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This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 1997, ‘Wannabe’ Spiced Up the Hot 100 at No. 1

Girl Power! Spice Girls ruled with their debut smash. Plus, remembering feats by Dolly Parton, Madonna & Lady Gaga.

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

Feb. 20, 1988
After charting three uptempo freestyle top 10s, Expose celebrated its sole Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with ballad “Seasons Change.” The girl group would impressively send its first seven singles to the chart’s top 10. (Also on Feb. 20, 1988: Rihanna was born. Happy 29th!)

Feb. 21, 1981
Country icon Dolly Parton topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “9 to 5,” the theme to the workplace comedy film in which she starred. (Chart geeks, take note: the song never ranked at No. 9 nor 5 throughout its 26-week Hot 100 run.)

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Feb. 22, 1997
The Spice Girls dashed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut pop culture smash “Wannabe.” While they’re likely best known for the bubbly track, they followed with six more consecutive top 20 hits over the next two years.

Feb. 23, 2002
Ja Rule notched his second Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 – and featured artist Ashanti her first, in her first visit to the chart – as “Always on Time” clocked its first of two weeks on top.

Feb. 24, 1973
Roberta Flack crowned the Billboard Hot 100 with “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” The Fugees’ cover reigned over R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay for five weeks in 1996.

Feb. 25, 1995
What’s Madonna‘s longest-leading Billboard Hot 100 No. 1? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not any of her signature ’80s songs like “Like a Virgin” or “Material Girl” (the latter of which peaked at No. 2). Nope, it’s ballad “Take a Bow,” which began its seven-week command 22 years ago today.

Feb. 26, 2011
Making a fitting grand entrance at No. 1, Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way” became the Billboard Hot 100’s landmark 1,000th No. 1. The song arrived as the title cut to her second full-length studio album, which she had touted ahead of its release as “greatest album of this decade.” The set yielded four total top 10s.

This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 1997, ‘Wannabe’ Spiced Up the Hot 100 at No. 1

The Spice Girls reigned with their debut smash 18 years ago. Plus, remembering chart feats by Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey and Expose.

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

Feb. 16, 1985
After arriving with the uptempo Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," Wham! ruled again with ballad "Careless Whisper," 30 years ago today.
 

Feb. 17, 1996
The Beatles topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart … as part of a title, anyway: "Bigger Than the Beatles," by Joe Diffie, became the chart's fab new No. 1. (The song's chorus also namechecks the Rolling Stones and Eagles.)

Feb. 18, 2012
Three years ago today, Kelly Clarkson collected her third Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, as "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" began a three-week reign (her longest).
 

Feb. 19, 2000
Mariah Carey scored her 15th Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 (of 18 to date) with "Thank God I Found You," featuring Joe and 98 Degrees.

Feb. 20, 1988
After charting three uptempo freestyle top 10s, Expose celebrated its sole Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with ballad "Seasons Change." The girl group would impressively send its first seven singles to the chart's top 10.
 

Feb. 21, 1981
Country icon Dolly Parton topped the Billboard Hot 100 with "9 to 5," the theme to the workplace comedy film in which she starred. (Chart geeks, take note: the song never ranked at No. 9 nor 5 throughout its 26-week Hot 100 run.)
 

Feb. 22, 1997
The Spice Girls dashed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut pop culture smash "Wannabe." While they're likely best known for the bubbly track, they followed with six more consecutive top 20 hits over the next two years.