On Jan. 18, 1964, the Fab Four graced the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time, as 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' entered the Hot 100 at No. 45. Music, and our charts, would never be the same.
Fifty years ago today, the Beatles appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time. The band's breakthrough, and ultimately, pop culture-redefining, first U.S smash, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 45. The issue was dated Jan. 18, 1964. The following week, the song rocketed to No. 3. It became the Beatles' first of 20 No. 1s the following week (Feb. 1, 1964). The Beatles' 20 toppers remain the most by any artist in the Hot 100's history. (Mariah Carey follows with 18.) When Billboard ranked the top acts of the chart's first 55 years this past August, the Beatles ranked at No. 1. While today's gold anniversary clearly marks one of the most significant milestones in Billboard chart history, even at the time it was front-page news. Literally: "British Beatles Hottest Capitol Singles Ever," the front page of Billboard beamed upon the song's chart start.