Looking to the past: Hit songs this week

By mbrooks on April 17, 2019
File – Recording artist Madonna performs a tribute to Prince onstage during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The Billboard 200 is a chart that reveals what the top song was during any given week of the year.

Get in your DeLorean or phone box. Here are the top songs during the spring one, two, and three decades ago.

30 years ago …

Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” topped the Billboard 200 charts in thirty years ago, in 1989. The quasi-religious song stayed on top for six weeks. In the weeks after, the songs that took the place on the musical throne are recognizable today.

File – SAN JOSE, CA – JANUARY 28: (L-R) Musicians Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Jonathan Knight of New Kids on the Block perform on stage during the iHeart80s Party 2017 at SAP Center on January 28, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Prince’s contribution to the Batman soundtrack held the top spot for six weeks. Later, “Hangin’ Tough” from New Kids on the Block was the number one song. Infamous fake Milli Vanilli had multiple top-selling songs during the last half of 1989.

20 years ago …

In 1999, “I am…” by Nas was the top song. For five of the nine previous weeks in 1999, the top of the Billboard 200 was “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.

File – Teen pop sensation, Britney Spears performing at the Universal Ampitheater for her “Baby One More Time” tour in Universal City, CA, July 31, 1999 (Photo by Brenda Chase/Online USA, Inc.)

TLC did what Britney Spears did with her “…Baby One More Time” at this time of year in 1999, which is to have a song reach the top, fall, then climb back up again. TLC managed this in the spring of 1999 with its song “Fanmail.”

10 years ago …

Keith Urban was the king of the Billboard 200 for one week in April. His song “Defying Gravity” was the rocket that launched him to the top.

File – Singer Keith Urban performs on stage at the Entertainment Centre on December 16, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

In digital sales, “Boom Boom Pow” by Black Eyed Peas was the top song for ten weeks during the spring on 2009. “Unstoppable” by Rascal Flatts came next to the top. After that, it was the soundtrack to “Hanna Montana: The Movie.”

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