Survival of the Hippest: Life at the Top of the Hot 100
We analyze the survival characteristics of recordings that reached the number one spot on the U.S. popular music charts over the period 1955 to 2003. Our results show that there has been a statistically significant change in the time spent at number one since “album cuts” were included in the compilation of Billboard’s Hot 100. Survival time is significantly improved if the recording is by a female solo artist, or if it is an instrumental tune. We also find a significant “Elvis effect”.
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