Johnny’s group Kanjani8 recently held a special episode on their variety show “KanJam Kanzen Nen SHOW” where they asked 48 professional musicians to determine to best popular J-POP songs from the past 20 years, January 1st 2000 until December 31st 2020.
The musicians selected ranged from session musicians, to vocal coaches and producers. It seems quite difficult to condense 20 years of music into a top 30 list, so only one artist is represented in the list. The only exception to this is SMAP who has two songs on the ranking. Coming in at number 1 is none other than the band Official HIGE DANdism.
Their 2019 hit “Pretender” was crowned the best popular J-POP song from the past 20 years. Upon release “Pretender” was an instant hit, and made history by spending a massive 7 weeks at #1 on Japan’s Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was praised for it’s impeccable medley, lyrics, arrangement, and even the live performances.
Coming in 2nd was SMAP’s 2003 hit “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana“. At over 2.5 million copies sold it is the 8th best selling single of all time in Japan. It was the theme song for the Fuji TV drama series “Boku no Ikiru Michi”.
Rounding out the top 3 is “Everything” by MISIA. This 2000 hit was another big seller and is the signature hit for the diva.
The full list is as follows:
- Pretender (2019) / Official HIGE DANdism
- Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana (2003) / SMAP
- Everything (2000) / MISIA
- Tentai Kansoku (2001) / BUMP OF CHICKEN
- Hakujitsu (2019) / King Gnu
- TSUNAMI (2000) / Southern All Stars
- Paprika (2018) / Foorin
- Yoru ni Kakeru (2019) / YOASOBI
- Sakura solo ver. (2003) / Naotaro Moriyama
- Jupiter (2003) / Ayaka Hirahara
- Koi Suru Fortune Cookie (2013) / AKB48
- Gips (2000) / Shiina Ringo
- Yuki No Hana (2003) / Mika Nakashima
- Polyrhythm (2007) / Perfume
- Hitomi wo Tojite (2004) / Ken Hirai
- Aliens (2000) / KIRINJI
- Lemon (2018) / Kenshi Yonezu
- Konayuki (2005) / Remioromen
- Marigold (2018) / Aimyon
- traveling (2001) / Hikaru Utada
- Lion heart (2000) / SMAP
- Watashi Igai Watashi Janai No (2015) / Gesu no Kiwami Otome
- Koi (2016) / Hoshino Gen
- Shin Takarajima (2015) / Sakanaction
- Wadatsumi No Ki (2002) / Chitose Hajime
- Ai wo Komete Hanataba wo (2008) / Superfly
- Nada So So (2001) / Rimi Natsukawa
- HERO (2002) / Mr.Children
- PPAP (2016) / Piko Taro
- ultra soul (2001) / B’z
Do you agree with their ranking?