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Top 40 Music

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Internet Radio: Listen to The Hitz via Windows Media, Flash, Shoutcast

Top 40 Music: An Introduction
By Jeff Bachmeier

Top 40 Music - The HitzAlso known as Mainstream Top 40 and Contemporary Hits Radio, Top 40 Music is based loosely on playing only the top music from many other formats. Recently, more and more music hits are being "exposed" directly from the format, as program and music directors are willing to take more chances on new music being released. The majority of the Top 40 Music played fall into 3 main music genres or categories: Rock, Pop and RnB with the majority of those genres falling into the pop category.

The Hits Channel format (a.k.a. CHR) was officially labeled in the early 1980's, however the Top 40 format can be traced back as far as the 1950's. Top 40 Music has had its ups and downs over the years but continues to stand the test of time with artists such as: Chubby Checker in the 60s, Steve Miller Band in the 70s, Paula Abdul in the 80s, Backstreet Boys in the 90s and Beyonce currently.

Top 40 Music: Music Hits Revolution

Paula Abdul Top HitzTop 40 Music is a diverse and widely popular music format for just about any age group. It could be argued that there's no one right way to program the format, which is what makes it so popular. There are a few specific CHR categories that most hit radio fall under the following genres.


CHR / POP or Mainstream Top 40's - For the most part this format plays pop, urban, alternative and rock music hits, and every once in a while a country crossover song. Some of the current artists heard on CHR / POP are: Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Fall Out Boy

CHR / Rhythmic or CHR / Urban AC - This Hits radio format focuses on Hip Hop and RnB. The major difference between CHR / Pop and CHR / Rhythmic is the lack of rock and alternative music. CHR / Rhythmic stations will still play a pop song while CHR / Urban will not. Some of the current artists heard on CHR / Rhythmic are: Flo Rida, Soulja Boy, and T.I. Some of the current artists heard on CHR / Urban are: Jamie Foxx, Rick Ross, Ne-Yo.

Adult CHR or Hot AC - This format focuses on the Pop and Rock genres of the format but may occasionally play a Rhythmic or Dance Song. Some of the current artists heard on this format are: The Fray, Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz, Nickelback, and Kelly Clarkson.

There are other local and regional music hits channels including CHR / Dance, CHR / Rock and CHR / Tejan.

Top 40 Music: Musical Events

Year Event
1950's - Todd Storz and Gordon McClendon get the credit for creating the first Top 40 stations.
1960's - The Top 40 Music Hits format gains ground with the current fads of the decade including: Beach Music, The British Invasion, Bubble Gum, Elvis
1970's - The Top 40 format struggled with the fragmentation of different artists. Album Rock became very popular and was heard on many of the first FM stations.
1980's - Casey Kasem and the weekly Top 40 was born and became a huge success. This type of music program is still broadcast today with Ryan Seacrest taking over the host duties Casey Kasem a few years ago.
1990's - The Boy Band Craze better defined The CHR format in the 90s.  The Backstreet Boys, N' Sync, New Kids on the Block, Hanson, etc. all enjoyed number 1 hits.
2000 - Present - In 2009 Pink became the most successful solo artist of all time amassing 3 straight number one hits.  She is the only solo artist to ever do that.  The format continues to be popular with a wide range of people tuning in to their favorite hits channel.

Top 40 Music: The Current Phenomenon

Alecia Moore - PinkWhat makes the Hits Channel format so popular right now is the vast variety of music released for the format. Akon, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, All American Rejects, Miley Cyrus and many more are being played on Top 40 stations everywhere. No other format can lay claim to that variety of music. The unwritten law in Top 40 radio is: Don't like the song currently playing, chances are you'll like the next one. Artists such as Britney Spears, Flo rida, Black Eyed Peas and Kelly Clarkson, just to name a few, will continue to produce the massive hits that appeal to the majority of music listeners.

Internet Radio: Listen to The Hitz via Windows Media, Flash, Shoutcast

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