The old adage is true: “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” this week becomes the 12th song that entered the Hot 100 at the bottom rung (No. 100) to make it all the way to the pinnacle (No. 1).
This was not an infrequent occurrence in the early years of the Hot 100. From 1958 to 1966, five singles that opened at No. 100 made it to No. 1. But it happened very infrequently for the next several decades – just once in the ’70s, not at all in the ’80s and again just once in the ’90s. But in the last 15 years, it has happened five more times. This brings to mind another old adage: “Everything old is new again.”
Eight of these 12 singles were the artists’ first Hot 100 hits, which you might expect. Stars with a track record tend to get off to a faster start. But Chris Brown, UB40 and Wiz Khalifa had all had No. 1 hits before they opened at No. 100 with a future chart leader. Steve Lawrence had had several top 10 hits before he started at the bottom with the song that would become his only No. 1.
Improbably, one artist (Wiz Khalifa) has done this twice. Both of his No. 1 hits, “Black and Yellow” and “See You Again” (featuring Charlie Puth), entered the Hot 100 at No. 100.
Two of these songs originated in feature films, though those films had very different box-office fates. “See You Again” was featured in the blockbuster Furious 7, the No. 5 grossing film of 2015. UB40’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was featuring in the underwhelming Sharon Stone vehicle Sliver, the No. 44 grossing film of 1993.
Here’s the complete list of Hot 100 No. 1s that debuted at No. 100. All dates are the Billboard chart dates.