Music

Here’s Every Hot 100 Year-End No. 1 Song, From 1958 to 2023

Billboard has been publishing weekly rankings in one form or another for over a century.

Early in the 1900s, Billboard published charts detailing the popularity of sheet music in the U.S. In July 1940, Billboard unveiled its first chart ranking the sales of recorded songs, the 10-position “National List of Best Selling Retail Records,” with Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller among its ranks.

Billboard expanded its number of weekly charts over the next few years, starting recaps for R&B in 1942 and country in 1944. In March 1956, the weekly Billboard 200 albums chart premiered (at just 10 positions deep). Two years later, in August 1958, the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart began.

At the end of 1958, Billboard printed a recap of the year’s biggest songs for the first time (that year also encompassed songs’ performance on pre-Hot 100 charts leading up to the list’s August launch). Domenico Modugno’s “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)” finished as Billboard‘s first year-end No. 1 Hot 100 song. The track, which spent five total weeks at No. 1, became the second song to top the weekly Hot 100, after Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool.”

Also in the 1958 year-end issue, Billboard continued its tradition of surveying the music industry via “The Billboard Eleventh Annual Disc Jockey Poll,” which “Volare” also crowned. “[The song] was really a left-field hit … one of the few disks in recent years with a non-English lyric to reach the top,” Billboard wrote at the time. In 2023, such hits are plentiful, as seven non-English language songs reached the top 10 alone during the year — the most ever in a calendar year. Thus, this line from that 1958 issue proved prophetic, given the sonic, and geographic, scope of that year’s, and this year’s, biggest titles: “The preference in tunes indicates that no one type of song or artist reigns supreme among jockeys. The list also includes several types of songs with many extremes, ranging from an old folk song to European, Latin American and tunes by American cleffers.”

Jumping to the latest year-end Hot 100 Songs ranking — with the weekly chart now blending streaming, radio airplay and sales data — Morgan Wallen’s 16-week No. 1 “Last Night” finished as 2023’s top track. It’s the first single that topped the Hot Country Songs chart to wrap at No. 1 since Faith Hill’s “Breathe” in 2000, and the first by a male artist since Johnny Horton’s “The Battle of New Orleans” in 1959.

Today, Billboard not only has the year-end Hot 100 Songs ranking, but also annual recaps for all 200-plus weekly charts, reflecting chart performance of songs, albums, artists and more over a 12-month tracking period.

From “Volare” to “Last Night” and every top title in between, here’s a look at every year-end No. 1 Hot 100 single since 1958, as published in each year-end Billboard issue.

Additional research by Gary Trust, Paul Grein and Alex Vitoulis

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