This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 1991, Nirvana Ruled Alternative

Paul Bergen/Redferns
Dave Grohl, Kurt Coabin and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana photographed in 1991.

Twenty-four years ago, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' crowned Alternative Songs. Plus, remembering chart feats by Taylor Swift, Jay Z, Alicia Keys & the Beatles.

Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history.

Nov. 23, 1991

A milestone in the grunge era: Nirvana tops Billboard's Alternative Songs chart with "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Nov. 24, 2001

On this date 14 years ago, Mary J. Blige landed her first No. 1 on the Pop Songs radio airplay chart, "Family Affair."

Nov. 25, 1989

Milli Vanilli notched its third Billboard Hot 100 with the Diane Warren-penned "Blame It on the Rain." Within a year, the duo would win the best new artist Grammy Award – and then be stripped of the honor for not singing vocals on its album Girl You Know It's True (which returned to the top of the Billboard 200 the same week that "Rain" reigned, for the first of two weeks, on the Hot 100).

Nov. 26, 2011

Remember when Taylor Swift was country? Just four years ago today, she took over atop the Hot Country Songs chart with "Sparks Fly."

Nov. 27, 1993

Alabama roared to the top of Hot Country Songs with "Reckless," its 32nd No. 1 on the ranking. In 2011, it expanded its record for the most leaders among groups, as Brad Paisley's tribute track "Old Alabama," featuring Alabama, became the group's 33rd No. 1.

Nov. 28, 2009

Let's hear it for New York! Six years ago today, Jay Z and Alicia Keys began a five-week command of the Billboard Hot 100 with "Empire State of Mind."

Nov. 29, 1969

Forty-six years ago today, the Beatles scored their 18th Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, all in the '60s, with the iconic "Come Together." The following year, they'd add their final two toppers, upping their total to a still-record 20 No. 1 hits.


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