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1996

Top Adult Contemporary Songs of 1996
by Alex Cosper

TONI BRAXTON - Un-break My Heart
NO DOUBT - Don't Speak
CELINE DION - Because You Loved Me
JEWEL - You Were Meant For Me
MARIAH CAREY - Always Be My Baby
CELINE DION - All By Myself
MADONNA - Don't Cry For Me Argentina
MARIAH CAREY - Forever
WHITNEY HOUSTON - I Believe In You
BRYAN ADAMS - Let's Make a Night To Remember

1996 Top Pop Hits
1996 Top Albums
1996 Top Ballads/Adult Contemporary
1996 Top Country Hits
1996 Top Dance Hits
1996 Top Modern/Alternative Hits
1996 Top R&B Hits
1996 Top Rock Hits

More Top Adult Contemporary Songs of 1996:

SPICE GIRLS - 2 Became 1
WALLFLOWERS - One Headlight
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH - Old Man & Me
ERIC CLAPTON - Change The World
TRACY CHAPMAN - Give Me One Reason
SEAL - Fly Like an Eagle
GEORGE MICHAEL - Fastlove
DONNA LEWIS - I Love You Always Forever
TONI BRAXTON - You're Makin' Me High
TINA TURNER - Missing You
GEORGE MICHAEL - Jesus To a Child
CARDIGANS - Lovefool
SHERYL CROW - Every Day Is a Winding Road
MADONNA - You Must Love Me
JANN ARDEN - Insensitive
JEWEL - Who Will Save Your Soul
BACKSTREET BOYS - I'll Never Break Your Heart
GLORIA ESTEFAN - Reach
PHIL COLLINS - Dance Into The Light
LIONEL RICHIE - Don't Wanna Lose Yuo
JOHN MELLENCAMP - Key Wet Intermezzo
DUNCAN SHEIK - Barely Breathing
MAXWELL - Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
TINA TURNER - On Silent Wings
WHITNEY HOUSTON - Why Does It Hurt So Bad
GIN BLOSSOMS - Follow You Down
SEAL - Don't Cry
NATALIE MERCHANT - Jealousy
BRAND, TAMIA, GLADY KNIGHT & CHAKA KAHN - Missing You


Alternative radio format began its decline, fragmenting into multiple formats as artists like Dave Matthews and Sheryl Crow were becoming more of the adult contemporary establishment. A rising alternative star named Jewel had a big hit with "Who Will Save Your Soul." It wasn't necessarily as big at AC radio as it was at alternative, but the album Pieces of You sold millions of units and the follow-up single "You Were Meant For Me" made number one on the AC charts.

Another signal that alternative radio was softening up and merging with the often criticized bland AC format was the smash hit "Don't Speak" by No Doubt. It became a multi-format hit, including on adult contemporary stations. The band had come on the scene with a ska sound, which was nowhere to be found on the adult contemporary format at the time. But the third single from the Tragic Kingdom album, "Don't Speak," was like a regular pop ballad with absolutely no hint of ska.

By the end of the year the alternative format was being challenged by both the AAA format and an emerging format called "modern AC," which was syphoned off as many adult-sounding pop records from the alternative universe as possible. Fans of alternative music were growing older, as they had embraced "modern rock" since the late 70s. In many cases, there were fans of 60s/70s pop, who had also become a part of the alternative tribe, but were beginning to get alienated by the harder, more metallic and rappish sounds of alternative radio.








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