The Top 100 Adult Contemporary Songs Ever

50 Years of AC: Vanilla Is Licking the Competition

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, we're counting down the top 100 songs in the entire history of one of Billboard's signature (and smoothest) surveys.

Some of the genre's earliest giants infuse the list, including Elton John, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder, while relatively newer artists that continue to keep AC a top-rated radio format likewise appear, including Natasha Bedingfield, Enrique Iglesias and matchbox twenty.




The 50th anniversary Adult Contemporary songs chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Adult Contemporary chart since its inception in the July 17, 1961, issue of Billboard. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at lower rankings on the chart earning less. Due to various changes in chart rules, chart length and in methodology throughout the years - including the implementation in 1993 of monitored airplay data from Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems - songs had varying reigns at No. 1 and on the chart. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from all 50 years, earlier time frames were each weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, we're counting down the top 100 songs in the survey's entire history.

If you're a woman (or man) in love, you've come to the right place. The countdown continues.


80 IF YOU ASKED ME TO
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, we're counting down the top 100 songs in the survey's entire history.

Now, more matters of the heart (including a rather "Restless" one), as the countdown rolls on.


60 IF YOU DON'T KNOW ME BY NOW
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, we're counting down the top 100 songs in the survey's entire history.

For more of the way we were, musically, follow the countdown as we enter the top 40.


40 FOREVER IN LOVE
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, we're counting down the top 100 songs in the survey's entire history.

Ready for the No. 1 AC song of all-time? The countdown wraps with the biggest hit of the Adult Contemporary chart's first 50 years.


20 HOME Michael Buble

19 THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL Charlie Rich

18 SOMEWHERE OUT THERE (FROM "AN AMERICAN TAIL") Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram

17 A WHOLE NEW WORLD Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle

16 NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO Sergio Mendes

15 LOVE IS Vanessa Williams/Brian McKnight

14 AFTER THE LOVIN' Engelbert Humperdinck

13 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE Bee Gees (1977)

While they're now an AC staple, some of the Bee Gees' songs were deemed too uptempo to crash the chart's upper reaches as currents, including "You Should Be Dancing," which peaked at No. 25, and "Stayin' Alive" (No. 28). This ballad, however, became the group's first AC No. 1, where it stayed for six weeks in 1977.

12 BAD DAY Daniel Powter

11 LOVE IS BLUE Paul Mauriat

10 LONELY NO MORE Rob Thomas

9 HERO Enrique Iglesias

8 CHANGE THE WORLD Eric Clapton

7 YOU NEEDED ME Anne Murray

6 HELLO DOLLY! Louis Armstrong And The All Stars

5 BORN FREE Roger Williams

4 HEAVEN Los Lonely Boys

3 DRIFT AWAY Uncle Kracker Featuring Dobie Gray

2 LEAD ME ON Maxine Nightingale

1 TRULY MADLY DEEPLY Savage Garden (1998)

"I'm completely overwhelmed to be honest. I feel incredibly proud. That song changed my life and apparently continues to do so!," says Darren Hayes, formerly one-half of pop duo Savage Garden, who claims Billboard's top all-time Adult Contemporary title with its 1998 No. 1 "Truly Madly Deeply." The song spent 11 weeks at No. 1 and a staggering 123 weeks on the chart.