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Music On Monday #11… 30 years of No.1 Summer Hits

Every summer season has at least one song that seems to be the soundtrack for every barbecue, beach party or road trip.. It’s actually often more than one, but this list is about the tracks that dominated both culturally and on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart during the summer months over the last 30 years in the U.S.

Okay, so whether you agree with this list or not, chances are you’ll hear many of these songs in your head as you scroll down. Somehow the radio play catches up to you and sinks in whether you like it or not. I may compile my own list next time.
Meanwhile, here you go… some great songs and videos to inspire your summer memories throughout the years…

#1 Hits IN THE u.s.
on Billboard’s Hot 100
during the past 30 summers:


1984:  ‘When Doves Cry’ (Prince)
Prince released “When Doves Cry” as the first single from the soundtrack to his movie “Purple Rain” in 1984. The now-iconic song became his first American No. 1. Here’s a decent video and sound, as well as lyrics on the same site:,p40144

1985: Shout’ (Tears for Fears)
Tears for Fears actually had two songs on the Hot 100 that were popular in the summer of ’85: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and their latter single, “Shout.” That song stayed at No. 1 for just a few weeks before being replaced by Huey Lewis and the News’ song from the “Back to the Future” soundtrack, “The Power of Love.”

1986:Papa Don’t Preach’ (Madonna)
Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” arrived in June 1986, and climbed to No. 1 on the Hot 100 that August. The single went on to earn Madonna her second Grammy nod. (I’ve always loved Madonna’s look in this video!)

‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ (Whitney Houston)
The best summer songs are bright, catchy and uncomplicated — all of which describes Whitney Houston‘s irrepressible pop song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).” The lead single from her 1987 album “Whitney,” “I Wanna Dance” arrived that May and soon climbed to No. 1 by mid-summer.

Alone’ (Heart)
While Houston’s “I Wanna Dance” was probably the preferred pick for partiers, Heart‘s “Alone” was still a major hit that summer as it knocked Houston’s single out of No. 1 in mid-July.

1988: Roll With It’ (Steve Winwood)
Steve Winwood‘s “Roll With It” rolled on the charts for weeks after it bowed in June ’88, hitting No. 1 by the end of July.

1988: ‘Dirty Diana’ (Michael Jackson)
On the heels of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” came “Dirty Diana,” a hard-edged rock hit written by Michael Jackson about groupies. It didn’t dominate the Hot 100 in the summer of ’88, but did add another No. 1 to Jackson’s repertoire. From the album Bad… Michael Jackson delivers a fantastic performance in this video:

1989: Right Here Waiting’ (Richard Marx)
Richard Marx‘s “Right Here Waiting” doesn’t have any of the trademarks of a summer song — it’s a ballad about a guy who’s going “insane” from being apart from his love — but it did have notable success in 1989’s busy summer. Following Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” and Martika’s “Toy Soldiers,” Marx had the top spot for three weeks.

1990: ‘Vision of Love’ (Mariah Carey)
In 1990, Mariah Carey stunned listeners with her debut single “Vision of Love.” Although it, like Marx’s hit the year before, had a slow tempo and lacked sunny turns of phrase, “Vision of Love” nonetheless climbed to No. 1 and then stayed there for the month of August.

1991: ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ (Bryan Adams)
Keeping with the trend of slow summer jams, Bryan Adams‘ contribution to the “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” soundtrack became the crown prince of the Hot 100. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” was No. 1 for six weeks in 1991 following Paula Abdul’s chart-topper “Rush Rush.”

1992: ‘Baby Got Back’ (Sir MixaLot)
Sir Mix-a-Lot‘s immortal proclamation that he likes big butts and cannot lie was the hottest song out around the July 4 holiday of 1992. The single, “Baby Got Back,” was No. 1 for five weeks.

1993: ‘That’s the Way Love Goes’ (Janet Jackson)
Janet Jackson‘s single “That’s the Way Love Goes” set the mood for a sultry summer in ’93. Ms. Jackson’s reign at No. 1 came to an end in mid-July, and was quickly followed by UB40‘s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” through Labor Day.

1994: ‘I Swear’ (All-4-One)
All-4-One‘s sincere love ballad “I Swear” was nearly the only No. 1 on the Hot 100 during the summer of ’94. After staying at the top throughout June and July, it’s chokehold was loosened in August thanks to Lisa Loeb‘s “Stay (I Missed You)” from “Reality Bites.”

1995: ‘Waterfalls’ (TLC)
TLC’s “CrazySexyCool” had already spawned a Hot 100 No. 1 with “Creep” in early 1995, and the popular girl group returned to the top that summer with the cautionary tale of “Waterfalls.” It didn’t hurt that they had a fan-favorite music video to go with it. The song famously tackled issues of illegal drug trade, promiscuity and HIV/AIDS. The accompanying music video for the song reflected its socially-conscious lyrics. With a million-dollar budget, the video was an MTV staple credited for giving the single much of its success. The video won four MTV Video Music Awards in 1995.

1996: ‘Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)’ (Bayside Boys)
Not even the passage of 17 years can erase the pulsating beat of this one-hit-wonder from our minds. The Bayside Boys’ remix of Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” — which launched a dance craze — blew up the Hot 100 in August of ’96 when it reached No. 1. “Macarena” was a lighthearted counterpart to ’96’s other huge hit, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s “Tha Crossroads.” Here’s the Los Del Rio video for your sing-along and dance-along pleasure… you know you wanna.

1997: ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ (Puff Daddy)
The Police‘s “Every Breath You Take” shows up on the summer hot list twice thanks to Puff Daddy‘s sampling of it in his track with Faith Evans and 112, “I’ll Be Missing You.” The song, which was in remembrance of the late Notorious B.I.G. and was included in the artist/producer’s collaborative album “No Way Out” in 1997, debuted at No. 1 in mid-June and stayed in that spot through August.

1998: ‘The Boy Is Mine’ (Brandy & Monica)
This epic R&B face-off between Brandy and Monica was one of the biggest hits of the ’90s, let alone the standout single for the summer months of 1998. “The Boy Is Mine” arrived at No. 1 on the June 6 chart that year and didn’t budge until Aerosmith‘s “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” came around in September.

1999: ‘If You Had My Love’ (Jennifer Lopez)
Jennifer Lopez moved from Fly Girl to fly actress to singer with her 1999 album, “On the 6.” The star’s first single, “If You Had My Love,” was No. 1 for five weeks that summer.

1999: ‘Genie In A Bottle’ (Christina Aguilera)
Picking up where Lopez left off, Christina Aguilera made her own vocal debut with “Genie In A Bottle,” which was released in June 1999 and ascended to No. 1 in early August.

2000: ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ (‘N Sync)
Granted, ‘N Sync’s “It’s Gonna Be Me” had but a brief run at the top of the Hot 100 in 2000, as Aaliyah’s “Try Again,” Matchbox Twenty’s “Bent,” Santana’s “Maria, Maria” and Sisqo’s “Incomplete” also landed there during the busy music season. But “It’s Gonna Be Me” was also the boy band’s first Hot 100 No. 1, and its two-week cruise as the top single proved the power of the ‘N Sync craze.

2001: ‘Lady Marmalade’ (Moulin Rouge)
Lady Marmalade” from the 2001 “Moulin Rouge!” movie soundtrack took on a life of its own when it hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 in early June. The medley, which featured Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim and Mya reinventing the original hit, was easily the most recognizable song associated with Baz Luhrmann’s film.
I remember the FIRST summer of “Lady Marmalade” back in 1974. Labelle ROCKED the airways, and when I hear this song, or even think of it, I’m transported back to college. The song held the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week, and topped the Canadian RPM national singles chart on the same date. Labelle’s version of “Lady Marmalade” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.
But this is about the year 2001, so here is the video from the movie Moulin Rouge, featuring the amazing Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim & Mya…

2002: ‘Hot In Herre’ (Nelly)
In the summer of 2002, mainstream music listeners had taken up residence in “Nellyville.” Rapper Nelly had not one, but two singles hit No. 1 back-to-back between Memorial Day and Labor Day: the aptly titled party anthem “Hot In Herre,” and the mid-tempo love saga “Dilemma,” which featured Kelly Rowland.

2003: ‘Crazy In Love’ (Beyonce)
When Beyoncé stepped out on her own apart from Destiny’s Child, she did it with her future husband and a colorful single at the ready. In 2003, “Crazy In Love” had all of the elements of a summer hit: catchy lyrics, an irresistible beat, built-in dance moves and a hot music video to match.

2004: Anything from Usher’s ‘Confessions’ (Usher)
Usher‘s “Confessions” album gave a steady supply of hits throughout 2004, starting with the ubiquitous “Yeah!” with Lil Jon. That single was still playing well into the summer, but one of Usher’s more intimate songs, “Burn,” had replaced “Yeah!” at the top of the Hot 100 by that point. The R&B singer ended up competing with himself once again when his song “Confessions Part II” snuck up on “Burn” in late July to interrupt its chart domination.

2005: ‘We Belong Together’ (Mariah Carey)
Mariah Carey was the comeback star of the year with 2005’s “We Belong Together” from the fan-and-critic adored “The Emancipation of Mimi.” Made for summer’s slower moments, “We Belong Together” was No. 1 for 14 nonconsecutive weeks.

2006: ‘Promiscuous’ (Nelly Furtado)
With an assist from Timbaland, Nelly Furtado put out the 2006 season’s favored pop sound with “Promiscuous.” She held on to her position for six weeks before succumbing to a takeover from Fergie‘s “London Bridge.”

2007: ‘Umbrella’ (Rihanna)
Whether you love the hook on “Umbrella” or hate it, Rihanna‘s single from her “Good Girl Gone Bad” album was the summer of 2007’s banner song. The singer had issued beach-friendly hits in the past, such as 2005’s burner “Pon De Replay,” but the slightly darker “Umbrella” reached farther by going all the way to No. 1 — and staying there for seven weeks.

2008: ‘I Kissed A Girl’ (Katy Perry)
Katy Perry‘s controversial “I Kissed A Girl” was as beloved as it was ballyhooed, but one place it didn’t ride the fence in 2008 was on the Hot 100. Staying at No. 1 for seven weeks, the summer single helped turned Perry into a global pop star.

2009: ‘I Gotta Feeling’ (The Black Eyed Peas)
In 2009, The Black Eyed Peas were poised to provide a single for all seasons. Their album “The E.N.D.” had two perfect tracks for long summer nights: “Boom Boom Pow” and its lighter, more sentimental companion, “I Gotta Feeling.”

2010: ‘California Gurls’ (Katy Perry)
Katy Perry‘s 2010 album “Teenage Dream” might as well have been titled “Summertime.” Between the title track, the effervescent “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and the salacious, candy-coated No. 1 hit “California Gurls,” Perry was everyone’s go-to for the season. Here’s the video, featuring Snoop Dogg…

2011: ‘Party Rock Anthem’ (LMFAO)
LMFAO didn’t need to do more than name their January 2011 release “Party Rock Anthem” to ensure it was still relevant when summer rolled around, but we’re happy they did. With its mix of pop, EDM and hip-hop plus optimistic, devil-may-care lyrics, summer listeners were more than willing to “just have a good time” with the No. 1 single. Here’s the video for Party Rock Anthem featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock

2012: ‘Call Me Maybe’ (Carly Rae Jepsen)
Gotye and Kimbra were set to continue their unbeatable success with “Somebody That I Used To Know” last summer … but then Carly Rae Jepsen showed up with “Call Me Maybe.” With a song so catchy that you knew the lyrics even if you didn’t want to, the star-in-the-making took her Justin Bieber-endorsed track all the way to No. 1.

2013: ‘Blurred Lines’ (Robin Thicke)
Despite many having issues with its lyrics, Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” grooved its way to No. 1 and went on to rule the summer, along with Daft Punk‘s “Get Lucky” and Miley Cyrus‘ “We Can’t Stop.”

2014: ‘Fancy’ (Iggy Azalea)
So far for 2014, Iggy Azalea‘s “Fancy” from her album “The New Classic” is the winner. (Plenty of opinion out there, but from what I’ve checked – “Fancy” is in the lead). The fourth single, “Fancy” featuring British singer Charli XCX, reached top-five in the United Kingdom, becoming her highest charting single to date. It also reached number one on Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Hot 100, making Azalea only the fourth solo female rapper ever to top the Hot 100. On the same day, Ariana Grande‘s single “Problem“, featuring Azalea, rose to number two on the Hot 100, with Azalea becoming the only artist since the The Beatles, to rank at numbers one and two simultaneously, with their first two respective Hot 100 hits. “Fancy” also topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.

All images and information are from sources on the internet.
This article is just for fun! The writer assumes no liability and is not responsible for errors or omissions.
No copyright infringement is intended.

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