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Adult Top 40

The Adult Pop Airplay (formerly known as Adult Pop Songs and Adult Top 40) chart is published weekly by Billboard magazine and ranks "the most popular adult top 40 as based on radio airplay detections measured by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems."

It is a format in which the genre is geared more towards an adult audience who are not into hard rock, hip hop, or adult contemporary fare. The main genres within this format are alternative rock and mainstream pop that is more adult-oriented. It is not to be confused with adult contemporary where rather lesser-known and more ballad-driven songs are played. The current number one song on the chart is "Anti-Hero" by Taylor Swift.


The chart was first published in the March 16, 1996, issue of Billboard; however, historically, the chart's introduction was in October 1995, when it began as a test chart.

The Adult Top 40 chart was formed following a split of the "Hot Adult Contemporary" chart due to the growing emergence of Adult Top 40 radio stations in the 1990s. These stations played a wider variety of artists and saw a faster turnover of songs compared to traditional adult contemporary radio. Songs by modern rock, dance, and R&B artists were mixed in with acts more closely associated with adult contemporary. According to Billboard, splitting the chart "better reflect[s] the music being played on adult contemporary and adult/top 40 stations."

The first number-one song on the Adult Top 40, from the test chart of October 7, 1995, was "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal. The first number-one song on the Adult Top 40, from the published chart of March 16, 1996, was "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men.

Records and achievements

Most weeks at number one

25 weeks

23 weeks

20 weeks

18 weeks

17 weeks

16 weeks

15 weeks

14 weeks


Artists with the most number-one songs

Number Artist Source
Maroon 5
Taylor Swift
Katy Perry
Ed Sheeran
6 Adele
Shawn Mendes
5 Nickelback
Justin Bieber

Artists with the most cumulative weeks at number one

Weeks Artist Source
101 Maroon 5
54 Matchbox Twenty
49 Ed Sheeran
47 Santana
45 Adele
40 Rob Thomas
38 Pink
35 Nickelback
34 Katy Perry
32 Taylor Swift
27 Train
Kelly Clarkson

Artists with the most top-ten songs

Number Artist Source
27 Maroon 5
26 Taylor Swift
18 Pink
16 Kelly Clarkson
Katy Perry
15 Ed Sheeran
14 Goo Goo Dolls
Justin Bieber
13 Matchbox Twenty

Longest break between number ones

  • Coldplay – eight years and eight months
  • Train – six years, four months and one week
  • Maroon 5 – five years, 10 months and one week

Additional achievements

  • Shawn Mendes is the first artist to have four songs hit number one on the chart before age 20.

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-12-02 05:10 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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