21 Songs That Turn 21 in 2021

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It seems like only yesterday that Eminem rapped about his stan "Stan," Nelly Furtado sang about a rare bird that can't find its way home, and Coldplay... um... shared a song about The Simpsons?

In fact, it was 21 years ago.

Back then, we thought nothing about songs about speech disorders, sticky bedsheets and free-running canines. Even Ricky Martin singing about a girl who "bangs" seemed perfectly normal at the time.

Check out these 21 hits that turn 21 in 2021:

“It’s Gonna Be Me” - *NSYNC (June 12, 2000)

What was once nothing but a pop song about a woman’s only choice for true love became the inspiration for memes that fill our feeds every April 30th – thanks to Justin Timberlake’s southern enunciation of “me.” Now we can’t un-hear it.

 

“Yellow” - Coldplay (June 26, 2000)

The melody of this song, reportedly inspired by Canada’s Neil Young, made us overlook the fact that the lyrics don’t mean anything. “I swam across / I jumped across for you,” Chris Martin sings. “What a thing to do / ‘Cause you were all yellow.” (If you’re all yellow, it’s probably jaundice and you should see a doctor.)

 

“Who Let the Dogs Out?” - Baha Men (July 25, 2000)

This cover song, which had everyone asking the titular question, has a Canadian connection. Toronto’s Anslem Douglas is credited as the writer of the track, although he settled a lawsuit filed by two men who worked at a recording studio in the city who claimed they penned the chorus. On his Instagram profile, Douglas describes himself as a “Grammy Award-winning songwriter” but the Recording Academy says Douglas didn’t win a Grammy. (The award for Best Dance Recording doesn’t go to songwriters.)

 

“Music” - Madonna (Aug. 21, 2000)

Madonna has said that the title track of her eighth studio album was inspired by seeing Sting perform in concert. She sings: “Music makes the people come together / Music mix the bourgeoisie and the rebel.” Don't you hate when the bourgeoisie are in front of you at a concert, though?

 

“Can’t Fight the Moonlight” - LeAnn Rimes (Aug. 22, 2000)

LeAnn Rimes provided the singing voice of Piper Perabo in Coyote Ugly, so it was only fair that she recorded a version as herself – and it was a big hit.

 

“Independent Women Pt. 1” - Destiny’s Child (August 29, 2000)

It did not go unnoticed that this female empowerment anthem, recorded for the soundtrack of 2000’s Charlie’s Angels, was written by three guys (and Beyoncé).

 

“If You’re Gone” - Matchbox Twenty (Sept. 19, 2000)

Our hearts went out to Rob Thomas when he sang: "If you're gone, maybe it's time to come home / There's an awful lot of breathing room / But I can hardly move." Thomas has said he wrote this song while separated from the woman who would become his wife.

 

“She Bangs” - Ricky Martin (Sept. 22, 2000)

It would be another 10 years before Ricky Martin told the world that he is gay – so no one thought twice about the Latin heartthrob singing: “I'm wasted by the way she moves / No one ever looked so fine / She reminds me that a woman’s got one thing on her mind.” One of the track’s co-writers, openly gay Desmond Child, has said it’s “a metaphor for the universe.”

 

“Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” - Aaron Carter (Sept. 26, 2000)

Aaron Carter was 12 when this song about lying to your parents so you can throw a house party was released. We couldn’t have known then that two decades later he’d be sharing nude photos on OnlyFans. Or could we?

 

“I’m Like a Bird” - Nelly Furtado (Sept. 26, 2000)

The song that introduced the world to Canada’s Nelly Furtado included lyrics that ruffled the feathers of some ornithologists. “I’m like a bird / I’ll only fly away,” Furtado sings. “I don't know where my home is.” Thing is, birds are actually very good at making their way home.

 

“Beautiful Day” - U2 (Oct. 9, 2000)

This upbeat song from U2, co-produced by Canada’s Daniel Lanois, remains one of the band’s biggest hits. “It’s a beautiful day,” Bono sings. “Don’t let it get away.” A good reminder in 2021.

 

“Ms. Jackson” - OutKast (Oct. 24, 2000)

No, this wasn’t an ode to Janet Jackson (that’s Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty). It’s about the aftermath of break-ups and the ways a woman’s mother can feel about the ex.

 

“Butterfly” - Crazy Town (Oct. 24, 2000)

This rock/rap hybrid, which uses a sample of “Pretty Little Ditty” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, topped the U.S. singles chart for two weeks. Speaking of a one-hit wonder, the band was almost killed by a moose in Canada.

 

“Liquid Dreams” - O-Town (Oct. 31, 2000)

The five guys of O-Town were singing about another type of O in this song, whicih shouts out the famous women who cause nocturnal emissions – or, as they sing, stars “of my liquid dreams.” Included on the list are Destiny's Child, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Angelina Jolie, Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks, Salma Hayek, Halle Berry and “Jennifer” (back then it could have been Lopez, Aniston or Love-Hewitt). The track is also the first – and probably last – to use the word “morpharotic.”

 

“It Wasn’t Me” - Shaggy ft. Rikrok (Nov. 7, 2000)

Picture this: A man is caught by his “honey” while “banging” on the bathroom floor, on the sofa, on the counter and in the shower. According to Shaggy, all he should do is say “It wasn’t me.” Has that ever worked for anyone?

 

“Follow Me” - Uncle Kracker (Nov. 7, 2000)

Uncle Kracker (aka Matthew Shafer) went from backing Kid Rock to having a hit song that he said was about drugs and cheating. “I would never want to say anything that would get myself in trouble, being married with a couple of kids,” he told MTV News. “That song is like a dirty picture painted with a pretty brush.” In 2007, Uncle Kracker was charged with a forcible sex offence. (He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.)

 

“Love Don’t Cost a Thing” - Jennifer Lopez (Nov. 20, 2000)

Jennifer Lopez gave the common man a lot of hope when she sang: “Even if you were broke / My love don't cost a thing … All that matters is / That you treat me right / Give me all the things I need / That money can't buy, yeah.”

 

“Stan” - Eminem (Nov. 21, 2000)

Eminem raps as both his obsessed fan Stan and then as himself in this song, which samples Dido and went on to birth “stan” as a noun and a verb. In the video for the track, Canada’s Devon Sawa portrays the titular fan.

 

“Never Had a Dream Come True” - S Club 7 (Nov. 27, 2000)

This break-up song from UK pop group S Club 7 was one of the 10 best-selling singles in Britain in 2000 and the group's only hit in North America. If the members of S Club 7 dreamed of enduring success, the song ended up being prophetic.

 

“Stutter” - Joe (Dec. 12, 2000)

Nothing dates a song like a lyrical reference to a pager. Well, maybe referencing a speech disorder or coming off as a stalker also dates a song. R&B singer Joe (aka Joseph Thomas) sings about a dishonest woman who’s “ticking me off, ticking me off.” Cringe.

 

“Jaded” - Aerosmith (Dec. 21, 2000)

This track earned a Grammy nomination and came with a video that starred a 17-year-old Mila Kunis. It also has the distinction of being Aerosmith’s last Top 10 hit in the U.S. and Canada.

Inspired by an article by Paris Close at iHeartRadio

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