Happy Father’s Day: 17 Ultimate Dad-Pop Songs, Past And Present

Jonathan Riggs | June 19, 2015 8:31 am
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Ridiculing your children’s musical tastes is one of the pleasures of fatherhood. In fact, every dad-to-be is given a script that includes some variation on the lines, “You call that music?” “Turn down that racket!” and, of course, “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE?!”

But every father, even the most musically snobbish disciple of “Dad Rock,” has a musical sweet tooth. Although you’d never know it from the current charts, the Hot 100 used to be rife with “Dad Pop”: square-jawed jams by and/or for middle-aged men. (Think of the kind of stuff where your dad would say, “Now THAT’s real music” when it came on the radio after he flipped past your favorite Hi-NRG fluff.)

While the 1990s marked the height of mainstream Dad Pop, the genre hasn’t completely reclined in the giant La-Z-Boy in the sky just yet. To celebrate Father’s Day, we’ve singled out some Dad Pop legends while identifying a few current stars who are well on their way to succeeding them.

If there’s anyone we’ve forgotten or if you’d like to share your own Dad Pop story, have at it in the comments! After all, there are as many types of dads as there are songs, and we love them all.

Dad Pop Dude: Martin Page
Key Song: “In the House of Stone and Light” (1994)
Dad Type Targeted: New Agey drum-circlers
Hot 100 Peak: 14
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “This song is a good example of how different things are today. This was super popular when it came out and listen to it…its chill ya know, peaceful. Now what’s popular? Talking in a robot voice and dressing like a slut.”

Dad Pop Dude: Jon Secada
Key Song: “Just Another Day” (1992)
Dad Type Targeted: Soulfully jean-jacketed brooders
Hot 100 Peak: 5
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “he looks like the geico gecko lol.”

Dad Pop Dude: Babyface
Key Song: “When Can I See You” (1994)
Dad Type Targeted: Emotionally vulnerable guitar-strummers
Hot 100 Peak: 4
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “heard this when i was locked up…shit is real”

Dad Pop Dude: Jamie Walters
Key Song: “Hold On” (1994)
Dad Type Targeted: Young, hot, Tori Spelling-shovers
Hot 100 Peak: 16
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “i still havent forgiven you for hurting donna!”

Dad Pop Dude: Joshua Kadison
Key Song: “Jessie” (1993)
Dad Type Targeted: Cat-loving longhairs
Hot 100 Peak: 26
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “i named my son after the cat in this song…moses hasn’t spoke to me since”

Dad Pop Dude: Michael Bolton
Key Song: “Said I Loved You…But I Lied” (1993)
Dad Type Targeted: Shirt-opened-to-the-waist romantics
Hot 100 Peak: 6
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “beautiful hair and a canadain tuxedo a spicy combo no babe can resist , denim speedo is all thats missing.”

Dad Pop Dude: Billy Joel
Key Song: “The River of Dreams” (1993)
Dad Type Targeted: Pop-eyed, out-of-their-league scorers
Hot 100 Peak: 3
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “miley cyrus and nicki minaj need to learn from this dude.”

Dad Pop Dude: Bob Carlisle
Key Song: “Butterfly Kisses” (1997)
Dad Type Targeted: Promise keepers

Dad Pop Dude: Rod Stewart
Key Song: “The Motown Song” (1991)
Dad Type Targeted: Feathery-haired blazer aficionados
Hot 100 Peak: 10
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “Damn this shit bring tears to my eyes!!”

Dad Pop Dude: Phil Collins
Key Song: “Dance Into the Light” (1996)
Dad Type Targeted: Twerking cueballs
Hot 100 Peak: 45
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “YAY!! I have finally seen someone that dances worse than me. PHIL COLLINS!!!!!”

Dad Pop Dude: Chris Isaak
Key Songs: “Somebody’s Crying” (1995)
Dad Type Targeted: Retro rockabilly sex gods
Hot 100 Peak: 45
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “Chris Isaak is so totally original and talented, it’s ridiculous. Maybe that’s why he’s not a bigger star than he is….. while dorks like Justin Timberlake make millions. Sad.”

Dad Pop Dudes: Boyz II Men
Key Song: “In the Still of the Nite (I’ll Remember)” (1993)
Dad Type Targeted: Shoo-be-doers and rama-lama-ding-dongs
Hot 100 Peak: 3
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “They might have only been interested in the ladies, but I can assure you they also brought some guys to their feet!! (me included)”

Future Dad Pop Dude: Andy Grammer
Key Song: “Honey, I’m Good” (2014)
Dad Type Targeted: Liquor-holding lovebirds
Hot 100 Peak: 9 (so far)
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “Does anyone else think this song is perfect for square dancing?”

Future Dad Pop Dude: George Ezra
Key Song: “Budapest” (2014)
Dad Type Targeted: Deep-voiced slurrers
Hot 100 Peak: 32 (so far)
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “Wait wait wait… So the guy singing this ISN’T a middle aged black guy!?”

Future Dad Pop Dude: Sam Smith
Key Song: “I’m Not the Only One” (2014)
Dad Type Targeted: Sensitive snowflakes
Hot 100 Peak: 5
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “I’m not the only Juan.”

Future Dad Pop Dudes: Imagine Dragons
Key Song: “I Bet My Life” (2014)
Dad Type Targeted: Shouty pack-travelers
Hot 100 Peak: 28
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “Well, shit! I broke the replay button.”

Future Dad Pop Dude: John Legend
Key Song: “All of Me” (2013)
Dad Type Targeted: Basic balladeers
Hot 100 Peak: 1
Dadliest YouTube Comment: “i dont like this song but your mum told me to.”

Are you feeling the dad-pop vibes from our roundup of harmless, father-approved songs?