onwards and upwards with the countdown of the noughties;
80. Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Pink and Mya - Lady Marmalade - 2001
One of my favourite collaborations from the start of the decade, Christina Aguilera, Pink and Mya teamed up with rappers Lil' Kim and Missy Elliot who produced, on a cover of LaBelle's Lady Marmalade for the soundtrack to the Moulin Rouge film. A far better version than the one that All Saints had churned out three years before, Christina's vocals were by far the highlight of the song for me, although I did also enjoy Lil' Kim's rap!!! A deserved UK #1 single in summer 2001, it obviously had great production because it still sounds quite fresh now!!!
79. Leona Lewis - Run - 2008
Back to Leona Lewis again, and her final entry here. Leona first performed her theatrical cover of Snow Patrol's Run in the Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2007. A year later in 2008 she performed it again on X Factor to launch the re-release of her debut album Spirit, which duly went straight back to #1. Two weeks later, the album was finally made availble on iTunes and the eagerly anticipated Run went straight to #1 based solely on download sales, whilst the song became Leona's third consecutive Christmas top 3 hit and her second bonafide decade definining moment!!! An absolutely breathtaking version of the Snow Patrol song, offering something completely different to the original. It's a trick she's tried again with Oasis' Stop Crying Your Heart Out on her new album, but surely nothing will top this? One of the best ballads of the last couple of years easily.
78. Delta Goodrem - Electric Storm - 2004
And so on to my favourite artist of the decade, with the first of a few entries in this countdown and the first non-single to appear. Australian star Delta starred as Nina Tucker in Neighbours and went onto a hugely successful music career. Electric Storm was taken from her second album, Mistaken Identity, a much darker affair than the first due to her having battled cancer in the 2 years between the first and second albums. Electric Storm was one of the standouts of a stunning album - a mature, dark yet powerful song about troubled relationships which always reminds me of Christmas Eve for some reason. Wouldn't have made a great single but it sure as hell made a brilliant album track.
77. Alphabeat - Fascination - 2008
Helping the 'cool pop' revival of 2008 was Danish six piece Alphabeat. Led by female singer Stine and one of many people called Anders in the band, Fascination quickly won over hearts in the UK, easily becoming one of 2008's defining hits even though it only reached #6. You know that it's had a huge cultural impact when Simon Cowell lets the X Factor Finalists cover it at the start of one of the live shows!!! A joyous, catchy pop song, fusing classic pop melodies with slight hints of indie, Alphabeat were truly one of the great bands of 2008 with Boyfriend and 10,000 Nights also being absolutely brilliant. Their new album, whilst very good, suggests that they may have lost the ability to relate to the public, but Fascination was most definitely the right song at the right time. Oh, and there is no more live concert defining moment than the callback 'The word is on your lips...say the word!'
76. Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten - 2004
Back when Natasha was just Daniel Bedingfield's prettier sister making a name for herself with the above average pop song Single, I didn't really think anything of her apart from that she was a chancer getting lucky thanks to her brother. Then I heard These Words. WOW. Then I bought the album. Goodbye Daniel! Unwritten was one of a ton of standouts on one of the quirkiest and freshest pop albums of the first half of the decade. A gorgeous, uplifting and positive mid-tempo strummer complete with a gospel choir that instantly became my album highlight and a college anthem. It did ok in the UK charts but it was nothing compared to how big the song became. Featuring in every advert under the sun as well as becoming the theme tune to US teen show The Hills, the song went top five in the US, launching Natasha as a huge star over there - a territory that her brother had already had his own success!!! Even the US knew of the great Bedingfield sibling rivalry!!! If You're Not The One aside though, none of Daniel's material ever touched what his sister came up with.