Skip to main content

Main Area


Songs that dominated Billboard charts the longest

  • Songs that dominated Billboard charts the longest

    There are songs out there that, for whatever reason, just seem to stick. Our culture is filled with songs that just don’t quit, from Michael Jackson's "Black or White" to Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road." Which is why today, Stacker is inspecting the top 100 songs that dominated the charts the longest.

    To determine the longest-serving songs as of March 2020, Stacker consulted the Billboard Hot 100. Songs are ranked by the number of weeks they spent at #1 on the chart, and ties are broken by the number of weeks they spent on the charts in total.

    Every decade is represented since the Hot 100 came into existence, with Bobby Darin’s 1959 serial killer-inspired ballad “Mack the Knife” representing the oldest song in the slideshow. Some songs on the list almost didn’t come to pass. Beyoncé’s breakthrough single “Irreplaceable,” which became an anthem for female empowerment, was written by Ne-Yo from a male perspective and was originally intended for country stars Shania Twain or Faith Hill. Others, like the “Macarena” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” set off cultural phenomena that pushed celebrities and athletes to join the craze. Meanwhile, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men each have a pair in the top 10.

    Some tunes represented here were misinterpreted upon release, such as The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” which was thought to be a love song, but lead singer Sting revealed it was about stalking. Whatever your musical preference, the wide variety of songs that have ruled the Billboard Hot 100 charts will leave you humming a tune in your head.

    Read on to find out which songs dominated Billboard’s charts the longest.

    You may also like: 30 musicians with legendarily long careers

  • #100. ‘Thank U, Next’ by Ariana Grande

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 8
    - Topped the charts from: Nov. 17, 2018, to Jan. 5, 2019

    Ariana Grande admits she doesn't remember recording “Thank U, Next," because she was suffering from alcohol abuse and depression following the September 2018 overdose of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. Recorded a month after Miller’s death, the empowering song lyrics, based on her past romantic relationships, landed Grande the 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Song of the Year.

  • #97. ‘Blank Space' by Taylor Swift

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 9
    - Topped the charts from: Nov. 29, 2014 to Jan. 10, 2015

    Taylor Swift set the bar as the first female artist in the history of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 to bump herself from the top of the charts, knocking “Shake It Off” from the top. Similar to many of Swift’s song lyrics, “Blank Space” blurts out bad relationship details to a hip-hop beat. The song, which hit #1 after three weeks, is the third Swift hit, including “Shake It Off” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” that she co-wrote with Max Martin and Shellback.

  • #97. ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ by The Beatles

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 9
    - Topped the charts from: Feb. 1 to March 14, 1964

    The British Invasion of America began with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” As the first song produced by The Beatles using four-track technology, the ballad, released after “She Loves You” and “Love Me Do,” only took 17 takes to cut. "In the first week of April 1964, The Beatles held the first five positions in the American Top 10,” according to Slate, further reporting that the band held 14 Hot 100 positions just seven days later.

  • #97. ‘Black or White’ by Michael Jackson

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 9
    - Topped the charts from: Dec. 7, 1991, to Jan. 18, 1992

    “Black or White” moved from #35 to #1 in just three weeks in December 1991, becoming the fastest-growing single since the Beatles' “Get Back” in 1969. The rap in the lyrics, based on racial intolerance, was lip-synced in the video by Jackson’s close friend and actor Macaulay Culkin.

  • #94. ‘I'm a Believer’ by The Monkees

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 10
    - Topped the charts from: Dec. 31, 1966, to Feb. 11, 1967

    Written by Neil Diamond, “I’m a Believer” became the English band’s hit instead, topping the charts for seven straight weeks. The song went gold two days after its release and later appeared in four episodes of “The Monkees,” the hit television show that featured the group. Thirty-five years later, the remake of the song by Smash Mouth was part of the blockbuster hit “Shrek.”

    You may also like: Most successful musical artists of all time

  • #94. ‘Love the Way You Lie’ by Eminem featuring Rihanna

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 10
    - Topped the charts from: July 31 to Sept. 11, 2010

    Off of Eminem’s seventh album “Recovery,” “Love The Way You Lie” won notable awards including the best song at the 2010 Soul Train Music and People’s Choice Awards, and saw several Grammy nominations. Eminem reportedly collaborated with Rihanna on the hit since they both had experienced violent domestic relationships. The song has been remade by The View frontman Kyle Falconer (who has struggled with sobriety) and singer Alissa Janine.

  • #94. 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' by Marvin Gaye

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 10
    - Topped the charts from: Dec. 14, 1968 to Jan. 25, 1969

    Before becoming Marvin Gaye’s #1 hit, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was recorded by several other artists including Gladys Knight & the Pips, who brought the song to #2 in November 1967. By 1987, the song was part of a television commercial for California Raisins.

  • #91. ’Waterfalls’ by TLC

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 11
    - Topped the charts from: July 8 to Aug. 19, 1995

    “Waterfalls” is not about cascading rain; it is about drug abuse and HIV, and was the first song to reference the disease in its lyrics, according to the HuffPost. TLC member Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas said the band was shocked when the hit beat out Michael Jackson to become the first song by a black artist to win the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year in 1995.

  • #91. ‘All for You' by Janet Jackson

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 11
    - Topped the charts from: April 14 to May 26, 2001

    Also the title for Janet Jackson’s 2001 tour and seventh studio album, “All for You” samples the 1980 hit “The Glow of Love" by Luther Vandross’s band The Change. The song, which describes two people flirting on a dance floor, landed Jackson her fifth and final Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. The song earned Jackson the “Queen of Radio” moniker after it received airplay across multiple platforms.

  • #91. ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ by Bryan Adams

    - Weeks at #1: 7
    - Total weeks on chart: 11
    - Topped the charts from: July 27 to Sept. 7, 1991

    “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” which was #1 for 16 weeks in the U.K.and seven weeks in the U.S., was originally written for “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" by film composer Michael Kamen, but it only played over the credits. The song did, however, become a seven-week chart topper, gaining Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams big fame. In 1998, singer Brandy covered the song on her album “Never Say Never.”

    You may also like: The richest country music stars

2018 All rights reserved.