Sorry to alarm you, but 2003 was 20 years ago. While you take a moment to process that disturbing fact, also consider that the year produced some major bangers in music. Rap, pop, r’n’b, country, and rock acts were all firing off some instant classics, and to kick of Season 7, the Great Pop Culture Debate podcast wants to determine: What IS the Best Song of 2003?

We created a a poll of just about every major song released in 2003 that charted on the U.S. Billboard charts. Note that we were looking for Billboard successes in the United States that were on the 2003 charts for the biggest hits of the year. Our listeners picked their favorites, we ranked them by popularity, added them to a bracket, and then argued about it and insulted each other, all for your amusement.

Join host Eric Rezsnyak and panelists Curtis Creekmore, Jake Pitochelli, and Kevin Dillon as they discuss the best pop, rock, hip-hop, r’n’b smashes from 2003 — which was, we are alarmed to say, 20 YEARS AGO. Which song will win? Listen now!

Want to listen to Part 1, where we debated the Top 32 down to the Sweet 16? Become a Patreon supporter of the podcast for that exclusive content. It’s like a whole bonus episode!

The Round 2 match-ups are:

Match-Up 1: “Hey Ya” by Outkast (1) vs. “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson (4)

Match-Up 2: “Baby Boy” Beyonce (6) vs. “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne (2)

Match-Up 3: “Milkshake” by Kelis (1) vs. “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera (4)

Match-Up 4: “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera (3) vs. “Numb” by Linkin Park (2)

Match-Up 5: “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce w/Jay Z (1) vs. “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne (4)

Match-Up 6: “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence (3) vs. “Work It” by Missy Elliott (2)

Match-Up 7: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (1) vs. “Where Is the Love?” by Black-Eyed Peas (4)

Match-Up 8: “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake (3) vs. “In Da Club” by 50 Cent (2)

Want to play along at home?

Click here to download the listener bracket for this episode. See if your picks match up with ours!

Want to preview the Top 32 before you dig into the episode? We made a playlist for you!

Looking for more related content?

Check out these other episodes from Great Pop Culture Debate:

Best Song of 1999

Best Break-Up Song

Best One-Hit Wonder of the 90s/2000s

Best Song of 1985

Finally, if you’re looking for even more great songs from 2003, check out Curtis Creekmore’s Top 10 List of the Best One-Hit Wonders of 2003.

Have a say in future episodes!

Finally, if you want to have a say in what episodes we tackle next, vote in our Topic Polls! And we would love to have you pick your faves in the polls currently open for your votes!


HOST: Eric Rezsnyak

PRODUCER: Bob Erlenback

PANEL: Curtis Creekmore, Jake Pitochelli, Kevin Dillon

EDITOR: Jack Kwait-Blank

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