The most popular breakup song the year you were born

There are great songs about being in love, but there are just as many hit songs that discuss breakups.

We looked at Billboard’s list of the highest-charting songs from every year since 1975 and found the top breakup song from that time.

This includes Adele’s powerhouse track “Rolling in the Deep,” Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love,” and Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man.”

Keep reading to see which breakup song dominated the charts in the year you were born.

1975: “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” — Freddy Fender

Fender’s “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975 and sold one million copies. Listen to the breakup song here.

1976: “Kiss and Say Goodbye” — The Manhattans

TheManhattansVEVO/YouTubeThe Manhattans in the music video for ‘Kiss and Say Goodbye.’

“Kiss and Say Goodbye” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent two weeks at the top spot. Listen to the song here.

1977: “Easy” — Commodores

CommodroesVEVO/YouTubeThe track was written by Lionel Richie.

“Easy” is a breakup song from the group’s self-titled fifth album. The group sings about leaving a girl the next day, after doing “all I can.” Listen to “Easy” here.

1978: “Baby Come Back” — Player

Rock band Player sings about hoping to reconcile with an ex in this hit song from their debut album, which was released in 1977. Listen to the song here.

1979: “I Will Survive” — Gloria Gaynor

Kevin Winter/ABC/ImageDirectGloria Gaynor in 2002.

Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is the ultimate post-breakup, empowering song. In the track, Gaynor sings about finding the strength to “mend the pieces of my broken heart.”

Listen to the disco song here.

1980: “Working My Way Back to You” — The Spinners

In this feel-good song, The Spinners sing about finding their way back to their ex after breaking up. Listen to “Working My Way Back to You” here.

1981: “Being With You” — Smokey Robinson

Paul Morigi/Stringer/Getty ImagesRobinson is an award-winning musician.

Robinson begs his lover not to break his heart and end things in “Being With You.” Listen to the hit song here.

1982: “Tainted Love” — Soft Cell

Ian Gavan/Getty Images)=Marc Almond of Soft Cell.

Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” is actually a cover of Gloria Jones’ track. The duo’s version peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. Listen to the song here.

1983: “Every Breath You Take”— Sting and The Police

Nicholas Hunt/Getty ImagesSting says the song is about being obsessed and jealous.

“Every Breath You Take” earned Sting and The Police two Grammys in 1984 – song of the year and best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal.

Sting wrote the song after splitting with Frances Tomelty and has referred to the song as “very sinister and ugly” in previous interviews.

Listen to the song here.

1984: “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” — Phil Collins

Gustavo Caballero/Getty ImagesCollins is also a Golden Globes winner.

Phil Collins sings about heartbreak in this Grammy-winning song. Listen to “Take a Look at Me Now” here.

1985: “Careless Whisper” — Wham! featuring George Michael

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesAndy Ridgeley and George Michael.

“Careless Whisper” was one of the most popular breakup songs in the ’80s – and the song still lives on in movies like “Deadpool.”

Listen to the hit song here.

1986: “I Miss You” — Klymaxx

Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesJoyce Irby of Klymaxx.

Girl group Klymaxx had the biggest breakup song of 1986 with “I Miss You,” from their fourth album.

The group sings about the difficulty in moving on from a split with lyrics like: “All the feelings that we used to share / I refused to believe / That you don’t care”

Watch the music video here.

1987: “Here I Go Again” — Whitesnake

“Here I Go Again” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is one of their most popular tracks. In the song, lead vocalist David Coverdale sings about being independent following a breakup.

Listen to the song here.

1988: “Could’ve Been” — Tiffany

Jemal Countess/Getty ImagesTiffany performing on ‘Good Morning America’ in 2011.

Pop singer Tiffany released this hit song in 1987 and it peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988. Listen to the breakup song here.

1989: “Look Away” — Chicago

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXMLou Pardini, Keith Howland, Walfredo Reyes Jr, James Pankow, Ray Herrmann, Tris Imboden, Lee Loughnane, Jeff Coffey, and Robert Lamm of Chicago performing in California in 2017.

Rock group Chicago sings about the aftermath of a breakup and trying to move on from the relationship. Watch the official music video for “Look Away” here.

1990: “It Must Have Been Love” — Roxette

You probably remember this hit breakup song from the movie “Pretty Woman,” which starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Listen to the song here.

1991: “I Don’t Wanna Cry” — Mariah Carey

Nicholas Hunt/Getty ImagesCarey has released more than 10 albums.

In “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” Carey sings about a toxic relationship that she can no longer bear to be in because “it hurts too much to stay around.”

Watch the official music video here.

1992: “End of the Road” — Boyz II Men

BoyzIIMenVEVO/YouTubeThe song earned them a Grammy for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal.

The boyband was known for their smooth tracks about love, and “End of the Road” is one of their most successful tracks. In the song, Boyz II Men harmonize about a breakup that is so painful that they “break down and cry.”

Watch the music video here.

1993: “I Will Always Love You” — Whitney Houston

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images‘I Will Always Love You’ was originally written and released by Dolly Parton.

Hoston’s powerhouse ballad “I Will Always Love You” took the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993. The song also earned Grammys for record of the year and best female pop vocal performance.

Listen to the song here.

1994: “Stay (I Missed You)” — Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories

This breakup song sold more than 500,000 copies and the music video was directed by Ethan Hawke.

“It was a story about a breakup I was going through, and that situation where it’s gotten into your head too much,”Loeb said during an interview. “Partially because somebody else is telling you that you’re only hearing what you want to, and that puts you in a little bit of a tailspin.”

Listen to the song here.

1995: “Take a Bow” — Madonna

Barry Sweet/Getty ImagesThe track is from her ‘Bedtime Stories’ album.

In “Take a Bow,” Madonna says goodbye to a lover who took her love “for granted” and broke her heart. Listen to the song here.

1996: “Give Me One Reason” — Tracy Chapman

In “Give Me One Reason,” Chapman sings about a relationship reaching its end. With her lyrics, she challenges a lover to make an argument for why she should remain in the relationship, rather than walk away.

Listen to the song here.

1997: “Foolish Games” — Jewel

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for FortuneJewel had several hits in the ’90s.

Jewel belts out lyrics about a “thoughtless” boyfriend in her chart-topping song “Foolish Games.”

Lyrics like “In case you failed to see / This is my heart bleeding before you” convey true heartbreak.

“I think the woman is looking at herself saying, ‘Why am I involved in a relationship where I’m selling myself so short?'”Jewel told Rolling Stone.

Watch the music video here.

1998: “How’s It Going to Be” — Third Eye Blind

“How’s It Going to Be” is a pre-breakup song, in which the singer thinks about what will happen when a couple eventually splits.

According to Jenkins, it’s about “looking at someone you’re now close to, but realising someday you’re just going to be acquaintances.”

Listen to the song here.

1999: “Believe” — Cher

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Cher’s auto-tuned “Believe” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999 and won a Grammy for best dance recording.

In the song, Cher says: “So sad that you’re leaving / Takes time to believe it / But after all is said and done / You’re going to be the lonely one.”

Listen to the hit breakup song here.

2000: “There You Go” — Pink

PinkVideoVault/YouTubePink in the music video for ‘There You Go.’

Pink calls out a “pitiful” ex in “There You Go.”

“And I know that all you are doing is running your mind games,” she sings. “Do not you know my game beats these games?”

Watch the music video for the song here.

2001: “Again” — Lenny Kravitz

Kravitz contemplates whether or not he’ll someday reconcile with an ex in “Again.” Aside from peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, the track also won a Grammy for best male rock vocal performance in 2001.

Watch the music video for “Again” here.

2002: “Foolish” — Ashanti

Kevin Winter/ImageDirectAshanti on ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ in 2002.

In “Foolish,” Ashanti belts out lyrics about a rocky relationship: “Baby why you hurt me leave me and desert me? / Boy, I gave you all my heart and all you do is tear it up.”

Watch the music video for “Foolish” here.

2003: “Miss You” — Aaliyah

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesAaliyah performing on ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ in 2001.

In “Miss You,” Aaliyah sings about an ex who left her after high school, leaving her lost. The breakup song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Watch the music video for “Miss You” here.

2004: “Burn” — Usher

“Burn” is featured on Usher’s fourth studio album, “Confessions.” In the ballad, Usher sings about a failed relationship and proclaims his love for his ex.

“I know I made a mistake, now it’s too late,” Usher says. “I know she ain’t coming back.”

Watch the music video for “Burn” here.

2005: “We Belong Together” — Mariah Carey

Bennett Raglin/Getty ImagesThe track is from her 10th studio album.

In 2005, Carey’s hit song earned her three Billboard Music Awards – hot 100 song of the year, rhythmic top 40 title of the year, and hot 100 airplay of the year. Watch the official music video here.

2006: “So Sick” — Ne-Yo

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesNe-Yo is a judge on NBC’s ‘World of Dance.’

In 2000, Ne-Yo was nominated for an American Music Award for favourite R&B/soul male artist. Watch the music video for “So Sick” here.

2007: “Irreplaceable” — Beyoncé

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CoachellaBeyoncé performing at the Coachella in April 2018.

In “Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé spreads her message of female empowerment and reminds an unfaithful lover that she can do better. The song appears on her second album, “B’Day” and won a Grammy for record of the year.

Watch the official music video here.

2008: “Apologise” — Timbaland featuring OneRepublic

Christopher Polk/Getty ImagesThe song was nominated for a Grammy for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals.

“Apologise” was written by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, and is part of the band’s first studio album, “Dreaming Out Loud.”

“There were a number of different experiences that I went through that I guess you could say inspired it,” Tedder said during an interview. “That song was specifically about three or four of the failed relationships I had had in high school and college.”

2009: “Heartless” — Kanye West

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMediaWest has been nominated for more than 60 Grammys throughout his career.

“Heartless” is from West’s fourth studio album, “808s & Heartbreak.” Watch the music video for the chart-topping song here.

2010: “Need You Now” — Lady Antebellum

Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesLady Antebellum at the CMA Awards in 2015.

Lady Antebellum’s song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2010 and earned them a Grammy for record of the year.

“The three of us have been there, too,” Dave Haywood told The Boot. “I mean, we’ve been in serious relationships and when you get out of that, all you want is that person next to you.”

Watch the official music video here.

2011: “Rolling in the Deep” — Adele

Adele/YouTubeAdele in the music video for ‘Rolling in the Deep.’

Adele continued to show off her powerhouse vocals with this track from her second album, “21.”

“It was my reaction to being told that my life was going to be boring and lonely and rubbish, and that I was a weak person if I didn’t stay in a relationship,” Adele said. “I was very insulted and wrote that as a sort of ‘F— you.'”

Watch the music video here.

2012: “Somebody That I Used to Know” — Gotye featuring Kimbra

This hit song from Gotye and Kimbra draws from several relationships, rather than a single one that fell apart.

“I’ve had a few breakups over the years of course, but it’s more the memory of different relationships and different points in those relationships that prompted certain images and certain lines that came out in the song,” Gotye said during an interview with MetroLyrics. “And then those memories were kind of stretched out and embellished and there were elements of fiction added, so it’s really a collection of things.”

Watch the official music video here.

2013: “When I Was Your Man” — Bruno Mars

Ethan Miller / Getty ImagesThe song appears on Mars’ ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ album.

“When I Was Your Man” is one of the slower ballads featured on his second album. Speaking to MTV News, Mars explained that he channeled real heartbreak to create the hit song.

“This song is about a special woman that I let slip away at one time,” he said. “It’s a happy ending though … I put everything I got into that one.”

Watch the official music video here.

2014: “Problem” — Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea

Ariana Grande/YouTubeThe song also won an MTV Video Music Award for best pop video.

Grande continued to dominate pop music with “Problem,” from her second album, “My Everything.” In the song, she belts out lyrics about feeling conflicted over a relationship, but also realising that she’s better off without that person.

Watch the music video for “Problem” here.

2015: “Where Are U Now” — Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesDiplo, Skrillex, and Justin Bieber won an American Music Award for their collaboration in 2015.

Bieber actually created a version of this song more than five years ago. At the time, he said it was inspired by his father. But the most recent version has modified lyrics, leading fans to think “Where Are U Now” is about a romantic relationship.

Watch the music video here.

2016: “Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber

Mike Windle/Getty ImagesThe song is part of Bieber’s ‘Purpose’ album.

In 2016, Bieber’s “Love Yourself” was a chart-topper. The song was co-written by Ed Sheeran and appears on his fourth studio album. Watch the music video here.

2017: “Attention” — Charlie Puth

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for iHeartMediaThe track is from is ‘Voicenotes’ album.

“Attention” is a departure from Charlie Puth’s previously released, piano-driven songs. Speaking to Billboard, Puth said that he “didn’t feel like an artist” until “Attention” was released.

“It’s s—-talking,” he said. “It’s a mean song.”

Watch the official music video here.

2018: “New Rules” — Dua Lipa

Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMediaDua Lipa is a Grammy-nominated singer.

Dua Lipa’s post-breakup anthem filled with tips to avoid crawling back to an ex was a chart-topper in 2018.

“They’re not necessarily rules I’ve been able to stick by,”Lipa told NPR in 2017. “But [they’re] rules that I feel like it’s important to be able to tell yourself, to tell your friends … There’s a reason people break up, and it’s probably the same reason why you shouldn’t get back together.”

Watch the music video, which has more than one billion views on YouTube, here.


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