2003 Songs That Defined A Generation

By: Keilany Ligons

2003 was a big year for music. It introduced several artists that have become big names in the industry, along with songs that still get played to this day. These artists went on to influence the music of today, and their music went on to define not only the year but the people who came after. This is the music that today’s high school class of 2022 grew up listening to and became a big part of our childhood. 


In Da Club – 50 Cent

Produced by Dr. Dre, 50’s debut single immediately became a summer hit in 2003. It played in clubs across the country, sometimes on repeat due to popular demand. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks and won 50 Cent MTV Music Video Awards for Best Music Video and Best New Artist In A Music Video. The song also grew the popularity of his first album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’, which sold 872,000 copies in its first week and over 8 million nationwide.

Crazy in Love – Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z

Another debut song, this was Beyoncé’s first solo song after the disbandment of Destiny’s Child, making her the last member to release music after. It definitely became big since clearly everyone was waiting for it. The song got played on the radio the day of its release in 2003 and took the top spot on Billboard for 8 weeks based on heavy rotation alone. The song sold over 8.5 million copies and is one of her best-selling songs to this day. In 2004, she took home five Grammys for her debut song and album. Today, she is the most awarded artist and woman in Grammy history with 28 awards. The song became an iconic pop culture moment of the early 2000s and kickstarted Bey’s solo career to make her the legend that she is today.

Bring Me To Life – Evanescence

Clearly, 2003 was the year of new artists. ANOTHER debut song, lead singer Amy Lee wrote about her future husband, Josh Hartzler. The song launched their career, became a huge success, and went on to be blasted at full volume in the rooms of teenage girls dying their hair black all across the country. The song didn’t reach #1 on Billboard but did reach the top 10 at #5. he song and album “Fallen” earned them Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance, along with nominations for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. With this song, Evanescence made their mark in alternative rock culture.

Get Low – Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ft. The Yin Yang Twins

This was that one song little kids were singing along to despite not understanding what any of the lyrics were implying, hopefully. The song was released in late 2002, but its popularity ran through 2003 as well. One of the most well-known hip hop songs of the century, it peaked on Billboard at #20 and is now a designated song for clubs, parties, and high school dances.


While most of us were just born or not born yet during their release, these songs and many more were played by our parents, cousins, and older siblings, and continued to be played around us as we grew up and became something we held onto. Throughout our lives, we played these songs everywhere from our bedrooms to school dances. Now, we hold onto this music as a form of nostalgia as we take our first steps into adulthood.

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