Some years, though, you can listen to the radio and really feel the ground shifting, if not outright quaking, beneath your feet. The first half of the '90s was largely defined by the fallout from the grunge explosion of Nirvana and Pearl Jam and the rise of West Coast hip-hop, as shepherded by Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg. As late as '96, alt-rock and G-funk still held serve as the dominant sounds of the moment. But by '97, most of the leading lights for both genres had either faded, gone on hiatus or left the game altogether, creating a void at the mainstream's center that badly needed filling. What came along to fill it was the return of mega-pop: Massive, barnstorming, top geared breakouts from groups like Spice Girls, Hanson and Backstreet Boys -- artists that bore some of the sonic signifiers of decade's beginning, but lacked any connection to the angst of grunge or the edge of G-funk. In hip-hop, the Bad Boy empire was springboarded to the top of the food chain, as label head Sean "Puffy" Combs was reborn as Puff Daddy, and quickly became the best-selling rapper in the universe thanks to a series of gigantic, top recycling pop-rap smashes for himself and his labelmates. Within a year or two, post-grunge had been replaced by nu-metal and pop-punk on alternative radio, West Coast had almost totally given way to East Coast in the hip-hop mainstream, and pop's center was dictated daily by teen-pop soothsayer Carson Daly on Total Request Live. And of course, there were one-hit wonders: plenty of dance-pop novelty smashes, international flukes and alt-rock parting shots to give the year character. Here are Billboard 's favorite pop songs -- capping it at one song per lead artist, and broadly defining "pop" as music that either was played on top 40 at the time or could conceivably have been -- from one of the most pivotal years in the genre's history.
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#1 Most Famous Person Born in 1997
Decades , presented by Discogs , is a recurring feature that turns back the clock to critical anniversaries of albums, songs, and films. This month, we dial it back to the top 50 songs of Only in the scheme of cosmology, geology, or evolution does 20 years not sound like an awful long time.
Barbie Girl — Aqua 2. Wannabe — Spice Girls 4. You Make Me Wanna — Usher 7. For You I Will — Monica
Many of the top pop hits of were aimed at making you want to move, with the notable exception of 2 of the most significant pop songs of mourning of all time by Puff Daddy and Elton John. Hanson and the Spice Girls brought bubblegum pop back to the forefront after a long exile from the mainstream. The ska-punk band Smash Mouth burst into the spotlight with this catchy slab of 60's-ish psychedelic soul. Unfortunately, the band never quite returned to the glory of this single, but it is one of the greatest tracks of the decade. The success of the song helped the group's debut album Fush You Mang climb into the top 20 on the album chart and be certified double platinum for sales. Watch Video. The Hanson brothers brought back bubblegum pop in all of its glory. Just try to avoid singing along. The debut single from the brother group reached 1 in a phenomenal 27 different countries.