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This Week in Billboard Chart History: 20 Years Ago, Michael Jackson Was ‘Alone’ at the Top

In 1995, "You Are Not Alone" became the first song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Plus, remembering chart feats by Metallica, the Beatles & Aerosmith.

Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history.

Aug. 31, 1991
Twenty-four years ago today, the best-selling album since Nielsen Music began tracking sales (in May 1991) debuted atop the Billboard 200: Metallica‘s self-titled set. The album has sold 16.2 million copies in the U.S. since its release. It outranks runner-up Shania Twain’s Come On Over (15.6 million) and the third-best-seller in that span, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill.

Sept. 1, 1973
Kind of impossible to hear this one without thinking of comic genius Louis C.K. Forty-two years ago today, Stories‘ “Brother Louie,” now the theme to the comedian’s FX series Louie, spent its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Sept. 2, 1995
Twenty years ago today: Michael Jackson‘s “You Are Not Alone” becomes the first song ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The ballad (the last of Jackson’s 13 No. 1s) was written and produced by R. Kelly.

Sept. 3, 2005
Faith Hill notched her ninth, and most recent, No. 1 on Hot Country Songs 10 years ago today, as “Mississippi Girl” skipped to the summit.

Sept. 4, 1965
Fifty years ago today, the Beatles notched their ninth Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 (of their record 20) with “Help!”

Sept. 5, 1998
Almost 25 years after its first appearance on the list, Aerosmith rocked its first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with ballad “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Of its prior 26 entries, the iconic Boston band had notched six top 10s, peaking as high as No. 3 with fellow love song “Angel” in 1988. Aerosmith would add its eighth, and most recent, top 10 with “Jaded,” which reached No. 7 in 2001.

Sept. 6, 1980
Diana Ross reigned supreme on the Billboard Hot 100, as “Upside Down” danced to the summit. After scoring 12 No.1s with the Supremes in 1964-69, she scored six as a soloist in 1970-81.