In celebration of the chart's 55th Anniversary, we're counting down the 100 biggest Hot 100 hits ever.

40

"Say, Say, Say" - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for six weeks (1983)

When Jackson called McCartney on Christmas Day to suggest they collaborate, the former Beatle didn't believe it was really Michael on the phone. The King of Pop wanted to visit Paul in the U.K. and write some songs together. First came "The Girl Is Mine" and later "Say, Say, Say."

39

"Another One Bites the Dust" - Queen

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for three weeks (1980)

Freddie Mercury and Brian May wrote most of Queen's hits, but not this one. Sole writing credit goes to bass guitarist John Deacon, who had composed the group's 1976 hit, "You're My Best Friend."

38

"Night Fever" - The Bee Gees

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for eight weeks (1978)

Written before the film "Saturday Night Fever" had a title, the Bee Gees thought the movie should be named after this song, but Robert Stigwood rejected it as too pornographic. He preferred "Saturday Night," and ultimately they compromised.

37

"Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for two weeks (1973)

While the song caused controversy for its explicit, sexual message, Gaye's co-writer, Ed Townsend, says it began as an ode about overcoming addiction, based on his personal experience in an alcohol rehab center.

36

"Silly Love Songs" - Wings

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for five weeks (1976)

Paul McCartney wrote the song as a reaction to critics who called his music lightweight, telling journalists that he hated silly rhymes, but when they work they're "the greatest."

35

"Truly, Madly, Deeply" - Savage Garden

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for two weeks (1998)

Darren Hayes wrote a very personal song and named it after a 1990 British film he thought no one had seen, "Truly Madly Deeply." "It was our first No. 1 and it opened the whole world to Savage Garden," says Hayes. "Thank God for that song."

34

"One Sweet Day" - Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 16 weeks (1995)

"It's definitely a blessing and I'm very grateful for it," says Mariah Carey of her record-setting 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. But she says she didn't focus on the chart achievement until the song's final frame on top, as it wasn't "the right vibe to have."

33

"The Battle of New Orleans" - Johnny Horton

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for six weeks (1959)

After the final battle of the War of 1812, a folk tune played by fiddlers called "The Eighth of January" became popular across the United States. Lyrics weren't written until 1955, by an Arkansas teacher named Jimmy Driftwood. He retitled it "The Battle of New Orleans," and four years later it was recorded by Johnny Horton.

32

"Tossin' and Turnin'" - Bobby Lewis

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for seven weeks (1961)

During a gig at the Apollo, Lewis gave some encouragement to a nervous group of singers, the Fireflies. A few weeks later, Lewis signed to the Beltone label and discovered his labelmates were the Fireflies, who offered him a song they had written, "Tossin' and Turnin'."

31

"Rolling in the Deep" - Adele

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for seven weeks (2011)

The most successful single by a U.K. solo female since "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John 30 years earlier. The first of three No. 1s from the second best-selling album released in the 21st century, "21," it led the Hot 100 for seven weeks. "Someone Like You" was on top for five weeks and "Set Fire to the Rain" triumphed for two weeks.

 

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