From the swinging 60s to punk, acid house to Britpop, everyone has a favourite era in music. Maybe it came with The Beatles' mould-breaking sonic experiments of , or the mids purple patch where Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson pushed each other to ever-greater heights. If you ask most people to choose a defining year in music, they'll almost certainly name one of their teenage years. In adolescence, our brains are more active, we have more time to listen to music and we're experiencing a lot of things for the first time - all of which makes songs from that period more memorable. When economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz analysed Spotify data on people's listening habits , he found that if you were a teenager when a hit song was first released, it remained popular in your age group 10 years later.
1968: "Hey Jude" — The Beatles
2016: Justin Bieber — "Love Yourself"
Subscriber Account active since. Every year, the Billboard chooses the best performing pop song from the previous year, based on units sold and chart performance. Some of these songs never even hit No. Scroll on to see what the top pop songs have been for the past 52 years. Watch the music video here. Listen to the song here. Flack covered the folk song 15 years after it was written, and her rendition soon became the definitive version of the song.
2017: Ed Sheeran — "Shape of You"
Hot Billboard Streaming Songs. Radio Songs.
Subscriber Account active since. For songs prior to , before the year-end list existed, we looked at the singles that stayed at No. Frank Sinatra performed vocals for the song along with the Pied Pipers.