The 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1994

As 2014 draws to a close, one thing that stands out the most about this year is the huge wave of artists who broke international barriers and crossed over into our pop music consciousness. And we’re not just talking about the UK, where Disclosure, Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Ella Henderson and Clean Bandit hail from — you also had Australia (Iggy Azalea), Ireland (Hozier), Canada (MAGIC! and Kiesza) Norway (Nico & Vinz), Sweden (Tove Lo) and Amsterdam (Mr. Probz) waving their flags high. It got us thinking that we hadn’t seen a foreign invasion of the American charts like this in 20 years.

So what else is it about 1994 that made it such an utterly memorable year, musically? Before we get to that, let’s first paint a quick picture of what life was like during this particular 12-month period when iTunes and YouTube and Twitter didn’t exist, nor did texting or Snapchatting — when being “social” meant driving (sans GPS or the Maps app) to meet up with friends in person, or, at the very least, putting a pen to paper and mailing a letter.

First off, when 1994 rolled around, Bill Clinton was entering his second year of the first term of his presidency. Cell phones were the size of bricks and e-mail and the Internet were sporadically-used luxuries. It was the days of Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan and the 1994 Winter Olympics. And CD-ROMs. We watched O.J. Simpson go on the run on live TV and also tuned into the first seasons of Friends, ER and Party Of Five. Tom Hanks was America’s favorite movie star. At the box office, The Lion King roared loudest, while Speed, Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction also packed movie-goers in. And when Kurt Cobain was found dead at his home on April 8th, it was, as they say, the end of an era…

…which brings us back to music. It would have been the easy way out for us here at Idolator to assemble a simple list of, say, the 20 best singles from 20 years ago, and dash out a a sentence or two on each one. But it turns out, when we really dug deep into what pop had to offer in 1994, there were just far too many good songs to leave out. From sultry slow jams to trip hop to synth-pop to Eurodance to Swedepop to alt-rock, it truly was an eclectic year when popular music produced something for everyone.

SEE ALSO: Why 1994 Is Hip-Hop's Greatest Year Ever

So instead, we gathered up the 50 best pop singles that made an impact in the year 1994 below, and reviewed and ranked them by their overall awesomeness. Most of these songs sprung up that year, but you’ll find that some first appeared on albums released in 1993 and didn’t get a single release until ’94, or perhaps were released as a single in late ’93 but their chart run carried into the next year. Whatever the case may be, they’re the tracks we felt left an unforgettable impression.

To add a bit of flavor, we reached out to some of the artists featured — Ace Of Base, TLC, Lisa Loeb, Real McCoy and Haddaway — and asked them to share their memories of what it was like contributing to the year 1994 in pop. Ready to hop into our time machine and step back 20 years?

On your mark, set… head to Idolator

From the Web

More on Vibe

Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Tamar Braxton Opens Up About Suicide Attempt, Announces Podcast

In her first interview since attempting suicide this past summer, Tamar Braxton appeared on the Tamron Hall Show on Wednesday (Oct. 28) where she opened up about her mental health, domestic violence rumors brought on by her former boyfriend, and announced the launch of a new podcast.

To start, 43-year-old Braxton confirmed reports that she attempted suicide and explained what drove her to that point. “I already felt dead,” admitted Braxton. “I felt choked every single day. It was about feeling like I couldn’t never be myself, and being misunderstood and having the stigma of the ‘angry Black woman’ all the time. That’s not who I am. That’s not what I want to portray.”

She also spoke to her original vision for Braxton Family Values, how the show caused drama in her family, and not wanting to film the spin-off, Get Ya Life! Braxton claims that WEtv made her film Get Ya Life! in exchange for green lighting another reality series.

Later in the interview, Braxton accused a family member of leaking her sexual abuse story to Iyanla Vanzant for an episode of BFV. Though she is currently estranged from her entire family, and has cut ties with WEtv, the suicide attempt will be discussed on the upcoming season of BFV -- much to Braxton’s disdain.

Braxton went on to speak about her onetime relationship with David Adefeso, whom she praised as a great man and former partner. Adefeso filed a restraining order against Braxton last month, following an alleged altercation. He has accused her of domestic violence, which she denied on the show and on Twitter.

“As a victim of domestic violence, I take domestic violence accusations seriously..& DAVID was NOT& IS NOT a VICTIM! I wish he had some type of integrity for me and keep whatever happened in our relationship private,”she tweeted. “I am trying to heal and move on and i wish he would stop this.”

Braxton may be done with WEtv’s brand of reality TV but she’s not ruling out a return to televisions. In the meantime, she's kicking off the Under Construction podcast. “Come join me to laugh, cry and relate to each other while we get better and better together,” Braxton wrote on Instagram.

The podcast debuts on Nov. 11.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This whole experience has opened my eyes on what I’m REALLY supposed to be doing with my life... FIXING IT‼️ so, I’ve started a podcast Tht is dedicated to my new self on a journey to be my BEST self and I want to take you all with me on this ride ❤️ there is No MORE reality foolishness but the fun, singing, sister-girlfriend Tamar who you don’t know and who is up front and honest about my struggles. Come join me to laugh, cry and relate to each other while we get better and better together. We all are not perfect and we all are UNDER CONSTRUCTION 🚧 here a sneak peak❤️✨going down NOV11th

A post shared by Tamar Braxton (@tamarbraxton) on Oct 28, 2020 at 8:29am PDT

Continue Reading
Santiago Bluguermann/Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar And TDE Secure Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group

Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment have entered into a new partnership. Universal Music Publishing Group signed Lamar and TDE to an exclusive global publishing administration deal, the company announced on Tuesday (Oct. 27).

“Kendrick and I are excited for our new partnership with [UMPG Chairman and CEO] Jody Gerson and UMPG,” TDE founder Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith said in a statement. “Jody was passionate from the jump — she fought to make this deal happen.”

Added Gerson, “Kendrick Lamar is not only one of the greatest lyricists that has ever lived, but he has done as much or more than any artist to promote much needed change in our society through music. I and my colleagues at UMPG are deeply honored to be afforded the opportunity to join Kendrick, Anthony “Top Daw” Tiffith and the TDE family to help forward his unique and important vision.”

The terms of the deal have not been made public.

A leading global music publisher, UMPG represents music across every genre from songwriters and catalogs that include, Mariah Carey, Beastie Boys, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Lil Baby, Post Malone, Jhené Aiko, J Balvin, alongwith fellow TDE artists, ScHoolboy Q and SZA.

Continue Reading
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp

Chadwick Boseman’s Brother Marks 2-Year Anniversary Of Cancer Being In Remission

Chadwick Boseman’s older brother was also battling cancer at the same time as the Black Panther star. Kevin Boseman, 48, recently marked the two-year anniversary of his cancer being in remission.

The professional dancer revealed the health update on his Instagram Story. A screen grab of the post was captured by The Shaderoom earlier this week. "I was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and underwent four rounds of chemotherapy," he wrote. ”I’m in remission!!!!! You read right. I am in remission. Today marks my official two-year remission anniversary. October 14, 2020."

The Boseman’s brother’s include Derrick Boseman, a 54-year-old pastor. The grieving brother’s opened up about Chadwick in a New York Times piece published in early October.

“I have been trying to remember Chad and not Chadwick, and there’s just been a lot of Chadwick in the air,” Kevin said adding that when a family member is also a celebrity, “You have to start sharing that person with the world. I always endeavored to just treat him like my brother.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KEVIN BOSEMAN (@kevinboseman) on Nov 29, 2019 at 7:58am PST

Years before he made it big, Chadwick moved to New York City to chase his acting dreams. He lived with Kevin, who became a successful dancer, touring with Alvin Ailey's dancer theater, and appearing in a stage production of The Lion King.

In 2016, Chadwick was diagnosed with cancer just as his career began to take off. He kept the diagnosis out of the public eye and continued to film movies in between undergoing treatment. After an arduous four-year battle, Chadwick succumbed to the disease in August. The day before his passing, Chadwick told Pastor Boseman, “Man, I’m in the fourth quarter, and I need you to get me out of the game.”

Continue Reading

Top Stories