Most popular songs that never won awards
According to the Recording Academy, Grammys are awarded to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. The peer-given award, which is voted on by a body of artists and technical professionals, recognizes the best of the best, making it the most prestigious award in music. Indeed, the award isn’t given based on sales numbers or chart positions, but still, it seems that a Grammy award should be a good indicator of what songs, artists, and albums have been the most successful over the previous year.
This, however, isn’t totally true. The first Grammy Awards took place on May 4, 1959. In the 60 years since, the Recording Academy has failed to recognize several popular, important, and sometimes culturally significant songs. In this article, Stacker has rounded up 30 such misses. What follows is a list of 30 of the most popular songs that never won awards.
Stacker combed through the Billboard All-time Hot 100 Chart and identified the 30 songs (starting with #1) that topped the charts without winning any Grammys. According to Billboard, the All-Time Hot 100 songs are "ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at #1 earning the greatest value and weeks at lower spots earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates during various periods." This data was updated in September 2019.
Ranked from lowest to highest rating on the Billboard All-Time Hot 100 Chart, these songs, ranging from “Call Me” by Blondie to “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO to “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, may not have won any trophies, but they were all wildly successful with audiences. You might even be surprised by some of the tracks that were snubbed!
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#30. 'Let Me Love You' by Mario
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #58
- Year: 2004
It was Mario's fellow R&B star, Ne-Yo, who actually wrote the lyrics to the 2004 hit "Let Me Love You." The song earned the distinction of being the first track to reach #1 (in America) that Ne-Yo ever worked on. Overall, "Let Me Love You" spent nine weeks in the top spot, also claiming the #1 position in Germany and New Zealand.
#29. 'Call Me' by Blondie
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #57
- Year: 1980
American rock band, Blondie wrote “Call Me” with European disco producer Giorgio Moroder for the 1980 film “American Gigolo.” The song was intended to be the first single off of an album-length collaboration between the two parties, but, as fate would have it, the final project never came to fruition. Moroder told Billboard magazine that the experience was a difficult one, saying, “There was always fights…We went to the studio and the guitarist was fighting with the keyboard player. I called their manager and quit.” Still, “Call Me” remains Blondie’s top-charting song in America.
#28. 'Blurred Lines' by Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #51
- Year: 2013
In 2013, Billboard dubbed “Blurred Lines” the song of the summer. And while the track was a fan favorite, there was also an immense amount of controversy surrounding it, both for its racy content and for its alleged copyright infringement. In December 2018, a five-year legal battle ended with Robin Thicke and Pharrell having to pay $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s estate after a judge ruled that the duo’s track was too similar to Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”
#27. 'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #50
- Year: 2012
Another Billboard-dubbed song of the summer, Carly Rae Jepsen’s smash hit “Call Me Maybe” made history when it spent nine weeks at #1 on the Hot 100, the most time a Canadian-born woman has ever spent in the spot since the chart’s debut. The song stood out in other ways as well: In 2012 it was the most purchased song on iTunes, the most viewed music video on Vevo, and the best-selling single globally.
#26. 'Shadow Dancing' by Andy Gibb
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #49
- Year: 1978
Unless you’re a die-hard music trivia nerd, you might be unaware that Andy Gibb is the younger brother of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb (a.k.a. The Bee Gees). While a substantial age difference kept Andy from ever joining his brothers’ band, the foursome did write a lot of music together, including Andy’s hit “Shadow Dancing.” In 1978, the brothers Gibb performed the track together at a Jai-Alai Fronton Studios performance in Miami, marking the first time they’d perform together live.
#25. 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' by The Beatles
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #48
- Year: 1964
In 1963, The Beatles sat down at Abbey Studios to record “I Want to Hold Your Hand” after their manager, Brian Epstein, asked them to write something for the American market. While the group was already wildly popular in Europe, they hadn’t yet gained the same notoriety across the pond. Upon its Dec. 26 release, the song was a runaway hit, selling 10,000 copies an hour in New York City alone.
#24. 'It's All in the Game' by Tommy Edwards
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #47
- Year: 1958
Tommy Edwards’s “It’s All in the Game” holds the distinction of being the only #1 hit ever written by a U.S. vice president. The song was composed in 1911 by then-banker Charles Gates Dawes, who became vice president under Calvin Coolidge in 1925. In 1951, the lyrics were added by a Brill Building songwriter named Carl Sigman.
#23. 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree' by Dawn feat. Tony Orlando
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #46
- Year: 1973
After reading a story in Reader’s Digest about a Civil War soldier’s homecoming called “Going Home,” songwriters L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine wrote their song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” in a single day. The song, which was based on the folktale, became a cultural phenomenon. All over the country, people began tying yellow ribbons on trees to welcome soldiers home from Vietnam.
#22. 'How You Remind Me' by Nickelback
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #45
- Year: 2001
Before they released “How You Remind Me” on Sept. 11, 2001, Nickelback had already completed two unremarkable albums. But it was this single, based on a fight that lead singer Chad Kroeger had with his then-girlfriend, that really catapulted them into the spotlight. The single became the most-played song on U.S. radio stations in 2002 as well as the most-played song of the first decade of the 21st century.
#21. 'Say Say Say' by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
- All-Time Hot 100 rank: #44
- Year: 1983
Throughout the course of their professional relationship, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson recorded and released three duets: “The Girl is Mine,” “The Man,” and “Say, Say, Say.” While “Say, Say, Say” wasn’t the first duet released by the musicians, it was the first one that they worked on together. The track topped Billboard charts for six straight weeks in 1983, eventually getting knocked off by Hall & Oates’ “Say It Isn’t So.”