Chart Beat Podcast: The Top 25 Pop Songs of the Past 25 Years, by Britney Spears, Rihanna & More

Britney Spears, Rihanna & Justin Timberlake
Getty Images; Design by Jessica Xie

Britney Spears, Rihanna & Justin Timberlake

Gary & Trevor count down the top hits since Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay chart launched in October 1992.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

This week, after counting down the top 40 of the weekly Billboard Hot 100 in recent podcasts from specific weeks in 1987 (in part one, with special guest Tiffany, and part two, with Debbie Gibson); 1996; 1997 (with Paula Cole); 2002 (with Kelly Clarkson); and 2007, Gary and Trevor recap the top 25 hits on Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay chart over the survey's first 25 years, dating to its launch in October 1992.

Among the elite smashes (based on a methodology that encompasses chart performance) are hits from Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and the chart's No. 1 artist over its 25-year history, Rihanna.

Plus, Edison Research vp of music programming and author of the Ross on Radio newsletter (and longtime Billboard radio writer) Sean Ross joins in to discuss top 40 radio's evolution over the past 25 years, along with its cautious approach to rap in 2017 and whether more rock and tempo could return to the format.

As for the No. 1 hit on Pop Songs since 1992 (don't click here if you want to instead find out by listening to the podcast!), did Ross think that it would reach such historic heights when he first heard it? "It seemed like the latest in the [Snap!] 'Rhythm Is a Dancer' / Captain Hollywood Project 'More and More' sequence. But I don't think I pegged it as the record that was going to [rank No. 1 all-time on Pop Songs].

"[But] I thought it was a hit. And, I was happy to hear it."

Top 100 Pop Songs of the Past 25 Years / Top 50 Pop Songs Artists of the Past 25 Years

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!