Missy Elliott, Outkast, and Beyoncé

Rolling Stone Reveals the Greatest Songs of All Time

  /  09.15.2021

After sharing its best music videos of all time, Rolling Stone has revealed the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Queen, Aretha Franklin, tops the list with her renowned classic “Respect,” followed by Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem “Fight the Power,” which RS calls a “manifesto for racial revolution and Black pride.”

There are also modern day classics like Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” at No. 8. “‘Get Ur Freak On’ remains an anthem for freaks everywhere. And even after 20 years, it still sounds like the future,” writes the magazine.

Outkast’s Polaroid-shaking hit “Hey Ya!”—described as the “most universal pop smash of the early 2000s”—rounds out the top 10. The duo of André 3000 and Big Boi also appear at No. 39 with “B.O.B.”

Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” featuring JAY-Z scores a top 20 placement at No. 16. “The song emphatically announced her arrival as the era’s dominant pop power,” declares RS.

The top 30 also includes Prince and the Revolution’s “Purple Rain” (No. 18), Kanye West’s “Runaway” featuring Pusha T (No. 25), and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” (No. 29).

In 2004, Rolling Stone published its original list. The 2021 edition was decided by a poll of more than 250 artists, musicians, and producers including Megan Thee Stallion, Sam Smith, and Zedd, along with music industry executives and journalists.

See the top 20 below and the full list here.

Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs of All Time

1. Aretha Franklin – “Respect”
2. Public Enemy – “Fight the Power”
3. Sam Cooke – “A Change Is Gonna Come”
4. Bob Dylan – “Like a Rolling Stone”
5. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
6. Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On”
7. The Beatles – “Strawberry Fields Forever”
8. Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On”
9. Fleetwood Mac – “Dreams”
10. Outkast – “Hey Ya!”
11. The Beach Boys – “God Only Knows”
12. Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
13. The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”
14. The Kinks – “Waterloo Sunset”
15. The Beatles – “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
16. Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z – “Crazy in Love”
17. Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
18. Prince and the Revolution – “Purple Rain”
19. John Lennon – “Imagine”
20. Robyn – “Dancing on My Own”


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