2016: The Year in Charts

The 10 Best Zedd Songs

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Zedd performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 in at Golden Gate Park on Aug. 6, 2016 in San Francisco.

Of all the dance producers who've crossed over into pop's glittering realm, Zedd is one of the most celebrated, and for good reason. He's spent the last three years racking up the hits -- five that have landed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in particular -- but even before he had a mainstream name, he was one of the go-to guys his electronic peers were quick to name drop in a conversation of cool.

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He hit the ground running, and some of his earlier work remains some of his most beloved. His production prowess has since been snatched up by Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber. Here’s a list of the 10 best Zedd songs for your listening pleasure.

#10 - "Stars Come Out"

Back in 2011, Zedd dropped this classic with a bunch of remixes on Dim Mak. It was the birth of a star in his own right, though it would still be a moment before Zedd reached full crossover greatness. You can hear the signature Zedd compositions coming through. It's a must-listen for any proper Zedd fan and an electronic music moment that must be celebrated.

#9 - "Beautiful Now" ft. Jon Bellion

The ticking clock weighs heavy in the first moments of the song, but it doesn't take long for Jon Bellion to silence those pesky reminders into stillness. A pure celebration of the finite beauty of youth in all its reckless abandon, “Beautiful Now” ushered in the era of Zedd's True Colors.

#8 - "True Colors" ft. Kesha

Zedd digs a little deeper than his usual pomp and party time on this title track anthem. There's a bit of the Old West in its rich chords. Kesha's powerful voice exposes a passionate strength. It's no surprise the song emerged as an empowerment anthem during her legal battle with Dr. Luke. Listen to this when you need to pump up before a big stand-off moment.

#7 - "Starving" (with Hailee Steinfeld and Grey)

Okay, this one is technically only a feature on a Hailee Steinfeld song, alonside Zedd's new favorite studio friends Grey, but we just love this song, okay? It's catchy, it's romantic, it's easy to vibe to. It's a reeled-in version of the star producer's point of view, and subtle looks good on him.

#6 - "I Want You To Know" ft. Selena Gomez

It takes two seconds to recognize Selena Gomez on this True Colors hit, but did you know OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder helped with the songwriting process? Apparently, they had so much fun collaborating on the Clarity track “Lost at Sea,” they figured they'd give it another shot at a single. Zedd's song also gave Gomez some clout in the dance world. She recently sang for Cashmere Cat, but let the record show, Zedd was there first.

#5 - "The Legend of Zelda"

Is it weird that a remix of an old Nintendo tune is one of the greatest dance songs of the last five years? Not when it's Zedd's hype take on the Legend of Zelda theme. It's iconic on its own, and this electrified version was the young producers' first real hit. He still plays it in his live shows, which is totally awesome. This is a jam that can never die, because heroes like Link and Zedd exist beyond time.

#4 - "Stay the Night" ft. Hayley Williams

Zedd has proven his prowess as a pop dance ballad king. “Stay the Night” came after mega-hit “Clarity” as if banish any rumor of flash-in-the-pan success. Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams is perfect as she sings the devil-may-care momentary romance of our modern era. Of course, it's the feeling when the drop hits that lasts the longest.

#3 - "Shave It"

What are we supposed to shave? Zedd has never been the burliest of men, but maybe there's a big old beard waiting to explode. There's certainly no shortage of beastly beats, and this 2011 breakout original is one of our faves. Released on OWSLA and with remixes by Kaskade and Tommy Trash, it marked the producer as a mean original song-writing machine.

#2 - "Spectrum" ft. Matthew Koma

Think of the biggest melodic lines in modern dance music, and “Spectrum” is bound to come to mind. It's got a bright and bouncy rhythm that cant be ignored, and that breakdown, it's complextro greatness. Matthew Koma is beautiful over these adorable textures. It almost makes us want to go back in time to 2012.

#1 - "Clarity" ft. Foxes

Undoubtedly the biggest hit in Zedd's career so far, “Clarity” was the song that took the fresh-faced producer to mainstream household heights. Foxes' sweet, love-pained vocals are iconic over the searching synths. The drop comes on like a waterfall, more a cascade of notes than a barrage of noise. “Clarity” was one of the genre's first big crossover anthems, but it set a standard in pop that moves far beyond festival stages.