Americans who grew up in the 1990s might well remember the decade as a time before cell phones evolved into multi-purpose smartphones and our lives were taken over by social media. It was a strange time, an era of wide-leg jeans, Tamagotchis, rollerblades, and the O.J. trial. (Think you know the decade’s cultural touchstones? Here are 30 real “Jeopardy!” clues about the ‘90s that will make you a trivia champion.)
Musically, the ‘90s seems like a decade in which just about every music genre – hip-hop, grunge, country, R&B, reggae, EDM, hard rock, emo, and more – was in its heyday, or at least very popular. The songs we listened to most across the decade span a wide range, from Tag Team’s rap party song “Whoomp! (There It Is)” to Shania Twain’s crossover country hit “This Kiss” to Real McCoy’s Eurodance anthem “Another Night” and beyond.
To determine the biggest pop hits of the 1990s, 24/7 Tempo reviewed performance data on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Songs were ranked based on an inverse score wherein a week at No. 1 is worth 100 points, a week at No. 2 worth 99 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 100 worth one point. Chart data is current through the week of August 20, 2022.
Many of the songs on this list proved to be quintessential tunes that people are still jamming to three decades later. Of course, there are also songs we have all but forgotten – though they may live on in Billboard chart history. (These are the biggest one-hit wonders of all time.)
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