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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 9:29 EDT

Billboard Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Hot 100 With All-Time Charts and a Collector’s Issue

September 11, 2008

Fifty years ago, Billboard unveiled the “Hot 100,” with Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” as the first title to top the chart that would eventually become the standard by which all music releases are measured. Today, Billboard marked the 50th anniversary of the Hot 100 by releasing special “All-Time Hot 100″ charts.

Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” landed the top spot on the “All-Time Hot 100 Songs” chart as the most popular single ever, while “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, “Mack The Knife” by Bobby Darin, “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes, and “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” by Los Del Rio rounded out the top five.

The “All-Time Hot 100 Artists” chart–measuring all charting titles by every act to appear on the Hot 100–was topped by The Beatles followed by Madonna, Elton John, Elvis Presley and Stevie Wonder.

Complete versions of both the “All-Time Hot 100 Songs” chart and the “All-Time Hot 100 Artists” chart are available on www.Billboard.com. Billboard will also recognize these songs and artists along with many other chart feats in a special Hot 100 Collector’s Issue that hits newsstands tomorrow, September 12.

Throughout August and September, Billboard has celebrated the golden anniversary by releasing a series of Hot 100-related lists on www.Billboard.com, each marking unique achievements by artists and titles over the past 50 years. These lists and the all-time charts provide a historical overview of the Hot 100, the first-ever chart to blend airplay data with retail sales.

The Hot 100 has certainly kept up with the times, moving from reported airplay and sales data to monitored airplay and point-of-purchase sales information, tracked by Nielsen BDS and Nielsen SoundScan respectively, in 1991. More recently, the chart began incorporating digital download sales into its weekly calculations in 2005 and data from Internet streaming and on-demand music and music videos in 2007. An in-depth analysis of the chart’s first 50 years–with adjusted weighting for earlier years when the chart had a faster turnover–results in a sophisticated methodology that makes the “All-Time Hot 100 Songs” the first Hot 100-based ranking derived from overall chart performance, without confining the methodology to weeks at No. 1 or weeks in top 10. And, unlike all-time lists posted by other music journals, Billboard’s “All-Time Hot 100 Songs” and the related “All-Time Hot100 Artists” rank songs and acts according to actual chart performance, rather than opinion.

“Billboard broke the mold by creating the Hot 100 fifty years ago and since then it has become a household name and industry standard,” said Bill Werde, editorial director for Billboard. “We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with a music legend like Chubby Checker. If not for pioneers like him, Billboard and the music industry as a whole could never have become what it is today.”

“Billboard’s charts department strives to make sure our menu of charts stays up to date with the market, as illustrated by changes we’ve implemented in recent years to the methodology of The Billboard Hot 100,” said Geoff Mayfield, director of chart and senior analyst for Billboard. “Over the course of its 50-year history, the Hot 100 has distinguished itself as the world’s most authoritative singles chart and underlined Billboard’s position as the authority on music. The anniversary of the Hot 100 is a testament of our charts and editorial teams’ passion to provide fans with relevant and timely information about America’s favorite music.”

The following “All-Time Hot 100″ charts are currently available on www.Billboard.com:

The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Songs

The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Artists

It’s Only Rock & Roll: Top Billboard Hot 100 Rock Songs

Gone Country: Top Billboard Hot 100 Country Songs

Sweet Soul Music: Top Billboard Hot 100 R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Hits Don’t Lie: Top Billboard Hot 100 Latin Songs

Previously announced Hot 100-related charts include:

Hot 100 Songs of the Year: 1958-2007

Every No. 1 Song: 1958-2008

Song With the Most Weeks at No. 1

One-Hit Wonders

Most Weeks at No. 1 By Artist

Most Hot 100 Hits By Artist

Most No. 2 Hits Without Reaching No. 1 By Artist

Most Weeks at No. 2 Without Reaching No. 1 By Title

Different Songs, Same Titles To Hit No. 1

Same Songs To Hit No. 1 By Two Different Artists

Most No. 1s By Artist (All-Time)

To view the “All-Time Hot 100″ charts or to order a copy of Billboard’s Hot 100 Collector’s Issue, visit www.billboard.com.

About Billboard

Now in its 114th year, Billboard is the world’s premier weekly music publication and a diverse digital, events, brand, content and data licensing platform. Billboard publishes the most trusted charts and offers unrivaled reporting about the latest music, video, gaming, media, digital and mobile entertainment issues and trends. Billboard magazine is the flagship property for the brand, which also consists of Billboard.biz, Billboard.com, Billboard en Espanol, Billboard Chart Alert, Billboard Information Network (BIN), Billboard Directories, Billboard Books, and Billboard Licensing & Events. Billboard’s many strategic partners include Microsoft, Reuters, Sirius Satellite Radio, Telemundo, Univision Radio, ABC Radio Networks, Azteca America, Cyloop and Billboard sister companies Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. These partnerships leverage Billboard’s proprietary data, charts and information resources to develop broadcast entertainment, digital and mobile platforms and contextual commerce applications that expand Billboard’s franchise and consumer reach. Billboard is published by the Entertainment Group at Nielsen Business Media, a part of The Nielsen Company, a global information and media company.