One Sweet Day
How can you not be in awe of a hit so massive that it sticks around the Billboard Hot 100 long enough to earn squatter's rights. The Mariah Carey + Boyz II Men tearjerker "One Sweet Day" reigned at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 16 weeks. 16 weeks! No other track has accomplished such an impressive run at the chart's summit before or since. "One Sweet Day" is a heartfelt duet that explores loss, the impact of AIDS (Mariah's sister Alison was diagnosed with HIV in 1988) and the belief you'll be reunited with loved ones in the afterlife. It's also probably being played on a Lite FM station near you as we speak.
We Belong Together
If you factor in the TRL breakdown, Glitter being box office poison and 2003's 'Charmbracelet' underwhelming on the charts, the beginning of the '00s was not too kind to Mariah. That all changed in 2005 with the blockbuster comeback effort 'The Emancipation of Mimi'. The biggest cut off that album? The gargantuan "We Belong Together". The reconciliation-requesting track latched onto the summit of the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks that summer. (You might remember its video being one of the clips capitalizing on the "let's put Eric Roberts in a video" fad that swept the mid-aughts.) If you look at #1 reigns, Mimi can boast having the biggest chart-topper of the '90s and the '00s on her résumé. Not too shabby.
Chart supremacy and Mariah go back like babies and pacifiers. Gliding on a sensibly nabbed Tom Tom Club sample, Mariah managed to capture summer thrills in a bottle in this brilliantly bubblegum pop number that ruled the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1995. "Fantasy" made itself at home at the #1 position for an eye-popping eight weeks and we imagine you're recreating the amusement park choreography in tribute.
Speaking of Mimi smashes that enjoyed an eight-week residency at #1, the agreeably gooey "Dreamlover" pulled off the same feat in 1993. Like many a Mariah single, this breezy Top 40 slayer scored a platinum plaque for its impressive sales. Deny its charms at your own peril.
Vision Of Love
It goes without saying: Mariah Carey knows how to make an entrance. The Elusive Chanteuse® had the Hot 100 at her feet with her debut single "Vision Of Love". The introduction was received with gusto, clocking a four-week stay at #1. Seventeen more #1s would arrive in the years to come.
Love Takes Time
How do you follow up an enormous debut single? Why not go the "I'll just release another massive hit" route for your second single? It worked for Mariah. The ultra-popular ballad "Love Takes Time" followed in the footsteps of "Vision Of Love" all to the top of the Billboard Singles Chart. The tune nabbed a three-week reign at #1. Mariah's debut album was packed with #1s. "Someday," "I Don't Wanna Cry" to name but, well... two.
Behold! The first single of the post-Mottola era! Mariah separated from her manager/hubby by the time this pop gem debuted and it came complete with a video featuring our heroine playing a spy that escapes the clutches of bad guys holding her hostage in a mansion. Read into that what you will. "Honey" scored big on the Hot 100, planting a flag in the top position for three weeks in 1997.
An adult contemporary disco track so sweet that you'll want to drizzle it on pancakes, "Emotions" enjoyed three weeks of #1 bliss in 1993. The track knocked Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations" out of the Hot 100's top spot and we hope this "Marky Mark" character has landed on his feet following his exit from the #1 position. (We've heard rumours he's doing okay.)
A ballad so big it's probably an intergalactic smash, "Hero" carved out a three-week reign as a Hot 100 #1. It's a song that will probably be played until the end of time thanks to its position as a go-to track for lifetime achievement awards, retirement ceremonies and heartstring tugging montages.
All I Want For Christmas Is You
How can a non-#1 make this list? SHOULD THE LISTMAKING REGULATION BOARD OF CANADA HEAR ABOUT THIS? Okay, so "All I Want For Christmas Is You" never topped the Hot 100, but it is an absolute juggernaut when it comes to longevity. This holiday classic has managed to make its way onto the charts on multiple occasions by virtue of being the rare seasonal song everyone agrees on. The sales of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" are nothing to Grinch out over either. This single's been purchased over 14 million times worldwide. It's essentially a #1 that somehow didn't hit #1. A #1 in our hearts, if you will.