The Top 10 Catchiest Songs Ever

There are songs you love, songs you hate, and then there are songs that are so annoyingly catchy, you find yourself singing them in the shower and humming them in the car, even if you don’t like them. Why in the world is that?

A group of British scientists decided to find out, and created an ingenious web test to do so. Curious about why some tunes like Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” or Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” became not only top 10 hits, but cultural landmarks, researchers at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester invented an online game called Hooked on Music, featuring clips from 1,000 hit songs over the past 70 years (the top-selling 40 tracks from each decade since the 1940s).

The test includes four parts: “Recognize that Tune,” in which you hum along with a track that suddenly drops sound, and then report whether you’re still in time when it resumes; “What’s the Hook,” in which you listen to two different clips from the same song and choose which is catchier; “Time Trial,” where you try to recognize as many songs as possible in three minutes; and “In a Row, ” where you must identify as many songs in a row as you can. (Take the fun test yourself here at HookedonMusic.)

So which songs made the top 10 list? It may not surprise you to learn that Lady Gaga and Whitney Houston are there, but you might scratch your head over some of the others. (It’s a U.K.-originated test after all, so English-speaking acts tend to rule.) See if your favorite songs made the list of Top 10 Catchiest Songs Ever.

1. Spice Girls – Wannabe

2. Lou Bega – Mambo No 5

3. Survivor – Eye of the Tiger

4. Lady Gaga – Just Dance


6. Roy Orbison – Pretty Woman

7. Michael Jackson – Beat It

8. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You

9. The Human League – Don’t You Want Me

10. Aerosmith – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

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From Whitney to Christina: The 10 Best and Worst Pop Diva Musical Movie Soundtracks

whitney houston movie

They dazzle our ears with their bewitching vocals, but when it comes to our eyes, sometimes our favorite pop songstresses soar, shudder, and just plain crash and burn on screen. As a tribute to the late, great Whitney Houston, whose last movie “Sparkle” came out in 2012, MyMusicCloud is taking a look at the Best and Worst Pop Diva Musical Movie Soundtracks, from “The Bodyguard” to “Burlesque.”

Billed as the last movie filmed before Houston’s tragic February death, “Sparkle” casts her as the strict mother and failed singer of a talented young chanteuse, played by real-life chart-climber Jordin Sparks. The two powerhouses sing a new duet (“Celebrate”) in “Sparkle,” which Houston said is actually a remake of one of her own favorite 1976 movies. That version? it was inspired by the life story of another of our top pop divas — Diana Ross.

Miss Ross lands on our top 5 Best Diva Musical Movie Soundtrack list with her emotional portrayal of troubled blues singer Lady Day, modeled after Billie Holliday. “Lady Sings the Blues” earned the singer a Best Actress Oscar nomination and captured pop music fans’ adoration with the singles “Good Morning, Heartache” and “God Bless the Child” in 1972.

The Houston/Ross connection goes even deeper with the 1992 smash hit “The Bodyguard,” in which Houston played spoiled superstar Rachel Marron. The soundtrack racked up five hit singles for Houston: “I Will Always Love You”, “I’m Every Woman”, “Queen of the Night”, and two Oscar nominated songs “I Have Nothing” and “Run to You.”  But the movie was originally cast 20 years earlier with Ross and action star Steve McQueen in the title roles. (McQueen dropped out, cancelling the project.)

Those are just a couple pop diva soundtracks that succeeded, but what about the flops? Mega-diva Mariah Carey wobbled as club ingénue Billie Frank in the goofy “Glitter” while even Oscar winner Cher couldn’t help Christina Aguilera bump and grind her way through “Burlesque.” And who could forget Olivia Newton John as a roller-skating Greek muse in the disco-driven “Xanadu”?

For more of your movie musical favorites, browse our cloud-based music delivery service’s catalogue. Click the “Soundtracks” section under the “Genres” tab in our music store to see our library of 11 million songs. And add your suggestions to our Best/Worst list below!

Best Movie Musical Soundtracks

5.  The Bodyguard: Whitney Houston

4.  Grease: Olivia Newton-John

3. Funny Girl: Barbra Streisand

2. Lady Sings the Blues: Diana Ross

1. Dreamgirls: Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson

Worst Movie Musical Soundtracks

5. Glitter: Mariah Carey

4. Yentl: Barbra Streisand

3. Burlesque: Christina Aguilera & Cher

2. From Justin to Kelly: Kelly Clarkson

1. Xanadu: Olivia Newton-John

Watch the trailer for Whitney Houston’s movie “Sparkle”