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Hot 100 55th Anniversary: Chubby Checker, Rihanna, LMFAO Highlight New All-Time Rankings

"The Twist" by Chubby Checker is still the Billboard Hot 100's all-time top song but there are some additional twists in the rankings of the top songs and artists since the last time we celebrated a…

Upon the Billboard Hot 100’s 55th birthday, new artists and songs rank among the top 100 in each category since we celebrated the chart’s golden anniversary in 2008. Meanwhile, a historic classic remains the survey’s all-time top song.

“The Twist” by Chubby Checker is still the Billboard Hot 100’s all-time top song but there are some additional twists in the rankings of the top songs and artists since the last time we celebrated a milestone in the chart’s storied archives.


Hot 100 55th Anniversary All-Time Top 100 Songs
Hot 100 By The Numbers
Chubby Checker Video Q&A and ‘Twist’ Dance Lesson
Hot 100 List: Every No. 1 Song (1958-2013)
Hot 100 Top Songs Word Cloud & Map

In 2008, Billboard looked back at the Hot 100’s first 50 years, dating to its premiere the week of Aug. 4, 1958. Upon its launch, Billboard branded the chart as “the fastest, most complete and most sensitive index to the popularity of recorded music in America.” Fifty-five years later, the tally has transformed from a measurement of radio airplay, sales of 45s and jukebox activity to one of airplay, digital (and minimal physical) sales and online streams.

Hot 100 55th Anniversary All-Time Top 100 Songs Countdown Video

While 55 years has brought major change to the chart’s methodology, even the past five years have seen a swell of rising artists make their mark, while new (party rock) anthems have likewise taken their place among the Hot 100’s all-time top songs.

And through it all, a song that made history more than five decades ago remains the Hot 100’s No. 1 title.


By early August 2008, Rihanna had racked 11 Hot 100 hits, eight of which had reached the top 10, including three No. 1s. An impressive start, for sure, but not enough to place her among the top 100 artists of the chart’s first 50 years.

Just five years later, Rihanna ranks as the No. 15 artist on the list, vaulting in as the highest-ranking newcomer on the tally. Her ascent has been extraordinary: With 12 No. 1s, she trails only the Beatles – still the No. 1 act all-time – with 20; Mariah Carey (who moves up from No. 6 to No. 5), with 18; and Michael Jackson (again at No. 8), with 13. Madonna (who remains at No. 2) and the Supremes (14-16) also boast 12 leaders apiece. (Sadly, the past five years have also begat loss: Jackson died in 2009 and Whitney Houston passed away last year; she notched 11 No. 1s and again ranks as the chart’s No. 9 artist. Her “I Will Always Love You,” meanwhile, jumps from No. 68 in 2008 to No. 49 after it re-entered following her death and rose as high as No. 3 in an additional sales-fueled three-week run.)

Rihanna’s 24 Hot 100 top 10s to date, meanwhile, mark the ninth-best sum among all acts, with only three women sporting higher totals: Madonna (38) and Carey and Janet Jackson (27 each).

Further proof that just five years can be enough for an artist to forge a historic entrance comes in the form of the artist at No. 39: Katy Perry. At the time of the Hot 100’s 50th anniversary, Perry held the No. 1 spot on the weekly survey with her debut entry, “I Kissed a Girl.” As with Rihanna, signs foretold further success. “Kissed” remained on top for seven weeks, tying the Beatles’ iconic “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for a Capitol Records act’s longest-reigning first chart hit.

That was only the start for Perry. With her second Capitol set, Teenage Dream, she posted five No. 1s: “California Girls” (featuring Snoop Dogg), the title cut, “Firework,” “E.T.” (featuring Kanye West) and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).” Only one other album has yielded five leaders: Michael Jackson’s Bad (1987-88).

In all, 12 artists appear on the rundown of the top 100 acts of the Hot 100’s first 55 years that had yet to rack enough accomplishments to make the grade five years ago. Included are the Black Eyed Peas, at No. 42, after linking a record 26 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in 2009 with “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling”; Taylor Swift, whose No. 87 rank is bolstered by her 58 Hot 100 hits, second among women only to Aretha Franklin’s 73; and Maroon 5, at No. 94, fueled in part by its longest-commanding No. 1, last year’s nine-week leader “One More Night.”

Of special note: while it doesn’t rank among the top 100 artists, the cast of Fox’s “Glee” arrived in 2009 and has since tallied a record-obliterating 206 Hot 100 appearances. The series’ model of releasing multiple tracks with each new episode found favor with its avid fans (aka, “Gleeks”), enabling the act to, in less than two years, dethrone prior record-holder Elvis Presley (108). (Lil Wayne, now up to 119 visits, has also since passed the King; 73 of the rapper’s appearances, however, have come in a featured role.)

Still, because the “Glee” Cast has spent just one week on the chart with 172 of its entries, it hasn’t accrued enough chart points to make the top 100 artist ranking.


LMFAO had yet to appear on the Hot 100 in 2008, bowing the next year with the No. 51-peaking “I’m in Miami Trick.” The duo’s next four entries would peak between Nos. 31 and 84 before “Party Rock Anthem” (featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock) roared to a six-week domination in summer 2011. It ranks as the fifth-biggest hit of the Hot 100’s first five-and-a-half decades. With 68 weeks on the Hot 100, “Anthem” is the longest-charting No. 1 in the list’s history.

The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” likewise shakes up the top 10 by claiming the No. 6 spot, while Rihanna’s “We Found Love” (featuring Calvin Harris) ranks at No. 24; with 10 weeks at the summit in 2011-12, the track is Rihanna’s longest-leading No. 1. Also new in the top 40 are the top songs of 2012 and 2011, respectively: Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (featuring Kimbra) (No. 29) and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” (No. 31).

Five years ago, neither Gotye or Adele yet appeared on the Hot 100, reinforcing that change is one of the few constants over the Hot 100’s first 50 years.

Another stable Hot 100 force? Chubby Checker’s “The Twist.” Having topped the chart the week of Sept. 24, 1960, and, following renewed popularity, for another two weeks (Jan. 13 and 20) in 1962, the song remains the only of the Hot 100’s 1,027 all-time leaders to reign in two separate chart cycles.

“It’s a great honor. I’m humbled for all that I’ve achieved in the music industry,” Checker says. (He continues to be a chart competitor, as his current single “Changes” is approaching Adult Contemporary. He’s also an active performer, playing approximately 100 concerts annually.)

“I’m so proud of how ‘The Twist’ has endured and even more thankful for how long my career has endured.”