Some of the most popular songs in the 1990s included Los Del Rio's "Macarena," which spawned a huge dance craze; Elton John's update of "Candle in the Wind," dedicated to Princess Diana; and Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart." All three of these songs peaked at the number one spot on Billboard's Hot 100 list, as did the Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men collaboration "One Sweet Day" and Brandy and Monica's "The Boy is Mine."
A number of songs from movie soundtracks also spent time on top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart in the 1990s, such as Bryan Adams "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," featured on the soundtrack for the Kevin Costner film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves"; Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack; and Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise," written for the film "Dangerous Minds."
Ballads were incredibly popular in the 1990s, particularly those sung by female performers. Some of these include "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion, "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston, and "Nothing Compares 2 U" performed by Sinead O'Connor and written by Prince. Ballads performed by men, such as Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" and "One Sweet Day," were also popular.
The '90s were also the decade in which rap and hip hop entered the mainstream, with songs such as "Gangsta's Paradise," by Coolio, and "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince achieving critical acclaim and strong sales. Rock songs remained popular, with hits such as "The Sign" by Ace of Bass, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana and "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. In 1997, Elton John released a new version of "Candle in the Wind," originally written in the 1970s, to honor the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales. The new version was enormously successful, and became the highest selling single of all time.
There were also several popular songs that never made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, but were immensely popular in the 1990s, such as Jewel's "Foolish Games/You Were Meant for Me," Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There It Is)," and LeAnn Rimes "How Do I Live." All three of these songs peaked at the number two spot, but remained popular for months.