The rise of rap, the influence of streaming on the Billboard charts, and changing perceptions of love all play a part. These songs charted 50 , 30 , and 10 years ago on the Billboard Hot , which tracks the most popular music in America. Performed by Stevie Wonder, New Edition, and Kanye West, respectively, they are examples of a rich black musical tradition that explored the many meanings of love. Today, much of the love expressed in classic songs seems as anachronistic as cassette tapes. The Hot pop charts still have plenty of songs by black artists about sex, which has always been an essential thread in the emotional tapestry of music. The Billboard Hot measures online streaming, radio airplay and sales to determine the most popular music in America. The Undefeated analyzed year-end Hot charts for the past five years, plus the year-end charts from , , , , and We counted all the songs performed by black artists, and all the love songs. We defined love songs as those dealing with attraction that is more than just sex, including love that is anticipated, fulfilled, lost, not reciprocated, or sometimes tainted by dysfunction.
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