Beyonce, Lorde, Amy Winehouse Top NPR's 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women List


Alicia Keys, Solange, Lana Del Rey, Nicki Minaj and Adele also made it top 20.

The latest list in NPR's ongoing "Turning the Tables" project is packed with some the most powerful voices in modern music: from Demi Lovato to Taylor Swift, Adele, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, St. Vincent, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, SZA, Solange, Cardi B and Kesha. But the name at the top the 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women+ might just surprise you: M.I.A.

Yes, the lyrical flamethrower born Maya Arulpragasam's 2007 smash "Paper Planes" snagged the #1 spot because it not only made her famous, according to the NPR braintrust, but also "solidified her as a biting analyst willing to use her pop stardom to expose the flaws in the very system pop stardom itself -- an uncomfortable outsider and iconoclast whose incongruities are as fascinating as her brilliant music." Plus, it's the most solid jam about the mind-bending journey being a refugee trying to make sense a foreign culture that interpolates Wreckx-N-Effect's "Rumpshaker" that you will ever hear.

Right behind M.I.A. in the top 10  the countdown is the Yeah Yeah Yeah's intense, 2003 slow-burn "Maps," followed by the first two Bey hits in the top 20, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," the title track from Amy Winehouse's breakthrough 2006 album, "Back to Black," Alabama Shakes' "Hold On," Lorde's "Royals," Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' "100 Days, 100 Nights," Alicia Keys' "Fallin'," Brandi Carlile's "The Story" and Peaches' "F*** The Pain Away."

The Tables project, which aims to recast the popular music canon "in more inclusive -- and accurate -- ways" includes the latest list, selected by a panel more than 70 women and non-binary writers who looked at artist's whose major musical contributions were released after Jan. 1, 2000 and whose works have "shifted, defied categories and pushed sound in new directions since then." 

The rest the top 20: Janelle Monae "Tightrope" (11), Solange, "Cranes in the Sky" (12), Lana Del Rey, "Video Games" (13), Hurray for the Riff Raff, "Pa'lante" (14), Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass" (15), Mitski, "Your Best American Girl" (16), Florence + the Machine "Dog Days Are Over" (17), Grimes, "Oblivion" (18), Beyoncé "Formation" (19) and Adele "Rolling in the Deep" (20).

Other notable acts who made the list: Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe" (21), Amy Winehouse, "Rehab" (23), Rihanna, "Umbrella" (24), Cardi B, "Bodak Yellow" (25), Kesha, "Praying" (27), Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance" (29), SZA "The Weekend" (32), Carrie Underwood "Before He Cheats" (34), Paramore, "Misery Business" (37), St. Vincent, "Cruel" (38), Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone" (41), Taylor Swift, "Blank Space" (43), Avril Lavigne, "Complicated" (47), Robyn, "Dancing on My Own" (49), Vanessa Carlton, "A Thousand Miles" (52), Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream" (63), Shakira, "Hips Don't Lie" (65), Sia "Chandelier" (66), Young M.A., "OOOUUU" (83), Pink, "Don't Let Me Get Me" (84), FKA Twigs, "Two Weeks" (89), Haim, "The Wire" (93), Gwen Stefani, "Hollaback Girl" (107), Miley Cyrus, "Wrecking Ball" (120), Tegan and Sara, "The Con" (123), Lily Allen, "Smile" (153), Kelis, "Milkshake" (170), Sara Bareilles, "Love Song" (180), Idina Menzel, "Let It Go" (182) and Lovato, "Cool For The Summer" (198).

To see the full list, click here.