When you hear the names Taylor Swift, Lily Allen, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, you are immediately transported back to a simpler time: the noughties. Whether you were blasting ‘Love Story’ and crying over your 10 year old romance that could never be, were screaming “fuck you, fuck you very very much” when your parents weren’t listening, were counting how many outfit changes Gaga had per video (of this I am guilty), resonating with ‘Sk8ter Boi’ in your tomboy chic, or innocently jamming to ‘Toxic’ without realising it’s sexual nature, you have to admit the 2000s were a questionable but iconic time to grow up, made even better by its reigning pop queens.
Coincidentally, the noughties were most definitely the superior Disney Channel era, which launched many pop queens, some now more relevant than others; Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens (back when she wasn’t so problematic), our queen Ashley Tisdale, Hilary Duff, and of course the iconic Debby Ryan (heyyy Jessie, oh woah ooo). For 10-year olds and under, we had a lot of heartbreak, anger, and problems that only these queens could comfort us in. From Cyrus’ Breakout (tunes such as ‘7 Things’ to ‘Fly On The Wall’ and ‘These Four Walls’), Miranda Cosgrove’s unforgettable ‘About You Now’, Demi Lovato’s absolute bangers in Camp Rock (2008) and her emo hits (‘Remember December’ / ‘Don’t Forget’), to Gomez’s ‘Everything Is Not What It Seems’, and ‘Fabulous’; there’s too many hits to name but I’m sure this gave you some nostalgia for those heart-breaking childhood days.
Disney Channel stars aside, the noughties truly did slap when it came to its pop queens – it’s no wonder that the Glee (2009-2015) soundtracks are full of bangers. Fergie was getting ‘Fergalicious’ and teaching us that ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, whilst Lady Gaga was creating a new religion for her monsters with the holy trinity ‘Poker Face’, ‘Paparazzi’ and ‘Bad Romance’ (also making us innocently sing at 8 that “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”). These queens were teaching us to be feminists before we even knew it. Lily Allen taught us that it’s ‘Not Fair’ that her man is selfish in bed, telling us to ‘Smile’ at the haters/cheaters, and called out racists and homophobes for their “medieval” point of view before we even knew what that meant. These 00s pop queens were high-key feminist, sex-positive, all round badasses that we were lucky to grow up listening to. Also, special mention to our ultimate bad girl Rihanna, giving us tunes such as ‘Shut Up and Drive’, ‘Unfaithful’ and ‘Umbrella’ in the noughties.
Now it has to be said, this era would have been lacking without our gal Tay Tay, otherwise known as the queen of genre diversity. Surely, even if you hate her, you have to love that she gave us the meme-worthy video for ‘You Belong With Me’ – she was a staple of the 2000s pop/country scene and life would not be the same if we’d grown up without her sappy love songs. Same for Britney Spears, empowering us with her unmatchable lyricism in ‘If You Seek Amy’, and her power moves in ‘Womanizer’. It’s safe to say, the noughties pop queens were diverse, but unifying in their love of sappy songs or female empowerment. They also probably make up a good portion of your pres playlists, because we all know deep down this was the best era of pop. If you’re looking to cry, feel like a badass, and get flashbacks to simpler times, look no further than our noughties queens.