Money doesn't just make the world go round – it also keeps the dance floor busy, not to mention the charts. Along with the popular theme of love, much of pop's classics over the years focus on getting your hands on some money and going wild.
Whether you're waiting for it or celebrating it, payday is a big deal, and like most big events in your life, it has a soundtrack primed and ready to go. Sigala's Just Got Paid is the latest in a long line of payday bangers that'll keep you living for the weekend.
Sigala, Meghan Trainor, Ella Eyre, French Montana – Just Got Paid
First thing you want to do when you get your hands on your wage? Spend it! Sigala's relatable anthem about being useless with money is almost entirely about going to the bank to collect your cash and dreaming about how you'll spend it. What better way to spend your time in the annoyingly long queue at the cash machine?
Jennifer Lopez feat Cardi B & DJ Khaled – Dinero
Small business owners J-Lo and Cardi calmly explain to potential investors that they are definitely very much in this business transaction for the payout and nothing else, so don't come at them with anything other than a stack of greens in high denominations. Contains enough brilliant slang terms for money to keep your going for weeks. See all Jennifer Lopez's UK chart hits
Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
"Spend it up!" screeched the Peas in this frenetic, exhausting, yet brilliant banger. It was so popular Black Eyed Peas took it to Number 1 twice in 2009, and has sold 1.47 million copies in the UK. Imagine how many of their cups they could drink up – "DRAAANK" – with all the cash they made from this song! Now that's what we call a payday.
Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money
A slight variation on the theme, as RiRi not so patiently waits for her payday. As she's calling her debtor "bitch", we're guessing she's been waiting much longer than she'd like. Still a good one to pump out your headphones while you furiously refresh your banking app on your phone, praying for a miracle. See all Rihanna's UK chart hits in her Official Chart archive
Flo Rida – Wild Ones
We don't know about you but we really want to go on a weekender with Flo Rida. Yes, his weekend hedonism and party energy borders on all-out nihilism, but at least we'll have fun riding around in his van (presumably he has a designated driver lined up) and getting famous once we've "shut down the club".
Katy B x Zinc x Wiley – Just Got Paid
Katy B had the right idea on this relentless club stomper: money in bank, head over to your mates' house, enthuse about their nails, garms, and makeup, and head out the door to drink shots. You can practically hear Katy and her gal pals leaning out of the cab window to shout joyously at passers-by.
Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money
Not just a pop song, but a warning to anyone going out for brunch and misbehaving: be nice to your waiting staff and tip accordingly. Danceable and woke? Donna Summer was way ahead of her time.
Rae Sremmurd – Safe Sex and Paychecks
What is it about cash dropping into your account that makes you immediately forget your bills and want only to party? Rae Sremmurd are getting bang on it, quite literally, but while they may not be drinking responsibly, they are at least practising safe sex while they "do it" on top of the pile of coats in an upstairs bedroom.
*NSYNC – Just Got Paid
It was certainly a payday for Johnny Kemp when *NSYNC covered his track on their No Strings Attached album. Like most young men, all the boys wanted to do was empty their bank account on a Friday and spend it on new clothes, alcopops, and whatever the lovely ladies in the club are drinking. Possibly the realest payday anthem of all – the very last line is "I'm broke".
Janet Jackson – Escapade
What sounds like a carefree tune about getting up to mischief after a whole week at work is actually Janet Jackson's clever social commentary on the fact that possessing enough money means you can go out and do whatever you like and there'll be no comebacks, thanks to the capitalist, wealth-fetishising society we live in. Okay, maybe it's not about that at all, but it's still a good tune and was Janet's ninth Top 20, hitting Number 17 in 1990.
Hard-Fi – Living for the Weekend
The reason most of us love payday so much and want to sing about it is because the rest of the time we're totally skint and desperate to buy stuff. Noughties band Hard-Fi perfectly summed it up: work is a bind, but it's how you get money, let's buy some clothes off the market and get obliterated for 48 hours. Sound advice, really, and it became the band's third Top 40 hit, peaking at 15 in October 2005
Tone Loc – Wild Thing
Rapper Tone Loc's breakthrough hit, this hip-hop classic is one of the ultimate payday tunes – all boxes ticked. Reference to working all week? ✅ Sexual magnetism thanks to a general "paid up for the weekend" vibe? ✅ Heading to the mall and spending £££ ✅ There's a limousine and a hint of having sex for money too, but that's where the song gets rather less relatable tbh.
911 – Party People, Friday Night
"Bring, bring, telephone rings; tell me, baby, what you're saying. I know, sometimes, it's hard to take it; trust me, baby, just believe it.2 We can all retake to '90s boyband 911 and their plea to forget the Monday to Friday and use the money they've just been paid to get the crowd jumping. In fact, the only part of this song that hasn't aged well is the idea someone would not only a) call you on the phone but b) expect you to answer it. Use that unlimited data and WhatsApp me, baby; I'm busy.
Madonna – Where’s the Party
Madonna takes us through her thought process during the working week and even manages to say she's quiet successful at her job, but still needs to let her hair down. Same. See all Madonna's UK chart hit singles and albums
Gwen Stefani – Luxurious
You're absolutely going to want to be around Gwen Stefani when her wage gets paid in, trust me. Champagne! First-class flights! Egyptian cotton sheets! Cashmere! Gwen knows how to live.
Justin Timberlake – I’m Lovin' It
You could describe this as a double payday track, really, as Justin was paid a few million dollars to sing this song when it was a jingle in the advertising campaign for a well-known burger chain (spoiler: McDonald's). Released only on download in 2003, the song didn't chart in the UK, but reached Number 15 in Ireland and is still very much part of our lives – the slogan is still used in ads and on packaging fifteen years later. Take a look at Justin Timberlake's solo chart hits
Steps – Stomp
"Thank God for the weekend" sings Steps' Claire as this disco-esque banger gets going. It's got all the elements you need: Friday-worship, suggestions that the working week is hell on Earth and, of course, Steps' trademark dance routines, and very shiny going-out clobber.
Destiny’s Child – Bills Bills Bills
A payday tune with a difference – you owe Beyoncé and her ladies some money, you see, and they've had enough of your sponging. On payday, you have to settle your debts (or go into hiding). Bills Bills Bills is a stark reminder that nothing is free in this life and you need to pay your bills, your automobiiiills, and your telephone biiiills, and then maybe you can chill.
Got a favourite payday anthem? Tell us in the comments below! ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️