In celebration of the chart's 55th Anniversary, we're counting down the 100 biggest Hot 100 hits ever.
When Billboard introduced weekly music charts in 1940, there were sales charts and there were airplay charts. These separate charts measuring the popularity of singles continued going their separate ways until Aug. 4, 1958, when Billboard introduced the first chart that blended sales and airplay data. Named the "Hot 100," it has continued to this day, known around the world for being the definitive U.S. singles weekly report. As someone once said, "It ain't No. 1 until it's No. 1 in Billboard."
|HOT 100 55th ANNIVERSARY CENTRAL
• Hot 100 By The Numbers
• Hot 100 at 55: New & Familiar Faces Highlight All-Time Ranking
• Chubby Checker Video Q&A and 'Twist' Dance Lesson
• Hot 100 List: Every No. 1 Song (1958-2013)
In celebration of the 55th anniversary of the Hot 100, here is an updated list of the top 100 songs in the tally's history, ranked in order of chart performance -- which we are counting down, 10 per day, until the full list is uncovered. This all-time chart was first compiled for the Hot 100's 50th anniversary; in the five years that have passed, a dozen songs that charted between 2008-2013 have jumped onto the top 100. Come along as we reveal all the songs that made the list.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to read how this list was formulated.
"You Make Me Wanna…" - Usher
Hot 100 Peak: No. 2 (1997)
His third single to appear on the Hot 100 and the first to reach the upper half of the chart. It peaked at No. 2 and was on the chart for 47 weeks, the longest run of any Usher single so far.
"We Are Young" - fun. feat. Janelle Monae
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for six weeks (2012)
Billboard's No. 3 Hot 100 song of 2012, behind first chart entries from Gotye and Cary Rae Jepsen. It was the first time in the tenure of the Hot 100 that the top three songs of the year were by new artists.
"Best of My Love" - Emotions
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for five weeks (1977)
When the Stax label shuttered in 1975, sisters Sheila, Wanda and Pam Hutchinson signed with Maurice White's Kalimba Productions and made a new deal with Columbia Records. White co-wrote and produced "Best of My Love" for them, giving the trio its biggest hit.
"One More Night" - Maroon 5
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for nine weeks (2012)
The third of Maroon 5's three No. 1s and the one with the lengthiest run at the top: nine weeks. That was long enough to prevent PSY's "Gangnam Style" from occupying the No. 1 position in the U.S.
"Another Day in Paradise" - Phil Collins
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for four weeks (1989)
Adding vocals to this song was one of Collins' heroes, David Crosby. The two met at Atlantic's 40th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden in 1988 and Collins asked if Crosby would add his voice to a couple of Collins' songs.
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" - B.J. Thomas
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for four weeks (1970)
The night before he recorded the Burt Bacharch-Hal David song for the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," Thomas had laryngitis. Treated by his doctor, Thomas did five raspy takes for Bacharach and said if he had to do one more, he wouldn't have had any voice. A few weeks later, all healed, Thomas recorded the crystal-clear version that would be released as a single.
"I'll Be Missing You" - Puff Daddy & Faith Evans feat. 112
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 11 weeks (1997)
After his friend Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G.) was killed, Sean "Puffy" Combs thought recording a tribute song would be cathartic, and it was. He sampled one of his favorite songs, "Every Breath You Take" by the Police. "It always made me cry," he says.
"Hurts So Good" - John Cougar
Hot 100 Peak: No. 2 (1982)
The fifth Hot 100 entry for Cougar, before he reclaimed his last name of Mellencamp. His first single to crack the top 10, it peaked at No. 2 and was followed by his only No. 1 hit, "Jack and Diane."
"Killing Me Softly With His Song" - Roberta Flack
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for five weeks (1973)
Flack was listening to the inflight audio while traveling on TWA from Los Angeles to New York when she heard Lori Lieberman sing the original version, inspired by a Don McLean performance at the Troubadour. Flack felt this wasn't what the definitive version could be and believed she could add something of her own.
"Are You Lonesome To-Night?" - Elvis Presley
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for six weeks (1960)
The song was written in 1926 and recorded by many artists over the decades, including Al Jolson and Jaye P. Morgan. Presley's version was a follow-up to another ballad, "It's Now or Never."
The 55th anniversary edition of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, since the chart’s inception in August 1958 through the July 27, 2013, ranking. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the Hot 100's 55 years (i.e., the inclusion of Nielsen Entertainment airplay monitoring and point-of-sales tracking and the recent inclusion of streaming data, among earlier modifications), certain eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates over various periods.