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Hot 100 Turns 60! The Top 60 Songs That Never Reached No. 1: Which Bette Midler Song Was It?

Billboard
Hot 100 Turns 60! The Top 60 Songs That Never Reached No. 1
by Xander Zellner
August 02, 2018, 2:33pm EDT

Bette Midler

As we celebrate the Billboard Hot 100‘s 60th anniversary, Billboard looks at the silver medalists, the runners-up, and third-, fourth-, fifth- or, in one case, sixth-place finishers, i.e., the hits that didn’t reach No. 1 on the weekly ranking, but were huge hits nonetheless.

LeAnn Rimes‘ “How Do I Live” ranks at No. 1 on the list below, as the smash ballad peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1997-98. It had the unfortunate timing of being blocked by Elton John’s biggest hit, “Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” which spent 14 weeks at No. 1. Still, “Live” logged 32 weeks in the top 10 and 69 total weeks on the chart, both records at the time. Its sustainability on the chart helped it land at No. 5 on the recap of the Hot 100’s top 600 songs of all time, marking one of only two non-No. 1s in the top 50.

      

Also notable on the list below is Foreigner’s 1981 single “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” The song spent 10 weeks at No. 2, without ever reaching No. 1, barricaded by Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” and Daryl Hall and John Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).” In 2002-03, Missy Elliott’s “Work It” tied “Waiting” for the most weeks at No. 2 for a song that has peaked at that position.

Among hits on the list below is one that never hit the top five on the weekly Hot 100: Jason Mraz’s 2008 hit “I’m Yours.” The track shows in large part because it spent a then-record 76 total weeks on the Hot 100 (breaking Rimes’ record with “Live”). The longevity mark has since been broken twice, by AWOLNATION’s “Sail” (79 weeks) and current record-holder Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” (87 weeks), both in 2014.

Adele, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Chubby Checker, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain & Whitney Houston

This list is based on actual performance on the weekly Hot 100, through the July 21, 2018 ranking. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods.

Without further ado, here, from No. 60 to No. 1, are the biggest hits in the Hot 100’s 60-year history that never reached No. 1, although their legacies as smashes are ensured regardless.

Rank, Title, Artist, Peak Position, Peak Date

60. “High Enough,” Damn Yankees, No. 3, Jan. 12, 1991

59. “Don’t Know Much,” Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville, No. 2, Dec. 23, 1989

58. “Pump Up the Jam,” Technotronic feat. Felly, No. 2, Jan. 20, 1990

57. “Don’t Let Go (Love),” En Vogue, No. 2, Jan. 18, 1997

56. “Donna,” Ritchie Valens, No. 2, Feb. 23, 1959

55. “The Rubberband Man,” The Spinners, No. 2, Dec. 4, 1976

54. “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz, No. 6, Sept. 20, 2008

53. “Party All the Time,” Eddie Murphy, No. 2, Dec. 28, 1985

52. “Harden My Heart,” Quarterflash, No. 3, Feb. 13, 1982

51. “Get Up and Boogie (That’s Right),” Silver Convention, No. 2, June 12, 1976

50. “Bird Dog,” The Everly Brothers, No. 2, Sept. 15, 1958

49. “Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga, No. 2, Dec. 5, 2009

48. “Exodus,” Ferrante & Teicher, No. 2, Jan. 23, 1961

47. “All That She Wants,” Ace of Base, No. 2, Nov. 6, 1993

46. “1, 2, Step,” Ciara feat. Missy Elliott, No. 2, Jan. 8, 2005

45. “Where My Girls At?,” 702, No. 4, June 19, 1999

44. “How to Save a Life,” The Fray, No. 3, Oct. 7, 2006

43. “Stay With Me,” Sam Smith, No. 2, Aug. 16, 2014

42. “Woman,” John Lennon, No. 2, March 21, 1981

41. “Some Nights,” fun., No. 3, Sept. 29, 2012

40. “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” Celine Dion, No. 2, Oct. 26, 1996

39. “Gloria,” Laura Branigan, No. 2, Nov. 27, 1982

38. “The Way I Are,” Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson, No. 3, Aug. 25, 2007

37. “I Love You Always Forever,” Donna Lewis, No. 2, Aug. 24, 1996

36. “Dancing Machine,” Jackson 5, No. 2, May 18, 1974

35. “Twisted,” Keith Sweat, No. 2, Aug. 17, 1996

34. “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” Deborah Cox, No. 2, Dec. 5, 1998

33. “If I Ain’t Got You,” Alicia Keys, No. 4, July 3, 2004

32. “You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift, No. 2, Aug. 22, 2009

31. “Limbo Rock,” Chubby Checker, No. 2, Dec. 22, 1962

30. “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” Backstreet Boys, No. 2, Sept. 6, 1997

29. “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson, No. 2, April 9, 2005

28. “Y.M.C.A.,” Village People, No. 2, Feb. 3, 1979

27. “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Chainsmokers feat. Daya, No. 3, July 16, 2016

26. “Wake Me Up!,” Avicii, No. 4, Oct. 5, 2013

25. “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” England Dan & John Ford Coley, No. 2, Sept. 25, 1976

24. “Poison,” Bell Biv DeVoe, No. 3, June 9, 1990

23. “Kryptonite,” 3 Doors Down, No. 3, Nov. 11, 2000

22. “Hey, Soul Sister,” Train, No.3, April 10, 2010

21. “Dynamite,” Taio Cruz, No. 2, Aug. 21, 2010

20. “From a Distance,” Bette Midler, No. 2, Dec. 15, 1990

19. “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran, No. 2, Jan. 31, 2015

18. “I Wanna Sex You Up,” Color Me Badd, No. 2, June 8, 1991

17. “Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum, No. 2, March 20, 2010

16. “He’ll Have to Go,” Jim Reeves, No. 2, March 7, 1960

15. “Trap Queen,” Fetty Wap, No. 2, May 16, 2015

14. “Hanging by a Moment,” Lifehouse, No. 2, June 16, 2001

13. “Breathe,” Faith Hill, No. 2, April 22, 2000

12. “Counting Stars,” OneRepublic, No. 2, Jan. 18, 2014

11. “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons, No. 3, July 6, 2013

10. “Nobody Knows,” The Tony Rich Project, No. 2, March 23, 1996

9. “Another Night,” Real McCoy, No. 3, Nov. 12, 1994

8. “You Make Me Wanna,” Usher, No. 2, Oct. 25, 1997

7. “Hurts So Good,” John Mellencamp, No. 2, Aug. 7, 1982

6. “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” Foreigner, No. 2, Nov. 28, 1981

5. “You’re Still the One,” Shania Twain, No. 2, May 2, 1998

4. “Whoomp! (There It Is),” Tag Team, No. 2, July 31, 1993

3. “Apologize,” Timbaland feat. OneRepublic, No. 2, Nov. 10, 2007

2. “You Were Meant for Me”/”Foolish Games,” Jewel, No. 2, April 19, 1997

1. “How Do I Live,” LeAnn Rimes, No. 2, Dec. 13, 1997

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