I’ll Be Missing You

I’ve often stated that if I had to pick one song as the biggest hit of the 1980s, taking into account chart performance alongside other factors, such as influence and lasting resonance, I would choose The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”  The song had one of the decade’s longest runs at number one, spending eight weeks at the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in the summer of 1983.  A few songs spent more time at number one in the 1980s (namely, Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical,” Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes,” and “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, all of which hit the top in 1981), but I’d argue that other factors put “Every Breath You Take” ahead of these others.

Among those other factors is the fact that “Every Breath You Take” also featured prominently in one of the biggest hits of the 1990s, as it was sampled to provide the backing rhythm for “I’ll Be Missing You,” the tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. recorded by Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, and 112.  Exactly 15 years ago today, “I’ll Be Missing You” debuted at number one on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart.  The song would remain at the top for a total of 11 weeks, placing it on the list of most weeks at number one in Hot 100 history.

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