2000 Top Ten Pop Countdown Podcast

Boy Bands, Britney v. Christina and Latin Pop carry over into the new millennium, but Rock is back, Destiny’s Child redefines R&B, and Country scores big.

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Welcome to the Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown Show, I’m your host, Christopher Verdesi. Every week on Chartcrush, we dive deep into a year in Pop music and count down the top ten songs according to our recap of the weekly Hot100 charts published at the time in the music industry’s top trade publication and chart authority, Billboard magazine. This week, we’re turning the clock back to the year 2000, the first year of the new century and the new millennium.

But actually, fun fact: 2001, not 2000, was the turn of the millennium, since there was never a “year zero.” (People liked to point that out). But 2000 was the first year that started with two. And that alone could’ve been catastrophic had $100 billion with a “b” not been spent in the last years of the ’90s to upgrade computers that stored years with just the last two digits of the year, and avert the Y2K computer disaster. But having dodged that bullet, the first 21 months of the new decade seemed a lot like the 1990s! Until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks marked the start of the ’00s as a distinct cultural “decade.”

One thing though already coming into focus: music! Unlike Gen-X, Millennials didn’t waste any time imprinting themselves on pop culture. The late ’90s Pop explosion (Britney, Christina, Boy Bands and MTV’s Total Request Live afterschool show, TRL for short): going strong. Boy Band N’Sync (featuring Britney Spears’ then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake), had the #1 album of Y2K, No Strings Attached. Media-dubbed “bad girl” Christina Aguilera, who didn’t perform at the Grammys, won Best New Artist over “good girl” Britney Spears, who did. Britney beat Christina on the album chart for a second straight year, but Aguilera flipped the script on the Hot100, 2000 vs. ’99, in addition to that Grammy win. The rivalry, still front and center in Y2K. Backstreet Boys (another Boy Band), also in the top ten on Billboard’s year-end album chart. The music mogul behind both Backstreet Boys and N’Sync though? Lou Pearlman? Losing control and soon to be sued for fraud and abusive management by both. All those cases settled out of court, but Pearlman, eventually convicted for conspiracy and money laundering.

Divadom was in transition in 2000, as the last of mainstream R&B’s long resistance to Hip-Hop dissolved. Top ’90s Divas Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton took big steps in the direction things were going on “Heartbreak Hotel” and “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” respectively, but singers like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey had nowhere to go but the Adult Contemporary charts. And the full-on merger of R&B and Hip-Hop became unstoppable in the ’00s.

But there was a lot more happening on the charts in Y2K. And lots of surprises! No one from 1999’s top ten repeated in 2000.

#10 Vertical HorizonEverything You Want

Now as we kick things off at #10, did you know, there’s a whole subreddit (an entire category within the Reddit discussion website) devoted to #niceguys? Think relationships: these are guys who present as gentle, compassionate, sensitive, vulnerable. Well within that subreddit is a thread about how our #10 song is the theme song of nice guys. It was the commercial breakthrough for a ’90s Indie-Rock band that formed at D.C.’s Georgetown University and relocated to Boston, and although these nice guys are finishing last on our countdown, #10 on the year (#5 going by Billboard), on the strength of 19 weeks in the top ten? That’s not bad! Here’s Vertical Horizon. “Everything You Want.”

Vertical Horizon, “Everything You Want,” #10 on our Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown of 2000’s biggest hits. At the end of the video, a message appears: “Everything you want is not everything you need.” Songwriter and group leader Matt Scannell explains: “I was in love with this girl, and she was just a broken person. She kept turning to everyone except me for love and acceptance, and I wanted so much to help her, but I couldn’t.” Aw. Theme song for nice guys. Not technically a one-hit wonder. Vertical Horizon’s follow-up, “You’re a God” got to #28 and is in the Jim Carrey flick, Bruce Almighty.

#9 Matchbox Twenty – Bent

So as we just heard, a new sweet spot for Rock on the Pop charts came into focus after big hits in the late ’90s by Hootie & The Blowfish, Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind and others that blended Grunge’s sound and aesthetic with melody and Emo first-person songwriting that would’ve made Kurt Cobain cringe, to create “Post-Grunge.” Y2K saw the most Rock acts hit #1 on the Hot100 since the height of Hair Metal in the ’80s. But another thing that made that possible: Billboard dropping its requirement for the Hot100 at the start of the 1999 chart year that songs had to be in stores as physical singles to chart. Since the demise of 45s and vinyl in the early ’90s, there hadn’t been viable format for Rock singles. CD singles, great for genres like Dance, R&B and Hip-Hop that’d been putting out multiple mixes and extended 12-inch club versions for years, but in Rock, the song’s the song; who needs a CD with just two tracks? But starting in 1999 songs could make the Hot100 on just Airplay. No single release required. And sure enough, the three biggest Rock acts on Hot100 in ’99, Goo Goo Dolls, Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray, all bands that’d had major Airplay hits earlier in the ’90s that couldn’t chart on the Hot100.

Well in 2000, another band in that category scored their first #1 hit. Their melodramatic, guitar-driven “3AM” had been the #4 Airplay hit of 1998, but no single release, so it didn’t chart on the Hot100. Their 2000 sophomore album Mad Season, three years in the making, disappointed hardcore Rock fans with its horns, keyboards, sophisticated melodies and toned-down vocals, but it hit the Pop-Rock bullseye and produced a #1 hit. The first of two songs in our countdown sung by matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas, here’s “Bent.”

matchbox 20’s “Bent” only peaked at #16 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart. Even Vertical Horizon beat that. But it was in the top ten on the Hot100 for 14 weeks, #1 for a week in July, and the #9 song of the year 2000 according to our ranking here on the Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown Show. And the follow-up, “If You’re Gone,” also from Mad Season, was also a top five hit.

#8 Savage GardenI Knew I Loved You

Now for all the hype about Boy Bands ‘NSYNC and Backstreet Boys I mentioned at the top of the show, ‘NSYNC’s biggest 2000 hit, “Bye Bye Bye,” and Backstreet Boys’ “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” only shake out at numbers 27 and 43 on our 2000 Chartcrush ranking, respectively. Their albums No Strings Attached and Millennium, respectively, more than picked up that slack. But an Australian, call them a “Boy duo”, did make our top ten Hot100 songs of 2000 at #8. They first came to Pop fans’ attention in 1996 with a big Dance-Pop hit called “I Want You” off their debut album, and followed it up with the love song ballad on the album, “Truly Madly Deeply,” and that shot all the way to #1. So in ’99, they’re finishing up their second album, and the suits at Columbia Records are like: “Where’s the next “Truly Madly Deeply?” because the album didn’t have a love-song ballad. Now, label-coerced follow-ups aren’t always hits, but this one sure was was! #1 for four weeks in January and February and #8 on our countdown, it’s Savage Garden’s “I Knew I Loved You.”

Savage Garden, “I Knew I Loved You,” #8 on our 2000 edition of the Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown Show: the last song by an Australian artist to top the Hot100 until Gotye’s left-field hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know,” in 2012. Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones (the duo comprising Savage Garden) went their separate ways in ’01 at the peak of their fame, with Hayes going on to a pretty successful solo career. Asked in ’07 if he and Jones would ever consider reuniting, Hayes said “only if it cured cancer.” OK then.

#7 JoeI Wanna Know

The year 2000 wasn’t a big year for soundtrack albums, but it was a big year for songs from soundtracks. Two in our countdown of the year’s biggest hits, the first at #7 from The Wood, the coming-of-age movie about three guys growing up in the L.A. suburb of Inglewood in the ’80s. It had the most weeks in the top 40 of any 2000 song: 38, largely thanks to its ubiquitous airplay on R&B radio. It was Billboard’s #1 R&B Airplay song of the year. But it was especially big on “Adult R&B:” a format that got its own Billboard chart in 1993 as the home of Neo-Soul and smooth Contemporary R&B, but boomed as older listeners sought a refuge from harder Hip-Hop inflected sounds that were becoming the default at the turn of the millennium. Adult formats in every genre thrived in the ’00s. Savage Garden was Billboard’s #1 Adult Contemporary artist of 2000, but on the Adult side of R&B, it was all Joe, and “I Wanna Know.”

After it was already in the top 20 as a soundtrack cut, “I Wanna Know” was included on Joe’s 2000 album, My Name Is Joe, which included the follow-up hit, “Stutter” (featuring rapper Mystikal). That became his only #1 hit in 2001. “I Wanna Know” peaked at #4 in July.

#6 Lonestar – Amazed

Now even though there were two Country acts in the top ten of Billboard’s 1998 Hot100 recap (Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” at #3 and LeeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live” at #5), in his “Year in Charts” feature, Billboard writer and chart guru Fred Bronson expressed surprise that there were two Country songs in the year-end top ten for 2000. Well, here at Chartcrush, for what we like to call “the broken Hot100 years” (’95 to ’98), we go by the Airplay chart, not the Hot100, so in our rankings there’s no Shania or LeeAnn in 1998 so you have to go all the way back to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Islands in the Stream” in 1983 to find a Country song among the top ten hits of any year. So yeah, Bronson was more right than he could say in print in a Billboard feature, without repudiating four years of Hot100 charts! Two Country songs, and here’s the first at #6: also the first Country song to get to #1 on the Hot100 since “Islands in the Stream.” It’s Lonestar’s “Amazed.”

Well after a whole decade of Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Toby Keith, The Dixie Chicks and others incorporating Rock and Pop, Country in Y2K had its strongest showing on the Pop charts since before Disco. Lonestar’s “Amazed,” the #6 song of 2000 here on the Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown Show, with one more Country hit to go. Now if that version of “Amazed” sounded different than what you remember, you were probably listening to Country radio in the ’90s, where it was the #1 song of 1999. But even the original with its pedal steel intro was in the top 40 on the Hot100 for 15 weeks, prompting the Pop remix, complete with a new key change at the end that transformed it into a Power Ballad and gave it a whole new life as a #1 Pop hit for two weeks in March 2000.

#5 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite

Now back at #9 (Matchbox Twenty), I mentioned that unlike their previous hit “3 AM,” “Bent” barely scraped the Modern Rock chart. Well our next song isn’t just the #5 Pop hit of 2000 according to our Chartcrush ranking; it was also Billboard’s #1 Modern Rock song of year: a true, massive Alternative crossover. And also one of the longest chart runs on the Hot100 in 2000, 53 weeks, which took it well past the end of Billboard’s 2000 “chart year” all the way into the Spring of 2001.

Now, a baked-in flaw with Billboard’s year-end charts is that for songs like that, whose chart runs straddle two different chart years, the points get split and the song’s true popularity isn’t reflected in either year’s year-end ranking. So at Chartcrush, we correct that by counting every song’s full chart run in whichever calendar year it earned the most ranking points. So while our next song was only #15 on Billboard’s 2000 ranking (because the last 19 weeks of its chart run were kicked into Billboard’s 2001 chart year), with our method it comes out #5. It topped out at #3 for three weeks in November, but spent 18 weeks in the top ten. It’s the debut single by a band from Escatawpa, Mississippi: 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite.”

“Kryptonite,” 3 Doors Down. It took off after their local FM Rock station in Mississippi started playing it in ’99 and the requests poured in. By November, other gulf coast stations had gotten a hold of it and in the beginning of February, it cracked the Mainstream Rock chart. Then in March the Modern Rock chart. They were back in the top ten in ’03 with “When I’m Gone,” the lead single from their second album. And then “Here Without You” in ’04 was a #5 hit that stayed on the Hot100 for 51 weeks, just shy of “Kryptonite’s” 53.

Ranking early ’00s Hot100 Artists, Nelly, Usher and J-Lo are the top three, and 3 Doors Down comes out seventh (ahead of even matchbox 20) as the top Rock Band on the Hot100 the first half of the decade. Creed, Nickelback, Linkin Park and Train, also in the top 40 on that list.

#4 Faith Hill – Breathe

You’re listening to the Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown Show, and we’re counting down the top ten hits of the year 2000 this week. At #4 we have the second of the two Country songs in our countdown! We heard Lonestar’s “Amazed” back at #6. Billboard with its chart-run splitting between different “chart years” named it the #1 song of 2000 because all but the first four weeks of its 56-week chart run were in its 2000 chart year. Same can’t be said for two of the three songs that beat it in our Chartcrush ranking.

By the way, 56 weeks? That’s even more than “Kryptonite.” The most weeks of any 2000 song. But like “Kryptonite,” our #4 song never got to #1. For four of the five nonconsecutive weeks it was #2, it was kept out of the top spot by the juggernaut that was our #3 song we’ll hear in a few minutes. But even after said “juggernaut” suddenly dropped down to #8 in June, Aaliyah’s “Try Again,” from the action movie Romeo Must Die moved up to become the first #1 in history not out as a commercial single; that a full 18 months after Billboard’s rule change allowing Airplay-only hits on the Hot100. But all those weeks at #2 and 19 in the top ten made it Billboard’s #1 song of the year and our #4. OK, enough suspense: here’s Faith Hill’s “Breathe.”

“Breathe,” Faith Hill, #4 on our Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown of the year 2000’s biggest hits, and the first female vocal we’ve heard so far. Which is odd since 1999’s top ten was so skewed towards the ladies: nine of the ten songs! Still one more female act to go as we close in on #1.

Faith Hill, of course, one of a whole crop of female Country- or Country-influenced singers in the mid-to-late ’90s that crossed over to the Pop charts. Shania Twain, LeeAnn Rimes, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, and 2000’s top-performing act on the Billboard 200 Album chart (all albums combined), The Dixie Chicks. “Breathe” was Faith Hill’s second Hot100 top ten. The upbeat “This Kiss,” her first in 1998, and then she followed up “Breathe” with another upbeat song, “The Way You Love Me,” a #6 hit later in 2000, and “There You’ll Be” from the Pearl Harbor soundtrack in ’01.

#3 Santana featuring The Product G&BMaria, Maria

At #3 the aforementioned “juggernaut” that kept “Breathe” from reaching #1, and the first of two hits in our countdown by the act who took the “Latin Invasion” torch into the 2000 yearly top ten from 1999’s torch bearers Ricky Martin and J-Lo. That’s not to say that other “Latin Invasion” stars faded. Far from it. Marc Anthony’s “I Need to Know” is our #13 hit of the year, and Enrique Iglesias’s “Be with You” was #1 for three weeks in June. Shakira was on tour and her MTV Unplugged set was on the album chart. J-Lo was between albums, but dating Bad Boy Records mogul Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and forcing Google to develop Image Search thanks to the plunging green Versace dress she wore to the Grammys. No, the Latin invasion? Still going strong: 68 straight weeks with at least one song by a Latin artist in the top ten, Spring ’99 to well into 2000, thanks largely to the most spectacular comeback on the Pop charts by a veteran artist in history. And the song at #3 was the follow-up: #1 for ten weeks April to June. It’s Santana featuring R&B duo The Product G&B, “Maria, Maria.”

Santana with The Product G&B, “Maria, Maria.” Santana, of course, guitarist Carlos Santana’s namesake group, around since the late ’60s: played at Woodstock, and a staple of early ’70s FM Rock radio with Latin-influenced hits like “Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman,” “No One to Depend On” and “Oye Como Va.” They got back into the top ten in the early ’80s with Soft Rock hits “Winning” and “Hold On,” but by the mid ’90s, they didn’t even have a label. In ’97, Santana pitched Arista CEO Clive Davis, probably the greatest talent and trend spotter in Rock history who’d first signed them in 1969, the idea of updating the vintage Santana sound with contemporary influences and squeezing it all into concise, radio-friendly songs. And they recruited collaborators from across the musical spectrum for Supernatural, Santana’s 18th album.

On “Maria, Maria”, the Product G&B duo (G&B short for ghetto & blues) came in via Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean, part of his extended musical family centered around his trailblazing New Jersey alt-Hip-Hop group The Fugees, who co-produced the song and convinced Davis to plug it to radio as a single.

#2 Destiny’s Child – Independent Women, Part 1

Our #2 song notches in at #97 on Billboard’s year-end Hot100 chart for 2000, and #10 on its ranking for 2001. Yep, it’s another Billboard chart year straddler! Again, how we do it at Chartcrush: we look at every song’s full chart run, and rank it in whichever calendar year it earned the most points. Well this one entered the chart in late September and peaked at #1 in November, just a week before the cutoff issue for Billboard’s 2000 chart year, and stayed on top all the way to the end of January 2001: the second #1 hit of the year for a R&B Girl Group right on the cusp of superstardom. Billboard had that first Y2K #1, “Say My Name,” at #6 on the year. That slips to #16 on our ranking, but one this moves into the #2 spot. From Charlie’s Angels, the second soundtrack hit in our countdown, it’s Destiny’s Child, “Independent Women.”

Destiny’s Child re-grouped at the start of 2000, letting go LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson and bringing in Michelle Williams. “Independent Women” was their first hit as a trio: Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and it was later included on their blockbuster 4X platinum album Survivor, along with three others that became top ten hits. “Bootylicious,” their next #1.

In ’02, Kelly Rowland teamed up with rapper Nelly on “Dilemma” and that was #1 for ten weeks. And Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” with future hubby Rapper Jay-Z in ’03 was the first of her six career #1’s as a solo artist.

#1 Santana featuring Rob Thomas – Smooth

And that, folks, gets us to #1: the song that launched Santana back to superstardom and secured Carlos Santana’s legacy. But not only that, it catapulted Santana’s collaborator on the track, who co-wrote and sang it, to new heights: matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas. Remember, we heard matchbox 20’s “Bent” at #9, so that’s two of the year’s biggest hits, including the biggest by a mile that we’re about to hear, sung by the same dude. It entered the chart at the end of July 1999 and hit #1 in October ’99. But it stayed #1 for 12 weeks into January 2000, and then on the chart all the way to September of 2000: a 58 week chart run. This song was everywhere! The #1 song of 2000, Santana with Rob Thomas on vocals, “Smooth.”

“Smooth,” Santana with Rob Thomas, the #1 song here on our Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown for 2000. Before Supernatural, Santana’s last #1 album was in 1971. 29 years. That’s the longest time between #1 albums ever.

Well that’s our countdown. Two songs from Billboard’s year-end top ten that got bumped from our ranking, so let’s shout those out. At #10, Billboard had a ’90s Diva updating her sound for the ’00s with an upbeat Dance Hit.

Toni Braxton’s “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” her last top 20 hit before Vegas, lots of lawsuits, and Braxton Family Values on WeTV, notchevs in at #17 on our Chartcrush ranking.

And as I mentioned, Billboard had Destiny Child’s other 2000 #1 hit at #6.

“Say My Name” shakes out at #16 on our Chartcrush ranking.

Well, thanks for listening to our 2000 edition of The Chartcrush Top Ten Countdown Show. I’ve been your host, Christopher Verdesi. On our website, chartcrush.com, you can find a written transcript and a link to stream this and other Chartcrush countdown shows on Spotify, plus chart run line graphs and other bumpin’ extras. Also, check us out on TikTok @Chartcrush. Every week, we count down a different year from the beginning ofthe charts in the 1940s all the way up to the present, so tune again, same station, same time, for another edition of Chartcrush.

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