15 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Male Singers Of The 2000s

Written by Laura Macmillan
Last updated

As we entered the new millennium, many male singers topped the charts. Fresh off the Latin Invasion and Neo-Swing revival of the late 1990s, the 2000s further proved that truly anything could become a hit. 

The 2000s saw the rise of some truly iconic male vocalists. From boy bands and rappers to country artists and rockstar frontmen, these men dominated the music charts and won the hearts of fans around the world.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at 15 of the greatest and most famous male singers of the 2000s. Read on to rediscover these amazing stars! 

1. Justin Timberlake

After shedding his world-famous boy band persona from the 1990s, Justin Timberlake broke out as a solo star during the 2000s.

Timberlake blended his signature falsetto with pop and R&B influences on albums like Justified and singles like “SexyBack” and “Cry Me a River.” He’s also lent his voice to Dreamwork Animation’s Trolls as well as the movie’s sequel.

Another highlight, though a bit controversial, was when Timberlake exposed fellow pop superstar Janet Jackson live onstage at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. This event invented the phrase “wardrobe malfunction,” which remains a part of our vocabulary.

2. Jay-Z

An emerging rap star in the 1990s, Jay-Z rose to icon status throughout the 2000s. He achieved hits like “Big Pimpin'” and “Bonnie and Clyde 2003” with his now-wife Beyoncé.

Throughout the 2000s, Jay-Z made headlines both for chart-topping singles and high-profile feuds. The rapper started his now-legendary career as a businessman in the mid-2000s, becoming president of the illustrious Def Jam records.

He is also well-known for his collaborations, including Beyoncé, Kanye West, Linkin Park, and Rihanna.

Today, Jay-Z continues to influence culture primarily through his various business ventures in sports, film, music, higher education, and technology.

3. Chris Martin

Like many artists on this list, Chris Martin, lead vocalist of Coldplay, burst onto the scene right at the turn of the century and still maintains relevance in music.

In 2000, the band released one of their most famous early singles, “Yellow.” Following this early success, they continued to release hit singles from albums like X and Y and Viva la Vida in 2008.

The 2000s were often set to a Coldplay soundtrack as this group maintained prominence throughout this period. They have also maintained a schedule of releasing an album every few years for almost 25 years. This five-member group continues to thrive within its unique creative process.

4. Kanye West

Long before he ran for president of the United States, Kanye West defined a new rap era in the early 2000s. His albums The College Dropout and Late Registration earned widespread acclaim for his fresh ideas and unique collaborations.

For years that followed, West continued releasing hits, both in singles and in recorded albums. He also became the founder of GOOD Music record label, which has housed other well-known singers like John Legend.

Fans of West raise him to near-mythical status, citing a genius and perfectionism seen only in legendary artists. It’s not surprising, as this talented rapper has won 24 Grammys and numerous other awards, including BET Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards.

5. Adam Levine

Our next singer is Adam Levine, who became a celebrity in the mid-2000s as the lead singer of the pop group Maroon 5. He is the hunky, tattooed, often shirtless vocalist for this ensemble, known for songs like “This Love,” “She Will Be Loved,” and “Makes Me Wonder.” 

This six-person group’s first album, Songs About Jane, took two years until it finally caught on with mainstream audiences in 2004. Since then, Maroon 5 has maintained a spot on the charts.

In addition to his work with Maroon 5, Levine quickly transitioned into a sought-after songwriter and collaborated on several high-profile projects. His name is found on projects for Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Johnny Cash, and Stevie Wonder throughout the mid-and late 2000s.

6. Tim McGraw

As the first country star on this list, Tim McGraw boasts an impressive, long-lasting career. McGraw first came on the scene in the 1990s but reached a new level of crossover fame throughout the 2000s. 

He released his first greatest hits album and frequently collaborated with superstar country singer wife, Faith Hill. In 2000, McGraw and Hill performed sellout shows in enormous arenas like Madison Square Garden. These country stars reigned at the top of country music.

McGraw is still releasing music, including modern collaborations with his long-time wife. “Live Like You Were Dying” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” are two notable McGraw singles from the 2000s. 

7. Brandon Flowers

Bursting onto the scene in 2003, the Killers topped the charts with thrilling Euro-rock hits, and leading the vocals of the band is Brandon Flowers, who is also their keyboardist.

This four-member band released singles like “All These Things That I’ve Done” and “Mr. Brightside.” In fact, “Mr. Brightside” holds a record for consecutive weeks on the UK Singles Chart. This instantly recognizable song reigned for 300 weeks as a hit single in the United Kingdom. 

All the members of the Killers experience solo artistic success as well, and Flowers has two hit albums as a solo artist. His album Flamingo reached #1 on the UK charts, making it Flowers’s fourth consecutive album to reach this milestone.

8. Tom DeLonge

The goofy pop-punk presence of Blink-182, and its lead vocalist Tom DeLonge, dominated airwaves in the early 2000s. They are also known for their high energy, hilarious antics, and a rebellious attitude.

With Blink-182’s help, a pop-punk era started to emerge, and the band became famous for fast-paced punk songs like “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again,” both topping charts.

In 2015, DeLonge departed from the group to experiment with a solo career. His debut album To the Stars… Demos, Odds and Ends had mixed reception. Music career aside, he has also co-written novels with best-selling authors.  

9. Usher

R&B singer and actor Usher is known for his sex appeal, sensual singing voice, and awe-inspiring dance moves. He achieved success in the 1990s but rose to superstardom in the 2000s with his hit albums 8701 and Confessions.

Usher’s most famous songs include “U Remind Me” and “Yeah!,” an enduring club hit featuring 2000s characters Lil Jon and Ludacris.

Usher’s legacy includes induction in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, eight Grammy awards, and nine Soul Train Music Awards.

Like others on this list, Usher is also a successful businessman. His record label signed famous artists like Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber.

10. Eminem

Born Marshall Mathers in a north Detroit trailer park, Eminem became an unorthodox rap star. He received mentorship from rap legend Dr. Dre to help him reach fame. As immortalized in the Oscar-winning film Eight Mile, Eminem fought his way to the top of the rap and music world. 

He entered the 2000s dominating the Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and more with his album The Eminem Show and singles “Lose Yourself,” “Without Me,” and “The Real Slim Shady.”

This rap star also maintains cultural relevance, including appearing in the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show for the National Football League. 

11. Sean Paul

The only reggae artist on this list, Jamaican Sean Paul represents the diversity of early 2000s music. With hits like “Get Busy and “Temperature” or high-profile collaborations like “Baby Boy” with Beyoncé, he was unavoidable on radio of the era.

Sean Paul has aimed to establish the genre of dancehall pop, a mixture of Jamaican dancehall music and mainstream pop. With the help of his influence on pop music, reggaeton music has topped charts as summer hits.

Paul continues to dominate the reggae genre, consistently receiving Grammy nominations like Best Reggae Album for consecutive albums for more than a decade. 

12. Keith Urban

In addition to his romance with A-list actress Nicole Kidman, Australian Keith Urban is known for sentimental country music and a squeaky-clean image.

The 2000s decade was terrific for Keith Urban, who broke onto the scene in America in the year 2000. By 2005, Urban won the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his song “You’ll Think of Me.”

Other notable singles from him include “Where the Blacktop Ends” and “Somebody Like You.” By 2008, Urban debuted “I Wanna Kiss a Girl” on the TV show, American Idol.

He has collaborated with stars like Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, and Richard Marx. Urban tours the world regularly, especially in his home nations of Australia and New Zealand.

13. John Mayer

With his guitar, John Mayer held down the 2000s with earnest, singer-songwriter tunes. While his personal life was more scandalous, he consistently delivered tender ballads like “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “Why Georgia.” 

Mayer was also a darling of award shows, racking up Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and People’s Choice Awards. He won the 2005 Grammy Award for Song of the Year for the ballad “Daughters.”

This singer and celebrated guitarist shifted to his true love early on. After his the success of “Daughters,” he started to focus on blues music. The John Mayer Trio toured widely, providing diversity to Mayer’s career that continues today.

14. Ricky Martin

After 1999’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Ricky Martin was positioned to have a massive turn of the century career. Latin pop dominated the charts in the early 2000s, and he continued to churn out hits like “She Bangs.”

“Livin’ La Vida Loca” is Martin’s enduring hit, with the sexy, hip-swiveling music video to match. This song topped the charts in more than 20 countries and sold as many as 17 million copies worldwide. 

He experienced success with an acoustic performance as well. This 2006 pivot led to an MTV Unplugged segment and even won Latin Grammys. A music star for nearly forty years, Ricky Martin’s career shows no signs of slowing down.

15. Moby

This person is one of the more unexpected famous singers to hit this list. Richard Melville Hall—or Moby, as you’ll probably know him—receives credit for bringing electronica and dance music to a mainstream audience. Interestingly, he looks more like an accountant than a revolutionary musical artist.

Moby’s most famous hits include “Lift Me Up” and “Extreme Ways,” featured in Matt Damon’s Bourne Identity film franchise movies. He has collaborated with artists like Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, and Public Enemy. He is also well-known for his veganism and animal rights activism.

Summing Up Our List Of Famous Male Vocalists During The 2000s

Now curated playlists from digital streaming services are commonplace. Decades ago, music lovers relied on the radio, so it is fascinating to look back and see the wide variety of genres that dominated the airwaves in the 2000s as the internet emerged as a dominant force.

From reggae to country, electronic to pop, these male artists left an enduring mark on pop culture. Almost all these artists still make successful music today and influence fashion, politics, sports, technology, and other industries. 

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Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.