Billboard's 50-year chart overview

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Billboard magazine, long the music industry bible, celebrated the 50-year anniversary of its Hot 100 singles chart not too long ago, and issued a compilation of the top songs and artists of the last half-century. I'm not even that much of a chart hound and I got lost in the lists for quite awhile. Billboard's Hot 100 is based on actual sales and airplay, and therefore has been an accurate historical gauge for what's really been popular in music over the years. Peruse the 50-year charts here.

Here's a quick quiz before you go browsing:

1. One man (who was a member of two bands) is in the Top 11 artists. Who is it?

2. Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson both made the Top 10 artists. Which one placed higher?

3. What contemporary hard-rock band placed highest on the Hot 100 list?

4. Who placed more solo songs on the Hot 100, Paul McCartney or John Lennon?


About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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