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Apr 21st 2016

Let's count down the biggest hits of the land

"Here we go with the Top 40 hits of the nation this week, the best-selling and most-played songs from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico."

- Casey Kasem

On the April 30, 2016 edition of Billboard Magazine, "Work" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the ninth consecutive week. This reggae-pop song was recorded by Rihanna for her eighth album, "Anti". Featuring guest vocals from Drake, the song was Rihanna's fourteenth number one hit. The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Mariah Carey have more number one songs. If "Work" will top the Hot 100 on May 7, it will join a distinguished list of tunes that spend 10 weeks or more at number one.

The first issue of Billboard Magazine was released on November 1, 1894, but it was only in 1958 when the first Billboard Hot 100 chart was revealed to music fans. The publication came into significance during the rise of popularity of jukeboxes and radio. Your grandparents might guess the first number-one song of the Hot 100. (It was "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson.) Three factors determined the list, namely singles most sold in retails stores, songs most played in jukeboxes, and songs most requested (for play in radio stations). Technology modified it, but the concept remained the same.

In 1970, "American Top 40" was heard for the first time. Casey Kasem counted (and played) the biggest hits in the Hot 100 every week, which would be a hit. Eventually, his radio program could be heard in many parts of the world. Any recording artist who would want to make it big were hoping for a Top 10 in the Hot 100. But number one would be better.

The first Billboard Music Award was held in 1989, which showed the publication's influence. This year's awards will be held in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas on May 22. But let's not focus on the awards night. The Hot 100 chart will mark its 70th year in 2018, so let's go down the memory lane. And let's take a look at some of the biggest hits of all time. Here they are:

"The Twist" (1960) by Chubby Checker. It wasn't hard to imagine the shock of the older American populace when they first heard this song. It was infectious, such that it was hard not to join the dance craze. And don't be surprised if the more conservative Americans called it the work of the devil. This song, which spent three weeks at the top of Hot 100, would mark a shift in the pop culture.

"Hey Jude" (1968) by the Beatles. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" may be the Fab Four's first chart topper in America, but this one stood out for personal reasons. As far as their greatest hits are concerned, fans of the Beatles would still argue about it. This one, which topped the chart for nine weeks, had a somber mood. (John Lennon wanted to comfort his son, Julian, after his divorce from Cynthia Lennon. So he penned this song.) It would be OK to feel the blues after listening to this song.

"You Light Up My Life" (1977) by Debby Boone. Fans of the "The Carol Burnett Show" would flash that naughty smile after hearing that song. They might be aroused when they would take a bath.

"Physical" (1981) by Olivia Newton-John. Before Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Madonna, there was Olivia Newton-John. This Melburnian had that girl-next-door features and a disarming smile, but the lyrics of "Physical" might have surprised her fans.

"Macarena" (1996) by Los del Rio. It was the biggest hit of 1996, and it turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Los del Rio. It was a flash in the pan.

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