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59 Fun Facts for the Billboard Hot 100’s 59th Birthday

On Aug. 4, 1958, the premier songs chart in the U.S. debuted. Here are 59 "bullet" points.

Happy birthday, Billboard Hot 100!

On Aug. 4, 1958, the foremost songs chart in the U.S. bowed. As the Hot 100 turns 59, here are 59 fun facts covering the chart’s history… so far.

1, The Hot 100’s debut wasn’t front-page news, but it did make page 2, in an editorial succinctly headlined “The Billboard Hot 100.” “On pages 36 and 37 of this issue, we are proud to present The Billboard Hot 100, the fastest, most complete and most sensitive index to the popularity of recorded music in America. This new chart feature, which each week will list the 100 most popular recorded sides, is a guide to potential, as well as the current hits.” Just like today.


2, The Hot 100’s first No. 1? Ricky Nelson‘s “Poor Little Fool.”

3, The Hot 100’s first No. 1 by a group? The Elegants‘ “Little Star,” the chart’s third No. 1 overall, after “Poor Little Fool” and Domenico Modugno‘s “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volaré).”

4, The first Hot 100 No. 1 by a solo female? The chart’s 30th leader: Connie Francis“Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool,” on June 27, 1960.

5, After Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” inaugurated the Hot 100 at No. 1 in 1958, Marty Robbins‘ “El Paso” became the first new No. 1 of the 1960s …

6, … B.J. Thomas‘ “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” reigned as first new No. 1 of the ’70s …

7, … From raindrops (long before Migos) to sunshine: KC and the Sunshine Band‘s “Please Don’t Go” led as the first new No. 1 of the ’80s …

8, … Michael Bolton‘s ballad “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” did the same in the ’90s …

9, … as did Christina Aguilera‘s “What a Girl Wants” for the 2000s …

10, … And, Kesha clocked the first new No. 1 of the 2010s with “TiK ToK.”

11, The longest-leading Hot 100 No. 1: Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men‘s “One Sweet Day,” for 16 weeks in 1995-96. Could current leader “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber, tie or break the record?

12, Hot 100 history lesson: When the chart arrived, it encompassed “such factors as [radio] disc jockey plays, jukebox activity and record sales.” Today, airplay and sales (almost exclusively digital) still contribute two-thirds of the Hot 100’s data mix, along with – now generally the most potent factor, on average – streaming.

13, In 1958, eventual Sire Records co-founder and chairman and Warner Bros. Records vp Seymour Stein was a high school student spending afternoons at Billboard and assisted in the Hot 100’s creation. (In 2005, Stein, who had signed Steven Tyler, The Ramones and Madonna, among others, to Sire, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in its lifetime achievement category. In 2012, he was honored as Billboard‘s first Icon Award recipient.) As he recalled in 2015 of the Hot 100’s origin, “The industry was looking for was a hotter, quicker way of getting chart information.” As for the name Hot 100? “[Then-head of charts] Tom [Noonan] could have come up with the name. I certainly did not. It might have been one of the reporters, or [music-radio-TV editor] Paul Ackerman. I just don’t remember. Then we added star performers to show quick movement upward, aka, bullets.”


14, Then-budding pop radio helped spark the Hot 100’s arrival, as Stein remembered: “Fortunately, this was around the same time as the dawn of top 40 radio, and the Hot 100 used radio playlists from across the country weighted by the size of the market to help compile this new chart.”

15, From early on, artists celebrated a Hot 100 leader, according to Stein: “Through the success of the chart, more execs were drawn up to the Billboard offices, often with their artists in tow, whether it was for a story or just to say thanks for acknowledging their No. 1 position.”

16, That’s not much different than today, even if platforms for expressing gratitude have evolved. When DJ Khaled scored his first Hot 100 No. 1, the aptly-titled “I’m the One,” in May, he beamed on social media, “‘Fan Luv We Did It!!’ “

17, To date, 1,065 singles have topped the Hot 100, through the latest, “Despacito,” on top for 12 weeks and counting. The song is the third mostly- (or all-) Spanish-language hit to top the chart, following …

18, … Los Del Rio‘s “Macarena,” which reigned for 14 weeks in 1996, sparked by its Bayside Boys remix, and …

19, … and Los Lobos‘ “La Bamba,” for three weeks in 1987.

20, The record holders: The Beatles boast the most Hot 100 No. 1s: 20, logged between 1964 and 1970.

21, Mariah Carey has earned the most Hot 100 No. 1s among soloists: 18 …

22, … while Michael Jackson leads all solo males with 13 Hot 100 No. 1s.

23, Carey has spent the most cumulative weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100: 79, from 1990’s “Vision of Love” through 2008’s “Touch My Body.” (“Vision” spent its first week at No. 1 on Aug. 4, 1990, the Hot 100’s 32nd birthday.)

24, The same month that the Hot 100 was born, so was the Queen of Pop: Madonna turns 59 on Aug. 16.

25, August 1958 also brought us the late King of Pop: Michael Jackson was born that Aug. 30.

26, On Sept. 2, 1995, Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” became the first song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Through DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One,” 28 total singles have launched at the summit.

27, Madonna has scored the most Hot 100 top 10s: 38. The Beatles are second with 34, followed by Rihanna with 31.

28, The cast of Fox’s Glee owns the mark for the most Hot 100 appearances: 207. The TV troupe ran up its record sum by releasing multiple tracks weekly during its 2009-15 run.

29, Drake holds the mark for the most Hot 100 visits among soloists: 157 (through the latest chart, dated Aug. 12).

30, Nicki Minaj wears the crown for women with the most Hot 100 entries: 79, having added her latest as featured on Yo Gotti‘s “Rake It Up,” which debuted on the Aug. 5 chart. Prior to Minaj, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin held the honor for most Hot 100 appearances among women for nearly 40 years.

31, The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, remains the act with the most top 40 Hot 100 hits: 80. (And that’s despite his career launch predating the chart’s inception by more than two years.)


32, Chubby Checker‘s “The Twist” stands as the No. 1 song in the Hot 100’s history, based on chart performance. The legendary track is the only song to top the Hot 100 in two separate runs, in 1960 and again in 1962.

33, The Beatles reign as the Hot 100’s No. 1 all-time artist. Rounding out the top five: Madonna (No. 2), Elton John (No. 3), Presley (No. 4) and Carey (No. 5).

34, Some notable songs have peaked at No. 59 on the Hot 100, including the all-star ode to Motown founder Berry Gordy, “Pops, We Love You,” by Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, in 1979 …

35, … Usher‘s first Hot 100 entry, “Can U Get Wit It,” a No. 59 hit in 1994. He’s since logged 18 top 10s, including nine No. 1s …

36, … and Coldplay‘s emotional ballad “Fix You” (No. 59, 2005).

37, “Hot” 100: Six songs with “hot” in their titles have heated all the way up to No. 1 on the Hot 100, starting with Nick Gilder‘s “Hot Child in the City” in 1978. A year later …

38, … Donna Summer‘s “Hot Stuff” burned a path to No. 1, followed by …

39, … Ini Kamoze‘s “Here Comes the Hotstepper” in 1994 …

40, … Nelly‘s “Hot in Herre” in 2002 …

41, … Snoop Dogg‘s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” featuring Pharrell, in 2004 …

42, … and Mims‘ “This Is Why I’m Hot” in 2007.

43, Hot “100”: one song named “100” has hit the Hot 100, by The Game, featuring Drake. It reached No. 82 in October 2015. Two months earlier, Mac Miller‘s “100 Grandkids” spent a week on the chart … at No. 100.

44, Commercial break! But it’s related: This year’s Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival is Aug. 19 and 20 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York, starring Major Lazer, Big Sean, Zedd, Camila Cabello, DJ Khaled and Gucci Mane as headliners. Click here for more information and tickets.

(See you there!)

45, Kelly Clarkson‘s “My Life Would Suck Without You” made the biggest vault to No. 1 on the Hot 100: it soared from No. 97 to No. 1 on Feb. 7, 2009.

46, Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” completed the longest trip to the top of the Hot 100: 33 weeks.

47, No act has spent more consecutive weeks at No. 1 than The Black Eyed Peas, who reigned for 12 weeks with “Boom Boom Pow” and directly followed with “I Gotta Feeling,” which led for 14 frames, bringing the act’s total to a record 26 straight weeks on top in 2009.

48, Two albums have generated a record five Hot 100 No. 1s each: Michael Jackson’s Bad in 1987-88 and Katy Perry‘s Teenage Dream in 2010-11.

49, Three albums have yielded a record seven Hot 100 top 10s apiece, two courtesy of Jacksons:  Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982-84), Bruce Springsteen‘s Born in the U.S.A. (1984-85) and Janet Jackson‘s Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989-91).

50, Fab five: The Beatles are the only act to dominate the entire top five in a week. On April 4, 1964, “Can’t Buy Me Love” blasted 27-1, followed by “Twist and Shout” (No. 2), “She Loves You” (No. 3), their iconic first leader “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (No. 4) and “Please Please Me” (No. 5).

51, On the April 8, 2017, ranking, Drake set the mark for the most simultaneous Hot 100 entries: 24, the week that his LP More Life debuted atop the Billboard 200 albums chart.

52, “Little” Stevie Wonder is the youngest soloist to lead the Hot 100: he was 13 when “Fingertips – Pt 2” ruled for three weeks beginning Aug. 10, 1963 …

53, … A year later, Louis Armstrong set the record as the senior-most artist to command the Hot 100, when, at age 62, “Hello, Dolly!” topped the chart dated May 9, 1964.

54, Taylor Swift has notched the most top 10 debuts on the Hot 100: 13 (her favorite number).

55, Swift’s friend Ed Sheeran became the first artist to debut two songs in the top 10 in the same week: on Jan. 28, “Shape of You” launched at No. 1 and “Castle on the Hill” arrived at No. 6.

56, According to Paul Haney of Joel Whitburn’s Record Research, PIKOTARO‘s kitschy “PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen)” became the shortest Hot 100 hit in length when, thanks to its 45-second version, it debuted at its No. 77 peak on Oct. 29, 2016 …

57, … On Jan. 30, 2016, late legend David Bowie had set the record for the longest Hot 100 entry by run time, with the No. 78-peaking “Blackstar”: 9 minutes and 57 seconds. (“That’s the long and short of it!,” says Haney.)

58, As an overwhelming number of artists show their support for the transgender community, Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way” in 2011 became the first Hot 100 No. 1 featuring the word “transgendered” in its lyrics. “No matter gay, straight or bi / lesbian, transgendered life,” Gaga proudly declared, “I’m on the right track, baby / I was born to survive.”

59, Aug. 4, 2058: the Hot 100’s 100th anniversary, 41 years from now. Will “The Twist” still be No. 1 all-time? Or will it be by an artist not yet born? And, will Justin Bieber’s by then-autobiographical cover of The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” be No. 1 that week? Check back (on a technological platform to be determined, one which will surely be outdated by 2059) to find out.