I just want to be perfect and I can’t be. And so I have to remind myself and give myself a break. And, yeah, sometimes the mistakes actually lead to even better things.”

  • 'Hey Mama' -- The Black Eyed Peas

    The Black Eyed Peas’ third studio album had this fun dancehall track, with newcomer to the group Fergie laying down her iconic voice in “Hey Mama.” will.i.am asked Fergie to join the group after meeting her a few years prior on a radio show when she was a member of a group called Wild Orchid.

  • 'Move Ya Body' -- Nina Sky

    This was the debut single of the identical twin duo that was Nina Sky. Consisting of Nicole and Natalie Albino, their debut single was their only hit and has since been sampled by other artists. Now, they are DJs, but we will forever thank them for this dance hit that is a must for every summer playlist.

  • 'Burn' -- Usher

    Usher’s Confessions album in 2004 had so many hits, but “Burn” is one of the most powerful and passionate tracks. It was actually planned as the album’s lead single, but they went with the crunk “Yeah!” song with Lil Jon and Ludacris instead. We don’t blame them for the choice, but “Burn” is a banger that we can still enjoy to this day.

  • 'Breakaway' -- Kelly Clarkson

    From the 2004 album of the same name, this song was iconic and featured in The Princess Diaries. “Since U Been Gone” is probably her most popular song of all time. But “Breakaway,” is ever better.

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