This Week in Billboard Chart History: 30 Years Ago, Whitney Houston Ruled With 'How Will I Know'
In 1986, the song became her second Hot 100 No. 1. Plus, remembering chart feats by Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey & Dolly Parton.
Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history.
Feb. 15, 1986
Thirty years ago today, Whitney Houston scored the second of her 11 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s with "How Will I Know." The track was written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, who, as Boy Meets Girl, would reach No. 5 in 1989 with "Waiting for a Star to Fall." The pair (then married) had penned "Know" for Janet Jackson, who passed on recording it. Per Fred Bronson's Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, Merrill said, "We were pretty upset because we thought it was perfect for [Jackson] at the time. We had written it with her completely in mind."
Feb. 16, 1985
After arriving with the uptempo Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," Wham! ruled again with ballad "Careless Whisper."
Feb. 17, 1996
It was 20 years ago today … that the Beatles topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart ... as a title, anyway: "Bigger Than the Beatles," by Joe Diffie, became the chart's fab new No. 1.
Feb. 18, 2012
Kelly Clarkson collected her third Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, as "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" began a three-week reign (her longest).
Feb. 19, 2000
Mariah Carey scored her 15th Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 (of 18 to date) with "Thank God I Found You," featuring Joe and 98 Degrees.
Feb. 20, 1988
After charting three uptempo freestyle top 10s, Expose celebrated its sole Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with ballad "Seasons Change." The girl group would impressively send its first seven singles to the chart's top 10.
Feb. 21, 1981
Country icon Dolly Parton topped the Billboard Hot 100 with "9 to 5," the theme to the workplace comedy film in which she starred. (Proud chart geeks, take note: the song never ranked at No. 9 nor 5 throughout its 26-week Hot 100 run.)