Chart Beat

'Peaches,' 'Watermelon Sugar' & 20 More Top 10 Hits With Fruit Names in Their Titles

Harry Styles "Watermelon Sugar"
PHAM

Harry Styles "Watermelon Sugar"

Fruit is a stand-in for sex on several of the songs on this list, from "Cherry Bomb" & "Cherry Pie" to “Watermelon Sugar."

With Justin Bieber's "Peaches" (featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon) entering the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 1 this week, we officially have enough No. 1 hits with fruit names in their titles to make a pretty respectable fruit salad. "Peaches" is the fourth such song to top the chart, following Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," The Osmonds' "One Bad Apple" and Harry Styles’ "Watermelon Sugar."

This got us thinking about all the songs with fruit in their titles that have made the top 10. There are 22 in all since another watermelon song, Mongo Santamaria’s “Watermelon Man" --  composed by jazz legend Herbie Hancock -- got this fruit-stand started in 1963.

The dominant fruit in the bunch: cherries, which figure in four top 10 song titles -- Neil Diamond’s “Cherry, Cherry” (which Diamond wrote about an older woman he was seeing, but we erred on the side of inclusiveness), Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Sweet Cherry Wine,” John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Cherry Bomb” and Warrant’s “Cherry Pie.”

Berries equal cherries with four songs on the list if you combine strawberries (two top 10 hits), raspberries (one) and blueberries (one).

Apples and peaches are a close second, with three top 10 hits each, followed by watermelon, grapes, lemons and the aforementioned strawberries, with two each. Non-berry fruits with one top 10 hit each are coconuts, cantaloupe, pumpkins (yes, they’re a fruit) and passionfruit.

Fruit is a stand-in for sex on several of the songs on this list, from “Cherry Bomb” and “Cherry Pie” to “Watermelon Sugar,” which is probably not really about watermelon consumption, unless Styles is an especially avid fruit-eater.

Eight songs with fruit in their titles made the top 10 in the 1960s, far more than any other decade. There were three in the '70s and just one or two in each decade from the '80s to the '10s. You might have thought that Michelle Obama’s focus on healthy eating would have moved the numbers, but not one song with fruit in its title made the top 10 during the Obama administration.

But fruit songs have staged a comeback in the '20s. Besides the aforementioned "Watermelon Sugar" and "Peaches," Lil Mosey's “Blueberry Faygo," Internet Money & Gunna's "Lemonade" (featuring Don Toliver & NAV) and Drake's "Lemon Pepper Freestyle" (featuring Rick Ross) all made the top 10. So just 15 months into this decade, the '20s are already more than halfway to matching the record-setting pace that fruit songs established in the '60s.

Drake is the only artist to give us more than one top 10 hit with the name of a fruit in its title: "Passionfruit" and "Lemon Pepper Freestyle."

The list of acts involved in these top 10 hits range from the most successful group of all time, The Beatles, to a true one-hit wonder, Us3, which never landed another Hot 100 entry apart from “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)." That 1994 hit, like "Watermelon Man," was based on a Herbie Hancock composition, in this case 1964's "Cantaloupe Island."

Look back at every song with fruit in its title to make the top 10 on the Hot 100. The songs are listed in chronological order.

“Watermelon Man,” Mongo Santamaria, April 27, 1963, No. 10

“Cherry, Cherry,” Neil Diamond, Oct.15, 1966, No. 6

“Strawberry Fields Forever,” The Beatles, April 1, 1967, No. 8

“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie,” Jay & the Techniques, Sept. 23, 1967, No. 6

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Gladys Knight & the Pips, Dec. 12, 1967, No. 2

“Little Green Apples,” O.C. Smith, Oct. 26, 1968, No. 2

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Marvin Gaye, Dec. 14, 1968, No. 1

"Sweet Cherry Wine,” Tommy James & the Shondells, May 3, 1969, No. 7

“One Bad Apple,” The Osmonds, Feb. 13, 1971, No. 1

“Coconut,” Nilsson, Aug. 26, 1972, No. 8

“Strawberry Letter 23,” Brothers Johnson, Sept. 24, 1977, No. 5

“Raspberry Beret,” Prince & the Revolution, July 20, 1985, No. 2

“Cherry Bomb,” John Cougar Mellencamp, Jan. 9, 1988, No. 8

“Cherry Pie,” Warrant, Nov. 3, 1990, No. 10

“Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),” Us3, March 5, 1994, No. 9

“Peaches & Cream,” 112, July 7, 2001, No. 4

“Passionfruit,” Drake, April 8, 2017, No. 8

“Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles, July 18, 2020, No. 1

“Blueberry Faygo,” Lil Mosey, July 18, 2020, No. 8

"Lemonade," Internet Money & Gunna Featuring Don Toliver & NAV, Nov. 21, 2020, No. 6

"Lemon Pepper Freestyle," Drake featuring Rick Ross, March 20, 2021, No. 3

"Peaches," Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon, April 3, 2021, No. 1.

Andrew Unterberger assisted in research for this story.

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