The 15 Best David Guetta Songs
No matter how you feel about him, David Guetta is hugely responsible for dance music crossing over into the American mainstream. Would Calvin Harris ever be so big as he is today if Guetta hadn't helped break down those radio barriers? Would The Chainsmokers be stealing the hearts of so many tween girls if it weren't for early hits from Guetta and Nicki Minaj?
Guetta isn't afraid to get cheesy, but a lot of that cheese is so gooey, it's perfect. His willingness to work with artists across genre lines has brought hits with rappers, singer-songwriters and pop stars alike. As we await the first notes of his next single with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, we take a look back at 15 of the best David Guetta songs to date, from the beginning of his career way before “EDM” in 2002, to today.
15. David Guetta feat. Rihanna - "Who's That Chick"
Before she was tapped as Calvin Harris' favorite house-pop vocalist, Rihanna teamed up with David Guetta in the studio for this filtered-out dance floor hit. It wasn't as huge as “We Found Love” or other Guetta productions from 2010's One More Love, but it did chart as high as 51 on the Billboard Hot 100.
14. David Guetta - "Atomic Food"
This is just one of the strangest songs we ever did hear. It's kind of a classic among old-school Guetta fans, definitely tells you how not serious people were about their house music back in 2002. It was a time when anything was game, even listing off food items over a killer beat. Honestly, it's a dope tune, and certainly one that, once you've heard it, you'll never forget.
13. David Guetta feat. Emeli Sande - "What I Did For Love"
Scotland's Emeli Sande has one of the most honest voices in the game. It's easy to see why Guetta tapped her for what eventually became the third single from his sixth studio album, Listen. It's a slow, strong build into the big release at the hook. You don't need much else in the verses besides Sande's vocal, but we still love the maximalism of that drop.
12. David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj - "Turn Me On"
Not gonna lie, this David Guetta song totally sounds like it was meant for Rihanna, and then Guetta couldn't get Rihanna, so he just asked Nicki Minaj to play the part of the dance floor songstress. Guess it doesn't matter, because this is one of the biggest hits of Guetta's career so far. It peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 and stayed on that chart for 27 weeks. Who can forget the video, feautring Nicki Minaj as some kind of pleasure bot, coming to life mid-construction, singing from that weird metal skeleton mouth? That's the stuff nightmares are made of.
Guetta's sixth studio LP Listen has a lot of heaters, and this collaboration with Nicki Minaj tries to recapture some of that megahit “Turn Me On” magic. In my opinion, it does an even better job. Minaj shines, as opposed to sounding like a quick Rihanna replacement. Afrojack helps turn Alan Lomax's 1940s song “Rosie” into a Dutch house jam. Bebe Rexha, famous now for her collab with Martin Garrix on “In the Name of Love,” supplies the chorus, although she was originally not listed in the credits on radio. Record label execs thought three names was one too many for mainstream audiences to deal with. Hmph.
10. David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida - "Where Them Girls At"
This track opens 2011's Nothing But the Beat, Guetta's most pop-facing record of his career thus far. This is mainstream Guetta unbridled. This is Guetta working hard for that radio domination. Flo Rida is one of pop's favorite rappers, having made a career off of dance-hop party anthems. Nicki Minaj has two collabs with Guetta on this album, this era being the peak of her pop crossover momentum. It's a simple composition centered around bright synth chords with heavy emphasis on the vocals. The hook is undeniable. Indeed, “Where Them Girls At” is the rallying cry of every college party from the dawn of time.
9. David Guetta feat. Chris Willis - "People Come and Go"
This David Guetta song is a total disco-revival jam, featuring a killer topline from frequent Guetta collaborator Chris Willis, as well as production touches from another of Guetta's favorite friends, Joachim Gaurrad. “People Come and Go” is a total classic from 2002's debut Just a Little More Love. The guitar solo after the chorus might just be my favorite little part. This has some wonderful '80s edge to it too. We recommend putting it on when you're getting ready or pregaming. It puts some serious pep in your step and gives you that “this will be a magical evening” kind of feeling.
8. David Guetta feat. Barbara Tucker - "Give Me Something (Deep in my Heart)"
This is old-school disco groove Guetta, definitely one of the best gems from his debut album Just a Little More Love, released in 2002. This is pretty forward-thinking for that year, and it's retro-future vibes stand the test of time. I kind of miss this style in Guetta's later offerings. I'd love to see Guetta get his '70s funk disco band style back on. Barbara Tucker's rich, booming voice is beautiful all over this. It's that 4:25 mark that just takes us over the edge. And that strutting bass? More of this bass, please.
Is this a sonic snapshot of 2010, or what? We've got Chris Willis, duh, but the de facto voice of David Guetta is joined by Black Eyed Peas mama Fergie and EDM-crossover jokester gods LMFAO. Both of those features were radio royalty circa 2010, and they totally dominated in the arena of EDM-pop. This was the moment everyone decided tight neon pants and tanks with text were the only thing they wanted to wear. This is, like, the moment EDM became a hot commodity, and there's still been no gettin' over it. #Party
6. David Guetta feat. Akon - "Sexy Bitch"
Yes, there is a video for this song, but it can't be embedded for some reason, and anyway, no one wants to listen to the clean “Chick” version. We all know half of what makes this song so incredible is Akon's insane lyrical content. I remember my friend and I laughing for collective hours over a mainstream pop song being like “I want to respect this girl, but she's so hot, I just have to call her a sexy bitch.” This was Guetta's first tune to crack the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, though it wouldn't be his last. Akon actually approached Guetta about working together following the success of his Kelly Rowland collab. Guetta suggested they start immediately, so they booked a hotel in London and wrote this song in one night. It just goes to show, you should never put off for tomorrow what can be done tonight.
5. David Guetta with Fred Rister & Joachim Garraud feat. Chris Willis - "Love Is Gone"
This is a Guetta classic, a cut form 2007's Pop Life, a huge step for Guetta in the album department. It's full of filtered synth and electro vibe goodness, which was very en vogue in 2007. The radio edit, heard in the video below, is actually a remix of the original, included at the end of the album as a bonus cut, but this is the version that lives on in collective memory. Chris Willis is the perfect soulful house singer, belting out all the pain of a broken relationship, somehow turning it into a self-affirming message of strength and resilience. It's very '90s dance-all-night.
4. David Guetta feat. Usher - "Without You"
Nothing But the Beat might be Guetta's best album. It had so many unforgettable classics, this jam featuring Usher being one of the best. Again, Usher provides the perfect sing-along hook over Guetta's higher-than-higher synth melodies. There's a hint of Discovery-era Daft Punk in those electric keys matched with the pounding four-on-the-floor. Hey, they're both French, although “Without You” has more commercial sheen than anything the robots have produced. “Without You” is near-perfect summer radio material. It's upbeat, it's got star power, it's soulful, it's pop-driven. It's not a song anyone can deny.
3. David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi - "Memories"
Another jam from Guetta's first international crossover success One Love. In 2009, if you put Kid Cudi on a dance song, you were almost guaranteed a club hit. There's just something about his dark rasp that says “yes, you will party all night to this,” even when he's being a little melancholy -- which he is totally not here. The video is super goofy and wonderful. Naked chicks are “making” the video, instead of just appearing in it. The barber shop scene is definitely my fave. Those wacky barbers. I guess that's all the “crazy shit” Cudi's singing about. This tune is hipster-approved, which is a big thing for Guetta.
2. David Guetta feat. Sia - "Titanium"
Somehow, this David Guetta song only peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100. I distinctly remember everyone I knew belting out its chorus, regardless of how croaky their throaty cries came out. Sia is a vision on this track, a powerful force daring any detractor to step to this superwoman. The upward motion of the bridge is perfect house energy. Guetta is at his best on this tune, harnessing the brilliant energy of festival anthems while maintaining a nostalgic house club quality. It's not even cheesy, although it could have been at any sonic turn. It's pure dance magic, the kind of inspiring tune Rocky would train to if he were a young MMA fighter in 2011. Put this on when you need to be the very best.
1. David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland - "When Love Takes Over"
Fun fact: this song was co-written by Nervo. Yes, that piano riff sounds a lot like Coldplay's “Clocks,” but we'll just overlook that because we are too busy hitting the dance floor. I love David Guetta when he channels gay house anthems. This is one of those songs that forces you to smile like a slow-motion blast of glitter falling from the sky. All I see in my mind's eye is sweaty skin gyrating in a crowd, arms lifted to the sky, couples making out. Kelly Rowland is a beast on this one, a single from 2009's commercial crossover One Love, and in Billboard's opinion, one of the greatest dance pop crossover anthems of all time.