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The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (90-81)

The definitive list of the Hot 100's top 100 songs from the chart's first 50 years, August 1958 through July 2008.

How were Billboard's 50th Anniversary Hot 100 song and artist charts determined? Read the FAQ.

Barbra Streisand

Though Barbra Streisand scored her first Billboard chart single with 1964's "People" (from the musical "Funny Girl"), it wasn't until 10 years later that she had her first No. 1, "The Way We Were." The song, taken from the 1973 movie that starred Streisand and Robert Redford, was originally arranged in a sweeping orchestral style replete with harp accents. "The Way We Were" earned writers Marvin Hamlisch and Alan & Marilyn Bergman best song Academy Awards and song of the year Grammys, but it went to No. 1 only after it received a wah-wah-laden pop makeover on Streisand's studio album following the film.

The last of three singles from Fergie's 2006 solo debut, "The Dutchess," to claim the top spot on the Hot 100 made her the first female artist to earn three No. 1s from one album since Christina Aguilera did so in 2000. "Big Girls Don't Cry" was also Fergie's first No. 1 on the Mainstream Top 40, Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts.

Hoping to mimic the success of TLC and Kris Kross, LaFace head Antonio "L.A." Reid paired a teenage Usher with Jermaine Dupri for this track, which produced Usher's first of 14 top 10s on the Hot 100. The 1997 hit was also Usher's first million-selling single.
The Emotions

The Emotions realized their biggest success after collaborating with Earth, Wind & Fire frontman Maurice White. The pairing resulted in this, the trio's first and only No. 1 single. Powered by the ladies' rich harmonies and White's sparkling production, the song ruled the Hot 100 for five weeks in 1977.
Phil Collins

Phil Collins made it three chart leaders in a row with this weighty 1989 ballad, following "Groovy Kind of Love" and "Two Hearts." "Paradise," Collins' last No. 1 to date and the last song to ascend to the summit in the '80s, was one of 13 consecutive songs that he took into the top 10 between 1984 and 1990.
B.J. Thomas

Recommended by labelmate Dionne Warwick to sing this Burt Bacharach-penned tune, B.J. Thomas took the de facto theme to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" to No. 1 for four weeks in early 1970. "Raindrops" also reached No. 1 at adult contemporary radio and earned the Academy Award for best song.
Puff Daddy & Faith Evans Featuring 112

Recorded in memory of the Notorious B.I.G., this "Every Breath You Take"-sampling track held the top position for 11 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100. Sting, Puff Daddy, B.I.G's widow Faith Evans and 112 performed it together during the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.
John Cougar

Although "Jack and Diane" was the one that topped the Hot 100, the No. 2-peaking "Hurts So Good" was just as enduring of a hit for this Indiana rocker, spending 16 weeks in the top 10 in 1982, the longest stretch for any song in the 1980s. "Hurts" also won a Grammy for best male rock vocal performance in 1983.
Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack's heart-wrenching version of the Lori Lieberman-Charles Fox-Norman Gimbel collaboration spent five weeks atop the Hot 100 in 1973 as her second No. 1 single and won three Grammys. After the Fugees' cover of it became a massive hit in 1996, Flack's version returned to the charts in the form of a Hot Dance Club Play-topping remix.
Elvis Presley

The last of three Elvis Presley Hot 100 chart-toppers in 1960, "Are You Lonesome To-Night?" was penned in 1926 by vaudeville performer-turned-composer Lou Handman with Songwriters Hall of Fame lyricist Roy Turk. Presley apparently first heard it while serving overseas in the Army and was urged to record it upon his Stateside return by manager Col. Tom Parker.

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