Well, y’all, it looks like Maroon 5′s “Payphone” is never going to be the number one song in America. After thirteen weeks at #2 or #3 on the Hot 100, it has apparently run out of steam, ceding the top of the charts to your Carly Rae Jepsens and your Katy Perrys. (I think Perry’s ”Wide Awake” will be #1 this week. If I’m right, you can send me a fruit basket!)
But let’s not cry for Maroon 5! “Payphone” is a good song, and there are tons of hot hits that stopped at #2 on the charts. Here are five #2 hits that are so awesome, you probably thought they went to number one…
(1) “Payphone” by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa
(2) “Express Yourself” by Madonna
Even before Lady Gaga (supposedly) riffed on it to create “Born This Way,” Madge’s battle cry for ladies in love was obviously a classic. And to this day, I am still (ahem) enthusiastic about those oily, shirtless construction workers doing push-ups in the rain.
(3) “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
I’d say “Beautiful” is Christina‘s signature song, yet it’s not one of her 5 chart-toppers. CRAZY! (Coincidentally, she last hit number one with “Moves Like Jagger”… her duet with Maroon 5. The circle is complete!)
(4) “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga
Um… hello? “Bad Romance” is not only my favorite Lady Gaga song, but also my favorite song of 2009. Yet did it ever top the charts? No! It merely topped the charts of the nation’s soul. Which is pretty good, I guess.
(5) “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
Co-written by Jessie J. (!!!), this song is probably going to be Miley Cyrus‘s lasting legacy. Unless she releases a sex tape or murders a condor or something. Which we probably shouldn’t rule out.
Previously: Why Maroon 5 is “The Voice’s” biggest winner
Mark Blankenship tweets as @IAmBlankenship. He has written about pop music for NPR and the NY Times. If you ask him, he can tell you every Madonna sing that hit #2. (There are six of them.)