As we start the year 2017, I wanted to give you a dose of “Yes – you are getting older”!  This year, these songs are all turning 20 years old.

MMMBop” is a song written and performed by the American pop rock band Hanson from their 1997 album Middle of Nowhere. The song was nominated for two Grammys at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards in February 1998, and is the band’s most successful single to date. “MMMBop” was phenomenally successful, especially for a debut single, reaching number one in 27 countries including the United States, the United KingdomGermanyAustralia and Mexico.[1] In the United Kingdom, the song sold 710,000 copies and stayed at number one for 3 weeks. It was voted the best single of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll, while also topping critics’ polls from such media as Rolling StoneSpin, and VH1, and was ranked as #20 on VH1‘s “100 Greatest Songs of the 90s”, as well as #98 on VH1‘s “100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years”. The album version of the song was featured on the 1998 compilation album Now That’s What I Call Music!.

Wannabe” is the debut hit single by the British girl group the Spice Girls. Written by the group members with Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard during the group’s first professional songwriting session, it was produced by Rowe and Stannard for the group’s debut album Spice, released in November 1996. The song was written and recorded very quickly; the result was considered lacklustre by their label, and was sent to be mixed by Dave Way. The group was not pleased with the result, and the recording was mixed again, this time by Mark “Spike” Stent.

“Wannabe” is an uptempo dance-pop song. “Wannabe” features Mel B and Geri Halliwell rapping. The lyrics, which address the value of female friendship over the heterosexual bond, became an iconic symbol of female empowerment and the most emblematic song of the group’s Girl Power philosophy.[2] Despite receiving mixed reviews from music critics, the song won for Best British-Written Single at the 1997 Ivor Novello Awards and for Best Single at the 1997 BRIT Awards.

“Wannabe” was heavily promoted by the group. Its music video, directed by Johan Camitz, became a big success on the British cable network The Box, which sparked press interest in the group. Subsequently the song had intensive radio airplay across the United Kingdom, while the group performed it on television programmes and started doing interviews and photo shoots for teen magazines.

Responding to the wave of public interest in the group, Virgin released the song as the group’s debut single in July 1996, well ahead of the planned release date of the Spice album. “Wannabe” topped the UK Singles Chart for seven weeks and has received a double Platinum certification by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). In January 1997 it was released in the United States, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. It was the group’s only number-one single in that country. By the end of 1996, “Wannabe” had topped the charts in 22 nations,[3] and by March 1997 this number had climbed to 37.[4][5]“Wannabe” became the best-selling single by a female group in the world,[6] with 1,360,000[7] and 2,910,000[8] copies sold in United Kingdom (by 2015) and United States (by 2014), respectively, and over 7 million copies worldwide by the end of 1997.[9][10] In 2014, it was rated as the most easily recognisable pop song of the last 60 years.[11]

How Do I Live” is a song written by Diane Warren. It was originally performed by LeAnn Rimes and the extended version of the song was later featured on her album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs in 1997 and later performed by Trisha Yearwood. Both versions were released on May 27, 1997.[2][3][better source needed]

In the U.S., Rimes’s version peaked at No. 2 for four non-consecutive weeks in late 1997 and early 1998, behind “Candle in the Wind 1997” by Elton John, and “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden. It set a record for staying on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 69 weeks, a record it held until “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz set a new record of 76 weeks. The Rimes recording also set the record for the most time in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 5 at 25 consecutive weeks, the record for Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 at 32 consecutive weeks, and the record for Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 at 62 consecutive weeks; all records still hold to this day. It ranks at No. 4 on Billboard‘s All Time Top 100, the only single on the top 10 of this list not peaking at No. 1. The only songs that finished ahead of it were Bobby Darin‘s cover of “Mack the Knife“, Santana‘s song “Smooth“, and Chubby Checker‘s version of “The Twist“.[4] It has been certified 3× Platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 3 million copies in the United States,[5] the highest certified country single of that time, to be surpassed twelve years later by “Love Story” from artist Taylor Swift, which has been certified 8× Platinum.[6]

Despite only peaking as high as No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart,[7] Rimes’ version of “How Do I Live” spent 34 weeks on the chart, ending up as the 6th best selling single of 1998. As of August 2014, the song has sold 710,000 copies in the UK.[8]

“How Do I Live” was also covered by F.I.R. (Faye and Real featuring LeAnn Rimes). F.I.R. invited Rimes to record a portion of the song for their third album Flight Tribe in 2006.[9]

 

If It Makes You Happy” is the lead single from Sheryl Crow‘s 1996 eponymous album. (Song didn’t chart until 1997) The song peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. The track won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the 1997 Grammy Awards. The song ties with her hit, “My Favorite Mistake“, as her third highest-charting single in the UK, reaching number nine on the UK Singles Chart. It also peaked at No. 1 in Canada and was her second No. 1 hit on the Canadian Hot AC chart.

In the 2009 VH1 Divas show, Crow and Miley Cyrus performed this song together.

Fly” is a song by rock band Sugar Ray. It appears on their 1997 album Floored twice: one version with reggae artist Super Cat (Track 4) and the other without (Track 13).

The song became the band’s first hit, holding the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for four consecutive weeks and spending eight weeks at the No. 1 spot on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. A physical CD-single was not released commercially in the US, although it was a huge hit on American radio. The song also reached No. 1 on Canada’s Singles Chart.[1] “Fly” did not sound anything at all like the rest of the tracks on the album, being the only reggae fusion track. It also sampled a line from Gilbert O’Sullivan‘s 1972 hit “Alone Again (Naturally).” Sugar Ray’s lead singer Mark McGrath explained that this song had a bouncy beat, yet it was about death; “Fly” too seemed like a bright, up-tempo song but “there is this stark imagery in there. There’s loss in it. There is loss of a mother, obviously. I thought it was a good way to juxtapose the lyrics with the melody on that, similar to what Gilbert O’Sullivan did on “Alone Again (Naturally).”[2]

As a result of the success of “Fly”, Floored sold extremely well and was certified double platinum. However, by the end of 1997, critics skeptical that Sugar Ray could put out another successful song labeled them a one-hit wonder. This assumption was noted and accepted by the band, who in playful defiance, named their next album 14:59 in a reference to Andy Warhol‘s “15 minutes of fame“; that album became certified triple-platinum and outsold its predecessor.

The song was included on VH1‘s countdown of the “100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s” at number 52.[3]