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Dear Gary,

Before I get to sharing my picks for some of the most historic Hot 100 No. 1s, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" becomes the first song with the word "Born" in its title to lead the list.

By peak, the biggest such Hot 100 hits are:

No. 1, "Born This Way," Lady Gaga (2011)
No. 2, "Born to Be Wild," Steppenwolf (1968)
No. 3, "Born to Be My Baby," Bon Jovi (1989)

No. 4, "With You I'm Born Again," Billy Preston & Syreeta (1980)
No. 7, "Born Too Late," Poni-Tails (1958)
No. 7, "Born Free," Roger Williams (1966)
No. 9, "Born in the U.S.A.," Bruce Springsteen (1985)

Also, this week's Hot 100 sports some of the most explicit song titles ever in the top 10.

P!nk slips to No. 5 with "F**kin' Perfect", while Cee-Lo Green re-enters at No. 7 with "F**k You (Forget You)." (The songs sandwich Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)," listed under its PG title ...)

At No. 8, Rihanna whips up her third top 10 from "Loud" with "S&M" and, if the top 10 wasn't dirty enough, the Black Eyed Peas re-enter the region at No. 9 with "The Time (Dirty Bit)."

Now, some more essential No. 1s to add to your list:

83, "Go Away Little Girl," Steve Lawrence (1963)
260, "Go Away Little Girl," Donny Osmond (1971)
The Carole King/Gerry Goffin composition was the first song to hit No. 1 for multiple artists. The feat would be duplicated with another King/Goffin song, "The Locomotion" (Little Eva, 1962; Grand Funk, 1974)

266, "American Pie (Parts I & II)," Don McLean (1972)
The longest song in length to hit No. 1 - more than eight minutes - comprised both the A-side and B-side of a 45. (I can hear the younger readers asking, "What's a 45?")

429, "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from "Rocky")," Bill Conti (1976)
The familiar fanfare accompanying Sly Stallone's run through Philadelphia and up the steps of the Museum of Art was the first song to climb one step at a time from No. 7 (7-6-5-4-3-2-1).

810, "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)," Los Del Rio (1996)
The song that took the longest time - 33 weeks - to reach the summit. Did it lose steam after such a journey? No way! It stayed at No. 1 for 14 weeks.

840, "Believe," Cher (1999)
The singer and Oscar-winning actress ended a 25-year absence from the No. 1 spot with her first No. 1 since 1974's "Dark Lady". Cher also logged the longest span between her first and last No. 1s, 33 years and seven months after her 1965 Sonny & Cher No. 1 "I Got You Babe."

969, "My Life Would Suck Without You," Kelly Clarkson (2009)
When Clarkson notched her first No. 1 with "A Moment Like This," her climb from No. 52 to 1 shattered the 38-year-old record of the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" for biggest jump to No. 1. After a few artists bested Clarkson's feat, she reclaimed the honor when this song blasted 97-1.


Jeff Lerner
Long Island, New York