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The 100 Greatest Songs of the Century – So Far

We polled artists, critics and industry insiders to create a list of the era’s truly essential moments

The 100 Greatest Songs of the Century – So Far

The 2000s has produced a shocking amount of incredible music – and since changes in technology have made it all pretty much free, we’ve been able to hear more of it than ever before. We’ve been lucky enough to see some larger-than-life superstars roll through, from Beyoncé to Drake to Jack White to Adele, and we’ve seen greats from the previous century like Beck, Outkast and U2 change and re-up their game.

It’s been 18 years teaming with great indie-rock guitar bangers, overwrought dance anthems, heart-on-sleeve punk rock and emo, genre-mutating R&B and sonically adventurous, politically radical hip-hop. Kanye West has also been somewhat productive throughout this period.

To compile our list the “100 Greatest Songs of the Century – So Far,” we reached out to a large group of artists, producers, critics and industry experts who sent us ranked lists of their favorite songs. We tabulated the votes. Our own editorial list might look a little different, but the result is an excellent reflection of an incredible period in music history.

You can also read the list in the July issue of Rolling Stone. We’ve relaunched the magazine with a new look and we think this list perfectly embodies our commitment to giving you the deepest sense of the best music happening now and shaping the future.

The 100 Greatest Songs of the Century – So Far
8

“Rolling in the Deep,” Adele

2010 | XL; Highest Chart Position: 1 

Shortly after the breakup that ended her “first real relationship,” 20-year-old Adele went into the studio with songwriter Paul Epworth and channeled her raw heartache into a muscle-car Motown update that built to a gospel fever. “It’s me saying, ‘Get the fuck out of my house,’ instead of me begging him to come back,” she explained. Powered by the pain and authority of Adele’s vocal, “Rolling in the Deep” put old-school soul music back on the charts – all the charts, including rock, pop, R&B/hip-hop, dance and Latin, making it one of the biggest crossover hits ever.