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Ke$ha performs at the Coca Cola All Access Lounge pre-show at Hammerstein Ballroom on December 11, 2009 in New York City. Lady Gaga performs at the Lady Gaga and the launch of V61 hosted by V Magazine, Marc Jacobs and Belvedere Vodka on September 14, 2009 in New York City. Miley Cyrus attends "Hannah Montana:The Movie" premiere at the Kinepolis cinema on April 21, 2009 in Madrid, Spain.

As the final year in the oughts, 2009 gave us a fantastic year in pop music. We had Lady Gaga’s reissue of The Fame, which she called The Fame Monster. The album gave us hits like “Alejandro,” “Bad Romance,” and “Telephone.” Gaga gave something new to the pop scene with her out-of-this-world outfits and music video concepts. She was unapologetically herself, and she set the standard for artists to come looking to break molds. The Black Eyed Peas were also doing their own thing in this era, sticking true to being self-proclaimed “weirdos,” making songs that they knew were dope enough to get radio play that they didn’t have to change their sound to adapt. These artists were well ahead of their time, and the fans ate it all up.

Newcomers to the World of Pop

A newcomer to the scene was Ke$ha, who used to sign her name with the dollar sign while working with Dr. Luke. Following her success of being featured on Flo Rida’s 2008 hit, “Right Round,” Ke$ha’s debut single was “TiK ToK.” At this time, wild child Ke$ha was 18 years old, saying the inspiration behind the song came from coming home half-drunk and stumbling after a night out of partying. The song later appeared on her debut album, Animal, featuring heavily autotuned songs that were a staple during this time period. For teenagers growing up at this time, Ke$ha was perfect for partying and emulating that lifestyle. On the other side, Miley Cyrus was closing out her Hanna Montana chapter. With the film release in 2009, the singer and actress provided one of the most beautiful, inspiring ballads that she has ever recorded thus far. “The Climb” was a pivotal moment in Cyrus’ music career, as her voice was developing and reaching new ranges that it hadn’t before.

Take a look below at the six pop songs that have a fifteenth anniversary in 2024:

  • 'TiK ToK' -- Ke$ha

    Before TikTok, there was “TiK ToK” by Ke$ha. When she burst on the scene with her glitter and wild girl persona “looking sick and sexified,” this heavily auto-tuned track was playing everywhere. The track was the lead single off her 2010 album Animal.

  • 'Bad Romance' -- Lady Gaga

    From Gaga’s 2009 electropop record, The Fame Monster, “Bad Romance” is hands-down her biggest and best hit off the album.  From the harpsichord intro in the music video to the iconic dance moves, this hit is still thoroughly enjoyed today. Gaga’s era during this time was so fresh in pop culture that she could sing, dance, and bring the most creative visions to life in her music videos.

  • 'The Climb' -- Miley Cyrus

    As Cyrus was closing out her Hannah Montana chapter, she left all of her fans in tears when she wrote this banger for the movie’s soundtrack. The beautiful country-pop power ballad describes life to be a difficult but rewarding journey. 16-year-old Miley was singing such touching lyrics as, “Every step I’m taking, every move I make feels lost with no direction. My faith is shaken.”

  • 'She Wolf' -- Shakira

    After Shakira’s hips didn’t lie, the Colombian superstar became a “She Wolf.” The electropop song details Shakira’s boredom due to her uncaring partner and how she looks for others to please her. Following the release of two Twilight movies, Shakira’s timing for the howling track couldn’t be more perfect.

  • 'Fireflies' -- Owl City

    This song had us in a chokehold when it was released in 2009. Even when we hear it now, we have to drop everything and get fully immersed in the synthline. The song was inspired by lying awake with insomnia and seeing fireflies in rural Minnesota during the summertime. It was also inspired by the experience of seeing a meteor shower, with the shooting stars being fireflies instead. The music video features nostalgic toys from the 70s and 80s, adding to the retro-meets-future sci-fi vibe.

  • 'Boom Boom Pow' -- Black Eyed Peas

    With another futuristic sound hailing from 2009 is this lead single off Black Eyed Peas’ fifth studio album, The E•N•D. Staying true to themselves as being different from other artists during this time, the group took pride in making a “dope” song that would be a radio hit without having to change their sound to fit any sort of mold.

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