If you’ve ever been curious about which song was for sure playing on the radio the day you entered this world, you’re in luck. We’ve listed the most popular songs of each year between 1950 and 2005. Does your birth year’s song align with how funky/groovy/alternative/punk you are? It’s time to find out.


Billboard magazine launched its Hot 100 chart in 1958. Prior to the Hot 100’s creation, the magazine measured song popularity by three separate charts: Best Sellers in Stores, Most Played by Jockeys, and Most Played in Jukeboxes. In 1955, Billboard decided to combine some aspects of all three charts into one, thus beginning the Top 100. The Top 100 used a point system to measure popularity of music where purchases had more weight than radio airplay, and ranked music alongside the original three charts.

However, Billboard eventually decided to consolidate all the charts into one, and called it the Hot 100.

The Billboard Hot 100 is still the music industry standard chart used to rank popular songs today.

So, which song was hot the year you were born?

Check out the timeline below and take a stroll through popular music history. The nostalgia is about to hit hard.

1950 — “Goodnight Irene”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSDyiUBrUSk”]

“Goodnight Irene,” sang by Gorden Jenkins and The Weavers, reached number one in the country according to Billboard magazine, and stayed in the number one slot for 13 weeks. Jenkins and The Weavers covered the song, which was originally sang by Leadbelly, a folk singer who passed before “Goodnight Irene” reached such success.

1951 — “Too Young”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaFtsqU2V6U”]

Nat King Cole’s “Too Young” stayed in the number one slot for five weeks in 1951. It was written that same year by Sidney Lippman and Sylvia Dee.

1952 — “Blue Tango”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJo_kbS0Y2E”]

“Blue Tango,” composed by Leroy Anderson, stayed in the number one position on the Billboard chart for five weeks. Lyricist Mitchell Parish assigned popular lyrics to the song years later.

1953 — “The Song From Moulin Rouge”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPDF2ORPOFQ”]

Percy Faith composed the theme to the 1952 film Moulin Rouge, which became the number one song of 1953. Felicia Sanders provided the vocals for the song, which is alternatively titled “Where Is Your Heart.”

1954 — “Little Things Mean A Lot”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C7SzKv2uLU”]

Kitty Kallen’s “Little Things Mean A Lot” stayed in the number one slot for nine weeks and became the most popular song of 1954. Sadly, after being voted “most popular female singer” in 1945 by both Billboard and Variety, Kallen lost her voice in 1955 and stopped performing for four years. She later returned and recorded over a dozen top-ten hits.

1955 — “Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj64NlRnpDY”]

Perez Prado, aka “The King of Mambo,” recorded the most famous version of this song, originally written in by the Spanish-French composer Louiguy in 1950. Prado’s version stayed at number one in 1955 for 10 weeks.

1956 — “Heartbreak Hotel”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9BLw4W5KU8″]

Performed by Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel” writers Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton were supposedly inspired to write the song after reading about a man who committed suicide by jumping from a hotel window. It stayed at the top of Billboard’s chart for seven weeks.

1957 — “All Shook Up”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rQEbQJx5Bo”]

Presley remained on top come 1957 with his hit “All Shook Up.” This single stayed at number one for eight weeks.

1958 — “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4IjJav7xbg”]

After the Billboard Hot 100 was officially established in 1958, Domenico Modugno was the first to top the official chart with his Italian ballad. It stayed there for five weeks and won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1959.

1959 — “The Battle Of New Orleans”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjXM6x_0KZk”]

Johnny Horton’s “The Battle Of New Orleans” is an instantly recognizable chart-topper from 1959 that stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks and took home the 1960 Grammy for Song of the Year. After gaining international recognition in the late ’50s, Horton sadly passed away in 1960 in a fatal car accident.

1960 — “Theme From A Summer Place

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFi_CKNJjwE”]

Percy Faith topped the chart again for his orchestration of the lover’s theme to A Summer Place, the 1959 film starring Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. It’s not the main theme song, but is arguably the most recognizable.

1961 — “Tossin’ And Turnin'”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRe9WS2Ag_c”]

Bobby Lewis recorded “Tossin’ And Turnin'” in 1960, and in just a year it was at the top of the chart for seven weeks. It was later featured in the 1978 film Animal House, and has been dubbed the 27th biggest song of all time by Billboard magazine.

1962 — “Stranger on the Shore”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jzx664u5DA”]

“Stranger on the Shore” by Mr. Acker Bilk only stayed in the top spot for a week, but the clarinet piece has remained in pop culture since its debut in 1962. In fact, the Apollo 10 crew took “Stranger on the Shore” to the moon with them.

1963 — “Sugar Shack”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHzjfGF6MiU”]

Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs’s “Sugar Shack” is basically the theme song to every ’60s beach movie there is. The boppy tune stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks.

1964 — “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jenWdylTtzs”]

Beatles mania had officially hit the U.S. and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was the first Beatles hit to top charts in the States. It was actually one of nine Beatles songs that hit the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964.

1965 — “Wooly Bully”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE_MpQhgtQ8″]

This video and this song mashed together is a trip and a half. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs soared to the top with their song “Wooly Bully” in 1965. Their song never actually reached number one in any week of 1965. However Billboard deemed its success enough to award it the title of “Number One Record of the Year.”

1966 — “The Ballad Of The Green Berets”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5WJJVSE_BE”]

Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler’s patriotic “The Ballad Of The Green Berets” reached number one for five weeks. This song is one of a rare few that painted the military in a positive light during the heavily protested Vietnam War.

1967 — “To Sir with Love”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8-M_wg8AI4″]

Lulu recorded the theme song “To Sir with Love” for the 1967 James Clavell film To Sir, with Love. It stayed in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks.

1968 — “Hey Jude”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_MjCqQoLLA”]

The Beatles were back on American charts with “Hey Jude,” which lingered at number one for nine weeks. It was their first single with Apple Records.

1969 — “Sugar, Sugar”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9nE2spOw_o”]

Anyone remember when the Riverdale cast did their rendition of “Sugar, Sugar” with Josie and the Pussycats? Ahem — but where was Sabrina? Credited to The Archies, “Sugar, Sugar” is one of 16 songs and animated music videos that were shown on The Archie Comedy Hour on CBS.

1970 — “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_a46WJ1viA”]

Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is considered the pair’s biggest hit single. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks, topped charts in the U.K., Canada, France, and New Zealand, and hovered in the top five in eight other countries. It also took home the 1971 Grammy for Song of the Year.

1971 — “Joy To The World”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp7KfG9AjaY”]

Three Dog Night jumped into the top spot with “Joy To The World” in 1971. Featured in the 1983 movie The Big Chill, the song is also often called “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog,” which is its opening lyric.

1972 — “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9jmusgMgro”]

Roberta Flack’s rendition of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” stayed in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. The song was originally written by Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger in 1957 and won the 1973 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

1973 — “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjqBhZj_37U”]

Tony Orlando and Dawn held the number one spot on the chart for four weeks with their “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.” And no, we’re not sure what’s going on in this video either.

1974 — “The Way We Were”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUBh0CRfj9E”]

Babs recorded “The Way We Were” for the 1973 Sydney Pollack-directed film of the same name, in which she starred in alongside Robert Redford. “The Way We Were” was also the title tack of her fifteenth studio album. It stayed at number one for three weeks and took home the 1975 Song of the Year Grammy Award.

1975 — “Love Will Keep Us Together”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QNEf9oGw8o”]

First recorded by Neil Sedaka in 1973 and released as a single in France, Captain and Tennille’s 1975 cover skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed there for four weeks.

1976 — “Silly Love Songs”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh15LOppcWQ”]

After The Beatles split, Paul McCartney and his new band Wings stole the show with “Silly Love Songs” in 1976. McCartney reportedly wrote the song with his wife Linda after the media accused him of writing nothing but “silly love songs.” Boom.

1977 — “Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZr6AE-u2UM”]

Watch out — this video is almost NSFW and will absolutely make you crawl out of your skin. Rod Stewart got steamy with “Tonight’s The Night,” and hovered at the top of the chart for eight weeks.

1978 — “Shadow Dancing”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZxA3FVUwvk”]

The youngest Bee Gee, Andy Gibb, went solo in 1978 and recorded “Shadow Dancing.” It remained number one for seven weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees was at number two, so ’78 was definitely a Bee Gees year.

1979 — “My Sharona”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1T71PGd-J0″]

The Knack’s debut single “My Sharona” flew to number one in 1979, where it stayed for six weeks. It turned out to be Capitol Records’s fastest gold status debut single since The Beatles’s “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

1980 — “Call Me”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StKVS0eI85I”]

Blondie made waves with her new wave song “Call Me” in 1980. The song, which was the theme to the 1980 movie American Gigolo, hung out in the top slot for six weeks.

1981 — “Bette Davis Eyes”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPOIS5taqA8″]

Originally written and recorded by Jackie DeShannon in 1974, Kim Carnes covered “Bette Davis Eyes” and took it to the top. It spent nine weeks in the number one spot and won the 1981 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

1982 — “Physical”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWz9VN40nCA”]

If you haven’t seen Olivia Newton-John in her “Physical” music video for Halloween at least once, congrats — you’re one of the rare few. This track went Platinum and spent 10 weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

1983 — “Every Breath You Take”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOGaugKpzs”]

Written by Sting and performed by his band The Police, “Every Breath You Take” spent eight weeks in the top spot. It also took home the 1984 Grammy for Song of the Year.

1984 — “When Doves Cry”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG3VcCAlUgE”]

Prince’s “When Doves Cry” hung out at number one for five weeks in 1984 — the same year his movie Purple Rain was released. If you have yet to see the über-dramatic Prince masterpiece, what are you doing? Get on that!

1985 — “Careless Whisper”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izGwDsrQ1eQ”]

For three weeks, Wham! (George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley) topped the chart with their super sexy single “Careless Whisper.” That opening saxophone may just be one of the most iconic bits of music of all time.

1986 — “That’s What Friends Are For”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyTpu6BmE88″]

“That’s What Friends Are For” was originally recorded by Rod Stewart in 1982. But it didn’t climb the chart until Dionne Warwick covered it as a charity single for AIDS research and prevention in 1986 with help from Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. Warwick and friends took home the 1987 Grammy for Song of the Year for their version.

1987 — “Walk Like An Egyptian”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv6tuzHUuuk”]

We all know the dance. We all know the song. The Bangles’s “Walk Like An Egyptian” stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks and was probably the most requested dance song of 1987.

1988 — “Faith”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cs3Pvmmv0E”]

“Faith” came off of George Michael’s 1987 debut solo album of the same name. It hovered in the top spot for four weeks.

1989 — “Look Away”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uKLTtVqQpE”]

“Look Away” is Chicago’s biggest-selling single of all time, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks. It is the epitome of a power ballad and will definitely make you feel.

1990 — “Hold On”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIbXvaE39wM”]

Cue the Bridesmaids final scene. “Hold On” was the lead single from Wilson Phillips’s debut album and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 1991 Grammy Awards.

1991 — “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0pdQU87dc8″]

Bryan Adams’s “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” spent seven weeks at the top of the chart in the U.S. and 16 weeks at number one in the U.K. It was also featured on the soundtrack for the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. 

1992 — “End Of The Road”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDKO6XYXioc”]

“End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men stuck it out in the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 13 weeks. The drama, the windbreakers, and the flannel in their music video oozes early ’90s in the absolute best way.

1993 — “I Will Always Love You”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JWTaaS7LdU”]

“I Will Always Love You” was originally recorded in 1973 by Dolly Parton and reached chart-topping success twice. It was then rerecorded by Whitney Houston in 1992 for her film The Bodyguard, and her version of the song spent a whopping 14 weeks in the number one spot of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It’s one of the best-selling singles of all time, and is *the* best-selling single by a woman in music history.

1994 — “The Sign”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqu132vTl5Y”]

With their hit singles “The Sign” and “All That She Wants,” Swedish band Ace of Base briefly became the ABBA of the 1990s. Their sound was defined as “Swedish pop reggae,” and “the sign” they sing about is depicted as an Egyptian ankh in their music video. The whole thing is a weird mashup that could only happen in the ’90s.

1995 — “Gangsta’s Paradise”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPO76Jlnz6c”]

Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” earned him a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Rap Video and for Best Video from a Film, and a Billboard Music Award. It was featured on the soundtrack for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, and the song is one of the best-selling singles of all time. And yes, that is Michelle Pfeiffer, who reprised her role from Dangerous Minds in the music video.

1996 — “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-2R6B3oFE4″]

Ah, the dance that defined a generation. In 1996, the 1993 Spanish dance song “Macarena” by Los del Río got a fresh remix by the Bayside Boys, who added English lyrics and a spunky techno-esque beat. Their remix spend 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard chart and was ranked the “#1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time” by VH1 in 2002.

1997 — “Candle In The Wind”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o9rLDCfO6o”]

After the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997, Elton John reworked his famous 1974 song “Candle In The Wind” to sing at her funeral. The reworked tribute was released as a single (pressed as a double A-side with “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”) and became the second highest-selling single of all time behind Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” All proceeds collected from the 1997 “Candle In The Wind” were donated to Diana’s charities.

1998 — “Too Close”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwEZRPkAAu8″]

“Too Close” from the group Next became the biggest hit single for the group and has remained their top-selling song. It went Platinum in 1998 and stayed in the number one spot for five weeks.

1999 — “Believe”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZXRV4MezEw”]

Cher got on the dance-pop train of the late ’90s and made waves with her single “Believe,” specifically for her use of Auto-Tune, which was a brand new audio feature used to distort vocals. In fact, the sound was so new and original, Auto-Tune was called the “Cher effect” during its first few years of existence. “Believe” topped the chart for four weeks in 1999.

2000 — “Breathe”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCmsZUN4r_s”]

Faith Hill’s “Breathe” spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in December 1999 and January 2000 before hitting the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It wasn’t ever number one, however, “Breathe” was the number one single of 2000, a phenomenon that hadn’t happened since “Wooly Bully” in 1965.

2001 — “Hanging By A Moment”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPnK39ax_AM”]

“Hanging By A Moment” was the first single off Lifehouse’s debut studio album. Like Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” “Hanging By A Moment” reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the number one single of 2001 despite never reaching the top of the Hot 100 chart.

2002 — “How You Remind Me”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aiay8I5IPB8″]

Nickelback was officially placed on the music map with their single “How You Remind Me,” which was officially the most-played song on U.S. radio during the entire 2000s decade. The song is also fourth on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade list and was named the number one rock song of the decade by Billboard.

2003 — “In Da Club”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qm8PH4xAss”]

“In Da Club” is the lead single off 50 Cent’s debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It hung out in the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks and was nominated for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song at the 2004 Grammy Awards.

2004 — “Yeah!”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxBSyx85Kp8″]

Usher’s “Yeah!” topped the chart for 12 weeks, only to be dethroned by Usher’s second best-selling 2004 track, “Burn.” “Yeah!”, which features Lil John and Ludacris, went Platinum in 2004 and won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 47th Grammy Awards in 2005. It also sits in the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100 2000–2009 Decade-end chart.

2005 — “We Belong Together”

[fm_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0habxsuXW4g”]

“We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey became her comeback track of the 2000s. It stayed at number one for 14 weeks, which meant it tied with four other tracks as the longest-running number one song on the Billboard Hot 100. Billboard also named it the eleventh most popular song of all time, and Carey reportedly has been playing it on every tour she’s gone on since its debut.

This is one whacky playlist.

Are you a fan of the most popular song that was probably playing ~somewhere~ in the hospital the day you were born?