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Class of 2006 Week

Top 20 Biggest Songs of 2006

Enter the time machine for the 20 biggest hits from 2006, from Houston rap to sensitive folk-rock, from Breezy to PCD to DP (that’s Daniel Powter, kids).

1 / 20

Daniel Powter, “Bad Day”

The ultimate one-hit wonder, Daniel Powter topped the Hot 100 for five weeks in 2006 with “Bad Day,” and has yet to crack the chart again.

(Note: ranking via Billboard, see their full 2006 Year-End Hot 100 here)

2 / 20

Sean Paul, “Temperature”

After scoring hits like “Gimme the Light,” “Get Busy” and “Like Glue,” Sean Paul turned up the heat (get it?!?) with this smash hit.

3 / 20

Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland, “Promiscuous”

For her Loose reinvention, Nelly Furtado tapped Timbaland to remake her sound—and ended up scoring the defining hit of her career with this lead single.

4 / 20

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

We saw his face in a crowded place, and sent him to the top of the chart. James Blunt has since disowned his signature hit, but we never will.

5 / 20

Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

A decade later, Shakira’s smooth moves and Wyclef’s cries of “No fighting!” are still quickly coming to mind.

6 / 20

Natasha Bedingfield, “Unwritten”

A splash of sunshine and an inspiring ode to carpe diem, Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” was originally released in late 2004, but took two years to invade U.S. shores.

7 / 20

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”

CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse, linking up with a name that’s the silliest possible Charles Barkley pun? Yep—and it was tremendous. Miss you guys, Gnarls.

8 / 20

Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone, “Ridin’”

The Houston hip hop movement hit a commercial peak when Chamillionaire announced, “They see me rollinnnnnn’/They hatinnnnnn’…,” with Krayzie Bone spitting just as furiously by his side.

9 / 20

Justin Timberlake, “SexyBack”

It sounded unlike anything Justin Timberlake had ever done, effectively announced him as an adult artist and remains an iconic pop smash. “SexyBack” has a lot going for it, 10 years later.

10 / 20

Beyonce feat. Slim Thug, “Check On It”

Originally designed as a soundtrack hit for The Pink Panther, “Check On It” became so big that it was eventually placed on the non-U.S. version of Beyonce’s 2006 album, B’Day.

11 / 20

Mary J. Blige, “Be Without You”

An enduring R&B hit, “Be Without You” earned MJB a record of the year and song of the year at the GRAMMY Awards, and won Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

12 / 20

Nelly feat. Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp, “Grillz”

According to the Wikipedia page for “Grillz,” “The song is about grills, the cosmetic dental apparatuses.” Too true. It was also another big hit for Nelly, from his Sweatsuit album.

13 / 20

The Fray, “Over My Head (Cable Car)”

Along with “How To Save a Life,” The Fray cracked Top 40 radio with some tenderly crooned soft-rock, and sold a boatload of album in the process.

14 / 20

Cassie, “Me & U”

Slinky and sexual, “Me & U” confirmed Cassie as an R&B artist to watch, and displayed Ryan Leslie’s talents as a producer/songwriter.

15 / 20

The Pussycat Dolls feat. Snoop Dogg, “Buttons”

How does a girl group like the Pussycat Dolls follow up the 2005 mega-hit “Don’t Cha,” featuring Busta Rhymes? Recruit another all-star MC, Snoop Dogg, for a movement-inducing follow-up.

16 / 20

Chris Brown, “Run It!”

As a hard-dancing, ultra-talented teen, Chris Brown first made his mark on a national level with the Scott Storch-assisted “Run It!”

17 / 20

Ne-Yo, “So Sick”

Ne-Yo would go on to more dance floor-ready fare like “Closer” and “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself),” but “So Sick” established him as a sensitive new voice in R&B.

18 / 20

Yung Joc, “It’s Goin’ Down”

Yung Joc would later serve as a featured artist on singles like Danity Kane’s “Show Stopper” and T-Pain’s “Buy U a Drank,” but his debut solo single remains one of his biggest successes.

19 / 20

Rihanna, “SOS”

Remember Rihanna? From way back in the day, right? Just kidding: As the world anxiously awaits ANTI, it’s worth revisiting one of Rih’s earliest smashes.

20 / 20

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

The winner of the 2006 Video of the Year trophy at the MTV VMAs was a crossover hit for Panic! at the Disco—who are still achieving new goals today.

(Note: ranking via Billboard, see their full 2006 Year-End Hot 100 here)

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Photo of the day

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25:  Lottie and Louis Tomlinson attend a party to launch her collection Nails Inc X Lips Inc Matchb

Oct. 26: Best Brother Ever

Serious ‘Awww’ moment. One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson gave some major brotherly love to sister Lottie at the launch party for her Nails Inc X Lips Inc Matchbox collection in London. On Instagram, Louis even wrote her a sweet congratulatory message "So proud of my sis last night :) well done Lots. Love you.” Awww!