Chart Watch: A Look Back at the No. 1 Hits of 2009

In 2009, 13 songs topped the Billboard Hot 100 (one of them, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" by Beyonce, was a holdover from 2008). Kelly Clarkson kick started the year by retaking the record for highest jump to No. 1. The Black Eyed Peas spent a record breaking six months at No. 1 that seemed like it would never end. Britney Spears became the first non-American Idol artist to debut at No. 1 in the 21st century. It was quite the year. Let's take a look back at the songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100, the Dow Jones of pop, in 2009.

Lady Gaga
"Just Dance" feat. Colby O'Donis
No. 1 the week of Jan. 17
Spent three weeks at No. 1
Lady Gaga's first No. 1 single

"Just Dance" was released nine months prior and had topped the charts in both Australia and Canada when Gagamania finally hit the United States. The song's ascent to the top took 22 weeks, the longest chart run for a No. 1 hit since 2000 when Creed's "With Arms Wide Open" took 27 weeks to do so. Benefiting from the post-Christmas rush to fill up newly purchased iPods, "Just Dance" sold 419,000 digital downloads in a single week, the second highest one week total up to that point (only Flo Rida's "Low", which shifted 467,000 downloads in a week one year earlier, was ahead).

Kelly Clarkson
"My Life Would Suck Without You"
No. 1 the week of Feb. 7
Spent two weeks at No. 1
Kelly Clarkson's second No. 1 single

Kelly Clarkson broke the Beatle's 34-year-old record for biggest jump to No. 1 back in 2002 when "A Moment Like This" jumped 52-1. Clarkson wasn't able to hold onto her record as long as the Fab Four were however, because it was soon broken by Maroon 5, T.I. (twice), and Britney Spears. When the Max Martin and Dr. Luke penned "My Life Would Suck Without You" pole vaulted 97-1, Clarkson retook her record, which has yet to be broken.

"Crack A Bottle" feat. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent
No. 1 the week of Feb. 21
Spent one week at No. 1
Eminem's second No. 1 single, Dr. Dre's third, and 50 Cent's fourth

After Kelly Clarkson's big jump to No. 1 two weeks earlier, Eminem's 78-1 move didn't seem all that exciting, but was the fourth biggest move to the penthouse in chart history. "Crack A Bottle" also posted some big numbers, setting the record for highest first week sales after shifting 418,000 in its first week. That bested the previous record set by T.I. and Rihanna with "Live Your Life". The record would be broken once again a week later by Flo Rida.

Flo Rida
"Right Round"
No. 1 the week of Feb. 28
Spent six weeks at No. 1
Flo Rida's second No. 1 single

Flo Rida is an interesting character. Devoid of personality, this rent-a-rapper makes music that can hardly be considered rap. He is either hit or miss, and the success of his two No. 1 hits is grossly disproportionate to the value he adds to popular music. After "Low" sold more copies in a single week than its parent album did in a full year, Flo Rida only grazed the top ten one other time...until "Right Round". The Dead or Alive sampling pop song sold 636,000 digital downloads in one week, completely obliterating the previous record, 467,000 also by Flo Rida, for "Low". Again, excitement over one of his singles failed to generate interest in him or his album, and Flo Rida quietly crept back into obscurity until he one day he will decide to pop off another worthless but popular smash record.

Lady Gaga
"Poker Face"
No. 1 the week of April 11
Spent one week at No. 1
Lady Gaga's second No. 1 single

When "Poker Face" topped the charts, Lady Gaga became the first female to have her first two singles go No. 1 since Christina Aguilera did it in 2000 with "Genie In A Bottle" and "What A Girl Wants". It was ironic considering Aguilera had said several months prior that she was, "completely unaware of this person (Lady Gaga)," and that she, "didn't know if it was a man or a woman." What do you want to bet that Christina knows who Lady Gaga is now? "Poker Face" only spent a week at No. 1, but spent eight weeks at No. 2, the longest time spent there since Missy Elliott languished as runner-up for 10 weeks with "Work It" in 2002.

The Black Eyed Peas
"Boom Boom Pow"
No. 1 the week of April 18
Spent 12 weeks at No. 1
The Black Eyed Peas' first No. 1 single

With a line like, "I'm so 3008, you're so two thousand and late," "Boom Boom Pow" seemed like it dated itself the moment it was released. Couldn't they have found something to rhyme with nine? Nevertheless, the Black Eyed Peas bounced back from the horror that was "My Humps" to conquer the world. "Boom Boom Pow" topped the charts across the world, including 12 weeks in the U.S., and was crowned the biggest song of 2009 when Billboard released their end of the year lists.

The Black Eyed Peas
"I Gotta Feeling"
No. 1 the week of July 11
Spent 14 weeks at No. 1
The Black Eyed Peas' second No. 1 single

The Black Eyed Peas became the tenth artists in chart history to replace themselves at No. 1 when "I Gotta Feeling" kicked "Boom Boom Pow" out of the penthouse. Little did we know that the national nightmare of their chart dominance had only just begun. The Peas spent a record shattering 26 consecutive weeks at No. 1. That's six months. Half a year. Disgusting. Five songs peaked at No. 2 behind the Peas, and none of them could match both strong radio airplay and digital sales at the same time, allowing "I Gotta Feeling" to spend 14 weeks at No. 1, the second longest run on top in the 2000s.

Jay Sean
"Down" feat. Lil Wayne
No. 1 the week of Oct. 17
Spent two weeks at No. 1
Jay Sean's first No. 1 single, Lil Wayne's second

Jay Sean was an unlikely David to the Black Eyed Peas' Goliath. This British R&B singer was the first artist of Punjab descent to top the U.S. charts, and he did so by a razor thin margin. The Peas had finally ran out of steam and dropped to No. 5, and in the ensuing scramble for No. 1, "Down" competed with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Jay-Z to take the penthouse. Billboard reported it was the closest fight for No. 1 in more than six years.

Britney Spears
No. 1 the week of Oct. 24
Spent one week at No. 1
Britney Spears' third No. 1 single

Britney Spears used to be sexy. Writhing around in nothing but diamonds or draping a snake around her neck, no one could compete with her. Her recent attempts to be sexy however, have fallen flat on their face. Singing about threesomes? Really Britney? You have two kids now. Max Martin, co-writer of "3", also gave the world "I Kissed A Girl" and "If U Seek Amy". He is the master of making worthless trashy songs that sell boatloads. In fact, "3" sold so many digital downloads in its first week, 255,000, that radio airplay was irrelevant and it debuted at No. 1, the first song in three years to do so (how fitting), and the only song not by an American Idol performer to do so in the 00s.

Owl City
No. 1 the week of Nov. 7
Spent two weeks at No. 1
Owl City's first No. 1 single

"Fireflies" was an iTunes free single in July and over half a million people downloaded the track. Two months later, it appeared on the Hot 100 and began its ascent up the chart. Owl City isn't a band, it's actually just one guy, Adam Young, who started making laptop music in his parent's basement in Minnesota. The blogosphere dubbed his music "Postal Service lite", because its digital lighter-than-air quality, but let's be honest, the lyrics suck.

Jason DeRulo
"Whatcha Say"
No. 1 the week of Nov. 14
Spent one week at No. 1
Jason DeRulo's first No. 1 single

It's a wonder that Jason DeRulo didn't credit Imogeon Heap in "Whatcha Say", as a sample from her "Hide And Seek" is the hook of the song. Although DeRulo charmed consumers and radio programmers, Heap fans were livid that their favorite singer had her voice shred through an auto-tuner and commercialized. "Whatcha Say" was the fourth No. 1 of the year that was an artist's first single following Lady Gaga, Jay Sean, and Owl City.

"Empire State of Mind" feat. Alicia Keys
No. 1 the week of Nov. 28
Spent five weeks at No. 1
Jay-Z and Alicia Key's fourth No. 1 single

The team that everyone loves to hate, the New York Yankees, won the World Series, but it didn't stop New York's new theme song from topping the charts. What's even more surprising is "Empire State of Mind" relied more heavily on radio airplay than digital downloads to go No. 1. I doubt Philadelphia radio stations did much to help the song's cause. "Empire" was the first song to not include its title anywhere in its lyrics since Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" hit the top spot in 2008 as well becoming Jay-Z's first No. 1 with the lead credit. Still, he couldn't have done it without Keys. Her hook makes the song.


Anonymous said...

"I've Gotta Feelin'" isn't the title. It's "I Gotta Feeling"...

hun*ter said...

Thanks! Noted and corrected.

AmyHatesPeople!YesThatMeansYou;) said...

I would have quessed you would not like Flo Rida hun*ter, come on you like Kanye West.

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