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For those who have ever listened to pop music on the radio, the concept of weekly pop music charts will at least be vaguely familiar. Radio stations often play a countdown of either the top five or top ten songs on the chart that week, when either samples or the entire songs are played.

Pop music can be hard to ignore. And even for those people who don’t necessarily love it, there’s a pretty good chance that they have heard at least some of the songs that are on the charts today. Whether from shopping in a store, hearing them on television commercials or just in someone else’s car while driving with the top down, pop music is everywhere.

Not only is it everywhere, but pop music is a mixed bag of what some people think sounds like an awful racket, and some genuinely interesting songs that all somehow reach the zenith of popularity. While some songs may only be on the chart for one week, there are others which remain among the most popular songs for months on end. And it’s difficult to predict how or why these songs get the results that they do.

But this, after all, is how people tend to judge the most influential bands and musicians – if a song remains on the charts for a long period of time, there’s a good chance that your grandchildren will know it too. It’s no trivial matter that names like The Beatles and Elvis Presley both found their way at the top of the charts for several sustained periods.

History of Pop Music Chart Day

Some people might think that before defining Pop Music Charts, it’s important to make a definition of Pop Music itself. But it’s also difficult to come up with a working definition of pop music without the pop music charts, because it defies classification into a single genre. While it can be said that there is a “typical” style of pop music in a particular period and country, the songs that top the charts do often defy these boundaries. That being said, pop music songs average about three minutes in length (optimal radio airtime) and are commercially produced. But ultimately it’s all subjective and often includes elements that are borrowed from jazz, dance, urban, rock, funk, country, Latin and other styles of music.

January 4, 1936 brought an important event, which was the publication of Billboard Magazine’s first “Hit Parade”. This listing of top songs included “Stop, Look and Listen” for the #1 spot, recorded by the jazz violinist Joe Venuti and his orchestra.

After that, the first music popularity chart on a grander scale was started in the summer of 1940. By 1958, these songs had been consolidated into the ‘Hot 100’ list that continued on for more than 50 years. While the Hot 100 was originally limited to radio play, it now combines radio play with singles sales, digital downloads and streaming activity.

Pop Music Chart Day’s observance on January 4 is a nod to the original Billboard Magazine’s Hit Parade publication more than 85 years ago. Pop Music Chart Day has been celebrated for years and lifts up that most important of music yardsticks, the Pop Music Chart, into the limelight it should be in. After all, without this innovation, how would everyone know what the best music out there is?

How to Celebrate Pop Music Chart Day

Celebrating Pop Music Chart Day can be loads of fun. Get started with some of these ideas and then run with them to invent other creative ways of celebrating:

Visit Billboard Magazine’s Website

Founded in 1894, Billboard Magazine has been catering to the needs and desires of music lovers for more than 120 years! Now, in website form, Billboard keeps listeners up to date on the most popular albums and singles as they are released. Billboard offers the Top 200 list (for USA), Global 200 list, Artist 100 and much more.

Build a Pop Music Chart Playlist

One great way to find out what’s new on the music scene is through Spotify, Pandora or other online music platforms. Start by creating a playlist that contains all of the top pop songs on the charts today. Or, go vintage and fall back into playlists that include the top songs from pop music charts in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and beyond.

Host a Pop Music Chart Party

Pop Music Chart Day is a great excuse to throw a party! Invite friends, coworkers and family members to a gathering that pays heed to the top pop songs of today and generations past. Make use of those playlists made above for the soundtrack to the party. Have guests dress up as their favorite pop music star. And join in on trivia games that feature pop music songs, stars, titles and more.

Listen to Pop Music Unapologetically

Well, it’s Pop Music Chart Day…so it seems that the most important order of business would be to get started by listening to some Pop Music, of course! Have headphones in? Take them out and blast pop music over those speakers, because the very point of pop music is to be omnipresent, pervasive and ubiquitous. Sitting in a Starbucks? That’s okay! There’s absolutely no reason why these people around haven’t heard the latest hit single. This is basically like doing it as a free public service in honor of Pop Music Chart Day!

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