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100 Best Pop Ballads

I have been an online writer for over six years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

What are the top 100 modern pop ballads? Find out here!

What are the top 100 modern pop ballads? Find out here!

The Elements of a Modern Pop Ballad

While ballads encompass a wide range of attributes associated with slow love songs, characteristically, these songs are known for their lush vocal arrangements, emphasized with acoustic instruments such as guitar, piano, saxophone, and drums.

Orchestral arrangements are also used in different forms of balladry. A number of mainstream ballads may also feature a dance rhythm backed with synthesizers and drum machines. Although the term “ballad” in music represents traditional narrative folk songs, through the decades, the term has evolved and become a prominent part of mainstream.

The list below showcases a diverse list of pop ballads and pop love songs from different decades. If you are a fan of pop music, you will have an opinion or song suggestion—feel free to pop it in the comments section.

Top 10 Best Pop Ballads

  1. “When the Party’s Over”—Billie Eilish
  2. “Someone like You”—Adele
  3. “All of Me”—John Legend
  4. “When I Was Your Man”—Bruno Mars
  5. “Thinking Out Loud”—Ed Sheeran
  6. “Delicate”—Taylor Swift
  7. “Wrecking Ball”—Miley Cyrus
  8. “Lose You to Love Me”—Selena Gomez
  9. “Daisies”—Katy Perry
  10. “Wonder”—Shawn Mendes

What Are Pop Ballads?

Pop ballads are slow tempo or mid-tempo emotional songs with an aesthetic blend of melody and harmony. Although this style of music is associated with romance, intimate relationships, and breakups, a number of modern ballads showcase varied themes about loneliness, war, death, religion, drug abuse, and religion. Feelings that come forth through unrequited love and desire are expressed in a solemn but endearing manner.

Ballads are best described as sentimental songs prevalent in a wide range of genres such as pop, rock, R&B, country, folk, soul, and electronic music. While rock ballads are known for their loud and hard-hitting sound, pop ballads showcase mellow instrumentation with soft melodic vocals.


11. “Someone You Loved”—Lewis Capaldi

12. “Bleeding Love”—Leona Lewis

13. “Unchained Melody”—The Righteous Brothers

14. “Endless Love”—Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

15. “My Future”—Billie Eilish

16. “Can’t Help Falling In Love with You”—Elvis Presley

17. “Just the Way You Are”—Billy Joel

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18. “10,000 Hours”—Dan + Shay

19. “Chandelier”—Sia

20. “Killing Me Softly”—Roberta Flack


Types of Ballads in Pop Music

Different types of ballads are associated with pop music. While sentimental ballads and acoustic ballads are exceedingly popular in the realms of this genre, certain country ballads, folk ballads, and jazz ballads have transitioned into mainstream pop. With crossover artists emerging in mainstream, different forms of balladry diversified into pop music.

A number of soft rock bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s started being associated with both pop music and rock music. As adult contemporary came into prominence, popular music showcased varying degrees of pop, easy listening, R&B, soul, and quiet storm with emphasis on melody and harmony. Over the years, dark ballads and atmospheric ballads have become exceedingly popular with listeners.


21. “Story of My Life”—One Direction

22. “Without Me”—Halsey

23. “Stuck With U”—Ariana Grande and Justin Beiber

24. “Just the Way You Are”—Bruno Mars

25. “No Time to Die”—Billie Eilish

26. “Stay With Me—Sam Smith

27. “In My Life”—The Beatles

28. “Faded”—Alan Walker

29. “Miles Away”—Madonna

30. “Follow Me Home”—Sugarbabes

31. “I’ll Make Love to You”—Boyz 2 Men

32. “Lovely”—Billie Eilish and Khalid

33. “If”—Bread

34. “How Deep Is Your Love”—Bee Gees

35. “Million Eyes”—Loic Nottet

36. “I Knew I Loved You”—Savage Garden

37. “Apologize”—OneRepublic

38. “Lights”—BTS

39. “End of the World”—Skeeter Davis

40. “Glory and Gore”—Lorde


The Changing Scene of Ballads

In the ‘80s, the popularity of mainstream pop became widespread. R&B ballads and soul pop emerged with their signature sound. A number of bands and artists that associated with pop music released sentimental ballads that had chart-topping success. Certain bands and artists in new wave genres had tremendous success with synth-pop ballads.

New sounds in pop music emerged in the ‘90s. Emotive piano ballads emerged in both mainstream and non-mainstream genres. Alternative pop ballads, indie-pop ballads, pop-punk ballads, and alternative country ballads became had a cult following in non-mainstream.

Post-2000, new forms of pop ballads made their presence felt. The EDM movement which comprised a wide range of electronic music genres became a prominent part of pop music. Dance rhythms associated with house, dubstep, techno, trance, hardstyle, and trap have become an integral part of modern pop music. Dance-pop infused with varied electronic elements and bass-heavy drum beats have become the signature sound in pop ballads post-2010.

In recent years, electropop ballads have become hugely immensely popular at nightclubs, raves, and EDM festivals. Although the musical soundscape of balladry in pop music has changed dramatically over the years, the essence of smooth melodies and exquisite harmonies stay true to their roots.


41. “Cardigan”—Taylor Swift

42. “Everything Has Changed”—Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran

43. “From This Moment On”—Shania Twain

44. “Young and Beautiful”—Lana Del Rey

45. “Stay”—Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko

46. “Come Out and Play”—Billie Eilish

47. “Dancing On My Own”—Robyn

48. “Un-break My Heart”—Toni Braxton

49. “Scantuary”—Joji

50. “Have I Told You Lately”—Van Morrison

51. “Perfect”—Ed Sheeran

52. “Scared to Live”—The Weeknd

53. “Elastic Heart”—Sia

54. “Bad Things”—Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello

55. “I’m Yours”—Jason Mraz

56. “Already Gone”—Kelly Clarkson

57. “Falling”—Harry Styles

58. “Jar of Hearts”—Christina Perri

59. “Big Girls Don’t Cry”—Fergie

60. “Unconditionally”—Katy Perry



61. “Lego House”—Ed Sheeran

62. “I Want to Be Your Everything”—Andy Gibb

63. “7 Summers”—Morgan Wallen

64. “I Won’t Let You Go”—James Morrison

65. “A Thousand Years”—Christina Perri

66. “You Broke Me First”—Tate McRae

67. “Fields of Gold”—Sting

68. “Bloody Valentine”—Machine Gun Kelly

69. “Vision of Love”—Mariah Carey

70. “Fetish”—Selena Gomez featuring Gucci Mane

71. “Love Lies”—Khalid and Normani

72. “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love”—Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack

73. “Boom Clap”—Charli XCX

74. “You Should Be Sad”—Halsey

75. “Stickwitu”—The Pussycat Dolls

76. “Lonely”—Justin Bieber and Benny Blanco

77. “Broken Strings”—James Morrison featuring Nelly Futardo

78. “Ghostin”—Ariana Grande

79. “Love Me Tender”—Elvis Presley

80. “I’ll Never Love Again”—Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper


81. “Kiss From a Rose”—Seal

82. “Because of You”—Kelly Clarkson

83. “Love on the Brain”—Rihanna

84. “Sacrifice”—Elton John

85. “How Do You Sleep?”—Sam Smith

86. “Cellophane”—FKA Twigs

87. “Impossible”—James Arthur

88. “Anyone—Demi Lovato

89. “Fall From the Sky”—Arilena Ara

90. “Beautiful”—Christina Aguilera

91. “Careless Whisper”—Wham!

92. “Hello”—Adele

93. “Cry Me a River”—Justin Timberlake

94. “Brand New Me”—Alicia Keys

95. “Pussy Fairy (OTW)”—Jhene Aiko

96. “Hero”—Mariah Carey

97. “Better Together”—Jack Johnson

98. “High By the Beach”—Lana Del Rey

99. “Off the Table”—Ariana Grande

100. “Change Your Life”—Little Mix

Other Notable Pop Ballads and Pop Love Songs

  • “All My Love”—K-Ci & JoJo
  • “The Lakes”—Taylor Swift
  • “I Wanna Love You Forever”—Jessica Simpson
  • “Close to You”—Carpenters
  • “Blue & Grey”—BTS
  • “Still Have Me”—Demi Lovato
  • “Need You Now”—Lady Antebellum
  • “The Power of Love”—Jennifer Rush
  • “Human”—Christina Perri
  • “Lover”—Taylor Swift
  • “Saving All My Love for You”—Whitney Houston
  • “I Just Called To Say I Love You”—Stevie Wonder
  • “When We Were Young”—Adele
  • “Happy Now”—Zedd and Elley Duhe
  • “Adorn”—Miguel
  • “Bonfire Heart”—James Blunt
  • “Champagne Problems”—Taylor Swift
  • “By the Grace of God”—Katy Perry
  • “I Love You”—Billie Eilish
  • “Love Me Like You Do”—Ellie Goulding
  • “Untouchable”—Taylor Swift
  • “Shallow”—Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
  • “Mirrors”—Justin Timberlake
  • “I Want it That Way”—Backstreet Boys
  • “Last Christmas”—Wham!
  • “My Heart Will Go On”—Celine Dion
  • “Set Fire to the Rain”—Adele
  • “Gimme Love”—Joji
  • “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”—Starship
  • “Daydream Believer”—The Monkees
  • “Whiskey Lullaby”—Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss
  • “The Winner Takes it All”—ABBA
  • “Young Girls”—Bruno Mars
  • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”—Elton John
  • “Nothing Compares 2 You”—Sinead O’ Connor
  • “We Belong Together”—Mariah Carey
  • “Do It”—Toni Braxton
  • “Take My Breath Away”—Berlin
  • “Like I’m Gonna Lose You”—Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend
  • “Alcohol You”—Roxen
  • “To Die For”—Sam Smith
  • “Stronger”—Sugarbabes
  • “I’m Like a Bird”—Nelly Furtado
  • “Time After Time”—Cyndi Lauper
  • “Let Her Go”—Passenger
  • “With Every Heartbeat”—Robyn
  • “Drive”—The Cars
  • “Never Worn White”—Katy Perry
  • “Hello”—Lionel Richie
  • “Love Yourself”—Justin Bieber
  • “Back To You”—Selena Gomez
  • “We Both Know”—Colbie Caillat featuring Gavin DeGraw
  • “Stay”—Post Malone
  • “Fallin”—Alicia Keys
  • “Adore You”—Miley Cyrus
  • “True Colors”—Cyndi Lauper
  • “Little Things”—One Direction
  • “If I Aint’ Got You”—Alicia Keys
  • “The Bones”—Maren Morris
  • “Ordinary People”—John Legend
  • “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”—Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett
  • “Always Be My Baby”—Mariah Carey
  • “POV”—Ariana Grande
  • “Turn Back the Clock”—Johnny Hates Jazz
  • “Halo”—Beyonce
  • “Come Away With Me”—Norah Jones
  • “How Do I Live”—LeAnn Rimes
  • “You Mean Everything to Me”—Neil Sedaka
  • “Russian Roulette”—Rihanna
  • “All Out of Love”—Air Supply
  • “Til It Happens to You”—Lady Gaga
  • “I Don’t Want to Live Forever”—Zayn and Taylor Swift
  • “Burn”—Usher
  • “A Little More Love”—Olivia Newton John
  • “Father Figure”—George Michael
  • “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”—Britney Spears
  • “I Look to You”—Whitney Houston
  • “Because You Loved Me”—Celine Dion
  • “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”—Stevie Wonder
  • “Kiss From a Rose”—Seal
  • “No One”—Alicia Keys
  • “Consequences”—Camila Cabello
  • “2 Become 1”—Spice Girls
  • “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely”—Backstreet Boys
  • “Best Thing I Never Had”—Beyonce
  • “Now and Forever”—Richard Marx
  • “Don’t Know Much”—Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
  • “Loyal Brave True”—Christina Aguilera
  • “It Was Always You”—Maroon 5
  • “End of the Road”—Boyz 2 Men
  • “Love Will Lead You Back”—Taylor Dayne
  • “Sign of the Times”—Harry Styles
  • “Nobody But You”—Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani
  • “I Can See the Change”—Celeste
  • “If I Were a Boy”—Beyonce
  • “Behind These Hazel Eyes”—Kelly Clarkson
  • “Truly Madly Deeply”—Savage Garden
  • “Lost One”—Jazmine Sullivan
  • “I Have Nothing”—Whitney Houston
  • “Suddenly”—Billy Ocean
  • “Tick Tock”—Clean Bandit and Mabel
  • “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”—Backstreet Boys
  • “Hero”—Enrique Iglesias
  • “You and Me”—Lifehouse
  • “I Lost a Friend”—Finneas
  • “Saved My Life”—Sia
  • “Real Friends”—Camila Cabello
  • “It’s You”—Zayn
  • “Do You Love her Now”—Jai Paul
  • “This I Promise You”—NSYNC
  • “Is This Love?”—Alison Moyet
  • “Hurt”—Christina Aguilera
  • “Ugly”—Sugarbabes
  • “Today Was a Fairytale”—Taylor Swift
  • “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know”—Britney Spears
  • “Rush Rush”—Paula Abdul
  • “Poison”—Rita Ora
  • “Good Job”—Alicia Keys
  • “Baby Love”—Nicole Scherzinger
  • “I Won’t Give Up”—Jason Mraz
  • “U Got it Bad”—Usher
  • “One Moment in Time”—Whitney Houston
  • “Anything for You”—Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
  • “Better Together”—Luke Combs
  • “Glory of Love”—Peter Cetera
  • “Homesick”—Dua Lipa
  • “The Climb”—Miley Cyrus
  • “Don’t Know Why”—Norah Jones
  • “Thanks for Leaving”—Alexandra Stan
  • “Cool”—Gwen Stefani
  • “Time”—Childish Gambino featuring Ariana Grande
  • “A Moment Like This”—Kelly Clarkson
  • “Exile”—Taylor Swift
  • “Said I Love You…But I Lied”—Michael Bolton
  • “Woman in Love—Barbara Streisand
  • “Dilemma”—Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland
  • “Sweet Creature”—Harry Styles
  • “Foolish”—Ashanti
  • “Change”—Sugarbabes
  • “I Need You”—LeAnn Rimes
  • “Your Love is King”—Sade
  • “Bad Day”—Daniel Powter
  • “Takin’ Back My Love”—Enrique Iglesias and Ciara
  • “What Now”—Rihanna
  • “I’ll Never Love this Way Again”—Dionne Warwick
  • “Guilty”—Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb
  • “I Got You”—Leona Lewis
  • “Anywhere for You”—Backstreet Boys
  • “Love Again”—Brandy and Daniel Caesar
  • “White Flag”—Dido
  • “You’re Beautiful”—James Blunt
  • “Save the Day”—Mariah Carey
  • “2002”—Anne-Marie
  • “Through the Barricades”—Spandau Ballet
  • “Better Place”—Rachel Platten
  • “Angel”—Sarah McLachlan
  • “You Are the Reason”—Callum Scott
  • “How to Be Lonely”—Rita Ora
  • “Let Me Love You”—Mario
  • “Secret Love Song”—Little Mix featuring Jason Derulo
  • “Perfume”—Britney Spears
  • “You Ruin Me”—The Veronicas
  • “Adore You”—Harry Styles
  • “Love Changes (Everything”—Climie Fisher
  • “Too Much to Ask”—Niall Horan
  • “Lost Boy”—Ruth B
  • “Burning”—Maggie Rogers
  • “Imagine”—Ariana Grande
  • “Photograph”—Ed Sheeran
  • “Try”—Pink
  • “Chocolate”—Kylie Minogue
  • “Incomplete”—Backstreet Boys
  • “So Sick”—Ne-Yo
  • “I Don’t Want to Wait”—Paula Cole
  • “Collide”—Howie Day
  • “True”—Spandau Ballet
  • “New Love”—Dua Lipa
  • “Thinkin Bout You”—Frank Ocean
  • “Swimming in the Stars”—Britney Spears
  • “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America”—The 1975 featuring Phoebe Bridgers
  • “Praying”—Kesha
  • “Heartbeat”—Carrie Underwood
  • “Come Thru”—Summer Walker and Usher
  • “Talking to the Moon”—Bruno Mars
  • “Have You Ever Been in Love”—Celine Dion
  • “Angels”—Robbie Williams
  • “Inside Out”—Zedd and Griff
  • “I Choose You”—Sara Bareilles
  • “Be Alright”—Dean Lewis
  • “Steady Love”—India Arie
  • “Homemade Heaven”—Marina
  • “Early Winter”—Gwen Stefani
  • “You Lost Me”—Christina Aguilera
  • “Run”—Joji
  • “Hold Me Now”—Johnny Logan
  • “With You”—Chris Brown
  • “The A Team”—Ed Sheeran
  • “Patience”—Take That
  • “Superstar”—Marina
  • “There Goes My Baby”—Usher

© 2021 Ansel Pereira

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