Aggregated picks from various magazines, publications and TV networks of the worst songs of all time.
Creating the worst song ever is quite an achievement. (At least under the “it’s better to inspire hate than indifference” ethos.) Like, there have been so many songs. Just standing out enough to be in the conversation for the worst ever is tough to do.
These are 11 songs that have been called the worst song ever by a major publication or TV network. And most of them… yeah, feel potentially worthy. Although I DO have a lot of issues with a few.
And now, onto the worst…
1 | My Humps by Black Eyed Peas
(named the worst by The Guardian, A.V. Club and Rolling Stone readers)
It’s hard to say exactly when we hit Peak Fergie. Was it when her lyrics included spelling out “tasty”… but misspelled it “t-to-the-a-to-the-s-t-e-y”? Was it her modern twist on London Bridge, turning it into a sexual metaphor? Or was it in My Humps, a tribute to her lovely lady lumps? Man I miss Peak Fergie.
2 | We Built This City by Starship
(named the worst by Blender)
We Built This City is before my time, but I have distinct memories of enjoying listening to it in college. (Maybe after Homer sang it on The Simpsons? The episode where the Simpsons were briefly incarcerated and on the lam after Spring Break in Florida did come out around that time.) I think I liked it because I didn’t know it was terrible. It’s so optimistic! And it has that interlude where the radio DJ talks. Bad call, Blender.
3 | Friday by Rebecca Black
(named the worst by the BBC)
Friday remains one of the most fascinating moments in social media history. It’s going to be included in SO many theses on the rise, power and influence of YouTube over the next 30 years. But despite the inane lyrical content and transparency that it’s generically manufactured — I still don’t hate it.
4 | Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
(named the worst by Village Voice)
Get your simplistic melody and positive lyrics out of here! I think Don’t Worry, Be Happy ran into trouble by straddling the line between novelty song and not, forcing a negative reaction from critics in the process.
5 | What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes
(named the worst by Gawker and the Huffington Post)
I actually quite like What’s Up, although more for nostalgia than musicality. My favorite part is that the lyrics never use the phrase “What’s up” — rather, they always say “What’s going on.” But apparently they couldn’t use “What’s Going On” as a title because Marvin Gaye already had that territory fully locked down, so they went with an adjacent colloquialism. That alone makes it tough for me to argue with the song’s inclusion in this “bottom of the barrel” conversation.
6 | Who Let the Dogs Out? by Baha Men
(named the worst by Spinner)
Random Fact: Who Let the Dogs Out? was a cover. An artist from Trinidad and Tobago named Anslem Douglas originally wrote and recored it, under the title Doggie, in 1998. It worked its way over to the Baha Men, they hated it, recorded it under pressure from their record label anyway, and that just about sums up the entire story. Also, apparently they still tour today.
7 | The Thong Song by Sisqo
(named the worst by Pioneer Press)
I recently wrote all about the Thong Song and no, I do not agree with its inclusion on any “worst” list.
8 | Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
(named the worst by Rolling Stone)
I’m glad Blurred Lines is getting some recognition for being terrible now that we’re a few years out, because at the time it was popular, I was baffled. It was an instant “change the radio station” song for me. Perhaps it’s premature to call it the worst song ever, but it should remain in that mix going forward.
9 | Rockstar by Nickelback
(named the worst by Metro)
Webster’s Dictionary defines “perfunctory” as…. [and so on]
10 | Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus
(named the worst by The Independent)
Miley Cyrus’s career has overshadowed her dad’s, but hey, he’ll always hold this distinction. His music is more maligned than his persona; her persona is more maligned than her songs (and Party in the U.S.A. is, of course, a pop song of legitimate quality).
11 | You’re Beautiful by James Blunt
(named the worst by Spike)
Rated the “worst song in the history of mankind.” That’s a bold claim, but really lets a lot of Middle Ages lute players and amateur theremin enthusiasts off the hook.