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Feel old? These hit songs turn 20 years old in 2022

Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” was released decades ago. (AP Images)

(NEXSTAR) – In case you feel like feeling old today, here’s a look back at some of the biggest hits from 2002 that are turning 20 years old this year. Remember these?

“Lose Yourself” – Eminem

Rapper Eminem’s No. 1 hit “Lose Yourself” may be 20 years old this year, but the lead single from the artist’s semi-biographical film “8 Mile” continues to reign among some of popular rap’s most admired tracks.

The Grammy-winning track from 2002 frequently appears on “greatest” lists, including a No. 29 spot on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All-Time. It also became one of few ’00s (pre-streaming) songs to hit 1 billion streams on Spotify just last year.

Despite taking home the 2003 Academy Award for Best Original Song — becoming the first hip-hop song to do so — the rapper didn’t attend or perform the song that year.

Eminem did perform the song for the first time at the Academy Awards just two years ago. In a surprise appearance, “Lose Yourself” was included to highlight the “impact of music” in film, Oscars producer Lynette Howell told USA Today in 2020. The performance, which was 17 years in the making, received a standing ovation. Eminem also performed the song during February’s Super Bowl LVI Half Time Show.

Eminem performing
In this Nov. 14, 2002, file photo, Eminem performs at the MTV European Music Awards in Sant Jordi palace in Barcelona, Spain (AP Photo/Denis Doyle, Pool, File)

“A Thousand Miles” – Vanessa Carlton

You know those opening piano keys when you hear them. The song’s instantly recognizable music video — featuring Carlton and her piano sailing across city streets and highways — is probably burned in your brain.

Released in February 2002, singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton’s debut single “A Thousand Miles” ended the year at No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart, and made it to the top 10 in dozens of other countries.

“A Thousand Miles” was also featured in a few of the most memorable scenes from the 2004 comedy hit “White Chicks,” in which the lead characters — two Black men, pretending to be white women — attempt to sing along to the song.

But creators of the film said in a recent interview that the song is far from a punchline — it was chosen for the movie because it’s a song everyone seems to like. As The Guardian‘s Ellen E. Jones wrote in 2019, “Liking what you like is nothing to be ashamed of … We wouldn’t still be humming it 17 years later if it wasn’t actually a pretty decent pop song, would we?”

Meanwhile, in a recent 20-year retrospective, Rolling Stone‘s Amit Vaidya writes of the song: “Arguably the most easily identifiable first three seconds to a song of the last two decades, and quite possibly the most instantaneously recognizable piano riff ever.”

Vanessa Carlton performing on Jun 2, 2002 (AP Images)

“Family Affair” – Mary J. Blige

The lead single from Blige’s fifth album “No More Drama” gave the world the much-debated lyric, “Don’t need no hateration, holleration in this dancery,” and became one of Blige’s biggest hits.

The song hit No. 1 not only on U.S. Billboard’s Hot 100 chart but several of its other charts. It was also the
No. 12 song on Billboard’s end-of-decade chart. Rolling Stone considered it among the 100 best of the ’00s, ranking it 95th overall.

Blige performed “Family Affair” at 2022’s Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show.

Mary J. Blige is seen here in a 2002 promotional headshot. (AP Images)

“Hot in Herre” – Nelly

Released just in time for summer 2002, “Hot in Herre” took control of the Billboard charts: five in total, including the top spot on the Hot 100.

The song almost didn’t happen, with the St. Louis rapper telling The Fader he’d already turned in his sophomore album “Nellyville” before realizing “something was missing.” Nelly enlisted mega music-maker Pharrell Williams, then of the production team The Neptunes, and the two worked out the song from a sample of Chuck Brown’s 1979 R&B hit “Bustin Loose.”

With “Hot in Herre,” Nelly became one of only two winners of the Best Male Rap Solo Performance Grammy, as the award was combined into a genderless rap category the next year. The other was Eminem, for “Lose Yourself.”

The song received a new spin this past December, when Chance the Rapper appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s “That’s My Jam” and gave the song an impromptu country remix.

Rap musician Nelly, born Cornell Haynes Jr., smiles during an interview Aug. 6, 2002, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Krista Niles)

“Complicated” – Avril Lavigne

Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne arrived on radio in March with the bratty “Complicated” from her debut album “Let Go.” If you were in middle school, high school or college, the tune was likely playing somewhere by someone you knew at any hour of the day.

“Complicated” was nominated for Song of Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammys. In 2009, Rolling Stone readers ranked the song eighth on its list of Readers’ Top Singles of the Decade.

In a Facebook post last month, Lavigne wrote: “Holy f—! #Complicated was released 20 years ago today. I could have never imagined the places this song would take me. I am so grateful to you guys always and 4-ever for embracing my music and showing me so much love then, and still now, 20 years later.”

The song’s teen-angst legacy continues, as recent Grammy winner Olivia Rodrigo covered “Complicated” at the opening night of her “Sour” Tour on Tuesday.

Avril Lavigne performing on Jun 22, 2003. (AP Images)

“Hero” – Chad Kroeger featuring Josey Scott

Sung by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger — former husband of Avril Lavigne — and Josey Scott, formerly of the rock band Saliva, “Hero” swung onto radio as the lead single from 2002’s massive blockbuster “Spider-Man.”

The song hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on two others, earning two Grammy nominations along the way. “Hero” was also released prior to widespread anti-Nickelback sentiment that almost eclipsed the band in the mid-2000s. But despite becoming an easy punchline for rock critics, the band has continued selling records, and even got in on the joke.

Meanwhile, other “Spider-Man” movie songs have fared less successfully, including Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated” for “Spider-Man 2” in 2004, Snow Patrol’s “Signal Fire” for “Spider-Man 3” in 2007, and Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar’s “It’s On Again” for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” in 2014.

Nickelback’s Ryan Peake, Daniel Adair, Chad Kroeger and Mike Kroeger are photographed at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., Sept. 10, 2005. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

If you enjoyed this trip back into your adolescence, we hope you’ve booked your annual physical check-ups!


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