The 10 Best Dance Choruses of the 21st Century
Nothing brings the world together like music. It's the glue that holds us tight to each other, the bridge that extends over all cultural divides. I once went to Brazil and could barely speak to anyone, but we were all one family as we sang along to Red Hot Chili Peppers remixes together. That's the power of a good sing-along, and when it comes to grab-your-friends-by-the-shoulders-and-shout-it-out-loud anthem, dance music has droves.
We can't ever forget '90s anthems like “Fired Up” or “What is Love,” but modern dance music has a few gems that rival even those classic choruses. We at Billboard Dance put our heads together to discern the very best dance choruses form the last decade, and to be honest, you're going to have a hard time keeping quiet through this one.
10. Avicii, “Fade into Darkness”
“Levels” may have one of the best drops ever, but when it comes to throwing your head back and chanting into the sky, “Fade into Darkness” is Avicii's best work. Ain't nothing fading about this glorious chorus: It's simple, it's straightforward, and it sounds best at full volume. Shout out to singer Andreas Moe for providing those uncredited vocals that inspire us to wreck our vocal chords.
Sia is flat out one of the best songwriters of her generation. She brings a thoughtfulness to pop hooks seldom heard on modern radio, and she knows how to create a damn good sing-along moment. Guetta set this one up, and Sia bulldozes this sucker down. We may not all have her pipes, but we can all give it our best shot, and we do, every time it comes on. Fun fact: There's a version recorded with Mary J. Blige that leaked once upon a time, but Guetta decided Sia was the move, and he wasn't wrong.
I'll admit, I often accidentally sing the lyrics to Chris Isaak's “Wicked Game” when I jam out to this one, but that's only because Rob Swire reinterprets that also fun sing-along tune with this chorus -- though Chris Isaak never had me shouting like this. Swire is a beast on this chorus, and he brings out the beast in us all. I just wanna sing it right, and I'm gonna get it tonight.
You've got to hand it to OneRepublic on this one. The band crafted this heartfelt chorus all on its own, but Alesso pumped it full of confetti and lasers and smoke machines and everything magical. This is the kind of chorus that builds you up as much as it builds the energy in the room. Alesso's remix makes the romantic notions even more wondrous.
Calvin Harris pulled this jewel of a chorus out of thin air. The story goes that he was tossing words around, trying to fit something into the melody he concocted and stumbled upon this simple, easy, flowing hook. Rihanna picked up that ball and ran it way past the end zone into the great annals of jam-out history. This hits all the right notes -- it's hypnotic, it's hopeful, it's passionate. Sign me up forever.
The fact that it's the Skrillex remix doesn't really change the essence of the chorus. His part is all that wobbly bass, but Gary Go''s insurmountable contribution can never be diminished. He wrote and recorded the iconic vocals; which actually have been scientifically proven as incredibly infectious and impossible not to shout along with. That last part is false -- the science world is too busy dealing with global warming and cancer and all that to care too much about “Cinema" --” but I've never seen this song come on without inspiring a big chorus of fan love, so, that's proof enough for me.
4. Swedish House Mafia, “Save The World”
Shout out John Martin for absolutely destroying the lyrics and vocals on this unforgettable dance anthem. How often does a song become an instant classic? This one absolutely, and Swedish House Mafia knew they had something wonderful on its hands. The producers cut the music hard to let Martin's undeniably brilliant lyrical hook shine. You can't help singing along to that “oooh-oooh-ohhhhh” hook either.
3. Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford, “Sun and Moon”
First of all, this is an Above & Beyond classic. The music video is fantastic, and Richard Bedford delivers one hell of a performance. This song is different than the others on this list: Bedford doesn't need to shout to get his emotions across. It's all there in the soft honesty of his beautiful earnestness. It's such a grand, heart-warming declaration, you have to fall in love with it -- and sing along.
2. Justice vs Simian, “We Are Your Friends”
You have not lived until you've seen Justice live and shouted this obnoxiously into the faces of your friends. This is the perfect bestie anthem, a fabulous soundtrack to all your sweaty, late-night escapades with your ride or dies. It's the beautiful promise of forever, and you have to scream it. There is no whispering a declaration of this magnitude, and the Simian singer is letting it rip. You gotta do like the man does and let a little spit fly. It's cool. You guys are friends. Stray saliva isn't shamed in this inner circle.
This chorus has it all; love, heartache, tragedy, ecstasy, shouting, the sound of a woman who could very well be on the verge of a breakdown. "Clarity" made Zedd a bonafide superstar. It was co-written by Zedd, Matthew Koma, Porter Robinson, and Skylar Grey, which is absolutely a dream team -- and probably the four of them should get together again soon. The world needs more blindingly bright choruses like this one. This is a dance floor daydream in hi-def technicolor.