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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

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - DECEMBER 01:  Singer Rihanna and Prince Harry speak on stage at the 'Man Aware' event held by the Barb

Dec. 1: Rih & The Prince in Barbados

In Barbados Rihanna and Prince Harry raise HIV/AIDS awareness in hopes to fight HIV and AIDS stigma. Getting tested in front of cameras, the singer and the prince show us the importance and ease of the process. "It's so easy to get tested & know your status!” Rih tweeted afterwards. Today also marks the 50th Anniversary of Independence in Barbados.

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