Billboard began publishing its Radio Songs chart in 1984, measuring the most popular songs in the United States based solely on radio airplay. The chart is a departure from the more comprehensive Billboard Hot 100, which ranks songs based on sales, streaming activity, and radio airplay.
A song typically hits the airwaves before it is made available for sale or online streaming. Listeners often hear new songs on the radio for the first time, and a song’s popularity in that initial radio push can affect how successful the song is in the long run. Many of the top radio songs of all time have gone on to sell millions of records and be certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
To determine the top radio songs of all time, 24/7 Wall St. ranked songs using data from Billboard’s Radio Songs chart. Songs were ranked based on a song’s peak position, weeks spent at peak position, and total weeks spent on the chart from November 1990 to March 2018.