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‘Monster’ Hits: Justin Bieber & Shawn Mendes, All Time Low and More Monstrous Hot 100 History

Halloween may be over two months in the rearview, but there's still a "Monster" invasion laying siege to the Billboard Hot 100 this second chart week of January. 

Halloween may be over two months in the rearview, but there’s still a “Monster” invasion laying siege to the Billboard Hot 100 this second chart week of January.

Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber’s “Monster” climbs 19 positions to No. 45 on the chart (dated. Jan. 9) — the first list following most of the Christmas rush, resulting in a number of holiday-themed songs making dramatic slides or departures, and helping non-holiday songs to rise in ranks — after having debuted at No. 8 on the chart in December. Meanwhile, All Time Low’s “Monster,” a 17-week No. 1 on Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay chart, finally makes its Hot 100 debut this week, with featured appearances from Demi Lovato and blackbear.

The two songs may be the only hits with “Monster” in the title to have menaced the Hot 100 so far this decade, but there’s a rich history of such frightening imaginary creatures dotting the chart’s titles since its 1958 inception. The first and biggest of the bunch is, of course, Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers’ “Monster Mash.” The Halloween perennial not only went to No. 1 for two weeks upon its original release in 1962, it also returned to the top 10 a decade later, peaking at No. 10 in August 1973. (Meanwhile, Pickett’s sequel to the song, “Monsters’ Holiday,” peaked at No. 30 on the chart in January 1963.)

It was over half a century in between “Monster” No. 1s on the Hot 100 — until December 2013, when Bobby “Boris” Pickett was joined by Eminem and Rihanna, who topped the Hot 100 together for the second time (following 2010’s “Love the Way You Lie”) with their psychologically haunted collab “The Monster.” Not only are those the only two “Monster” tracks to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, they were the only two to hit the top 10 until Bieber and Mendes’ collab debuted at No. 8 in December.

However, though few of them climbed to the chart’s top tier, the 2010s were home to a tremendous number of “Monster” Hot 100 hits — 10 of them in total, from artists as major as The Weeknd (“Party Monster,” No. 16, 2016), Paramore (“Monster,” No. 36, 2011), and of course, Kanye West (along with Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver on “Monster,” No. 18, 2010). With only six “Monster” hits in the chart’s previous 40-plus-year history, the 2010s easily marked the most monstrous decade in Hot 100 history.

While “Monster Mash” and “The Monster” mark the only songs with “Monster” in their titles to top the Hot 100, if we expand it to all monsters, we can also count Edgar Winter Band’s “Frankenstein,” a No. 1 in 1973 — though of course, as the Internet will be quick to tell you, Frankenstein himself was the doctor, not the monster — and we can also make a quick mention of Sheb Wooley’s story song “The Purple People Eater,” a pre-Hot 100 No. 1 on Billboard charts in 1958, which peaked at No. 24 on the inaugural Hot 100 chart that August. (“Godzilla,” by Eminem feat. Juice WRLD, came two spots away, debuting and peaking at No. 3 on the chart in early 2020.)

Over on the Billboard 200, only one “Monster” album has ever topped the chart: R.E.M.’s 1994 album Monster, the alt-rock greats’ second (and final to-date) No. 1 on the listing. (KISS’ 2012 set Monster came next-closest, debuting at No. 3, while Lady Gaga’s 2010 pop classic The Fame Monster topped out at No. 5.)

Here’s a complete list of “Monster” hits on the Hot 100:

Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers
“Monster Mash” (No. 1 peak, for two weeks, peak date: 10/20/62)
“Monsters’ Holiday” (No. 30, 1/5/63)

Steppenwolf, “Monster” (No. 39, 2/7/70)

Fred Schneider, “Monster” (No. 85, 7/20/91)

Voice of the Beehive, “Monsters and Angels” (No. 74, 11/23/91)

Ne-Yo, “Beautiful Monster” (No. 53, 8/7/10)

Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver, “Monster” (No. 18, 11/13/10)

Paramore, “Monster” (No. 36, 6/25/11)

China Anne McClain, “Calling All Monsters” (No. 86, 10/29/11)

Skrillex, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” (No. 69, 1/7/12)

Imagine Dragons, “Monster” (No. 78, 10/5/13)

Eminem feat. Rihanna, “The Monster” (No. 1, four weeks, 12/21/13)

Meek Mill, “Monster” (No. 96, 3/21/15)

The Weeknd, “Party Monster” (No. 16, 12/17/16)

21 Savage, “Monster” (No. 73, 1/5/19)

Shawn Mendes & Justin Bieber, “Monster” (No. 8, 12/5/20)

All Time Low feat. Demi Lovato and blackbear, “Monsters” (No. 88, 1/9/21)