These are the top 99 songs of all time from most played, most sales, most awards and overall just best song to listen to.
Song lists are the toughest lists of all time as there are songs from every decade and genre that could be in here… Love songs might be the hardest of all due to it probably having the most songs out of any type.
Not to mention that your favorite songs evoking emotion are typically ones that struck a chord with you personally, were popular during your era or happened during a special time in your life. Unfortunately my list doesn’t know what song your first kiss was to, your wedding song or what song was on when you stared into Matt Muer’s eyes… but here we are. Song that evoke emotion is an interesting concept in this list as as you will see, in this category especially, a ton of the best songs were theme songs from major movies.
This list is also lends itself more towards more positive love songs and not broken love or missing love etc… I have lists for all of those coming don’t you worry. With that said, this list was put together from years of listening to music, reading up on every song and coming to a final conclusion. These aren’t best selling ever, or a generic Billboard 100 list or some nonsense Karen from Topeka put together from her childhood but these songs are legit the best songs ever spanning across every genre.
Let me tell you, I love music as much or more than anyone. I was the person making burnt CDs for my friends in the 90s (Spankaroo Hits 1-45) and making these 25+ song lists tested my love of music more than anything. I almost started hating music for a few weeks… I listened and researched tens of thousands of songs to make sure I perceived the correct song meaning or didn’t miss a huge song from a certain era I didn’t know as much about… it was extremely tough and tedious. Imagine starting out a top 10 love songs and now it is top 99 with something to say about each one! I have written 40,000 words on music!
With that said, there’s still a chance I probably missed a great song here or there so let me know your thoughts! List your favorites in the comment section so we can make a 2.0 list and let’s get some debate going!
Add the Spotify playlist at the bottom for every song!
Top 99 Love Songs Of All Time
99. Small Town Boy – Dustin Lynch (2017)
I wrote this list from #1 to #99 so I had to invert it when I published it. With that said, there are some newer songs at the end and I also had much less to write about the last 10 songs vs. the first 50.
98. Wanted – Hunter Hayes (2011)
I swear this song was like a year old… is he still 12 years old?
97. Our Story (Radio Edit) – Mako (2014)
As getting to the end of the list you see more new songs that will definitely climb over the next few years.
96. She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5 (2002)
Worst Super Bowl performance of all time… see what happened! I started this list out so happily with a list is about love! Now I’m hating on Maroon 5 even though this is a great song.
95. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton (2011)
Just kidding I have more to say… Gwen are you kidding me!?!? He must be really good in the… music studio.
94. Living Our Love Song – Jason Michael Carroll (2007)
Honestly i’m just running out of things to say. If you’re wondering I started with #1 and went the opposite way so you’re seeing the end of my writing not the start.
93. I Need Your Love – Calvin Harris (2012)
Let’s speed it up some.
92. Take Me To Church – Hozier (2014)
It’s a unique song with a take on love that’s important… and it throws shade at the church.
91. Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake ft. Majid Jordan (2013)
One of my favorite Drake songs of all time… maybe 2nd behind Preach.
90. Hip-Hop – DJ Khaled ft. Scarface, Nas & More (2012)
I figured i’d sneak in a different type of love song and throw a curveball… it’s only been 80+ songs.
89. I Do Not Love You – Ron Pope (2012)
Ron Pope sneaks in here and also has One Grain Of Sand, which is also amazing.
88. Raining In Baltimore – Counting Crows (1993)
This song really should be higher… this is so tough ugh. Do me a favor and mentally rank this one 15 spots higher. This song is about a long distance relationship if you were wondering.
87. Look In Your Eyes – Hum.V (2008)
Little known song that should have gotten more play!
86. My Love – JT ft. TI (2006)
TI makes the love song list! What a time to be alive.
85. Always Remember Us This Way – Lady Gaga (2018)
The most recent song on this list! It was so good it had a group chat of 8 guys talking about it.
84. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s (2005)
Pretty cute story, he wrote the song for a girl he met for the first time, was smitten and pledged a song to her. Hope it brought him buns cause that’s effort.
83. I Could Not Ask For More – Edwin McCain (1999)
He had a couple top love songs ever! He might be the best love song two-hit wonder of all time… he is, I’m saying it right now.
82. Got 2 Luv U – Sean Paul ft. Alexis Jordan (2012)
The world needs more Sean Paul songs… I might be alone in this but it’s true.
81. Heaven – Kane Brown (2017)
His voice isn’t fair, thank God he’s married.
80. Dilemma – Nelly & Kelly Rowland (2002)
It’s always nice to find a spot for Nelly in any musical list.
79. Love – Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari (2017)
This song will go higher as time goes on but tough to put it higher while it is relatively new.
78. Gonna Getcha – Shania Twain (2002)
If you’re reading this… I love you Shania. Apparently not enough to put you #1 but…
77. Let Me Love You – Mario (2004)
I surprisingly don’t have many 2000s R&B songs as there were so many! With that said, a few were by the artist we no longer talk about. This was a song about taking away a girl from someone not treating her right.
76. When I See You Smile – Uncle Sam (1989)
This song was way higher when I thought Uncle Sam had the original… what did I tell you, some of making this list was super depressing. The Bad English version is not nearly as good… but it could be because I didn’t know any better.
75. #1 Crush – Garbage (1995)
This was a gem from the Romeo & Juliet Soundtrack and how most 80s kids learned the story. Is Indie Rock still a thing, it was so huge back then.
74. One I Love – David Gray (2007)
The World Needs More David Gray.
73. Fire And The Flood – Vance Joy (2014)
I think this is the catchiest song on the list.
72. Thank God I Found You – Mariah Carey (1999)
Again, the 90s are definitely the best decade for love songs. Mariah is one of my top 5 favorite voices of all time and probably top 2.
71. Perfect – Ed Sheeran (2017)
Is Ed Sheeran the best love song creator over the last 5 years?
70. Ho Hey – the Lumineers (2012)
I really was just trying to find a way to get a Lumineers or Of Monsters & Men song in here somehow. I wanted OM&M on the list but no one knows what any of their songs mean unless you’re on mushrooms and I wasn’t going to go that far for this article. I love OM&M btw.
69. I Can Love You Like That – All-4-One (1995)
I almost forgot about this song! So good.
68. This I Promise You – N’Sync (2000)
This song was great but Backstreet Boys were better. Don’t believe me? Read a book, or an album sales chart.
67. I do – Mark Wills (1998)
I’m still reeling that the 98 Degrees song wasn’t the original… here I was trying to throw 98 Degrees a bone and now I feel like I was cheated on. I really should have known better… there is no chance those guys had any creative talent. Due to this discovery I also took all 98 Degrees songs off the list.
66. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden (1997)
I really didn’t want to put this song this high on the list but I think it was Billboard 100s most played songs in 1997.
65. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (1969)
It is unsure if it was written for his second wife or Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of JFK. With that said, this song would have been higher if it wasn’t the most overplayed song ever and an anthem for the Red Sox.
64. There You’ll Be – Faith Hill (2001)
Academy Award for Best Original Song and more! Also the theme song to Pearl Harbor… the movie. It was so tough between this song and Breath… either one could have been the higher one.
63. When You Say Nothing At All – Keith Whitley (1987)
Raise your hand if you were sad the original wasn’t Ronan Keating from the Notting Hill soundtrack. This song was higher on my list until that point and now i’m just sad, so I demoted it. The original is good too though, I just felt lied to. Where is Hugh Grant these days anyways and how was he a heart throb, he has to be in jail?
62. Hold My Hand – Sean Paul ft. Keri Hilson (2009)
Fact, I like every single Sean Paul song. If this isn’t the best island love song for the beach, I want to hear what is.
61. Perfect Drug – Nine Inch Nails (1997)
Had to get something harder in there. For the right person this is the perfect love song. We also need the NIN genre to make a comeback.
60. Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus (2013)
This song had to be the creator of viral music videos right? It was the World Music Award Best Song of the year… and most mimicked music video ever.
59. Waiting For A Girl Like You – Foreigner (1981)
I wanted to put this song higher but it peaked at #14 on the South African charts so my hands were tied. I thought it was better too!
58. Like I Love You – Justin Timberlake (2002)
Best love song to dance to absolutely. Won multiple R&B, Rap and Soul Train awards! I wonder if there is a list for White guys who won Soul Train awards?
57. Halo – Beyonce (2008)
Slow song melodic Beyonce is 10x better than pop Beyonce… ya I said it. A nice song about her walls being taken down by her new angel and new love.
56. I’m A Believer – The Monkees (1967)
This song was completely ruined by Smash Mouth. Did you know this song was actually written by Neil Diamond? If Smash Mouth didn’t exist it would definitely be higher.
55. She’s Everything – Brad Paisley (2006)
Was Brad Paisley another pioneer in making country music more mainstream?
54. Umbrella – Stay (2012)
There was Umbrella or We Found Love but this is the best song by far by Rihanna… and she’s better than Beyonce… dramatic pause.
53. Something Like That – Tim McGraw – (1999)
Who thought the name of this song was BBQ Stain? Was Tim McGraw one of founders, along with Shania, of pop-country or making it more mainstream? This was the first country song I ever liked. The song recounts the narrator’s youthful experience of falling in love for the very first time at age seventeen.
52. I Believe In A Thing Called Love – The Darkness (2004)
Had to throw in a little rock and upbeat music.
51. Say It Right – Nelly Furtado (2006)
She had the best album of the year hands down. I miss her so much. It’s about love but she isn’t even sure how so I can’t put it higher on the list.
50. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (2014)
Highest most recent song to hit the list and Grammy for Record of the Year!
49. We Belong Together – Mariah Carey (2004)
This song spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after many critics thought her career was over. Proves to show that her voice could never be ended, top 3 female voices ever.
48. I Walk The Line Johny Cash (1956)
Not your traditional love song but it’s cash! The lyrics refer to marital fidelity, personal responsibility, as well as avoiding temptation and criminal behavior. Really everything that marriage in 2019 and beyond isn’t… sorry that was harsh… harsh but true.
47. I just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder (1984)
I probably should have had Stevie higher on this list but I kept bumping it down as other songs jumped over. I apologize in advance to Stevie fans, he’s a musical genius.
46. As Long As You Love Me – Backstreet Boys (1996)
The best boy band of all time, unless you include the Beatles as a boy band. Yes kids, they were significantly better than N’sync, google album sales and come back to me.
45. Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison (1987)
The only song to tell it like it is… to get it her it will take money and lots of time, preach.
44. Best I Ever Had – Drake (2010)
To think Drake could have like 10 songs on this list…
43. Remember When – Alan Jackson (2003)
Jackson looks back on his life with his wife. He describes their love from their first time together, through raising their children, and describes how he and his wife will “remember when” their children were young after they are grown.
42. My Love – Sia (2010)
Sia has the most beautiful haunting voice ever. Her concert was also the most original and creative concert I have ever seen.
41. One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz 2 Men (1995)
Two of the generations best R&B acts with voices of angels eating freshly picked raspberries. This didn’t seem like a 90s song but I guess so… wow the 90s truly was the love song decade… prove me wrong?
40. No One – Alicia Keys (2007)
Her voice is my #1 celebrity crush and probably favorite voice of all time. Does anyone’s voice evoke emotion more than Keys? She literally puts everything into each word… I miss you Alicia.
39. Sugar Sugar – The Archies (1969)
I can’t be the only person who didn’t know The Archies were a band and not just the comic book. A comic book I read religiously.
38. I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab For Cutie (2006)
I don’t think this song won any awards but it really should have. Where is Death Cab these days?
37. Thousand Years – Christina Perry (2011)
Young…er people rejoice! A song from your decade and on the Twilight soundtrack no less!
36. I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack (2000)
I wanted to rank this song higher but it’s about divorce and really isn’t that positive. Such a beautiful song though so I had to include it.
35. I Swear – All-4-One (1993)
I always had this song near the top of my life and then I learned it wasn’t even the original and it was so heartbreaking! This was originally a country hit for John Michael Montgomery, topping the Country charts! JMM has some sneaky good songs!
34. True Colors – Cyndi Lauper (1986)
She was before my time but damn she had some great songs. This song won Grammys and MTV Awards.
33. Breathe- Faith Hill (1999)
This was so tough between this song and There You’ll Be… however this song was first and put her on the map more for TYB to be even bigger.
32. Mockingbird – Eminem (2005)
Not not about love between a man and a woman but love nonetheless… and it’s beautiful. Speaking of his daughter, if you haven’t seen her new (Dec. 2018) freestyle you need to check it out Eminem’s Daughter Freestyle.
31. Glycerine – Bush (1994)
One of the best songs of the decade. This song was written about love and how it can be a bomb, for good or bad. Written by the group whose lead singer was in one of the biggest power couples in music for a decade… before they broke up… and she started dating Blake fing Shelton.
30. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls (1998)
Grammy for Song of the Year and theme song to City of Angels. Have a watch if you haven’t seen. Nicolas Cage’s first mention of two in this list!
29. All Of Me – John Legend (2013)
Maybe the best couple on earth are him and Crissy Tieghan. If you don’t follower her on social media it’s worth it, she’s hilarious and self deprecating.
28. I’ll Be – Edwin Mccain (1997)
The 90s were huge for amazing love songs… especially 1997! Best year ever for love songs? Tell me a better one.
27. Layla – Derek & The Dominoes (1970)
Maybe the most controversial love song on the list. I tried to keep it mostly positive but this is such a classic. Written by Eric Clapton and it was directed at Patti Harrison, wife of his good friend George Harrison’s! Clapton was trying to lure her away from her husband, with whom he was good mates. I wasn’t alive during this time but I assume it was a lot like the Kanye v Drake or 2pac v Biggie but between hippies.
26. I Will remember you – Sarah McLachlan (1995)
Another person who needs to get back to making amazing songs. Grammy award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and #1 musical animal lover.
25. This Year’s Love – David Gray (1998)
Maybe my second favorite song on this list. David Gray is the best artist to never be enormous. He has 5 of my favorite songs and one of the best sounds ever. Another movie theme song… know what it’s from? The Girl Next Door.
24. Your Song – Ewan Mcgregor (2001)
Theme song to the movie Moulin Rouge… no not that terrible song with Missy Elliot and co. Alright actually it was a catchy song I won’t hate. If you haven’t seen Moulin Rouge you are missing out.
23. I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing – Aerosmith (1998)
Aerosmith, one of the best bands of all time and couldn’t be left out. This song also could be top 10. Another soundtrack song with this one being from the movie Armageddon.
22. Your Everything – Keith Urban (1999)
Did I ever tell you about the time I wrote an article about him for the Kamloops Daily News and said he outperformed the concert headliner… I feel like he must have read that and got the confidence to launch him where he is today. If you’re reading this Keith I’d like 3% royalties or at least a couple drinks. Another leader in bringing country music the mainstream. He might have the most country songs I like out of anyone on earth. You could put tons of his songs in this spot… I chose this one.
21. Hero – Enrique Iglesias (2001)
Tanned skin guys owe a ton to Enrique and Ricky Martin… before then it was the blonde surfer dudes killing with with BSB, N’Sync, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Paul Walker… Just wanted to say thank you Enrique… thank you.
20. Always – Bon Jovi (1995)
Bon Jovi was one of the top heartthrobs in the 80s with one of the most unique styles in rock music, able to serenade you or step it up giving love a bad name.
19. To Be With You – Mr. Big (1991)
This song is about stealing someone away, so it’s not so positive. However, it’s also about someone who doesn’t feel loved enough so it makes the list! Who even is Mr. Big? Is he still alive? Does he have a real name like Charles or something? What does he do now? So many questions.
18. How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes – (1997)
Rimes was killing it in the late 90s. This Was Academy of Country Music’s Single Record of the Year. There was a cover done by Trisha Yearwood, which was used in the movie Con Air with Nicolas Cage. Nicolas Cage gets so much grief but he had some classics and was mentioned twice in this list! I don’t think I mentioned any other actors.
17. Kiss From A Rose – Seal (1994)
My favorite part about making this list was all of the incredible unique voices over the years. Seal one of the top 5 male R&B voices ever?
16. Everything I Do – Bryan Adams (1991)
Won Academy Award for Best Original Song, Grammy’s Song Of the Year… this song won pretty much everything.
15. Back At One – Brian McKnight (1999)
This really could be in the top 10. Not to mention he probably would have gotten more attention if he wasn’t competing in R&B with the artist we don’t talk about.
14. Amazed – Lonestar (1999)
Academy Of Country Music song of the year.
13. You’re Still The One – Shania Twain (1998)
Debate #1… Shania created pop-country and made country music mainstream right? #2 Her and Gwen also created midriffs? #3, her husband has to be the leader of “out-kicking his coverage league” right?
12. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman – (1988)
One of the most unique voices of all time and she needs to come back! Tracy wrote this about her mother and her father who was struggling financially and in life. It was hard for him to create the kind of life that they dreamed of with their lack of education and opportunities that were available… In a sense I think they came together thinking that together they would have a better life working with and for one another.
11. You Were Meant For Me – Jewel (1995)
Jewel or a voice like Jewel needs to come back on the scene, like tomorrow. If you are a fan and haven’t seen her karaoke undercover prank then it is a must watch. If it doesn’t evoke an emotion out of you then you aren’t human. I just watched again for the 23rd time cause it’s been a couple years – Jewel Karaoke.
10. Stand By Me – Ben E. King – (1961)
I feel like this might be the most loved song on earth. Not one person can say “I don’t like this song.”
9. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion (1997)
This song won everything but a BET award in 1997. I’m pretty sure every person has cried to this song.
8. Endless Love – Lionel Richie & Diana Ross (1981)
Nope, not just the song from Happy Gilmore… it actually won a Grammy for Record of the Year among others.
7. I Believe – Blessid Union of Souls (1995)
Not a relationship love song but an incredible song nonetheless. Love the message and beautifully sung by a group with a few hits over time!
6. I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz 2 Men (1994)
This song is a touch sexual but… they are arguably the best R&B group of all time right?
5. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley (1969)
Hard not to rank this one high with Elvis arguably being one of the top 5 musicians to ever live!
4. K-Ci and JoJo – All My Life (1997)
This is my personal favorite and was maybe the best song of 1997!
3. Ain’t No Mountain – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1966)
This is a hard one to argue or place correctly as well… it could be #10, #5, or even #1!
2. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses (1992)
Really this song could be #1, it often is… but I had to make a choice. What’s crazy is the top two songs are from the same year!
1. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (1992)
This is near a no brainer. Whitney has arguably the most beautiful voice to ever grace this earth and this song has been people’s wedding song one million times over. It was also the main song for the movie The Bodyguard.