Yearly #1 Hit Songs in the U.S.

These songs were Billboard's top-charting songs for an entire year. Name the musical acts who recorded them.
Quiz idea: Evan Slack
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: December 15, 2020
First submittedJanuary 2, 2013
Times taken47,633
Rating3.96
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Year
Song
Musical Act
2020
Blinding Lights
The Weeknd
2019
Old Town Road
Lil Nas X
2018
God's Plan
Drake
2017
Shape of You
Ed Sheeran
2016
Love Yourself
Justin Bieber
2015
Uptown Funk
Mark Ronson
2014
Happy
Pharrell Williams
2013
Thrift Shop
Macklemore and
Ryan Lewis
2012
Somebody That I Used
to Know
Gotye
2011
Rolling in the Deep
Adele
2010
Tik Tok
Ke$ha
2009
Boom Boom Pow
Black Eyed Peas
2008
Low
Flo Rida
2007
Irreplaceable
Beyoncé
2006
Bad Day
Daniel Powter
2005
We Belong Together
Mariah Carey
2004
Yeah!
Usher
2003
In da Club
50 Cent
2002
How You Remind Me
Nickelback
2001
Hanging by a Moment
Lifehouse
2000
Breathe
Faith Hill
1999
Believe
Cher
1998
Too Close
Next
1997
Candle in the Wind
Elton John
1996
Macarena
Los del Rio
1995
Gangsta's Paradise
Coolio
1994
The Sign
Ace of Base
1993
I Will Always Love You
Whitney Houston
1992
End of the Road
Boyz II Men
Year
Song
Musical Act
1991
(Everything I Do)
I Do It for You
Bryan Adams
1990
Hold On
Wilson Phillips
1989
Look Away
Chicago
1988
Faith
George Michael
1987
Walk Like an Egyptian
The Bangles
1986
That's What Friends Are For
Dionne Warwick
1985
Careless Whisper
George Michael
1984
When Doves Cry
Prince
1983
Every Breath You Take
The Police
1982
Physical
Olivia Newton-John
1981
Bette Davis Eyes
Kim Carnes
1980
Call Me
Blondie
1979
My Sharona
The Knack
1978
Shadow Dancing
Andy Gibb
1977
Tonight's the Night
(Gonna Be Alright)
Rod Stewart
1976
Silly Love Songs
Wings
1975
Love Will Keep Us Together
Captain & Tennille
1974
The Way We Were
Barbra Streisand
1973
Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round
the Ole Oak Tree
Tony Orlando and
Dawn
1972
The First Time Ever I
Saw Your Face
Roberta Flack
1971
Joy to the World
Three Dog Night
1970
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel
1969
Aquarius
Fifth Dimension
1968
Hey Jude
The Beatles
1967
To Sir With Love
Lulu
1966
The Ballad of the Green Berets
Sgt. Barry Sadler
1965
Wooly Bully
Sam the Sham and
the Pharaoh
1964
I Want To Hold Your Hand
The Beatles
1963
Surfin' U.S.A.
Beach Boys
+2
Level 21
Jan 7, 2013
surely 2012 should be psy?!?!
+1
Level 65
Dec 22, 2020
Popular for a few months but then died out on Spotify and sales. Youtube views don't count.
+1
Level 60
Dec 25, 2020
The Billboard chart is totally arbitrary. For awhile artists in the 90s manipulated the chart by holding off on an official release of a single so it could debut at #1. They didn't count YouTube hits for awhile, and when they finally did, a random French song had a video with girls kissing that went top 10 even though no one ever listened to it. Now Spotify plays give the chart a little more legitimacy, but the whole system is totally arbitrary. Rival chart Cashbox had different songs as the biggest hit of the year throughout the 60s and 70s because they measured different things (and were considerably more corrupt, selling chart positions for cash until that went public in the 90s and they collapsed as a result). Long story short, Billboard is not the greatest measure of popularity. More evidence... BTS's chart success in 2020 is very suspect to me.
+2
Level 79
Apr 10, 2014
More people got Adele than the Beatles? That's heavy... I mean... I feel like I'm drowning over here... ~\o/~
+9
Level 58
May 16, 2019
because the beatles are old and adele is now
+1
Level 74
Feb 18, 2015
Please also accept Kimbra for the Gotye song.
+2
Level 73
Apr 6, 2015
You don't include featured artists. You wouldn't include Little John with Yeah!
+1
Level 74
Feb 15, 2017
Ha! Here in New Zealand, Kimbra (from Hamilton, just down the road) got equal billing with Gotye from Belgium.
+1
Level 55
Dec 22, 2020
Of course you wouldn't. He was too busy hanging out with Robin Hood.
+2
Level 69
Dec 10, 2018
You have a similar problem with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. I typed Mars immediately, then pulled a D'oh! Strictly speaking Ronson and Gotye should be the correct answers.
+2
Level 60
Feb 18, 2015
careless whisper was not wham, it was michael solo....in the uk anyway , see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Michael_discography
+1
Level 30
Feb 18, 2015
thought the same thing... always known it as a Georgey solo track. it should probably be accepted at least.
+2
Level 73
Apr 6, 2015
although Wham is still accepted. Probably should take that off.
+1
Level 71
May 17, 2018
I own the song on iTunes and it says that it was done by Wham! on their Make It Big album.
+2
Level 60
Dec 22, 2020
Say what you like, doesn't make it right!
+1
Level 60
Dec 25, 2020
It was released in at least a few countries as Wham! featuring George Michael. Wham! should be an acceptable answer.
+2
Level 30
Feb 18, 2015
I'm part of that very select group of 19 year olds that somehow knows who Sgt. Barry Sadler was... for shame.
+2
Level 78
Feb 18, 2015
I'm impressed with you. I listened to it on the radio when it came out so I would have been shamed not to have gotten it. Am mad at self for not remembering Lulu. I knew she had only one name but just couldn't remember it.
+4
Level 66
Feb 18, 2015
Man. A lot of these songs really do not hold up. A few classics, but most of these are real clunkers.
+3
Level 67
Jun 9, 2016
just goes to show, the best sellers are not the best songs.
+10
Level 83
Dec 8, 2018
The Grammy's will never, never learn that.
+1
Level 73
Jan 8, 2021
Amazing how many of the artists are one-hit wonders (and the absence of many huge artists with long careers, like Michael Jackson, Madonna, U2, Rolling Stones, etc.).
+2
Level 41
Feb 19, 2015
kept trying 'julio' for coolio - I think it was because it was opposite Simon and Garfunkel and my subconscious was thinking 'me and Julio down by the school yard'
+1
Level 78
Feb 21, 2015
Now I'll have that song in my head all day.
+1
Level 71
Feb 24, 2015
On behalf of Kalamazoo, you're welcome
+5
Level 73
Feb 9, 2016
So Michael Jackson never had a top charting hit? Wow
+3
Level ∞
Jan 2, 2017
That is surprising. Especially considering that Thriller was the top album of the year for 1982 and 1983.
+6
Level 50
Dec 15, 2020
The thing is, Thriller had so many hits on the albums with 8, that they kept knocking each other out during the reign of Thriller. That album had 8 top 10 hits, most by any album in history, which made it hard for each song to stay on the charts for a whole year.
+1
Level 85
Feb 15, 2017
Michael Jackson doesn't get one, but Justin Bieber does. Go figure.
+2
Level 85
Feb 15, 2017
Actually, even worse, the top two-charting singles of 2016 were both by Bieber.
+1
Level 30
Feb 17, 2017
Michael Jackson had a lot of chart topping hits. They just didn't turn out to be song of the year, for some reason.
+1
Level 80
Jan 3, 2017
Shouldn't it be "Chart-topping Songs by Year"?
+1
Level 81
Jan 29, 2017
If you liked this quiz, check out my similar one: http://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/154362/most-popular-song-by-year-1940-2016 It has slightly different answers though.
+1
Level 60
Feb 15, 2017
got 28. easier to remember the old ones
+1
Level 67
Feb 15, 2017
2002 was a dark year.
+2
Level 62
Feb 15, 2017
I got the entire left-hand column easy peasy, then I hit the 80s and it was like **record scratch**
+1
Level 53
Feb 16, 2017
Every time someone mentions Ace of Base, I think back to my child, back when I was still pretending I wasn't gay.
+2
Level 84
Feb 16, 2017
Crazy that Michael Jackson nor the Bee Gees never had one and even crazier that only one artist did it twice. All hail Paul who is three times greater than any not named John, George or Ringo. He's just 50% better than them :)
+1
Level 55
Dec 22, 2020
But George Michael did have two songs here.
+1
Level 84
Dec 22, 2020
I did have George on my list, although I was only thinking about Harrison when I posted it initially.
+1
Level 43
Mar 28, 2017
No Taylor Swift or Katy Perry? Also, I love Tik Tok.
+4
Level 56
May 2, 2017
i see the music snobs are in full force today
+1
Level 79
Jan 1, 2018
Huh, I tried "Isaac Watts" and "Handel" for Joy to the World.
+1
Level 66
Dec 24, 2020
Handel's version only went to Number Two.
+1
Level 79
Jan 6, 2018
please correct the 1965 entry to Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs as the #1 song of 1965. first time a number 2 song was song of the year. check this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_Hot_100_number-one_singles_of_1965

I actually own all of these songs since I love to collect music by lists.

+1
Level ∞
Jan 7, 2018
Weird. Wikipedia must have changed. The quiz has been fixed.
+3
Level 63
Aug 18, 2018
Can't take Bruno Mars for Uptown Funk?
+1
Level 50
Dec 8, 2018
i got 23, nearly 24 i put sam sham and the pharaohs, so i got that one nearly right
+1
Level 48
Feb 2, 2019
Even though I got 3 more than the average, after 1985 I know very little. That is when I stopped listening to current music. If you went back further than 1963, into the 50's, I would have had even a higher score. More questions concerning music should include the 50's. Our generation is still very much alive.
+1
Level 84
Feb 8, 2019
Wham should be the answer. It is a quiz based off an American list so it should be the way it appeared on the American Label, "Wham! featuring George Michael". If you want George Micheal to be an acceptable answer so be it. Go search for Careless Whisper record photos. The ones with Columbia on the label (North America was the only place that Columbia released it) it is Wham.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71eTw9bGA5L._SX522_.jpg

+3
Level 44
Mar 2, 2019
I kept putting “Paul McCartney. “Wings” never occurred to me until the very end.
+1
Level 49
Dec 22, 2020
Couldn't Careless Whisper also be credited to Wham?
+1
Level 84
Dec 22, 2020
Actually it should only be credited to Wham! according to the guidelines that the rest of the quiz uses.
+1
Level 84
Dec 22, 2020
I guess I am going to have to do this once a year until it finally gets updated...

"Careless Whisper" was the number one song in the US for 1985 not the UK where is was the number five song. In the US it was Wham! featuring Gorge Michael. From the Wikipedia article...

The song also topped the charts in 25 other countries, including the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in February 1985 under the credit "Wham! featuring George Michael". Spending three weeks at the top in America, the song was later named Billboard's number-one song of 1985.

Every other song on the quiz that has a featured artist only the credited artist is acceptable much less listed. Please correct.

+1
Level 56
Dec 22, 2020
Surprised Michael Jackson didn't get any. Accidentally got George Michaels and 50 cent by typing his name in though.
+2
Level 67
Dec 22, 2020
wow people have a bad taste in music. 80% crap. fun quiz
+1
Level 66
Dec 24, 2020
Most of these songs are pretty lame, but to get the kind of mass appeal that gets you to Song of the Year, you either need to be really, uncommonly great (see "Bridge Over Troubled Water" or "I Will Always Love You"), or shallow and catchy in a way that hits everyone. I was a teenager in 2001. I don't know anyone who was a devoted Lifehouse fan, or anyone who called Hanging By a Moment their favorite song, but everyone *liked* it. That chorus is impossibly catchy. And that's what does it. It's the kind of song you always hear in bars and restaurants and stores because they know it won't offend anyone and it's a toe-tapper. So this is less about what people love and more about the nature of mass appeal. (I know that distinction sounds minor, but I don't think it is.)
+1
Level 84
Dec 29, 2020
Also remember that from sometime in the mid 60s until the mid 2000s, the single was not how most people purchased music especially by better bands. Lots of good songs were never purchased as singles. The album was how the song was purchased. I think that is a major reason that there are a lot of one hit wonders types from the 70s 80s and 90s.Album sales are somewhat accounted for in the Billboard numbers but not enough to make up for the lost single purchase.