What's the biggest song to ever hit the US charts that was associated with a dance craze either named after the song, or referenced in its title? The Locomotion? Let's Do the Twist? Achy Breaky Heart? The Cupid Shuffle? Limbo Rock? The Charleston? The Macarena?
"The Streets of Cairo" (1893), with the associated dance The Hootchie-Cootchie. Although the dance had made appearances in 1851 and 1873, the song had made the dance well known. And while the original was not copyrighted and never appeared on the charts, the melody and the dance has been used by several charting hits as a motif.
Top five examples that reached the US Billboard charts (and not including others) are the following:
Take It Off (Ke$ha) - #8 (2010)
Istanbul, not Constantinople (The Four Lads) - #10 (1953)
Criminal (Fiona Apple) - #21 (1997)
Lies (Thompson Twins) - #30 (1983) (#1 in the US dance charts)
Learn Chinese (MC Jin) - #74 (2003)
Chubby Checker's version of The Twist was the most popular, but this song reached the charts multiple times with multiple artists:
- Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (1959), number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Chubby Checker (1960) , number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 19, 1960, where it stayed for one week, and setting a record as the only song to reach number 1 in two different hit parade runs when it resurfaced and topped the popular hit parade again for two weeks starting on January 13, 1962.
- The Fat Boys (1988), number 2 in the U.K. and number 1 in Germany.
In 2014, Billboard magazine declared the song the "biggest hit" of the 1960s.
In 2009, "Y.M.C.A." was entered into the Guinness World Book of Records when over 44,000 people danced to the song with Village People singing live at the 2008 Sun Bowl game in El Paso, Texas.