Nielsen Music Canada, in collaboration with Billboard, gave chart lovers a big gift for Canada’s 150th birthday, July 1, 2017 – rankings of the top Canadian artists, albums, and songs during the BDS and SoundScan eras. Nielsen’s data tracking system came into being in the mid-90s. In effect, the charts provided for Canada’s sesquicentennial, (150 years since Confederation) list the most successful artists, albums, and songs in terms of radio airplay, physical sales, digital purchases, and streaming from the mid-90s to the end of 2016.
Nielsen BDS (radio) charts began in 1995, physical album sales in 1996, and digital downloads in 2005. Streaming data charts launched in July 2014 and extend to March 2017 in the Canada 150 charts.
The most spun song at Canadian radio, across all formats, since 1995 is “This is What It Feels Like” featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Trevor Guthrie, also the top song at Contemporary Hit Radio. Adult Contemporary Radio favours Daniel Powter‘s “Bad Day”. “That Song” by Big Wreck takes the honours at Rock Radio. Paul Brandt‘s “My Heart Has a History” hits the zenith at Country Radio.
The Top 150 Canadian Artist Digital Songs is led by Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines”. Streaming Songs is championed by Justin Bieber‘s “Sorry”. For album sales, both physical and digital, our winner is Come On Over by Shania Twain. At the summit of the Top Overall Selling Canadian Artists (by album sales, physical and digital) is Céline Dion.
Keeping in mind that the charts represent sales only since 1996, the best-selling digital song of the 60s is Steppenwolf‘s “Born to Be Wild”. The 1970s belongs to Neil Young‘s “Heart of Gold”. Bryan Adams‘ “Summer of ’69” takes the 80s, Sarah McLachlan‘s “Angel” the 90s, and Hedley‘s “Perfect” the decade known as the noughties. So far in the 2010s, the aforementioned “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke takes the cake. The decade specific charts have 25 entries each multiplied by six decades makes 150 songs.
As we move further away from 2017, the relevance of these charts will gradually fade, but we put them up on the site for historical reasons. Links to the charts are below.
Top 150 – Canadian Airplay Songs – All Formats
Top 150 – Canadian Airplay Songs – Adult Contemporary
Top 150 – Canadian Airplay Songs – Contemporary Hit Radio
Top 150 – Canadian Airplay Songs – Rock
Top 150 – Canadian Airplay Songs – Country
Top 150 – Canadian Artist Digital Songs
Top 150 – Canadian Streaming Songs
Top 150 – Overall Canadian Albums (by physical and digital sales)
Top 150 – Overall Selling Canadian Artists (by physical and digital album sales)
Top 150 – Canadian Digital Songs by Decade