Biggest Songs of the 1990s (CSPC)

If you lived in the 90s, you probably remember the music that flooded the radios at the time. A variety of styles were in the spotlight: alternative rock rather early in the decade (Nirvana, Oasis…), teen pop in the second half (Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys…), divas (Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston…), soundtracks (Titanic, Bodyguard…) and so on. Do you know which songs are the most memorable of this decade? Place your bets!

The songs ranked here have been released from January 1, 1990 up to December 31, 1999. All figures are given in EAS (equivalent album sales). They include audio and video streams, downloads, ringtones but also a weighted share of the album they helped to sell.

Please keep in mind that some artists who released big hits this decade have not been studied so far, e.g. Santana, Pearl JamLauryn HillAce Of Base or 2Pac. All figures reflect the value as collected at the time of the artist’s respective articles (CSPC article or Streaming Masters). You can check the list of artists that have been tracked at this link.

A lot of lists like this one are available inside the Data Collector, so feel free to read them to gauge how your favorite artist charts on them.

Biggest Songs of the 1990s (CSPC)

1. 1997 – Céline DionMy Heart Will Go On [Titanic / Let’s Talk About Love]62,750,000
2. 1992 – Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You [The Bodyguard]33,620,000
3. 1991 – Bryan Adams(Everything I Do) I Do It for You [Waking Up the Neighbours / Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves]20,820,000
4. 1996 – Spice GirlsWannabe [Spice]20,670,000
5. 1991 – Michael JacksonBlack or White [Dangerous]18,860,000
6. 1999 – Backstreet BoysI Want It That Way [Millennium]18,360,000
7. 1990 – Garth BrooksFriends In Low Places [No Fences]18,260,000
8. 1998 – Britney Spears…Baby One More Time […Baby One More Time]17,940,000
9. 1991 – NirvanaSmells Like Teen Spirit [Nevermind]17,650,000
10. 1996 – Céline DionBecause You Loved Me [Falling Into You]16,310,000
11. 1991 – Red Hot Chili PeppersUnder the Bridge [Blood Sugar Sex Magik]16,160,000
12. 1995 – Alanis MorissetteIronic [Jagged Little Pill]16,060,000
13. 1990 – AC/DCThunderstruck [The Razors Edge]15,460,000
14. 1994 – The CranberriesZombie [No Need to Argue]15,370,000
15. 1995 – OasisWonderwall [(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?]14,920,000
16. 1998 – CherBelieve [Believe]14,850,000
17. 1997 – Backstreet BoysEverybody (Backstreet’s Back) [Backstreet’s Back]14,760,000
18. 1991 – U2One [Achtung Baby]14,750,000
19. 1991 – MetallicaNothing Else Matters [Metallica]14,620,000
20. 1991 – MetallicaEnter Sandman [Metallica]14,510,000
21. 1994 – Mariah CareyAll I Want for Christmas Is You [Merry Christmas]14,190,000
22. 1993 – Mariah CareyHero [Music Box]14,130,000
23. 1991 – NirvanaCome As You Are [Nevermind]14,070,000
24. 1991 – Guns N’ RosesNovember Rain [Use Your Illusion I]13,580,000
25. 1997 – Shania TwainMan! I Feel Like a Woman! [Come On Over]13,320,000
26. 1993 – Meat Loaf ft. Lorraine CrosbyI’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) [Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell]13,140,000
27. 1993 – Céline DionThe Power of Love [The Colour Of My Love]13,080,000
28. 1994 – Green DayBasket Case [Dookie]12,960,000
29. 1996 – Céline DionIt’s All Coming Back to Me Now [Falling Into You]12,280,000
30. 1995 – Mariah CareyAlways Be My Baby [Daydream]12,220,000
31. 1990 – MadonnaVogue [I’m Breathless]11,790,000
32. 1992 – Whitney HoustonI Have Nothing [The Bodyguard]11,570,000
33. 1993 – Mariah CareyWithout You [Music Box]11,440,000
34. 1991 – Guns N’ RosesKnockin’ on Heaven’s Door [Use Your Illusion II]10,740,000
35. 1991 – EnyaCaribbean Blue [Shepherd Moons]10,590,000
36. 1993 – Janet JacksonThat’s the Way Love Goes [Janet]10,360,000
37. 1997 – Shania TwainYou’re Still the One [Come On Over]10,320,000
38. 1995 – Mariah CareyFantasy [Daydream]10,280,000
39. 1999 – Destiny’s ChildSay My Name [The Writing’s on the Wall]10,200,000
40. 1995 – Michael JacksonThey Don’t Care About Us [HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I]9,940,000
41. 1993 – AerosmithCrazy [Get a Grip]9,940,000
42. 1990 – Garth BrooksThe Thunder Rolls [No Fences]9,840,000
43. 1997 – Shania TwainThat Don’t Impress Me Much [Come On Over]9,710,000
44. 1997 – Backstreet BoysAs Long as You Love Me [Backstreet’s Back]9,370,000
45. 1991 – QueenThe Show Must Go On [Innuendo]9,230,000
46. 1999 – Red Hot Chili PeppersCalifornication [Californication]9,160,000
47. 1997 – Elton John for The Diana FoundationCandle in the Wind [Orphan]8,920,000
48. 1997 – Barbra Streisand & Céline DionTell Him [Higher Ground / Let’s Talk About Love]8,580,000
49. 1999 – DidoThank You [No Angel]8,550,000
50. 1992 – Bon JoviBed of Roses [Keep the Faith]8,530,000
51. 1996 – Backstreet BoysQuit Playin’ Games (with My Heart) [Backstreet Boys]8,480,000
52. 1991 – Mariah CareyEmotions [Emotions]8,380,000
53. 1993 – AerosmithCryin’ [Get a Grip]8,360,000
54. 1998 – MadonnaFrozen [Ray Of Light]8,340,000
55. 1990 – Mariah CareyVision of Love [Mariah Carey]8,180,000
56. 1995 – Shania TwainAny Man of Mine [The Woman In Me]8,090,000
57. 1999 – Christina AguileraGenie in a Bottle [Christina Aguilera]7,990,000
58. 1995 – Alanis MorissetteYou Oughta Know [Jagged Little Pill]7,910,000
59. 1993 – Billy JoelThe River of Dreams [River Of Dreams]7,840,000
60. 1991 – Michael JacksonRemember the Time [Dangerous]7,730,000
61. 1995 – Michael JacksonYou Are Not Alone [HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I]7,310,000
62. 1991 – Guns N’ RosesDon’t Cry [Use Your Illusion I]7,190,000
63. 1997 – NSYNCTearin’ Up My Heart [NSYNC]7,180,000
64. 1995 – Michael JacksonEarth Song [HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I]7,100,000
65. 1991 – Garth BrooksRodeo [Ropin’ the Wind]6,950,000
66. 1992 – Céline Dion & Peabo BrysonBeauty and the Beast [Celine Dion]6,750,000
67. 1997 – Green DayGood Riddance (Time of Your Life) [Nimrod]6,690,000
68. 1996 – Céline DionAll by Myself [Falling Into You]6,570,000
69. 1991 – Michael JacksonHeal the World [Dangerous]6,550,000
70. 1995 – Mariah Carey & Boyz II MenOne Sweet Day [Daydream]6,490,000
71. 1993 – The CranberriesLinger [Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?]6,280,000
72. 1993 – Céline DionThink Twice [The Colour Of My Love]6,260,000
73. 1997 – UsherYou Make Me Wanna… [My Way]6,080,000
74. 1993 – NirvanaHeart-Shaped Box [In Utero]6,010,000
75. 1999 – Red Hot Chili PeppersOtherside [Californication]5,940,000
76. 1991 – NirvanaLithium [Nevermind]5,930,000
77. 1995 – Céline DionPour que tu m’aimes encore [D’Eux]5,910,000
78. 1990 – George MichaelFreedom! ’90 [Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1]5,880,000
79. 1998 – MadonnaRay Of Light [Ray Of Light]5,720,000
80. 1991 – MetallicaThe Unforgiven [Metallica]5,600,000
81. 1994 – MadonnaTake A Bow [Bedtime Stories]5,420,000
82. 1997 – Spice GirlsSpice Up Your Life [Spiceworld]5,410,000
83. 1993 – Garth BrooksStanding Outside The Fire [In Pieces]5,350,000
84. 1998 – Whitney Houston & Mariah CareyWhen You Believe [My Love Is Your Love / #1’s / The Prince of Egypt]5,320,000
85. 1998 – Alanis MorissetteThank U [Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie]5,300,000
86. 1993 – Mariah CareyDreamlover [Music Box]5,270,000
87. 1995 – OasisDon’t Look Back In Anger [(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?]5,180,000
88. 1995 – Alanis MorissetteHand in My Pocket [Jagged Little Pill]5,140,000
89. 1997 – Foo FightersEverlong [The Colour and the Shape]5,140,000
90. 1999 – Enrique IglesiasBailamos [Enrique]5,110,000
91. 1990 – Jon Bon JoviBlaze Of Glory [Blaze of Glory]5,060,000
92. 1998 – Whitney HoustonMy Love Is Your Love [My Love Is Your Love]4,940,000
93. 1999 – EminemMy Name Is [The Slim Shady LP]4,940,000
94. 1994 – Green DayWhen I Come Around [Dookie]4,930,000
95. 1990 – Whitney HoustonAll the Man That I Need [I’m Your Baby Tonight]4,930,000
96. 1999 – Red Hot Chili PeppersScar Tissue [Californication]4,850,000
97. 1991 – CherThe Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) [Love Hurts]4,730,000
98. 1992 – Elton JohnThe One [The One]4,700,000
99. 1999 – Britney Spears(You Drive Me) Crazy […Baby One More Time]4,630,000
100. 1997 – Mariah CareyMy All [ButterFly]4,610,000

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

46 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RLAAMJR.

I believe that the only songs we are missing in this list are: 1. Smooth by Santana feat Rob Thomas 2. Macarena by Los Del Rios 3. Don’t Speak by No Doubt 4. Mmmbop by Hanson 5. Killing Me Softly by The Fugees 6. Torn by Natalie Imbruglia 7. I’ll Make Love To You by Boyz II Men 8. End Of The Road by Boyz II Men 9. I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy 10. Livin La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin 11. Creep by Radiohead 12. Ice Ice baby by Vanilla Ice 13. Truly Madly Deeply by Savage… Read more »

RLAAMJR.

Thanks for listing down other huge 90s songs that I failed to mention. I hope other posters of this site will also list down other huge 90s songs which they think will be on the list too. : -) Anyway, regarding the list, I think it would be a good idea that if the song is on the list, the chartmasters staff will provide us the most accurate total EAS on songs that have 2 or more music artists (collaborations like duets, etc) by getting the total eas of the song of the music artist involved which wasn’t studied yet.… Read more »

Joe

I agree with both of you and vote up. It is sth like with artists, there is about 20 from first one hundred that hasn’t yet been done including Santana, Pearl Jam, Clapton, Van Halen maybe Hendrix wouldn’t be in first 100 artists but Hey Joe should have been in 100 greatest songs of all time. But for 90’s it is pretty much all what you posted in your comments. List of Billboard greatest songs of that era can be useful to check it out. But for me I would rather see that artist that i mentioned than one hit… Read more »

RLAAMJR.

Oh! I’m not asking for the site to study each music artist but rather hoping chartmasters will study each of the biggest songs of the 90s and include them to the biggest songs list.

Joe

Yeah, but you know, why should they do it only for 90’s? In any era it is about min. 20 songs that aren’t yet included, you dont have smoke on the water in 70’s, list of 80’s without Jump by Van Halen i.e. is also uncompleted so if they will do that and spend time to collect data for one hit wonders than i we never see data of Clapton or Santana in greatest acts. You can check billboard annual list of greatest songs- 100 for each year from 1958- and all should have been studied to answer that questions… Read more »

Joe

Maybe Fancy isn’t the greatest example, but you know- i live in europe, i love american music cos i’m a guitar player and recording engineer, producer, so all my favourite bands are from UK or USA and that’s it- old hard rock and blues. But i remember what was here a big hits- nothing alike whats on billboard list- and it would go on and on on the radio.24/7 when i was young, we didn’t have diversity like in US, we have just few hits and that was it whenever you go you can hear it. So I dont know… Read more »

RLAAMJR.

You have a good point.

But we can’t compare billboard.com to chartmasters.org because chartmasters.org is new, has a few staff members and are not being paid. Hopefully, somebody ( will financially support so the site will grow faster, bigger, better and more accurate.

For now, let’s just be happy for what they have done so far and wait for more updates. : )

Olexiy Karzhaev

Don’t Let Go (Love) by En Vogue.

Armin

María by Ricky Martin is missing too. It has sold more than 5 million copies.

orange

Very interesting results! It does feel odd to see My Heart Will Go On with a higher EAS value than all of what The Bodyguard generated, or the entire discography of artists like Oasis or Alanis Morissette, but I guess that speaks to how massive it really was. It seems like the phenomenon of one hit selling an entire album (or two albums in Dion’s case) applies to a fair number of the top songs, even though physical singles were a lot more relevant in the 90s.

pat200

it is hugely responsible for Celine’s Let’s talk about love, All the way a decade of song, Other greatest hits of hers, Live albums with that song in them, the Titanic OST among others.

RLAAMJR.

It wasn’t odd for me. MHWGO was pretty, pretty huge worldwide. Simply a titanic song. And perhaps, hopefully, an unsinkable song too. I hope MHWGO will remain on top and not sink to #2 on the biggest songs of all time list. 🙂

Jules Giddings

Thanks for this. I’m surprised at having the Slice girls above Nirvana and Metallica. They’re streaming numbers are far higher, presumably the physical single sales of ‘Wannabe’ has put them so high up. Bryan Adams as well.

Dan

What’s Elton’s “Candle in the Wind 97” EAS?

Pats200

It is at number 47

RLAAMJR.

It was a charity single but if we include the sales that went to charity, the total EAS of Candle In The Wind is nearly 30 million EAS.

Rell

Thanks ! I’m surprised to see only one Janet Jackson song. Céline was so huge at that time she even managed to rank a the only non-English song ! Her “My heart will go on” is so much bigger than the other songs. Is there any chance it is ever topped by another song ?

RLAAMJR.

I wan to say no and never. Hehehe 🙂

Dan

Very interesting. Thank you. Waiting for the 80s and 70s.

RLAAMJR.

Loving Mariah Carey’s domination too. Her and Celine are the best! 🙂

Mike

She hardly dominated. No song in the top 20. Celine has 2 in the top 10.

Michael

But a lot of songs in the top 100. She was a force too

RLAAMJR.

True, especially that Mariah Carey is the second best-selling music artist in the 90s.

Samuel King

Actually, She technically did dominate just as much as Celine, in albums and especially in singles. That’s why I don’t say Mariah or Celine dominated individualy because in actuality they dominated together. She has 20 songs on the list and Celine has 18 also stop making this a competition. Also Mariah and Celine are only like 15 million away from each other in terms of record sales and they were both named the best-selling female artist at on point in their careers, so to be fair it is pretty equal.

RLAAMJR.

Celine Dion clearly dominated the 90s. I also believe Beauty and The Beast total EAS should be higher since the total EAS on Peabo Bryson’s part has not been included and the BATB soundtrack total EAS too.

If total EAS of I’m Your Angel from R Kelly has been included, and the total EAS of The Prayer from Andrea Bocelli has been added, both songs should have been on the list.

Keith

It’s kinda shocking to see Destiny’s Child make the list but not TLC.

MJD

Hi Keith!

TLC haven’t been studied so far, they are the next artist to come 🙂

Michael

Hey MJD. I was just wondering. Apparently some fan base tried to make their favorite artists are much bigger than other artists of same generation simply due to tour receipts. Do you think tour receipt should be a meassure of artists popularity or not?

Tre

Amazing

46
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x