Whether you understand it or not, Selena Gomez is the biggest popstar on the planet so it’s time we walked through her greatest moments so far.
Day one Selenators will no doubt be very well acquainted with Naturally. It’s straight from the childstar-turns-popstar playbook but there’s no denying that the chorus hits you way more than it should.
Revival‘s mature ballad was actually one of the best pop ballads of its year. “You don’t know how to love me when you’re sober,” she sings over a crushing beat that distorts the speakers. A real slam-dunk from producers Benny Blanco and Stargate.
18. Who Says
Pop was going through a real inspirational time in 2011 and this was Gomez’s contribution. It certainly doesn’t rank as one of the best philosophical pieces of our time but it’s a perfectly fine ballad that might catch you in your feelings on an off day.
17. Bang Bang Bang
This would be a brilliant Eurovision entry not that Gomez would be considering that anytime soon. It’s a perky, synth-heavy treat that borrows from La Roux’s chart-topping blueprint.
16. Back To You
Gomez was on a roll with emotive, acoustic/dance songs she just thought she’d pop another one out. The verses of this are spectacularly tender but it all just becomes too familiar by the chorus.
15. Trust Nobody (w/ Cashmere Cat & Tory Lanez)
Just as Gomez was making her most interesting solo music, she teamed up with Cashmere Cat. This dancehall-lite cut takes advantage of Gomez’s tone in her quieter moments which surprisingly goes hand-in-hand with Lanez’s velvet vocal work.
14. Come & Get It
This is the moment that Gomez stepped out and decided she was going to let everyone know she is all THAT. Come & Get It is an alluring pop song that flirts with the sort of experimentation she would learn to thrive off a few years later.
13. Lose You To Love Me
Her first number one single is not her best song but it’s also a necessary one. It’s a ballad that pushes reset on everything, dealing with the heartache of the past few years and looking forward with stunning clarity.
12. Kill Em With Kindness
Revival created plenty of spacious pop with delectable drops and Kill Em With Kindness is one of the best examples. No doubt a source of annoyance for any naysayers but for those who gave in, it’s a glorious ride.
11. Look At Her Now
Look At Her Now was a gift to the fans to let them know that she’s doing ok but it’s more than that. It’s the true first single – a confident hair-flick that effortlessly begins a new chapter. Gomez, Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter make off-centre gold together and this is a fine example.
10. The Heart Wants What It Wants
This is the moment that Gomez realised she didn’t have to over-exert her voice. She can’t compete with pop’s big singers but her vulnerability and versatility is what makes her. The Heart Wants What It Wants moves at a gorgeous pace, teasing a chorus that never quite comes – exactly like a forbidden relationship that never quite converts.
9. I Want You To Know (w/ Zedd)
By 2015, nobody would’ve cared if EDM was erased from history. And yet, Zedd and Gomez had the nerve to push on with a 130 BPM banger. It’s one of the finest songs of EDM’s time in the sun combining richly melodic verses with a chorus that stops you in your tracks.
8. It Ain’t Me (w/ Kygo)
A country record from Kygo and Gomez was not something anyone expected but it connected almost immediately. Gomez’s delivery on It Ain’t Me is so earnest that it’s hard to look past. The melodic core of this song is so strong that it really didn’t need Kygo’s drop but you got it anyway so he could slap his name on it.
7. A Year Without Rain
The best of Gomez’s work with The Scene (RIP) is this pulsating dance track that would go hard even if it was released right now. Unlike much of her earlier work, A Year Without Rain allows her to be a little vocally restrained with its spacious production allowing her to really shine.
6. Same Old Love
Charlotte ‘Charli’ XCX penned a gigantic hit for Gomez. Same Old Love sounds unlike anything else in Gomez’s catalogue and yet it’s perfect for her. She wraps her voice around those verses with tantalising allure, capturing everyone from the second it starts.
5. Love You Like A Love Song
If there was actually such thing as a guilty pleasure, this would be one. Not because listening to Selena & The Scene should be embarrassing but because this song is so sugary sweet it feels like I should be hiding behind a cupboard to consume it.
4. Fetish (Feat. Gucci Mane)
There’s nothing particularly special about the instrumental of this song but the way Gomez handles the melody is A-grade work. She’s so gentle and sleek with it that it builds up a tension that never quite releases. It amounts in a sweaty song that no one could’ve ever seen coming from her.
3. Good For You (Feat. A$AP Rocky)
This is exactly when Gomez started having fun with wordplay. The verses of this are almost like ASMR as Gomez takes great pleasure in whispering lines like, “I’m on my marquise diamonds.” It’s an expensive, sophisticated pop/R&B song that makes you completely forget A$AP is on it because Gomez is just that good.
2. Hands To Myself
Hands To Myself is the peak of Gomez, Michaels and Tranter’s powers. It’s both playful and sexy, making the most of every inch of the song with breathy and animated vocals. If we’re being honest, the, “I mean I could but why would I want to,” is the part that really solidifies its position on this list.
1. Bad Liar
For a number of years, Gomez was blending in with the rest of the pop crowd. Then Revival came and changed that before she zoomed ahead in her own lane with Bad Liar. Releasing a song over the instrumental of Psycho Killer is the last thing we could’ve expected from Gomez but she managed to make an iconic song completely her own with some brilliant songwriting. “Just like the battle of Troy, there’s nothing settled here,” will go down as one of the finest pop songs of all time and regardless of whether Gomez wrote that or not, her slick delivery is everything. Bad Liar is Gomez emerging as the sort of popstar that you expect boundary-pushing from and that’s not an easy reputation to uphold.