Valentine’s Day may not be around the corner, but love can always be in the air any day of the week with the right songs. Sure, there are some classic ballads everyone knows, but love songs aren’t all sappy. Love songs can turn your bedroom into a dance floor, motivate you to be a better version of yourself, and be a great excuse to celebrate your love over a drink strong enough to make you more than just drunk in love. That’s why everyone needs a fool-proof love song playlist handy just in case the mood strikes.
If you’re in the mood for some upbeat dance tracks, it’s on here. A little 90’s R&B-meets-pop? No worries—we got you. A little smooth jazz? We got you. And if you’re looking for the perfect song to tell your lover just how much you feel for them, you better believe we have a good selection of those songs for you, too.
Below are the 71 best pop love songs of all time. Everyone from Beyonce to Adele to Mary J Blige to John Coltrane to Aaliyah has contributed to our multi-generational list of the 71 best pop love songs. And when your significant other is touched by the super creative playlist you made just for them, don’t forget to send us a little love, too. All that’s left is to press play and let the feelings come over you.
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“Water Under the Bridge” by Adele
Pretty much every Adele song is a love song. But if we had to pick one from her discography, we’d go with this largely underrated, upbeat track from 25, telling the story of a conflicted lover. (Aren’t we all?)
Katy Perry produces yet another certified pop anthem. Never Really Over is a wistful breakup song that’ll make you rethink every ex in your life…or just really want to move onto the next.
“10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber
Is it a country song or is it a pop love ballad? Either way, enjoy a wedding montage of Justin and Hailey Bieber.
“Leave The Door Open” by Silk Sonic
Pressing play on the unquestionably delightful “Leave The Door Open” feels like stepping into a time travel trip to a time when all singers like Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye did was confess their love to the women of their lives. You heard the song everywhere, and it won all the awards because Mars’s vocals are angelic, Paak’s lyrics are likely your inner thoughts (who else hasn’t looked too good to be alone?), and Dernst “D’Mille” Emile transformed sunshine into a beat for the duo, creating a love ode relatable to anyone with a heart.
“Drumming Song” by Florence + the Machine
If the honeymoon phase had a soundtrack, it’s likely Drumming Song would be on it, a record that so perfectly captures the enveloping feeling of falling in love.
“Miss You” by Gabrielle Aplin
It’s OK to admit you miss your ex from time to time. Just ask UK-singer Gabrielle Aplin who recorded this electro-pop banger about two exes finally coming back together.
“Adore You” by Harry Styles
Fun fact: at the time this iconic tune debuted, it reached #6 on the Billboard 100 Chart, cementing Styles’ role in music as the latest pop icon.
“He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)” by Jill Scott
If you’ve ever been so in love with someone that every hair follicle and the scent of their fragrance enraptures you, Jill Scott’s Neo-soul’ classic “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)” is your anthem. Whether it’s the spoken word verse in the middle of the song where she “feels like the breeze” or the song ending on what sounds like tribal chants, “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)” sounds like a woman tapping into her primal side where love takes precedence over every thought and action.
“All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo
If long-time fans want someone to thank for the biggest hit of the duo’s career, all they have to do is look at JoJo’s daughter—she’s the inspiration behind the love ballad.
“As Long As You Love Me” by Backstreet Boys
Because it’s just not Valentine’s Day without busting a move to a teen pop jam from a 90’s boy band.
Jeneveive’s pillow-soft vocals sound like the lofty feeling of love, and she uses them on “Nxwhere” to tell a tale of being anywhere the person she loves is, even if it’s nowhere. Slick lyrics like, “if you got nowhere to go tonight, I’ll meet you there,” are poetic declarations of always being there for the one you love.
“As Long As You’re Mine” from Wicked
This melodramatic duet might not be the first love song you think of, but it does come from a 2005 Grammy-Award winning album and a hit Broadway musical.
You’ve heard this song played at many a wedding reception. Now it’s your turn to slow dance to the 1960s classic.
“Can’t Live Without Your Love” by Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae’s “Can’t Live Without Your Love” is a heartfelt example of how life is practically unlivable when the person you love is no longer with you. Off Dirty Computer’s predecessor, The Electric Lady, Monae’s “Can’t Live Without Your Love,” is a near-perfect love song for those whose world crumbles when they’re not around the person they love.
“At Your Best (You Are Love)” by Aaliyah
Although Aaliyah didn’t pen the love song (you can thank the Isley Brothers for that), it did put the young artist on the musical map in 1994, helping her reach #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B singles chart.
“Best Years” by 5 Seconds of Summer
For a band who became famous for their distinct pop-punk sound and tracks about heartbreak, this song not only deviates from their style, but also re-establishes the quartet as formidable songwriters.
“If Ever I Would Leave You” by Aretha Franklin
“If Ever I Would Leave You” is what I imagine it sounds like when angels fall in love. Franklin uses her unmatched ethereal voice to get granular about her love, noting her lover’s face has “a luster that puts gold to shame.” The song sounds too beautiful not to elicit a reflexive smile from anyone who listens and has been that way for decades.
Sure, the song took a bit of time to make it to the Billboard Hot 100. (Try thirty weeks!) Khalid did get lucky, though, as the song’s simple lyrics and rhythmic beats eventually became the second #1 of his career.
Sure, the song is excellent, but it’s the music video which makes the track shine, filmed in El Paso, TX and showcasing the singer’s favorite joints throughout the southern city.
“Black and White” by Niall Horan
1D fans know all about Horan’s affinity for perfecting the perfect love ballad. But who knew he could inject a little bit of flare and romantic yearning into an up-tempo track?
“I Fall In Love Too Easily” by Chet Baker
Frank Sinatra, Johnny Hartman, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis have covered the 1944 song “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” Still, jazz singer Chet Baker captures the hopeless romantic feeling at the core of the song’s appeal better than anyone else. Love is a gamble, and “I Fall In Love Too Easily” exemplifies the heartache you must get used to if you want to find that one true love.
Ella Mai’s 2018 debut single is a certified pop banger, nominated for two Grammys: Song of The Year and Best R&B Song.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
Only the King of Rock and Roll could take a simple melody with even simpler lyrics and turn it into one of the most romantic songs of the 20th century.
“Conversations in the Dark” by John Legend
If “All of Me” established Legend as an expert on all things romance, think of this as the older, wiser sister who makes time to appreciate the simpler moments in love.
“Breathless” by Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae is both careful and daring, which is what you need to be to turn a friendship into a lover’s romance. “Breathless” is a wonderful love song about hoping your close friend recognizes you are in love with them, especially since you get breathless when your name crosses their lips.
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
It might not be “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but be prepared for this Queen classic to replay in your mind long after listening to it.
“Crush” by David Archuleta
For all of us wondering whether we should make a move on a crush before Valentine’s Day.
“Dreaming of You” by Selena
One of the most popular songs recorded by the Latin singer whose life was the recent subject of the Netflix series of the same name.
“My One And Only Love” by Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane
Johnny Hartman is the only singer Coltrane ever made an album with, and “My One and Only Love” is a perfect example. “My One And Only Love” from Hartman’s 1962 collaboration album with the incomparable Coltrane sounds too good to be true as Coltrane’s saxophone melts away any care you have. Hartman waxes poetic about noticing the blush on the cheek of the person he loves and how just their touch introduces him to “a heaven that I’ve never known.”
“Everything” by Michael Bublé
Ever wondered where Bublé struck inspiration for this sweet tune? Well, look no further than former fiancé Emily Blunt, who helped inspire the #1 record on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart.
Do 80’s rock bands have the capability of writing a touching love ballad? Thanks to Journey, yes they can—and they do it well!
“Fallin’ All in You” by Shawn Mendes
If you only know one or two songs by the Canadian pop singer, it’s time you upgrade to this heartfelt, iconic love song.
Because Beyoncé should be on every playlist about love, as far as we’re concerned.
“Oh To Be In Love” by Kate Bush
If Stranger Things introduced you to the world of Kate Bush via its anthemic usage of her song “Running Up A Hill,” then do yourself a favor and find your way to “Oh, To Be In Love,” a piano-laden ode to the magical feeling of being in love.
You might know it from the 1983 film A Night in Heaven, but the song would go on to play on pop radio stations for decades to come.
“Hero” by Enrique Iglesias
We all know it, but there’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to listen to the song that made Iglesias’ career and would later play in middle school auditoriums as the slow dance song.
“Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s
Iconic for its delicate musical arrangement, fans of the song probably didn’t know the namesake featured throughout is actually Delilah DeCrescenzo, a famous cross-country runner.
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
Originally intended to be sung by an artist like Celine Dion, it was an old-school rock band who took this power ballad to the top of the Billboard charts. Plus, it helped that Steven Tyler’s daughter’s daughter Liv was one of the main leads for Armageddon, the film the song was featured in.
“When I Found You” by Britney Spears
Between the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Britney Spears was the queen of pop love songs for roughly five years. “When I Found You” is a deep cut from her 2001 self-titled album with enough musings of finding your one true love over a festival of sounds that’ll surely get your body rocking and heart fluttering.
“If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys
If there’s only one woman who can infuse a soul and heart-wrenching pain into the perfect love song, Alicia Keys is the singer for the job.
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder
When Stevie Wonder wrote this catchy tune, we don’t think he thought a song about surprising his lover over the phone would become the defining hit of his long career.
“I Like Me Better” by Lauv
Thanks to Netflix’s 2018 smash hit To All the Boys I Loved Before, Lauv’s 2017 sleeper single has become a staple on every radio station since that year.
“Best Part” Daniel Caesar & H.E.R.
Daniel Caesar and H.E.R.’s simmering duet is little more than a marriage of soulful voices and cycling of soft guitar strings, proving a good love song doesn’t need more than honesty and voices that sound heavenly.
“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
Fans might think the 2012 track was intended to be a follow-up to Mraz’s smash hit “I’m Yours.” Turns out, it was only written after a relief trip to Ghana, Mraz wanting to pen a song that would influence positive change.
“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston
Originally debuting in the 1992 film The Bodyguard, the song is actually a cover of a track by another music legend, Dolly Parton.
“Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
Mars’ 2010 debut single not only established the former producer as a musical artist, but also gave lovers a sweet way of telling their partners just how amazing they are.
“Thinking About You” by Frank Ocean
For many people, Frank Ocean’s tender ballad about the inescapable memories of lost love was their first introduction to a once-in-a-generation artist who would make a career on similarly complex and honest depictions of love we all share.
“Let’s Get It On’ by Marvin Gaye
For couples who need a song to imply what’s going to happen at the end of the night. Enough said.
“Little Things” by One Direction
Yes, even 2010’s teen pop bands have the ability to melt hearts with just how much they appreciate “all the little things.”
“Lovebug” by Jonas Brothers
With a music video clearly taking a page right out of The Notebook, this Jonas Brothers tune remains one of their best.
“These Words” by Natasha Bedingfield
Natasha Bedingfield turns a bout of writer’s block into a beatific display of how you don’t always need fancy wordplay and metaphors when all you really want to say is “I love you.”
“Love Like This” by Faith Evans
Always one to write inspiring lyrics and create a signature R&B sound, Evans received a Grammy nomination and a #7 spot on Billboard Top 100 for this love song.
“Love Someone” by Lukas Graham
Danish pop band Lukas Graham deliver hearts and flowers in the form of a love song that’s sure to be a classic.
“My Girl” by The Temptations
Not only was this love song written by Smokey Robinson and his wife, it was also preserved in 2017 by the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically and artistically significant” to American music.
Mya turns a flip of hip-hop group Pharcyde’s timeless love song “Runnin’” into a beautiful R&B dedication to falling so deeply in love that special someone is as necessary to you as the air you breathe.
“My Heart Will Go On” by Céline Dion
Who could have predicted, back in 1997, that the most iconic pop ballad in music history would be based on a movie about the tragedy of a sinking ship?
“Never Gonna Say Goodbye” by Dawes
While the song is a touching tribute to frontman Taylor Goldsmith’s wife, Mandy Moore, it turns out the inspiration came from feeling bad about not being there for her after she slipped in the shower.
“Be Without You” by Mary J Blige
Mary J Blige became the queen of R&B by being on the not-so-glamorous side of love. But, she scored one of the biggest hits of her career by singing about how she’s been “too strong for too long,” and now she’s ready to live a soft life with the person she can’t be without.
“Next to Me” by Emeli Sandé
With its gospel influences, somewhat righteous lyrics. and up-tempo rhythm, fans all know where to expect Sandé’s romantic partner to be found.
Friday Night Lights fans might be interested in watching the music video for this old-school Taylor Swift tune: high school quarterback Matt Saracen (actor Zach Gilford) portrays the singer’s military love interest.
There’s only one word to describe Ed Sheeran’s modern love song for the times: perfect.
“Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur
Although Arthur was an established artist in the U.K., it took this 2016 love hit to help him break through to American music listeners, landing him at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Simpson hasn’t released an album since 2008, but she perfectly captured the uncontrollable zeal of finding someone who accepts your flaws and all on the first song she ever released to the public.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson
Yes, Michael Jackson is known for his dance hits and his unique way of blending melody with lyrics. His 1987 hit is no exception, along with influencing future artists to write music just like their predecessor did.
“We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)” by Rihanna
Ever the innovator for today’s pop music, the singer collaborated with Calvin Harris on tihis song that would go on to become the longest-running #1 single that year.
“When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban
It’s no “You Raise Me Up,” but Groban’s outright pouring of true love for the subject of his romantic ballad is just as beautiful as his most famous hit.
“Without You (feat. Usher)” by David Guetta
Usher’s 2011 collaboration with French DJ David Guetta proved absence does make the heart grow fonder.
“You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagme
Thanks to projects like Bad Moms, I Love You, Man, and American Idol, this alternative hit song made many music listeners swoon. Who wouldn’t want their partners to serenade them with a song about how they are the best thing to happen to them?
“Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer
Well, John Mayer’s first girlfriend must be feeling pretty good right about now—she’s the inspiration behind the singer’s 2002 smooth-singing pop track.
“Your Song” by Elton John
The love song to end all love songs. John’s well-known for having a way with words—play this song to convey how you’re feeling, and you’re all good for the rest of the night. Guaranteed.
“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
Pop icon CRJ made her debut with a track that would perfectly capture the awkwardness of dating. We stan.
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