Skip to main content

This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 1985, ‘We Are the World’ Hit No. 1

USA for Africa topped the Hot 100, kicking off a philanthropic legacy that continues today. Plus, remembering feats by Lady Gaga, Jewel & Radiohead.

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

April 11, 2009
“Poker Face” dealt Lady Gaga her second Billboard Hot 100 No. 1. Debut smash “Just Dance” (featuring Colby O’Donis) had led for three weeks that January.

April 12, 1997
As the gentle folk sounds of the Lilith Fair era reigned, Jewel topped Billboard‘s Pop Songs radio airplay chart with “You Were Meant for Me.” Follow-up “Foolish Games” would likewise lead the list that October.


April 13, 1985
The landmark teaming of 43 artists, billed as USA for Africa, helped “We Are the World” not only reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 (for four weeks), but it also has reportedly raised more than $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the U.S.

April 14, 1990
Tommy Page tops the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’ll Be Your Everything,” a song he co-wrote with Jordan Knight and Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block, with whom he’d been touring. “My whole life I dreamed of having a No. 1 record, ever since I could remember getting into music. I wanted to be on top of the Billboard charts,” Page remembers.

April 15, 1995
Montell Jordan‘s explanatory jam “This Is How We Do It” began its seven-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

April 16, 1983
“Billie Jean,” the first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 from Michael Jackson‘s monster album Thriller, spends its seventh and final week atop the chart. After a one-week break while Dexys Midnight Runners reigned with “Come on Eileen,” Jackson returned to the top on the April 30-dated Hot 100 with “Beat It,” which led for three weeks.

April 17, 2010
Two early-’90s classics debuted on the Alternative Songs chart: New Order’s “Regret” (No. 9) and Radiohead‘s “Creep” (No. 29). The latter marked Radiohead’s first entry on the chart and would reach No. 2. The band has added 12 more hits, although “Creep” remains its highest-peaking.