Let’s be honest: Love songs always hit right in the feels. A ballad can transform from a regular song into the soundtrack of your relationship—whether you’re celebrating your 25th anniversary or just uttering “I love you” for the first time on Valentine's Day.
But what makes a great love song? The top-secret recipe starts with the lyrics. You can go from a jazzy number that spells out letters (like “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole) to a rock hit that breaks down the true meaning of love (like “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner) or even a nostalgic track that makes you reflect on past relationships (like “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry). Simply put: Love songs have stood the test of time through so many decades.
Seriously, the ’60s and ’70s were all about soul and funk, while the ’80s ushered in pop and rock. And then the ’90s and early ’00s gave us some of the greatest R&B hits of all time. (Hello, Boys II Men, Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys, to name a few).
Overall, these hits have been added to mix CDs, belted out at weddings and quoted in movies as some of the most romantic gestures of our time. From Whitney Houston to Adele, here are the 77 greatest love songs to dedicate to your special someone.
1. “Cheek to Cheek" By Fred Astaire (1935)
While we adore Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's rendition (or even Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's), we can't stop playing the original hit. The '30s jazz number was specifically written for Astaire's movie Top Hat, so it's no surprise it was a musical favorite for the times.
2. “This Magic Moment” By The Drifters (1960)
This ’60s number is bringing us back to our very first kiss. With every line, we can definitely agree that every smooch with our love is a magical moment.
3. “At Last” By Etta James (1960)
Chances are, you’ve heard this song at least once in your lifetime. The minute Etta James croons “At last…” you’re swaying to the music and marveling at the iconic singer’s pipes.
4. “can’t Help Falling In Love” By Elvis Presley (1961)
Elvis Presley might be known for his upbeat rock songs, but this love ballad shows off his soulful side.
5. “L-O-V-E” By Nat King Cole (1964)
Leave it to Nat King Cole to make spelling fun and catchy. You’ll immediately recognize the ‘60s jazz hit as soon as Cole sings, “L is for the way you look at me…”
6. “Fly Me To The Moon” By Frank Sinatra (1964)
The opening lines, “Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars, let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars…” is enough to get you on your feet and pulling your beau to the dance floor.
7. “My Girl” By The Temptations (1965)
This classic R&B track is sending love to a special someone and isn’t shy about letting the whole world know. Plus, who doesn’t want sunshine on a cloudy day?
8. “Unchained Melody” By The Righteous Brothers (1965)
9. “I Got You Babe” By Sonny And Cher (1965)
Nothing says you’re there for your partner through it all quite like this Sonny and Cher duet. The disco-pop track is the perfect song to sing to your number one.
10. “When A Man Loves A Woman” By Percy Sledge (1966)
Ah, we adore this ode to how love makes us do crazy things (like turning on your best friend or sleeping in the rain!?).
11. “God Only Knows” By Beach Boys (1966)
This song will definitely get stuck in your head, from the chorus alone. The Beach Boys may be known for their catchy, surf-inspired songs but this love tune is a great addition to any romantic occasion.
12. “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher” By Jackie Wilson (1967)
You can’t help but sing and dance to this upbeat R&B song. What could be more romantic than knowing that your love is lifting someone up?
13. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” By Marvin Gaye And Tammi Terrel (1967)
This is the duet song. Whether you’re taking on Marvin Gaye or Tammi Terrel’s part, be sure to sing your heart out with lyrics like “Cause baby there ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough. Ain't no river wide enough. To keep me from getting to you babe.”
14. “For Once In My Life” By Stevie Wonder (1967)
This one is great for a new relationship because the iconic Stevie Wonder belts about the feeling that comes with finally finding your person. And he brings his harmonica along for the ride.
15. “All You Need Is Love” By The Beatles (1967)
The Beatles have some of the most classic songs in history and this 1967 track is a great example. The chorus, “All you need is love, all you need is love, all you need is love, love is all you need…” is enough to get up and hold your love ones close.
16. “(They Long To Be) Close To You” By The Carpenters (1970)
Most love stories start with a crush. And this soft rock track is all about admiring and pining for someone (whether you know them or not).
17. "I Think I Love You" By The Partridge Family (1970)
You don't have to remember the '70s sitcom The Partridge Family when this song comes on, especially with iconic lyrics like, "I think I love you so what am I so afraid of..." You'l be belting out the tune to your partner as soon as the chorus hits.
18. “Your Song” By Elton John (1971)
When Elton John’s voice and a piano is involved, a love song inevitable. Who would’ve known that one line—written by songwriter Bernie Taupin (who BTW never experienced romantic love before writing this)—could grow into a timeless tune for the ages.
19. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” By Roberta Flack (1972)
This is actually a cover of the 1957 folk song, originally sung by British songwriter Ewan MacColl. But the updated version focuses on Roberta Flack’s incredible vocals, which was celebrated with not one, but two Grammy awards.
20. “Lovin’ You” By Minnie Riperton (1974)
Minnie Riperton’s soulful voice is the key when you’re falling in love with someone and want to musically express your newfound feelings.
21. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” By Elton John And Kiki Dee (1976)
Grab your beau and duet this ‘70s classic. Be the Kiki Dee to their Elton John and sing your heart out at karaoke.
22. “Always And Forever” By Heatwave (1976)
The second someone tells you “Each moment with you is just like a dream to me…”, they are a keeper—and according to this funk-disco band, that’s just a plain fact.
23. “How Deep Is Your Love” By The Bee Gees (1977)
FYI, the whole Saturday Night Fever album is a bop, so it’s no surprise that this ‘70s track will lead you to the dance floor with a nice sway (and an impressive twirl). Just don’t forget to softly sing to your significant other, “how deep is your love, how deep is your love…”
24. “Best Of My Love” By The Emotions (1977)
The vocals alone are enough to convince you to press play (and then repeat the song again, a second time).
25. “You’re The One That I Want” By John Travolta And Olivia Newton-John (1978)
OK, Grease has a bunch of bops, but this closing number sung by Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny (John Travolta) is by far our favorite musical love song.
26. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” By Queen (1980)
All you need to make an ‘80s hit: guitar riffs, drums and Freddie Mercury’s voice telling you exactly what love means. That’s it.
27. “Lady” By Kenny Rogers (1980)
When a song is written by Lionel Richie and sung by the late Kenny Rogers, you can trust it’s a timeless masterpiece.
28. “Endless Love” By Diana Ross And Lionel Richie (1981)
A song with Diana Ross and Lionel Richie? Enough said. This is the GOAT of duet love songs.
29. “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” By Bonnie Tyler (1983)
If you’re looking for a rock love song, look no further than this ‘80s hit. Between Tyler’s raspy voice and the instrumental break towards the middle, you’ll feel the pain of longing for someone too.
30. “Time After Time” By Cyndi Lauper (1983)
Whether you’re adding it to your playlist or dedicating it to your partner at karaoke, this Cyndi Lauper bop is a classic.
31. “Faithfully” By Journey (1983)
Long distance can be hard, but Journey is letting us know it’s still worth it with lyrics like “And being apart ain't easy on this love affair. Two strangers learn to fall in love again. I get the joy of rediscovering you…”
32. “If Only You Knew” By Patti Labelle (1983)
Saying ‘I love you’ for the first time is not easy and the soul singer expresses that, despite having a hard time saying the three words, there’s still plenty of other ways to show your love.
33. “I Want To Know What Love Is” By Foreigner (1984)
Let’s face it, you’ll be belting out “I wanna know what love is, I want you to show me…” as soon as the chorus comes on. The ‘80s rock song is ready to tap into your feelings, especially with help from the choir singing along with the band.
34. “Silly Love Songs” By Wings (1984)
The title of the song can be ironic, considering it’s everything a love song stands for: disco beats (aka the bass), a former Beatles member (Paul McCartney) and lots of ‘I love yous.’
35. “Crazy For You” By Madonna (1985)
Written for the 1985 film Vision Quest, this track follows two people meeting for the first time at a club and a spark that only can be explained through melody.
36. “Take My Breath Away” By Berlin (1986)
Aside from making an appearance in Top Gun (and winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song), this electropop hit is the slow dance pick for a wedding, date or big anniversary party.
37. “The Way You Make Me Feel” By Michael Jackson (1987)
We always want to feel loved and appreciated by our significant other, and this song makes us smile (and blush immensely). Plus, the ’80s track already has us swaying to the beat.
38. “End Of The Road” By Boyz II Men (1991)
OK, so this is actually about heartbreak. But it’s still considered a love song for how the R&B group vows for one more chance with their love. And can we just talk about the mix of their powerful voices?
39. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” By Bryan Adams (1991)
What would you do for your love? For Bryan Adams it’s simple: everything. The ‘90s rock song doesn’t hold back and the mix of piano, guitar and drums make it a classic love hit.
40. “I Will Always Love You” By Whitney Houston (1992)
You can’t create a list of the greatest love songs without this Whitney Houston tune. The Bodyguard might’ve made this song iconic, but it could never compare to Houston completely blowing us away with her vocals. You try hitting the high notes like that.
41. “Weak” By SWV (1992)
For some, love can hit you in unexpected ways. This R&B ballad is all about falling in love and being caught off guard with what that feels like with lyrics like “I get so weak in the knees, I can hardly speak, I lose all control and something takes over me.”
42. “The Power Of Love” By Celine Dion (1993)
With one of the most powerful voices in music, Celine Dion knew exactly what she was doing when she released this ‘90s love song. As soon as she sings, “Cause I'm your lady. And you are my man. Whenever you reach for me. I'll do all that I can…” be prepared for goosebumps.
43. “That’s The Way Love Goes” By Janet Jackson (1993)
This ‘90s R&B track paints a picture of desire and passion for your partner. Oh, Janet Jackson.
44. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” From the Lion King (1994)
While we have to give kudos to the original song performed and written by Elton John, we have a soft spot for The Lion King version. With a blend of the characters’ and singer Kristle Edwards’ voices, we totally get why this love song is an Academy award-winning and a top Disney pick.
45. “Don't Let Go (Love)" By En Vogue (1996)
This R&B group will have you singing to the top of your lungs with this '90s bop. All about professing your love to a friend, this tune is ready to change the relationship regardless of what's on the line.
46. “All My Life” By K-Ci And Jojo (1997)
With lyrics like “All my life I’ve prayed for someone like you. And I thank God that I, that I finally found you…” we can’t help but dedicate this love ballad to our one true love.
47. “My Heart Will Go On” By Celine Dion (1997)
Admit it, we’ve all tried to recreate the scene where Rose spreads her arms out and Jack holds her close, all while this iconic song plays in the background.
48. “It’s Your Love” By Tim Mcgraw And Faith Hill (1997)
This country song hits right in the feels even more when you realize it’s sung by real-life couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Their harmonies together have us grabbing our partner and dancing around the house.
49. “You’re Still The One” By Shania Twain (1998)
Come on, it’s Shania Twain. Who wasn’t singing along to the chorus back in the day (and now)?
50. “Let’s Get Married” By Jagged Edge (2000)
Need a proposal song? This R&B hit can put into words how ready you are to take the next step. (We can’t guarantee a yes, but it’s a charming way of putting into words how you feel.)
51. “She Will Be Loved” By Maroon 5 (2002)
This early 2000s hit is making sure the person in your life knows they can be loved immensely. Now sing, “And she will be loved…” in the top of your lungs.
52. “If I Ain’t Got You” By Alicia Keys (2003)
Alicia Keys’s vocals mix with her incredible piano skills, as an ode to celebrating your loved one and the memories you share rather than the items you buy.
53. “Let Me Love You” By Mario (2004)
Mario doesn’t shy away from listing all the special things about the woman he’s eyeing and we can’t help but blush at all the sweet sentiments.
54. “We Belong Together” By Mariah Carey (2005)
We couldn’t create a list of romantic songs without mentioning vocal powerhouse, Mariah Carey. This 2005 song confesses to loving someone and realizing you simply can’t live without them. Try hitting that high note, we dare you.
55. “Love” By Keyshia Cole (2005)
FYI, be prepared to go on an emotional rollercoaster. The 2005 R&B song highlights the pain that accompanies falling in love with someone who’s not yours anymore. We dare you to try to match Keyshia Cole’s high note as she belts out her pain for a lost love.
56. “I’ll Cover You” By Jesse L. Martin And Wilson Jermaine Heredia (2005)
Yes, Rent has A LOT of great hits, but this duet with Tom (Martin) and Angel (Heredia) is a top tier in our book. From lyrics like “I think they meant it when they said you can’t buy love…” to “So with a thousand sweet kisses, I’ll cover you,” we can’t help but replay the scene over and over again.
57. “My Love” By Justin Timberlake (2006)
Justin Timberlake is no stranger to love ballads. (The whole “FutureSex/Lovesounds” album literally is chock full of love songs.) This pop/R&B combo is enough to have you mimic his dance moves and sing along to the catchy chorus.
58. “Chasing Cars” By Snow Patrol (2007)
59. “Bleeding Love” By Leona Lewis (2007)
This R&B-pop song is all about being head over heels for someone—regardless of what anyone else thinks about it. Leona Lewis’s striking vocals are enough to give it a listen.
60. “Make You Feel My Love” By Adele (2008)
Adele always has us deep in our feelings (and it's safe to say both the ‘19’ and ‘21’ album left us on an emotional rollercoaster) so it's no surprise that this love ballad is a 2000’s hit for many reasons.
61. “Love Story” By Taylor Swift (2008)
Before Taylor Swift was a popstar, she was belting out country hits like this. A modern take on Romeo and Juliet, it reminds us of our first relationship.
62. “You’ve Got The Love” By Florence + The Machine (2009)
This 2009 hit is proof that sometimes love is all you need when times are rough. Plus, Florence Welch's distinct voice can't be matched.
63. “Lucky” By Jason Mraz And Colbie Caillat (2009)
This 2009 track is the duet song to belt out in your next karaoke session. The soft pop melody mixed with the duo’s vocals is worth a listen (or two).
64. “Teenage Dream” By Katy Perry (2010)
Katy Perry brings us back to a time when falling in love as teenagers was new, unpredictable and oftentimes, overwhelming.
65. “Marry You” By Bruno Mars (2010)
Back in 2010, this was the wedding entrance or proposal (in the back of your car) song. It still holds true as an upbeat ballad to express your desire to marry your partner.
66. “When I Look At You” By Miley Cyrus (2010)
Miley Cyrus showcases her vocals for the Last Song soundtrack, which is oh-so-fitting for this modern-day love story. Especially when she belts out “You’re beautiful” as the guitar break plays.
67. “Love On Top” By Beyoncé (2011)
Beyoncé has a lot of love songs and this 2011 hit is no exception. As soon as she says, “Bring the beat in,” you know it’s on.
68. “Adorn” By Miguel (2012)
This Grammy-award winning song is all about showering your special someone with adoration, devotion and large amounts of love.
69. “Thinkin Bout You” By Frank Ocean (2012)
When someone is on your mind, it’s hard to shake them off. So, it seems Frank Ocean may know a thing or two about being lovesick.
70. “All Of Me” By John Legend (2013)
This 2013 song is absolutely a love letter. Seriously, John Legend dedicated this number to his wife, Chrissy Teigen. How romantic is that?
71. “Like I Can” By Sam Smith (2014)
While Sam Smith constantly has us reaching for the tissue box, sometimes they come out with a hit packed with declarations of love. With lyrics like, “Why are you looking down all the wrong roads? When mine is a heart and the salt of the soul…,” you can’t help but root for them to get their happy ending with the person they love.
72. “Thinking Out Loud” By Ed Sheeran (2014)
Ed Sheeran’s vocals combined with the soft guitar and piano in the background makes for a fool-proof first dance choice.
73. “Love Me Like You Do” By Ellie Goulding (2015)
If you ever needed an extra push to tell someone how you feel, look no further than this 2015 pop hit. The lyrics (“Oh, what are you waiting for?”) will give you courage to take the next step in your relationship.
74. “Love On The Brain” By Rihanna (2016)
When Rihanna isn’t running a multi-billion-dollar business, she’s lending her voice to an emotional ballad about the highs and lows of a relationship.
75. “LOVE.” By Kendrick Lamar Ft. Zacari (2017)
This 2017 hit raises questions about love, trust and building a relationship. We already know Kendrick Lamar is a lyrical genius, so it’s not hard to sing along.
76. “Trip” By Ella Mai (2018)
OK, it’s normal to be skeptical about love. The feeling can sneak, or in this case trip, up on you. Ella Mai belts out the confusing process of falling for someone in this candid track. Don’t worry, we totally get it.
77. “Golden Hour” By Kacey Musgraves (2018)
This whole country album is an ode to love and heartbreak, but the 2018 song paints a picture of a significant other being so special it’s almost rare and beautiful with lyrics like “That you're my golden hour, the color of my sky, you've set my world on fire, And I know, I know everything's gonna be alright…”
78. “Speechless” By Dan And Shay (2018)
The country duo reminisces on seeing their wives for the first time in their wedding dress and honestly, it’s the sweetest thing.
79. “Cuz I Love You” By Lizzo (2019)
Every time Lizzo belts out “Cuz I love you,” we fall more in love with her our partner. The pop singer knows just how new and exciting a new love can be.
80. “Stuck With U” By Justin Bieber And Ariana Grande (2020)
What happens when you combine two of the most popular singers? A love ballad that’s all about sticking together, no matter what. Since 2020 brought a lot of uncertainty, this song reminds us to keep our loved ones closer than ever.