Producer: Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Nate "Danja" Hills
Album: FutureSex/Love Sounds
"SexyBack" arrived on the scene like a hurricane. It'd been established that "the dude from 'N Sync" was more than capable when he first released solo material four years earlier, but "SexyBack" put Timberlake in a position where you were forced to take him seriously. Timbaland's production was a blistering premotion of the electro wave that would dominate popular music for the next seven years, and still manages to incorporate a bit of funk.
Timberlake's opening lyric, "I'm bringing sexy back," was equally transcendent, inspiring close to a decade of cliched comeback headlines. The record went on to become Timberlake's first No. 1 single as a solo artist, and stayed at the top of the charts for seven weeks, eventually winning a Grammy award for Best Dance Recording. Rightfully so. —Ernest Baker