Fourteen years ago this week, Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the first time a title had entered the then-37-year-old chart at the summit.
By the issue dated Sept. 2, 1995, the R. Kelly-penned ballad had built enough airplay to rank at No. 7 on Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay. After its commercial release, the song blasted onto Hot 100 Singles Sales at No. 2 (a notch below Coolio‘s “Gangsta’s Paradise”), and its combined point totals were enough to send the song to a No. 1 Hot 100 launch.
“This is what an artist and song of this caliber deserves,” then-Epic VP/Promotion Barbara Seltzer told Billboard at the time of Jackson’s record-breaking bow. “This proves that, in the end, it’s all about the music.”
“You Are Not Alone” would represent Jackson’s last week spent in the Hot 100’s penthouse. The song instantly became his 13th solo chart-topper, still the highest sum among male artists in the chart’s history.
OUR BACK PAGES: Billboard got the blues this week in 1995. Making its first appearance was the Top Blues Albums chart, which late Billboard editor in chief Timothy White praised as, “not just an acknowledgment of a commercial reality, (but) also an editorial judgment to encourage this music because of its cultural merit.” Eric Clapton‘s “From the Cradle” led the inaugural chart (which is now exclusive to billboard.biz) …
We knew her when … Jewel drew her first ink on a national Billboard chart this week in 1995, as her introductory set “Pieces of You” debuted on Heatseekers Albums at No. 37. Five months later, the album would cross to the Billboard 200, where it would peak at No. 4 in a 114-week chart life …
While Michael Jackson stole Hot 100 headlines this week 14 years ago, few could’ve guessed that the chart’s number one song of 1996 debuted the same week. Los Del Rio‘s “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” arrived at No. 70. After a first run produced a No. 45 peak, the song returned in May 1996 and went on to lead the list for 14 weeks that summer.
SEAL WITH A ‘KISS’: Here is the top 10 on Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay this week in 1995. While Michael Jackson advanced one spot in the top 10, the chart’s biggest mover belonged to sister Janet, who soared 68-16 with “Runaway.” Both “You Are Not Alone” and “Runaway” appeared on greatest hits albums. The former song was the second single released from Michael’s “HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book 1” (following the siblings’ duet “Scream,” paired with Michael’s B-side “Childhood”), while the latter cut introduced Janet’s “Design of a Decade 1986/1996.”
No. 1, “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal
No. 2, “Waterfalls,” TLC
No. 3, “Run-Around,” Blues Traveler
No. 4, “Only Wanna Be With You,” Hootie & the Blowfish
No. 5, “I Can Love You Like That,” All-4-One
No. 6, “I’ll Be There for You,” The Rembrandts
No. 7, “You Are Not Alone,” Michael Jackson
No. 8, “I Could Fall in Love,” Selena
No. 9, “Water Runs Dry,” Boyz II Men
No. 10, “Til I Hear It From You,” Gin Blossoms