Welcome to Part 4 in a four-part series looking back at songs hitting significant milestones this year. This week, we're looking at 20 tracks hitting the big 2-0 in 2016. Here are some of the biggest hits released as singles in 1996, the sounds that take you right back to that big year.
(You can find Part 1, 50 songs turning 50 in 2016, here; Part 2, 40 songs turning 40 in 2016, here.; and Part 3, 30 songs turning 30 in 2015, here.)
1. "Always Be My Baby," Mariah Carey
Released as a single in March 1996, "Always Be My Baby" continued a hot 1996 for Carey, who started the year with the No. 1 single — the inescapable "One Sweet Day," a duet with Boyz II Men. Carey co-wrote "Baby" with Jermaine Dupri and R&B star producer Manuel Seal (not to be confused with Seal).
2. "Because You Loved Me," Celine Dion
Battle of the 1996 divas. Dion's theme from the film "Up Close and Personal" hit No. 1 between chart-topping stints from Carey ("One Sweet Day" and "Always Be My Baby"). Do you think people getting married in 1996 had some trouble choosing a first-dance song between this and "Always Be My Baby"? Me? I would have gone with song No. 3 on this list.
3. "Tha Crossroads," Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
Twenty years later, I'm still missing my Uncle Charles, y'all. The breakthrough single from the hyphen-friendly rappers was No. 1 for eight weeks.
4. "You're Makin' Me High," Toni Braxton
The Severn native scored her first Hot 100 chart-topper with this track, co-written by Braxton BFF Babyface. BTW: The guy Braxton chooses in this video is Bryce Wilson, the song's other co-writer.
5. "California Love," 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre
Technically, this was released in late December 1995, but I'm giving it a pass. Because obviously.
6. "You Learn," Alanis Morissette
Self help, Alanis style. Also released by Morissette in 1996: "Ironic" and "Head Over Feet."
7. "I Love You Always Forever," Donna Lewis
Best listened to while looking at your Jonathan Taylor Thomas poster from Bop magazine.
8. "1979," Smashing Pumpkins
Frontman Billy Corgan was 12 in 1979, which explains a lot of the awkward-adolescent subject matter in one of the band's most highly regarded — and softer — songs (the single released before "1979" was the slightly different-sounding "Bullet With Butterfly Wings").
9. "Mother Mother," Tracy Bonham
Tracy, she's just calling to say, "Hi."
10. "My Maria," Brooks & Dunn
The duo's cover of the 1973 hit from B. W. Stevenson was No. 1 for three weeks on the country charts. Not as big as B&D's "Boot Scootin' Boogie," but then again, what is?
11. "No Diggity," Blackstreet, featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen
If someone tries to tell you than anything else but "No Diggity" was their jam in 1996, they are lying to you.
12. "Hyperballad," Bjork
On the heels of Bjork's unexpected "It's Oh So Quiet," this EDM-y single is reportedly about a dream Bjork had about throwing stones off a cliff and connecting herself to those objects, which is far from the most Bjork-y thing to ever Bjork.
13. "Follow You Down," Gin Blossoms
This one song basically captures everything that mid-1990s alternative music was all about.
14. "Champagne Supernova," Oasis
I still have no idea of what this is about.
15. "Pony," Ginuwine
Pretty good idea of what this is about.
16. "Don't Speak," No Doubt
Breakup song alert! No Doubt's Gwen Stefani co-penned this track with her brother about her ex-boyfriend/bandmate Tony Kanal after she and Kanal ended their long-term relationship.
17. "Change the World," Eric Clapton
Also produced by Babyface (who apparently did not sleep in 1996), "Change the World" won both song and record of the year at the Grammys. It beat the next song on this list in both categories.
18. "Give Me One Reason," Tracy Chapman
Tracy's got the blues. "Give Me One Reason" was the singer-songwriter's first single in four years.
19. "Big Bang Baby," Stone Temple Pilots
STP's big 1996 included two other top rock singles, "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart" and "Lady Picture Show." All three songs are included in the band's 2003 greatest hits album, "Thank You."
20. "Un-Break My Heart," Toni Braxton
I'm assuming there are no objections to more Toni? "Un-Break My Heart" spent 11 (!) weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and was written by Diane Warren, who also penned Dion's "Because You Loved Me." Now uncry those nostalgic tears for 1996.