In celebration of the chart's 55th Anniversary, we're counting down the 100 biggest Hot 100 hits ever.
"Waiting for a Girl Like You" - Foreigner
Hot 100 Peak: No. 2 (1981)
The single was No. 2 for 10 weeks, unable to surpass Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" for nine weeks and Daryl Hall & John Oates' "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" for one. Among No. 2-peaking hits, its 10-week stay is matched only by Missy Elliott's 2002 hit "Work It."
"Family Affair" Mary J. Blige
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for six weeks (2001)
The song was just a skeleton of an idea and was intended for rapper Rakim when Blige heard it and decided she wanted to write something to it. Blige didn't usually look at the Billboard charts, but when the song was No. 1 for a sixth week she checked the chart for the first time and said, "Whoa, this is really real!"
"I Swear" - All-4-One
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 11 weeks (1994)
When Atlantic's John Michael Montgomery took this song to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, the label's chairman and CEO Doug Morris told the Nashville office he wanted to cut a pop version with a California quartet, All-4-One.
"Nothing Compares 2 U" - Sinead O'Connor
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for four weeks (1990)
Manager Fachtna O'Ceallaigh suggested O'Connor cover this song, written by Prince and first recorded by the Family, a group formed by ex-members of the Time.
"All Night Long (All Night)" - Lionel Richie
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for four weeks (1983)
To make sure he was pronouncing the old Jamaican chant, "Tom bo li de say di moi ya, yeah jumbo jumbo" correctly, Richie called his wife's Jamaican gynecologist, who replied, "I'm right in the middle of an appointment, can we talk later?"
"My Sharona" - The Knack
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for six weeks (1979)
Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Doug Fieger fell in love with a girl named Sharona and wrote a song about teenage sexual frustration that he married to a lick composed by guitarist Berton Averre.
"Say You, Say Me" - Lionel Richie
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for four weeks (1985)
Director Taylor Hackford asked Lionel Richie to write the title song for his 1985 film "White Nights." Lionel couldn't come up with a song called "White Nights" but wrote "Say You, Say Me" for the soundtrack and won an Oscar for Best Original Song.
"Play That Funky Music" - Wild Cherry
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for three weeks (1976)
Bob Parissi and his band wanted to play rock music but it was the disco era and all their bookings were in dance clubs. A backstage discussion about how to handle this dilemma led drummer Ron Beitle to tell Parissi, "Play that funky music, white boy," and Parissi grabbed a bar order pad and wrote down those words.
"You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for three weeks (1973)
Mick Jagger sings backing vocals, but that doesn't mean the song is about him. Simon has ruled out former hubby James Taylor but has never publicly revealed who the subject is. She did tell her brother Peter, "I had three or four different people in mind…but the examples of what they did was a fantasy."