The 10 Best Breakup Songs Released Since Erykah Badu’s "Tyrone"

Erykah Badu onstage at her 45th birthday party at Dallas's Bomb Factory, February 2016
Erykah Badu onstage at her 45th birthday party at Dallas's Bomb Factory, February 2016
Photo by Kathy Tran/Dallas Observer

Erykah Badu, one of the most prolific and talented artists of her era, has released a slew of hit singles and gold records since breaking onto the scene nearly 20 years ago. But to this day, none resonate quite like “Tyrone.” The single, originally a live cut that found its way to radio, is among the more passionate and direct tracks in the Dallas R&B guru's extensive catalog. It’s also one hell of a breakup song.

Badu is scheduled to play Arena Theatre this Saturday and Sunday, and hopefully, “Tyrone” will be on the set list. Regardless, it ranks – alongside these ten tracks – among the greatest breakup songs of the past 20 years.

10. LAURYN HILL, “Ex Factor”
Before the retreat from the public eye, the sporadic musical output and the hit-and-miss shows, Lauryn Hill released The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the best album of 1998 and one of the best albums of the 1990s, period. The highlight of that classic is “Ex Factor,” a song even more poignant considering it was allegedly written about former flame and Fugees bandmate Wyclef Jean.

9. MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, “I Don’t Love You”
The “screamo” era didn’t bring a lot to the table, save perhaps for MCR’s masterpiece concept record, The Black Parade. This isn’t the best song on that album, but it’s probably the most poignant. Frontman Gerard Way has since moved on to solo success, but it’s a damn shame infighting did MCR in; the band really seemed on to something in the mid-2000s.

8. DRAKE, “Marvin’s Room”
The next time you’re up late, way into the booze, pining for an ex who has long since moved on to happier times with someone else, remember two things… 1. Drunk-dialing an ex rarely ends well… 2. …even if you’re a good-looking, successful pop artist like Drake.

7. BEYONCÉ, “Irreplaceable”
Long before Lemonade, Queen B knew how to lay down a diss track. “I could have another you in a minute,” Beyoncé says to her freeloading man, who has just been shown the door. Jay-Z and Beyoncé were already dating by the time “Irreplaceable” hit radio in 2006; he really should have taken notes on this one.

6. THE KILLERS, “Mr. Brightside”
The Killers’ breakout single was actually based in fact. Turns out front man Brandon Flowers caught his girlfriend at the time with another man at a Las Vegas bar. Guitarist Dave Keuning heard the story and wrote “Mr. Brightside,” which turned the Killers into a multiplatinum phenomenon. So that’s one way to get over a breakup.

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