The 83 Greatest Love Songs to Dedicate to Your Special Someone
Your playlist will thank you
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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 83 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.
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.
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…,” are 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?
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.
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 make you get up and hold your loved ones close.
17. “Make it With You” by Bread (1970)
Corny, yes—but anyone in love has room in their heart for a little Bread and this is one of the best tracks the hopelessly romantic '70s band turned out.
18. "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'll be belting out the tune to your partner as soon as the chorus hits.
34. “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…”
35. “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.
36. “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.
38. “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.
39. “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.
41. “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?
44. “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 lyrics like “I get so weak in the knees, I can hardly speak, I lose all control and something takes over me.”
45. “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.
48. “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.
49. “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.
51. “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.
53. “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.)
54. “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…,” at the top of your lungs.
56. “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.
57. “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.
58. “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.
59. “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 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.
60. “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.
62. “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.
63. “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’ albums left us on an emotional rollercoaster) so it's no surprise that this love ballad is a 2000s hit for many reasons.
68. “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.
69. “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.
71. “Adorn” by Miguel (2012)
This Grammy-award winning song is all about showering your special someone with adoration, devotion and large amounts of love.
74. “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.
76. “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.
77. “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.
79. “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.
80. “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…”
82. “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.
83. “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.