The 14 Best (and 14 Worst) Love Songs of the 2000s

Beyoncé gave us "1+1." Daniel Powter made a “Bad Day” worse. You get the idea.

Editor’s Note: After much debate in the office, we’ve updated our list of Best/Worst songs of the 2000s with recent songs from 2016. Though the year wasn’t a popular one for love ballads, two songs really stood out to us for good and bad reasons. Check them out below.

Love songs: Sometimes it feels like you can’t live with them, but we all know you definitely can’t live without them.

Here at VH1 we’re counting down to Valentine’s Day by giving you 14 Days of Love because despite what your single self might be inclined to think, there’s no better feeling than being in love. We’re kicking off the countdown with the 14 best and 14 worst love songs of the 2000s—so far. Beyonce’s “1+1,” “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt and “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry are all on the list. You know which of these made which list, don’t you?

Find out what other songs made our list below, starting off with the absolute best, and catch your favorite rom-coms on VH1 during our 14 Days of Love. Are you feeling the love yet?

  • “U Got It Bad” by Usher (2001)

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    “U Got It Bad” perfectly identifies the little ways of knowing you’re addicted and in love with someone—hanging up and calling right back, feeling “off track” when you don’t see that special someone. Moreover, the music video featured Usher’s then-girlfriend, Chili of TLC.

  • “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys (2001)

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    Unlike other love songs that receive remakes and covers, Alicia Keys’ impassioned breakout hit can only be done by her. The lyrics are fairly simple—”I keep on falling in and out of love with you,” but it’s Alicia’s vocal inflections, as well as the gospel-like harmonies, that bring them to life.

  • “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton (2002)

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    This song will forever be recognizable by the opening three seconds of piano. “A Thousand Miles” is easily one of the best love songs of the 2000s, if only for the notion of literally walking a thousand miles just to see someone for a night.

  • “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey (2005)

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    True to Mariah Carey form, the “We Belong Together” music video is filled with whimsical drama. Mariah sings to herself while seated at her vanity before walking down the aisle at her own wedding. Seconds before she’s meant to say, “I do,” she runs off with her hot, younger lover. It’s Mariah to a T and it’s still one of the best love songs today.

  • “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry (2010)

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    “Teenage Dream” was the love anthem of 2010. It perfectly captures the feeling of that period of time after you first meet someone special and right before you realize you’ve fallen in love with them. Moreover, it made you actually want to stay in a crappy motel room with your lover just to build a fort out of sheets. Screw the bed bugs!

  • “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars (2010)

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    The lead single from Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans is charming, upbeat and bright. Its visuals were equally so; nothing says “angsty love” quite like drawing a portrait of your lover with cassette tape while wearing a feather in your fedora.

  • “Love On Top” by Beyoncé (2011)

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    Beyonce set a new record with “Love On Top” for proclaiming her love via four key changes. While it’s nearly impossible for the average shower-singer to get through all of these sans injury, Beyonce made it look easy at the 2011 MTV VMAs after announcing that she had a special “love” growing inside of her: Blue Ivy.

  • “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele (2011)

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    Professional sad songstress Adele cleaned house at the 2012 Grammys thanks to this hit. Her pained, chant-like tune won her Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video.

  • “Love on the Brain” Rihanna (2016)

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    Rihanna might call herself a “savage” on “Needed Me,” but she displays her softer side on “Love on the Brain.” RiRi belts out “Don’t you stop loving me/Don’t quit loving me/Just start loving me” as we listen and relate to her romantic woes.

  • “1+1” by Beyoncé (2011)

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    The opening line of the song—”If I ain’t got nothing, I got you”—seamlessly sets the tone for what’s to come. Beyonce’s voice rises and falls over an electric guitar, singing such amorous lines as “We ain’t got nothing but love” and begging Jay Z to make love to her. If you’ve never heard Beyonce sing this song live, you have yet to hear it right.

  • “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean (2012)

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    Frank Ocean set the mood for the summer of 2012 via “Thinkin Bout You” from his gorgeous Channel Orange LP. Adding to the romance of the song, Frank hasn’t released new music since this album.

  • “All Of Me” by John Legend (2013)

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    If the romantic lyrics didn’t do it for you (“I give you all of me, you give me all of you”), then the music video definitely did. The black and white visuals feature John Legend on the piano, a sexy sight in itself, as well as voyeuristic flashes of him with wife Chrissy Teigen in their home, basking in their love.

  • “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith (2014)

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    Sam Smith’s heartbreaking debut album In the Lonely Hour gave way to many stellar love songs. One in particular that stands out is “Stay With Me,” which later received a Mary J. Blige feature.

  • “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran (2015)

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    “Thinking Out Loud” became the new classic wedding song upon its release. As if the video wasn’t enough, Ed Sheeran surprised a couple at their wedding and sang “Thinking” to them live.

  • “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias (2001)

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    Good love songs know how to balance sentimentality with authenticity. Unfortunately for “Hero,” the song falls on the overly sentimental side and is actually just plain cheesy.

  • “Your Body Is A Wonderland” by John Mayer (2001)

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    “Discover me, discovering you.” Are you cringing yet?

  • “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt (2004)

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    Some think that the “You’re Beautiful” video shows James Blunt committing suicide. Taking your own life in the name of love is very Romeo and Juliet-esque, but it’s the 21st century, people. Ain’t nothing sexy about suicide.

  • “Lovers And Friends” featuring Usher & Ludacris by Lil Jon (2004)

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    This song is essentially two minutes and 43 seconds of foreplay wasted because of Lil Jon’s rap verse. Why’d he have to do Usher and Luda like that?

  • “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter (2005)

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    This song, man. It’s just not what you want your boyfriend to play while trying to cheer you up from actually having a bad day.

  • “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s (2006)

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    Lord help Delilah. Poor girl.

  • “Me & U” by Cassie (2006)

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    The most enjoyable part of this song is watching Cassie break it down in the video. Unfortunately, Cassie’s live performances of “Me & U” were disastrous and it’s hard to even call it a love song. It’s more of a failed panty dropper.

  • “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne (2007)

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    Call me crazy, but I don’t think the way to a man’s heart is by shouting “Hey, you! I don’t like your girlfriend!” at him.

  • “Bust It Baby Pt. 2” featuring Ne-Yo by Plies (2008)

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    You know you have a unique relationship when your man nicknames you “Wet-Wet.” Oy.

  • “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train (2009)

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    Can you believe this song was a hit? Good God. What were we thinking?

  • “Closer” by The Chainsmokers (2016)

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    This song has over a billion views on YouTube, and for good reason. The song is catchy, but “So, baby, pull me closer/In the back seat of your Rover/That I know you can’t afford” is one of the worst pick up lines of all time. When it comes to love, The Chainsmokers missed the mark.

  • “Little Things” by One Direction (2012)

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    Naming all of the things you think make a woman imperfect and then using them to tell her that actually, you think she’s perfect really makes no sense. Forget the heartache, this song is a headache.

  • “Marry The P*ssy” by R. Kelly (2013)

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    R. Kelly summed it up best when he dubbed the song a “sex proposal.” What’s a sex proposal, you ask? Press play. We’ll be praying for you.

  • “Get Her Back” by Robin Thicke (2014)

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    Robin Thicke released this song in an effort to get ex-wife Paula Patton back. Maybe it was the song, maybe it was just the hurt feelings. Whatever it was, Robin did not get Paula back and now, we have this.

Now that you got your playlist together, it’s time to go find someone to play these jams for. Check out the clip below of these women documenting their 14 day experience on dating apps.