The Biggest Hits of the ’70s

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The 1970s was a landmark decade for American music that saw the rise of disco, funk, punk, and new wave.

It also marked the emergence of openly gay artists producing mainstream hits following the 1969 Stonewall riots, like Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.”

To determine the 25 biggest pop hits of the 1970s, including those two, 24/7 Tempo reviewed performance data on the Billboard Hot 100 song 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. (These are the artists with the most dominant reigns in Billboard history.)

Many of the decade’s most popular songs were by the Bee Gees, including “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep Is Your Love” from the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. The peak years for 70s hits were 1976-1978, producing enduring classics like Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” and Chic’s “Le Freak.”

Billboard chart data shows the 25 top songs of the decade were dominated by dance-pop, disco, and soft rock.

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