Here’s Every Hot 100 No. 1 Song With ‘Bad’ in the Title

In the long history of the Billboard Hot 100, it’s pretty rare for a specific word to appear across the title of multiple No. 1s. With the exception of “love” (because love songs have never and will never go out of style), the lack of commonalities make it impossible to say there’s a formula for crafting the title of a hit. But in digging through Billboard’s list of chart-toppers, we found another word that has surprisingly made quite the mark on the U.S. songs chart: “bad.”

The irony is obvious. While Merriam-Webster defines “bad” as “failing to reach an acceptable standard,” “morally objectionable” and “unpleasant,” musical acts across a handful of genres have defied tradition and hit No. 1 thanks to the word — and it’s happened numerous times over the decades. In 1961, Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John” became the first “bad” title to reach the chart’s peak. Bon Jovi did it twice in the ‘80s with “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Bad Medicine.” And, most recently, Steve Lacy earned his first-ever Hot 100 chart-topper with “Bad Habit” in October 2022.

We have to mention that “bad” has also evolved to encompass another meaning over the years. Confusingly, in many 21st-century cases, it’s slang for something more positive (like “good,” “sexy” or “badass”) — including its use in Migos’ 2017 No. 1 “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert.

Whether an act is using the word’s dictionary definition or its slang meaning, check out all 15 No. 1s containing “bad” in their titles, listed from newest to oldest with their “baddest” lyrics below.

Danielle Pascual