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100 Weeks of the Billboard Global Charts: Old Hits Become New Again

A look at songs from the '70s through the '00s reworked into new hits in the '20s.

The latest Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts, dated Aug. 13, 2022, mark 100 weeks since the worldwide song lists launched in September 2020. This week, we’re celebrating the hits that topped, lingered on, and shaped the surveys throughout their first 100 weeks. Today, we continue throwback Thursday with samples, remixes, covers and other interpolations that have brought some of the biggest hits of the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s into the 2020s.

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Earlier today, Billboard shined a spotlight on the 20th-century hits that have charted on the Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. tallies. But that didn’t cover the full extent of earlier decades’ current global footprint. In addition to classics by Michael Jackson, Nirvana and Queen, hits from yesteryear have been turned and twisted into contemporary smashes.

Take Donna Summer‘s “Hot Stuff” and Tina Turner‘s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Both songs topped the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, the former in June 1979 and the latter in September 1984. Further, both wound up among the top 10 on respective Hot 100 year-end charts and each song became a Grammy Award winner the following year.

But while neither recording has made it to the global charts, they sprinkled the early global tallies with some classic diva dust via remixes from Norwegian producer Kygo. Released months apart in 2020, these updated takes, crediting both Kygo and each song’s original vocalist in lead roles, circled the halfway mark of the Global Excl. U.S. chart, while “Hot Stuff” also pushed its way onto the Global 200.

Kygo is far from the only European electronic act to take hits of the past and make new global gold. After Boney M.’s 1978 disco confection “Rasputin” spun viral TikTok activity into two weeks on Global Excl. U.S., British DJ Majestic remixed the song. The reworked collaboration found its way to the top 40 of the Global Excl. U.S. chart, spending 28 weeks on the survey.

The remix strategy has worked across generations, from Australia’s Luude update of Men at Work‘s 1983 Hot 100 No. 1 “Down Under” (billed as Luude featuring Men at Work’s Colin Hay) to more recent chart hits. Spanish musician HVME made the rounds on TikTok with a remix of Travis Scott‘s “Goosebumps.” Scott’s original hit No. 32 on the Hot 100 in 2016 and the remodel climbed to No. 47 in April 2021. The HVME/Scott collaboration fared even better internationally, reaching the top 20 of the Global 200 and No. 10 on Global Excl. U.S., with 64 weeks totaled on the latter list.

Similarly, Orlando-based Acraze logged his first chart hit with “Do It to It,” featuring Cherish, a remix of the latter act’s 2006 song. As with HVME’s update, the remix performed much stronger on the global stage than domestically, despite the original’s significant U.S. chart history. The newer “Do It To It” climbed to No. 12 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart – the same peak of the original on the Hot 100 in September 2006 – in the middle of its 40-week-and-counting run on the survey.

Three other mid-’00s, American-bred hits were co-opted by European acts looking to cross over. Germany’s Luciano used Sean Kingston‘s “Beautiful Girls,” from 2007, for “Beautiful Girl,” mixing Kingston’s English-language chorus with his own German rap verses, building a bilingual bridge to No. 41 on the Global Excl. U.S. tally. British rapper Aitch acted similarly with Ashanti‘s “Rock Wit U (Aww Baby),” from 2003, creating his own “Baby,” which hit No. 109 in March. And most recently, Central Cee sampled Eve’s “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” (2001) for his own “Doja” debuting in the top 20 of both charts just last week.

While remixing and sampling have been avenues for international DJs and rappers to blend old with new, a handful of covers has infiltrated the global charts, as well. American pop singer Ritt Momney cracked the top 50 of both global charts with his take on Corinne Bailey Rae‘s “Put Your Records On.” While the original was nominated for multiple Grammys and claimed a No. 64 peak on the Hot 100 in 2006, Momney’s update outperformed its chart peak, reaching No. 30, and hit No. 37 on the Global 200.

AnnenMayKanrtereit and Giant Rocks, both from Germany, hit the global charts with a cover of Suzanne Vega‘s (New York-inspired) “Tom’s Diner,” peaking at No. 66 on the Global 200 in April. A hot spot for 20th century alt-pop covers, Germany also generated an update of The Cardigans‘ “Lovefool,” courtesy of Twocolors, with the new version spending 18 weeks on Global Excl. U.S. in 2020.

Sometimes a cover doesn’t even require a new singer. On the Oct. 2, 2021-dated global lists, Taylor Swift debuted with “Wildest Dreams.” But if you looked closely, you saw her debut twice on the charts with the same composition. Originally released on 2014’s 1989, the song crashed the top 10 of the Hot 100 in 2015 and, seven years later, hit the lower rungs of the global charts. The song’s renewed interest was spurred by the release of “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version),” part of a mass re-recording of Swift’s first six proper LPs. The Taylor’s Version … version arrived at No. 25 on the Global 200, and lasted for six weeks on each global chart, besting the original’s one-and-done run.

But if you’re looking to score a long-lasting, high-peaking, major worldwide hit using an old lyric or beat, more can be better. Over 50 years after arriving on the charts, ultimately becoming the No. 3 artist of Billboard‘s first 125 years, Elton John soared to No. 2 on Global Excl. U.S. and No. 3 on the Global 200 with “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix),” alongside one of the U.K.’s biggest contemporary hitmakers, Dua Lipa.

The song goes beyond remixing and sampling, mashing up four of John’s songs from the ’70s and ’80s, with him and Lipa trading turns interpolating the tracks’ many hooks to create one of the biggest songs of the 2020s. It spent 36 weeks atop Billboard‘s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, reached the Hot 100’s top 10 and remains on the Hot 100 for a 48th week and on both global lists for a 51st frame — suggesting that when considering a sample, interpolation, remix or a cover, it might just be best to go with all four in one.

And take a listen to the biggest global hits of the last 100 weeks below. We’ll be updating the playlist throughout the week as we highlight more of the charts’ most definitive hits.