Mainstream Top 40

"Pop Songs" redirects here. For other uses, see Pop Song.

Mainstream Top 40 (also called Pop Songs on and sometimes referred to as Top 40/CHR) is a 40-song music chart published weekly by Billboard Magazine which ranks the most popular songs being played on a panel of Top 40 radio stations in the United States. The rankings are based on radio airplay detections as measured by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (Nielsen BDS). Arbitron refers to the format as contemporary hit radio (CHR).


The chart debuted in Billboard Magazine in its issued date October 3, 1992, with the introduction of two Top 40 airplay charts, Mainstream and Rhythm-Crossover. Both Top 40 charts measured "actual monitored airplay" from data compiled by Broadcast Data Systems (BDS). The Top 40/Mainstream chart was compiled from airplay on radio stations playing a wide variety of music, while the Top 40/Rhythm-Crossover chart was made up from airplay on stations playing more dance and R&B music.[1] Both charts were "born of then-new BDS electronic monitoring technology" as a more objective and precise way of measuring airplay on radio stations. This data was also used as the airplay component for Hot 100 tabulations.[1]

Top 40/Mainstream was published in the print edition of Billboard from its debut in October 1992 through May 1995, when both Top 40 charts were moved exclusively to Airplay Monitor, a secondary chart publication by Billboard. They returned to the print edition in the August 2, 2003, issue.[2]

Chart criteria

Songs on the chart are ranked by the total number of spins detected per week. Songs which gain plays or remain flat from the previous week will receive a bullet. A song will also receive a bullet if its percentage loss in plays does not exceed the percentage of monitored station downtime for the format. If two songs are tied in total plays, the song with the larger increase in plays is placed first.

Since the introduction of the chart until 2005, songs below No. 20 were moved to recurrent after 26 weeks on the chart. In the chart week of December 3, 2005, songs below No. 20 were moved to recurrent after 20 weeks on the chart. Since the issue dated December 4, 2010, songs older than 20 weeks on the chart are moved to recurrent after they drop below No. 15.

This chart was often mistaken for and confused with the now discontinued Pop 100 Airplay chart. Whereas the Top 40 Mainstream and Pop 100 Airplay charts both measured the airplay of songs played on Mainstream stations playing pop-oriented music, the Pop 100 Airplay (like the Hot 100 Airplay) measured airplay based on statistical impressions, while the Top 40 Mainstream chart used the number of total detections.

Song records

A blonde woman wearing a black dress performing
Mariah Carey shares the record with Taylor Swift for the highest debut with "Dreamlover" at #12
Taylor Swift shares the record with Mariah Carey for the highest debut with "Shake It Off" at #12

Highest debut

No. 12: Mariah Carey - "Dreamlover" (August 14, 1993), Taylor Swift - "Shake It Off" (September 6, 2014)
No. 13: Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar - "Bad Blood" (June 6, 2015)
No. 14: Lady Gaga - "Born This Way" (February 26, 2011), Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z - "Suit & Tie" (February 2, 2013)
No. 16: Madonna - "Frozen" (March 7, 1998), Britney Spears - "Hold It Against Me" (January 29, 2011)
No. 18: Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (September 1, 2012), Maroon 5 - "Maps" (July 5, 2014)

Most weeks at number one

14 weeks

11 weeks

10 weeks

9 weeks

Most weeks on the chart

Longest climbs to number one

Longest climbs to the top 10

Highest weekly plays

Below are listed the 10 songs with the most weekly plays under Billboard's then panel. The panel is regularly updated, with stations being added or removed sometimes even weekly, and often expanded, thus the spins record is broken quite frequently.

Artist records

Rihanna shares the record with Katy Perry for the most number-one singles (with 11) and holds the record for the most top ten singles (with 24), and the most overall appearances on the chart since her debut (43).[19]
A woman performing on stage
Katy Perry shares the record with Rihanna for the most number-one singles (with 11). Katy holds the record for most cumulative weeks at number one for Pop Songs.[20]
Lady Gaga is the only musical artist in history to have her first six singles all reach the number-one position on this chart.

Artists with the most number-one singles

Artists with the most cumulative weeks at number-one


Artists with the most top 10 singles


Artists with the most entries


Additional artist achievements

Album records

Most number-one singles from an album


Use in countdown shows

From January 9, 1993 up until its last first-run show on January 28, 1995, American Top 40 used this chart as its main source after having used the Hot 100 Airplay chart since 1991.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Chart Histories—Top 40 Airplay". Billboard 100th Anniversary Issue 1894–1994: 264. November 1, 1994.
  2. Girard, Keith (August 2, 2003). "The Evolution Continues". Billboard. 115 (31): 10. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  3. Trust, Gary (March 16, 2014). "March 16, 1996: Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men's 'One Sweet Day' Makes History On Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  4. Trust, Gary (March 26, 2010). "Ask Billboard: Happy 40th, Mariah!". Billboard. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  5. "Billboard Pop Songs December 26, 1998 (Weeks on chart)".
  6. "Billboard Pop Songs June 03, 1995 (Weeks on chart".
  7. "Billboard Pop Songs January 23, 1999 (Weeks on chart".
  8. "Billboard Pop Songs July 10, 1999 (Weeks on chart".
  9. "Billboard Pop Songs April 15, 2000 (Weeks on chart".
  10. "Billboard Pop Songs September 01, 2007 (Weeks on chart".
  11. "Billboard Pop Songs January 24, 1998 (Weeks on chart".
  12. "Billboard Pop Songs May 15, 1999 (Weeks on chart".
  13. "Billboard Pop Songs September 02, 2000 (Weeks on chart".
  14. "Billboard Pop Songs November 03, 2001 (Weeks on chart".
  15. "Alessia Cara's 'Here' Completes Record Climb to No. 1 on Pop Songs Chart". Billboard.
  18. 1 2 "Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' Tops Another Tally & Breaks Weekly Plays Record". Billboard. July 13, 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  19. "Rihanna Rewrites Record For Most Pop Songs No. 1s". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  20. "Katy Perry Ties For Most Pop Songs No. 1s". Billboard. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  21. "Justin Timberlake's 'Can't Stop the Feeling!' Hits No. 1 on Pop Songs & Adult Pop Songs Charts". Billboard. Gary Trust. June 6, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  22. "Katy Perry Sets Record On Pop Songs Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  23. "Chart Highlights: One Direction, Katy Perry, U2 Score New No. 1s". Billboard. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  24. "Hot 100 Chart Moves: Hailee Steinfeld's 'Starving' Hits the Top 40". Billboard. September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  25. "G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha Rule Pop Songs Chart With 'Me, Myself & I'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  26. Trust, Gary (2010-03-15). "Lady Gaga, Beyonce Match Mariah's Record". Billboard (magazine). Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  27. Trust, Gary (2011-09-12). "Britney Spears' Sustained Success 'Go'-es On At Pop Radio". Billboard (magazine). Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  28. "Katy Perry". Billboard.
  29. "JoJo Signs Deal with Atlantic Records". Complex. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  30. "Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea Top Pop, Rhythmic Songs Charts With 'Problem'". Billboard.
  31. "Selena Gomez Scores Third Pop Songs No. 1 With 'Hands to Myself' & Releases New Single From 'Revival'". Billboard.

External links

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