CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to better reflect that Despacito is the only song by Latinx artists in Billboard’s Top 100.
To celebrate the Billboard Hot 100 chart’s 65th birthday last week, Billboard staff made a list of the 500 best pop songs since 1958.
To make the list, a song only had to have charted on the Hot 100 at some point during its history. Each artist also cannot have more than three pop songs on the list.
The top ten, in order from bottom to top, were: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles, “California Love” by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, “Like a Prayer” by Madonna, “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys, “My Girl” by The Temptations, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and, at number one, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston.
I can understand a majority of the list, but “Call Me Maybe” and “Since U Been Gone” are questionable choices. I love these songs, I won’t lie, but out of the 500 songs on the list, placing them within the top ten seems extremely steep.
With so many songs to choose from, I’m sure it was difficult to compile this list. However, I do think other key artists who have shaped the music industry and deserved a top-10 spot were neglected.
I actually might be appalled that Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” did not make the top 10. It is arguably one of the most iconic songs of all time, but was ranked at No. 12.
Britney Spears in the ’90s and early 2000s is a cornerstone of pop music history. Everyone knows or can at least hum the infamous, “Oh, baby, baby, how was I supposed to know.” This song deserves to be in the top five or even number one.
Also, I am appalled by the fact that Beyoncé did not make the top 10. She has created outstanding tunes as a solo artist with songs like “Crazy in Love” featuring Jay-Z, ranked No. 18, and “Single Ladies,” which is No. 135 on the list. Needless to say, Billboard missed.
Another artist who should have been in the top 10 and wasn’t is Lady Gaga. “Bad Romance,” “Telephone,” “Just Dance” and “Million Reasons” are all reasons why her absence in the top 10 makes no sense. The highest Lady Gaga song was “Bad Romance,” which Billboard shamed by ranking No. 24.
There are 500 songs in this list and the “Cha Cha Slide” was not on it. This is the elementary school dance anthem. Hell, I’d dance to it if it randomly started playing in McKeldin Library. Billboard’s choice to exclude this song from the top 10 is understandable, but leaving it out of the entire list is a disgrace.
Maybe it’s because I’m Latina, but I’m also offended that I could only find one song by Latinx artists in the top 100. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee was ranked No. 84.
Other songs Billboard didn’t do justice were No. 89 “Baby” by Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, No. 81 “Hotline Bling” by Drake, No. 76 “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars and No. 30 “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.
I’m not saying all of these songs deserved a spot in the top 10, but many songs that have impacted millions of people and left a lasting legacy seemed to have been forgotten.