1996 in Music: The Wrap-Up

We’ve now finished writing about all the singles that reached No. 1 in 1996. The year began with “One Sweet Day” continuing its record-breaking run on top, and ended with another tearful mega-ballad, “Un-Break My Heart.” Between those two, we saw a tremendously wide-ranging set of tracks hit the apex of the Billboard Hot 100, including “Macarena,” “Tha Crossroads” and “No Diggity.”

In general, the dominant genres of 1996 were (post-Grunge) Alternative, including female-oriented rock by acts such as Alanis Morissette and No Doubt, as well as R&B and Hip-Hop by the likes of 2Pac, Nas, Keith Sweat and Fugees. It was a lackluster year (in the U.S., at least) for Pop, a genre that would see a resurgence in 1997 with the introductions of Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. On the Country charts, 1996 was a big year for Shania Twain, George Strait and LeAnn Rimes.

Below is a playlist of our 10 favorite songs of the year, followed by the list. Enjoy!

  1. “Twisted,” Keith Sweat
  2. “Missing,” Everything but the Girl
  3. “Un-Break My Heart,” Toni Braxton
  4. “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” Celine Dion
  5. “Birmingham,” Amanda Marshall
  6. “Shadowboxer,” Fiona Apple
  7. “Mouth,” Merrill Bainbridge
  8. “I Want To Come Over,” Melissa Etheridge
  9. “You’re The One,” SWV
  10. “Anything,” 3T

– John

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