Monday, May 9, 2022

Top 10 Most Popular Songs Ever – Biggest Hits of All Time

Numerous hits have made it onto the Billboard charts over the years but which are the best-performing songs of all time? Which artists have snagged the top ten spots? Spoiler alert—it isn’t The Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson, or Whitney Houston.

Who is it then, you ask? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!

10. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran

A screenshot taken from the single’s official music video

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was released on January 6, 2017. One of the lead singles from his third studio album, it peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart and stayed at the top of the Canadian Hot 100 Chart for 16 consecutive weeks. It was also the best-selling song of 2017 with over 2 million copies sold within just a few months.

And in December 2018, it became the first song to reach 2 billion streams on Spotify (it has since surpassed the 3 billion mark). That same year, it landed a spot on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart as one of the number one songs of the 2010s. The song’s music video also became one of the fastest music videos to reach one billion views, a feat that was accomplished in just 97 days. As of February 2022, it’s the second most-watched music video on YouTube.

Unsurprisingly, the song won numerous awards including a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. In addition to that, it was also nominated for British Video of the Year and British Single of the Year at the 2018 Brit Awards.

9. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) – Los Del Rio

“Macarena” by Los del Rio is undoubtedly one of the most popular dance songs of all time. The original, which was released in 1993, however, didn’t get much traction. It wasn’t until they added English lyrics to the song (aka the Bayside Boys mix) in 1995 that it became an international hit.

In the United States, the reworked version spent 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and was eventually certified four times platinum with over 3.7 million certified sales. It also peaked at number one in Australia, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, and several other countries.

By 1997, the single had sold more than 11 million copies. Since then, it has received numerous accolades including the titles “Greatest One Hit Wonder of All Time” (VH1), “and “Best Latin Song of All Time” (Billboard).

8. “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas

The official cover of the “I Gotta Feeling” single

“I Gotta Feeling” is the second single from The E.N.D., The Black Eyed Fifth’s fifth studio album. Produced by David Guetta, the song came out on May 21, 2009, and debuted at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It later reached the top, where it stayed for 14 consecutive weeks, making it one of the longest-running number-one singles of the year.

And while it had a slower rise in other countries, it eventually reached number one in Canada, Australia, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, New Zealand, and several other countries.

By 2019, it had received more than 9 million downloads in the United States, making it the most downloaded song on iTunes of all time. In fact, it’s become one of the best digital sellers in history. The official music video, which was originally uploaded to YouTube on December 23, 2009, has also been viewed nearly 600 million times.

7. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO

The super hit “Party Rock Anthem” was released on January 25, 2011. Featuring GoonRock and Lauren Bennet, the song made its way to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for six consecutive weeks. By October 2016, it had sold more than 8 million copies in the United States, making it one of the best-selling digital singles of the year.

It also went to number one in several other countries including Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Its music video is also one of the most viewed videos on Youtube with more than 2 billion views as of April 2022.

Not only was the song featured in the film 21 Jump Street, but it also received the “Favorite Song” title at the Kids’ Choice Awards in 2012.

6. How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes performing the hit song 20 years after its official release

LeAnn Rimes’ hit song, “How Do I Live” was released on May 23, 1997. Written by Diane Warren, the song peaked at number two in the United States, where it stayed for five non-consecutive weeks.

In total, it remained on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for a record-breaking 69 weeks, most of which saw it in the top 40. It has also been certified three times in the United States with more than 3.7 million certified sales, making it one of the highest certified country songs of all time (a record that was later broken by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.”

Internationally, the single peaked at number seven in the UK and charted in the top forty in several different countries including Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria.

5. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars) was released on November 10, 2014. In the United States, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for 14 weeks. One of Ronson’s most successful singles to date, it has since been certified 11 times platinum by the RIAA and six times by the BPI.

It has also received several awards including “Record of the Year” at the 2016 Grammys. In addition to that, it also won “International Work of the Year” at the APRA Music Awards and “British Single of the Year” at the 2015 Brit Awards. The song has also been featured in several hit TV shows including the musical drama Glee.

The song’s music video, which was directed by Cameron Daddy and Mars also proved to be a big hit, with more than 4 billion views, making it the seventh most-viewed YouTube video of all time.

4. Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin

Bobby Darin performing “Mack the Knife” in front of a live audience in the 1970s

“Mack the Knife” was originally released on August 31, 1928. Composed by Kurt Weill, the song was later recorded by Bobby Darin, who successfully turned it into a swing classic. His version, which was part of his album That’s All, came out in the summer of 1959 and quickly reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.

That’s not all, it also won him two Grammy Awards—one for Best New Artist and one for Record of the Year. On top of that, it was listed in Cash Box Magazine’s Top 100 Best Sellers list.

Since then, the song has been recorded by numerous other artists including Tony Bennett, Brian Setzer, Kevin Spacey, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Mark Lanegan, and Michael Buble.

3. Smooth – Santana ft. Rob Thomas

“Smooth”, a collaboration between Santana and Rob Thomas, came out on June 29, 1999, and topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks. Since then, it has been certified platinum in the United States with over 1.2 million sales. It also reached number one in Canada and the top 10 in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, and Australia and is Santana’s highest-charting single in the UK.

The third most successful song on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Hot 100 listing, it has won numerous awards including three Grammys—one for Song of the Year, one for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, and one for Record of the Year.

Many years after its release, it became the subject of several internet memes, which revived its popularity.

2. The Twist – Chubby Checker

The cover of Chubby Checker’s single “The Twist”

“The Twist” originally came out in 1958. Written by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, it was inspired by the twist dance craze of the late 50s.

A couple of years after its release, Chubby Checker recorded a cover version of the song, which went on to top the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, it wasn’t until he performed it in front of a live audience that it turned it into a national sensation.

Since then, he has re-recorded the song several times. In 1982, he released an updated version titled “T-82” and in the 90s, came out with a country version. The song was also featured in an episode of Quantum Leap, in which Chubby Checker (who played himself) sang and danced to “The Twist”.

1. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

“Blinding Lights” was released on November 29, 2019. The second single from the Weeknd’s fourth studio album, it charted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for four weeks and went on to remain in the top 10 for an entire year—the first song to achieve such a feat.

The Weeknd’s most successful song to date, it has since been streamed more than 2 billion times on Spotify, making it the second-most streamed song on the platform.

While it didn’t go on to win a Grammy (a gesture that spawned much controversy at the time), the single did win several other awards including two MTV Video Music Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, and two iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Since then, it has been remixed by multiple artists including singer-songwriter Rosalia, electronic band Chromatics, and the EDM group Major Lazer.

Cody Carmichael
University graduate in Psychology, and health worker. On my off time I'm usually tinkering with tech or traveling to the ends of the globe.
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