From 1998 to 2004, we were blessed with a show we never knew we needed. Total Request Live (TRL) started out as a one-hour show, highlighting the top 10 songs (and their music videos) of the week. With Carson Daly as the host, the show immediately gained traction, and we watched TRL go from a one-man show to a live audience with fans literally sleeping in Times Square for the chance to be on TRL's set.
Thanks to social media and YouTube, TRL changed a lot and there was no longer a real desire to watch the music videos, since we could now see the videos ourselves on our own time. After canceling the show in 2004, TRL made a comeback in 2017, but we all know that the original show was where we saw greatness. With thousands of music videos shown, we've discovered 10 of the most requested music videos in TRL history (there are a ton of runner-ups). Get ready to take a walk down music video memory lane.
10 "Since You've Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
When Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol, she took the world by storm. Back then, American Idol was the first show of its kind, so the world truly tuned in to vote for who they thought was the best singing competitor around.
After her first album was a success, she introduced her second album with a pop-rock song called "Since You've Been Gone," which got fans all fired up, requesting her song to be number one on TRL from December 3-6th, 10th, 15th, and 20th. Kelly has slowed down in recent years but is still cranking out top tracks without TRL's help.
9 "Hey Ya!" - Outkast
Outkast's "Hey Ya!" was so good, it won the group a Grammy. The video showed Andre 3000 as every member of the band, dressed in different outfits and even doing different dance moves. It was fun, it was fresh, and it was electric to dance to.
The song reached the number one spot on six different occasions and was even chosen as the number 10 spot on TRL's final top 10 countdown ever. Now that's a real accomplishment.
8 "...Baby One More Time" - Britney Spears
"...Baby One More Time" was Britney Spears' first song and it a smash hit. Fans everywhere wanted to know who this Britney Spears was and where she'd been hiding. The song was a touch confusing but was so catchy, no one really cared what "hit me baby one more time" even meant. Plus, it was the combination of the song and the music video that made this song the success that it was.
Dressed in a schoolgirl outfit, an innocent Britney spears danced her way through the halls and was iconic for 1998. Her song reached the number one spot on TRL multiple times and even earned the number one music video of all time for TRL's final countdown. Talk about a legacy.
7 "Cry Me A River" - Justin Timberlake Featuring Timbaland
In the late 90s/early 2000s, teens everywhere were obsessed with pop princess Britney Spears and pop king Justin Timberlake. Just the mere thought of two stunning and talented people like these two getting together was enough to set the world of pop culture on fire.
Eventually, the two broke up, and what did Justin do? He wrote a song apparently inspired by their breakup, titled "Cry Me A River." His first song as a solo artist, "Cry Me A River" reached the number one spot eight times. The video was unlike anything N'Sync ever did, which is what made it such a smash on TRL.
6 "Like Toy Soldiers" - Eminem
Eminem is a rap legend and has done things no-one else has ever done before in the rap game. His song "Like Toy Soldiers," for instance, made the number one spot on 25 different occasions!
Dressed in camo, the video shows Eminem in a few different scenarios where he raps about needing to be a soldier since the weight of the world is on his shoulders. He also throws some severe shade throughout his verses at various artists he didn't get along with, as is Eminem's wont.
5 "The Anthem" - Good Charlotte
Good Charlotte entered TRL's halls once the grunge phase came into play. People were obsessed with the likes of Good Charlotte and Sum 41.
Thanks to Good Charlotte's song, "The Anthem," grungy kids everywhere were happy their darker songs were hitting the radio stations (and the number one spot on TRL). Hitting the number one spot on TRL 29 times (including 23 consecutive days as the number one song), "The Anthem" was also chosen as Song of the Year by TRL.
4 "Yeah!" - Usher Featuring Lil Jon And Ludacris
The Usher years were fantastic. With his smooth voice and untouchable dance moves, Usher was way ahead of his time and paved the way for many artists like him. In 2004, he released his song "Yeah!", which featured rappers Lil Jon and Ludacris.
The song hit the number one spot on TRL over 30 times, making it the Video of the Year in 2004. The song's praise also gave Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris a chance to perform live at that year's Grammys.
3 "Bye Bye Bye" - N'Sync
No-one else on this list has been at the number one spot as both a solo artist and a group member, making Justin Timberlake one-of-a-kind. He's truly TRL royalty, considering his rise to fame was around the same time TRL's was.
As the third-most-requested video of all time, "Bye Bye Bye" held the number one spot for 25 consecutive days. The song may have been saying goodbye to a former lover, but fans never wanted the music video to end.
2 "Larger Than Life" - The Backstreet Boys
We've finally reached the top two most requested videos of all time on TRL. Coming out in 1999, "Larger Than Life" was iconic for the time period, thanks to its "larger than life" (to say the least) video. These days we see cool and innovative videos all the time, but their $2.1 million music video broke all kinds of records in 1999.
CGI was never quite used like this before, and the fact that a catchy song followed the video — it was a TRL goldmine. This song was literally requested so many times for the number one spot, it's hard to even keep track.
1 "Shape of My Heart" - The Backstreet Boys
In the year 2000, "Shape Of My Heart" was released by the Backstreet Boys, and it was so moving, it was the most requested video on TRL in history. We're talking about being at the number one spot over 50 times!
While it was at the number one spot longer than N'Sync's "Bye Bye Bye," N'Sync's song took home the Video of the Year award; however, considering Backstreet Boys took home the top two spots on this list, does this mean we finally know which boy band reigns supreme?