FAQs About The Billboard Year End Top 100 Songs Chart
How are the Billboard year end top 100 song charts calculated?
The way that Billboard determined the year end chart rankings can be divided into two eras: before 1992 and 1992 to present.
Before 1992, the year end charts were calculated by an inverse-point system based on a title's performance (for example a single appearing on the Billboard Hot 100 would be given one point for a week spent at position 100, two points for a week spent at position ninety-nine, and so forth, up to 100 points for each week spent at number one). Other factors including the total weeks a song spent on the chart and at its peak position were calculated into its year end total.
As of the week ending November 30, 1991, the method Billboard used to compile the weekly the Hot 100 chart changed dramatically. Sales data that had previously been collected by calling retail stores and asking employees how records were selling, was now collected by Nielsen SoundScan by bar code scanning at the point of purchase. Airplay data, previously collected by calling radio stations and asking how often they played a song, was now collected by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems that electronically monitored selected radio stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Hot 100 that is currently published every week by Billboard is a blended airplay-plus-sales-plus-music streams system. According to Billboard, the formula continues to weigh sales and airplay more heavily than streaming. But in a week where streaming activity is very high (like during a "Harlem Shake"–like phenomenon, or the release of a video on YouTube that gets a lot of buzz and massive views like Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball"), the streaming component can make up as much as 30% of the Hot 100's data.
Since 1984 the Billboard chart year runs from the first Billboard "week" of December to the final week in November, but because the Billboard week is dated in advance of publication, the last calendar week for which sales are counted is usually the third week in November. Prior to then the dates included in the chart year could vary. For example, in some years the Billboard chart year ran from November through October.
The year end charts are now calculated by a very straightforward cumulative total of yearlong US sales, US airplay, and US streaming points. This gives a more accurate picture of any given year's most popular titles, as an entry that hypothetically spent nine weeks at number one in the summer could possibly have earned fewer cumulative points than one spending six weeks at number three in the spring.
How can a song that hit number one not appear on the year end chart?
The simple answer is the song didn't receive enough points to be on the year end chart. Songs that had short chart runs and were popular during the year end cutoff were at a disadvantage because their points were split among two chart years. Short chart runs were most prevalent during the 1960s and 1970s.
As an example, in 1963 the average number one song spent 14 weeks in the top 100, 12 in the top 40, eight in the top 10, and six in the top 5. Compare that to 2013, when the average number one song spent 36 weeks in the top 100, 32 in the top 40, 17 in the top 10, and 13 in the top 5. The result is that songs with short chart runs were more negatively impacted if only even a few weeks of their time on the chart didn't count towards the year end total.
Below is a list of all the number one songs from 1956 on that did not appear on the year end charts. 1956 was selected as the start year because it is the first year end chart that listed 100 songs.
|1958 – 1959||Chipmunks||The Chipmunk Song|
|1961||Marvelettes||Please Mr. Postman|
|1961 – 1962||Tokens||The Lion Sleeps Tonight|
|1962||Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers||Monster Mash|
|1962||Crystals||He's A Rebel|
|1962||Four Seasons||Big Girls Don't Cry|
|1962 – 1963||Tornados||Telstar|
|1964||Bobby Vinton||Mr. Lonely|
|1964 – 1965||Supremes||Come See About Me|
|1964 – 1965||Beatles||I Feel Fine|
|1965||Rolling Stones||Get Off Of My Cloud|
|1965||Supremes||I Hear a Symphony|
|1965||Byrds||Turn! Turn! Turn!|
|1965||Dave Clark Five||Over And Over|
|1967 – 1968||Beatles||Hello, Goodbye|
|1969||Steam||Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye|
|1969||Peter, Paul and Mary||Leaving on a Jet Plane|
|1969||Supremes||Someday We'll Be Together|
|1970||Partridge Family||I Think I Love You|
|1970||Miracles||The Tears Of A Clown|
|1971||Sly and The Family Stone||Family Affair|
|1972||Helen Reddy||I Am Woman|
|1974||Barry White||Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe|
|1974||Stevie Wonder||You Haven't Done Nothin'|
|1974||John Lennon||Whatever Gets You Thru The Night|
|1976||Steve Miller Band||Rock'n Me|
"I Believe" by 2004 American Idol winner Fantasia is the only song on this list to not peak near the Billboard chart year cut off. In fact, it was number one in July. The song debuted at number one based on strong first week sales. However sales quickly dropped off and the song ended up spending only four weeks in the top 40. It did not earn enough airplay and sales cumulative points to rank on the 2004 year end chart.
"Do I Make You Proud" by 2006 American Idol champion Taylor Hicks almost suffered the same fate but ended up just making it onto the year end chart at number 99.
Can a song appear on multiple year end charts?
Yes, and in recent years it has been happening more frequently. This is due to the fact that many popular songs are experiencing long chart runs.
Below is a list of all the number one songs from 1956 on that appear on more than one year end chart. 1956 was selected as the start year because it is the first year end chart that listed 100 songs.
|Peak Year||Artist||Title||Year End 1||Year End 2|
|1956||Elvis Presley||Love Me Tender||1956 #15||1957 #56|
|1956 – 1957||Guy Mitchell||Singing the Blues||1956 #40||1957 #7|
|1959||Guy Mitchell||Heartaches By The Number||1959 #88||1960 #93|
|1960 and 1962||Chubby Checker||The Twist||1960 #10||1962 #9|
|1979||Herb Alpert||Rise||1979 #80||1980 #54|
|1981||Christopher Cross||Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)||1981 #64||1982 #98|
|1989||Milli Vanilli||Blame It On The Rain||1989 #31||1990 #46|
|1990||Mariah Carey||Love Takes Time||1990 #76||1991 #69|
|1992||Heights||How Do You Talk to an Angel||1992 #59||1993 #80|
|1993||Meat Loaf||I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)||1993 #36||1994 #38|
|1993||Janet Jackson||Again||1993 #74||1994 #12|
|1994||Boyz II Men||I'll Make Love to You||1994 #3||1995 #50|
|1994||Ini Kamoze||Here Comes the Hotstepper||1994 #85||1995 #24|
|1995||Coolio||Gangsta's Paradise||1995 #1||1996 #33|
|1995||Mariah Carey||Fantasy||1995 #7||1996 #49|
|1996||Los Del Rio||Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)||1996 #1||1997 #82|
|1996||Blackstreet||No Diggity||1996 #42||1997 #23|
|1996 – 1997||Toni Braxton||Un-Break My Heart||1996 #81||1997 #4|
|1997||Boyz II Men||4 Seasons of Loneliness||1997 #30||1998 #96|
|1997 – 1998||Elton John||Candle In The Wind 1997 / Something About The Way You Look Tonight||1997 #1||1998 #8|
|1999 – 2000||Santana||Smooth||1999 #19||2000 #2|
|2000||Creed||With Arms Wide Open||2000 #36||2001 #39|
|2000 – 2001||Destiny's Child||Independent Women Part 1||2000 #97||2001 #10|
|2001||Mary J. Blige||Family Affair||2001 #31||2002 #17|
|2002 – 2003||Eminem||Lose Yourself||2002 #63||2003 #28|
|2003||Beyonce feat. Sean Paul||Baby Boy||2003 #12||2004 #69|
|2003||Ludacris feat. Shawna||Stand Up||2003 #51||2004 #45|
|2004||Usher and Alicia Keys||My Boo||2004 #24||2005 #54|
|2004||Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell||Drop It Like It's Hot||2004 #75||2005 #23|
|2005||Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx||Gold Digger||2005 #6||2006 #34|
|2005||Chris Brown||Run It!||2005 #42||2006 #16|
|2006||Justin Timberlake||SexyBack||2006 #9||2007 #63|
|2006||Ludacris feat. Pharrell||Money Maker||2006 #35||2007 #92|
|2006||Justin Timberlake feat. T.I.||My Love||2006 #61||2007 #26|
|2007||Fergie||Big Girls Don't Cry||2007 #4||2008 #78|
|2007||Soulja Boy||Crank That (Soulja Boy)||2007 #20||2008 #54|
|2007||Chris Brown feat. T-Pain||Kiss Kiss||2007 #93||2008 #19|
|2007||Alicia Keys||No One||2007 #76||2008 #3|
|2008||T.I.||Whatever You Like||2008 #15||2009 #40|
|2008||Pink||So What||2008 #24||2009 #45|
|2008||T.I. feat. Rihanna||Live Your Life||2008 #37||2009 #18|
|2008||Britney Spears||Womanizer||2008 #80||2009 #39|
|2009||Black Eyed Peas||I Gotta Feeling||2009 #4||2010 #29|
|2009||Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne||Down||2009 #20||2010 #41|
|2009||Britney Spears||3||2009 #87||2010 #69|
|2009||Owl City||Fireflies||2009 #60||2010 #30|
|2009||Jason DeRulo||Whatcha Say||2009 #34||2010 #43|
|2009||Jay-Z and Alicia Keys||Empire State of Mind||2009 #62||2010 #21|
|2010||Bruno Mars||Just The Way You Are||2010 #18||2011 #75|
|2010||Far East Movement feat. The Cataracs and Dev||Like A G6||2010 #37||2011 #72|
|2010||Rihanna||Only Girl (In The World)||2010 #47||2011 #40|
|2011||Adele||Rolling In The Deep||2011 #1||2012 #71|
|2011||LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock||Party Rock Anthem||2011 #2||2012 #29|
|2011||Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera||Moves Like Jagger||2011 #9||2012 #36|
|2011||Adele||Someone Like You||2011 #24||2012 #43|
|2011 – 2012||Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris||We Found Love||2011 #69||2012 #8|
|2012||LMFAO||Sexy and I Know It||2011 #57||2012 #13|
|2012||Maroon 5||One More Night||2012 #18||2013 #38|
|2012||Rihanna||Diamonds||2012 #95||2013 #27|
|2013||Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell||Blurred Lines||2013 #2||2014 #83|
|2013||Katy Perry||Roar||2013 #10||2014 #46|
|2013||Miley Cyrus||Wrecking Ball||2013 #18||2014 #44|
|2013||Lorde||Royals||2013 #15||2014 #20|
|2014||Taylor Swift||Shake It Off||2014 #13||2015 #18|
|2014||Meghan Trainor||All About That Bass||2014 #8||2015 #28|
|2015||Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth||See You Again||2015 #3||2016 #99|
|2015||Weeknd||Can't Feel My Face||2015 #12||2016 #72|
|2015||Justin Bieber||What Do You Mean?||2015 #33||2016 #31|
|2015||Weeknd||The Hills||2015 #10||2016 #32|
|2015 – 2016||Adele||Hello||2015 #35||2016 #7|
I know of a song that was really popular, so why didn't it appear on the year end chart?
There are a few reasons why a popular song would not appear on the year end chart.
- The song was popular around the time of the Billboard chart year cut off, and it was during the time that short chart runs were the norm. Read this answer for more details.
- Prior to December 5, 1998 Billboard had a rule that songs were not eligible to enter the Hot 100 unless they could be purchased as a single. During the 1990s, some record companies tried to boost album sales by promoting songs to radio without ever releasing them as singles. Many of these songs dominated the Hot 100 Airplay chart for extended periods of time. Some examples are shown below along with the number of weeks the song was number one on the Airplay chart:
Peak Year Artist Title Airplay #1 Weeks 1996 No Doubt Don't Speak 16 1997 Sugar Ray feat. Super Cat Fly 6 1997 Will Smith Men in Black 4 1998 Natalie Imbruglia Torn 11 1998 Goo Goo Dolls Iris 18
- Sometimes songs are very popular in one area of the county but they don't get much traction in other markets. The Billboard Hot 100 chart reflects how songs rank across the nation as a whole. For example the song "Stay In Time" by Off Broadway USA was popular enough on WLS in Chicago to hit number 11 on the "Big 89 of 1980" year end countdown, but it only peaked at 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1980.
I was listening to an old Casey Kasem American Top 40 year end countdown and the positions that he lists is different than what's on your site. How come?