In celebration of the chart's 55th Anniversary, we're counting down the 100 biggest Hot 100 hits ever.
"Hey Jude" - The Beatles
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for nine weeks (1968)
The first single released on the Beatles' own Apple label, and the longest-running No. 1 (nine weeks) for the group on the Hot 100. It is also the longest No. 1 in terms of running time, at seven minutes and 11 seconds.
"You Light Up My Life" - Debby Boone
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 10 weeks (1977)
Years after it was a hit, Boone told Billboard: "Because the lyrics really lent themselves to how I felt about my relationship with the Lord, that's the way I chose to sing it. I never thought anyone would know."
"Physical" - Olivia Newton-John
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 10 weeks (1981)
Tame by today's standards, in 1981 "Physical" was considered too risqué for airplay by some radio programmers. One music director told Billboard, "Once the words sank in, it caused an uncomfortableness among listeners."
"Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" - Los Del Rio
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 14 weeks (1996)
The original version was recorded in 1993, entirely in Spanish. Miami's Power 96 only played songs in English and asked Carlos De Yarza and Mike Triay, the Bayside Boys, to do a remix. Singer Patricia Alfaro recorded their new English lyrics and the song became a national phenomenon.
"I Gotta Feeling" - The Black Eyed Peas
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 14 weeks (2009)
The Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" was No. 1 for 12 weeks and was immediately succeeded by "I Gotta Feeling," which ruled for 14 weeks. The combined 26-week reign is the longest for any artist in Hot 100 history.
"Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for six weeks (2011)
The song recorded by Motown founder Berry Gordy's son (Redfoo, a.k.a. Stefan Kendal Gordy) and grandson (SkyBlu, a.k.a. Skyler Husten Gordy) became a bigger hit than any single released by Motown. ("Party" was released on Interscope.) Born in Kent, England, Bennett is the highest-ranking British artist on the all-time Hot 100.
"How Do I Live" - LeAnn Rimes
Hot 100 Peak: No. 2 (1997)
Diane Warren wrote the song for Rimes to sing in the film "Con Air," but the producers preferred Trisha Yearwood for the soundtrack. Both versions were released as singles and both charted. Rimes' single remained on the Hot 100 for 69 weeks, a record at the time.
"Mack the Knife" - Bobby Darin
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for nine weeks (1959)
Inspired by Louis Armstrong's version of the song from "The Threepenny Opera," Darin recorded "Mack the Knife" for his album "That's All," but didn't want it released as a single. Atco issued it anyway and it became his biggest hit and signature song.
"Smooth" - Santana feat. Rob Thomas
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for 12 weeks (1999)
"Smooth" went to No. 1 30 years to the week after Santana's debut on the Hot 100 with "Jingo." It was the longest wait in history from chart debut to first No. 1.
"The Twist" - Chubby Checker
Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for three weeks (1960, 1962)
The only single to be No. 1 twice on the Hot 100, in two different chart runs. After topping the chart in 1960, the dance caught on with the older generation. Checker was invited to perform "The Twist" on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Oct. 22, 1961, prompting a re-release of the single and a full-page ad in Billboard that proclaimed, "‘The Twist' dance rage explodes into the adult world!" The grown-ups bought enough copies to send the song back to No. 1 in early 1962.
|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)