The Number One Hits Of 1988
|December 12, 1987 – January 8, 1988
George Michael was known for his philanthropic work, supporting various charities throughout his life.
Faith won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989.
|January 9, 1988 – January 15, 1988
Whitney Houston was one of the best-selling music artists, selling over 200 million records worldwide.
So Emotional was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who also wrote hits for Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.
|January 16, 1988 – January 22, 1988
Got My Mind Set On You
George Harrison was an avid gardener and dedicated much of his time to maintaining his garden at Friar Park.
Got My Mind Set On You is a cover of a 1962 song by James Ray.
|January 23, 1988 – January 29, 1988
The Way You Make Me Feel
Michael Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once as a member of The Jackson 5 and once as a solo artist.
The Way You Make Me Feel is known for its energetic rhythm and was a part of Jackson’s “Bad” album.
|January 30, 1988 – February 5, 1988
Need You Tonight
INXS is an Australian rock band formed in 1977 with Kirk Pengilly on guitar and saxophone.
Need You Tonight is a fusion of rock and dance music and won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video in 1988.
|February 6, 1988 – February 19, 1988
Tiffany Darwish, better known as Tiffany, started her career by singing in shopping malls across the United States.
Could’ve Been is a poignant ballad about lost love and became Tiffany’s second chart-topping single.
|February 20, 1988 – February 26, 1988
Exposé is an American vocal group, originally formed in 1984 with the lineup of Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado, and Gioia Bruno.
Seasons Change is a heartfelt ballad that showcases the group’s harmonies and vocal prowess.
|February 27, 1988 – March 11, 1988
George Michael played almost all of the instruments on his debut solo album, “Faith.”
Father Figure is a soulful track with a gospel-inspired chorus, exploring themes of love and devotion.
|March 12, 1988 – March 25, 1988
Never Gonna Give You Up
Rick Astley’s distinct deep voice became his trademark, contributing to his global success.
Never Gonna Give You Up became an internet phenomenon in the 2000s through a prank known as “Rickrolling.”
|March 26, 1988 – April 8, 1988
Man in the Mirror
Michael Jackson co-wrote the charity single “We Are the World” with Lionel Richie, which raised millions for famine relief in Africa.
Man in the Mirror features a gospel choir and is a call for self-reflection and personal change.
|April 9, 1988 – April 22, 1988
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
Billy Ocean, born in Trinidad and Tobago, is a British singer-songwriter who found success in the 1980s.
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car is an upbeat, catchy song featured in the movie “License to Drive.”
|April 23, 1988 – May 6, 1988
Where Do Broken Hearts Go
Whitney Houston was the cousin of famous singer Dionne Warwick.
Where Do Broken Hearts Go was written by Frank Wildhorn and Chuck Jackson, and it became Houston’s seventh consecutive number-one single.
|May 7, 1988 – May 13, 1988
Terence Trent D’Arby
Terence Trent D’Arby, now known as Sananda Maitreya, is an American singer-songwriter who blends elements of funk, rock, and soul in his music.
Wishing Well was D’Arby’s debut single and showcased his unique vocal style.
|May 14, 1988 – May 27, 1988
Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
Anything For You
Gloria Estefan is a Cuban-American singer, songwriter, and actress who started her career with the Miami Sound Machine.
Anything For You is a heartfelt ballad that became the group’s first number-one hit in the United States.
|May 28, 1988 – June 17, 1988
One More Try
George Michael’s first solo concert tour, the Faith World Tour, took place in 1988.
One More Try is a soulful ballad with a gospel influence, showcasing Michael’s vocal range and emotive delivery.
|June 18, 1988 – June 24, 1988
Rick Astley retired from the music industry in 1993, before making a comeback in the 2000s.
Together Forever is an upbeat dance-pop song produced by the same team behind his hit Never Gonna Give You Up.
|June 25, 1988 – July 1, 1988
Debbie Gibson made history as the youngest artist to write, produce, and perform a number-one single.
Foolish Beat is a heartfelt ballad about lost love and showcases Gibson’s songwriting skills.
|July 2, 1988 – July 8, 1988
Michael Jackson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984.
Dirty Diana is a rock-influenced track and features a guitar solo by Steve Stevens.
|July 9, 1988 – July 22, 1988
Cheap Trick is an American rock band known for their energetic live performances and strong fan following.
The Flame is a power ballad and became the band’s only number-one single in the United States.
|July 23, 1988 – July 29, 1988
Hold On to the Nights
Richard Marx began his career as a background singer and songwriter for other artists before achieving solo success.
Hold On to the Nights is a powerful ballad and became Marx’s first number-one hit in the United States.
|July 30, 1988 – August 26, 1988
Roll with It
Steve Winwood is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who has been active since the 1960s, originally as a member of the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic.
Roll with It is a lively and upbeat song influenced by R&B and soul music.
|August 27, 1988 – September 9, 1988
George Michael’s music video for “Freedom! ’90” featured top supermodels of the time.
Monkey is an energetic dance-pop track whose music video showcased innovative editing techniques.
|September 10, 1988 – September 23, 1988
Guns N’ Roses
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Guns N’ Roses is an American hard rock band featuring Axl Rose as the lead vocalist and Slash as the lead guitarist.
Sweet Child O’ Mine is known for its memorable guitar riff and became the band’s first number-one single.
|September 24, 1988 – October 7, 1988
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Bobby McFerrin is an American jazz vocalist and conductor known for his unique vocal techniques and improvisational skills.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy is an a cappella song featuring McFerrin’s multilayered vocals and won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1989.
|October 8, 1988 – October 14, 1988
Def Leppard is a British rock band formed in 1977 with Joe Elliott as the lead vocalist.
Love Bites is a power ballad that became the band’s first and only number-one single in the United States.
|October 15, 1988 – October 21, 1988
Red Red Wine
UB40 is a British reggae/pop band, formed in 1978, known for their diverse lineup and social consciousness.
Red Red Wine is a reggae-infused cover of a 1967 Neil Diamond song, becoming one of UB40’s most popular tracks.
|October 22, 1988 – November 4, 1988
A Groovy Kind of Love
Phil Collins is an English musician, singer, and actor who gained fame as the drummer and lead vocalist for the rock band Genesis.
A Groovy Kind of Love is a cover of a 1965 song by The Mindbenders, and it became Collins’ sixth number-one single.
|November 5, 1988 – November 11, 1988
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in 1961, known for their distinctive harmonies and surf music influences.
Kokomo was featured in the film “Cocktail” and became the band’s first number-one single in over 20 years.
|November 12, 1988 – November 18, 1988
The Escape Club
Wild, Wild West
The Escape Club is a British rock band formed in 1983 with Trevor Steel as the lead vocalist.
Wild, Wild West is a catchy, upbeat song that became the band’s only number-one single in the United States.
|November 19, 1988 – December 2, 1988
Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983, featuring Jon Bon Jovi as the lead vocalist and Richie Sambora as the lead guitarist.
Bad Medicine is a hard rock anthem and the lead single from the band’s fourth album, “New Jersey.”
|December 3, 1988 – December 9, 1988
Will to Power
Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley (Free Baby)
Will to Power is an American dance-pop group founded by DJ and producer Bob Rosenberg in 1987.
Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley (Free Baby) is a medley of Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird,” becoming the group’s only number-one single.
|December 10, 1988 – December 23, 1988
Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967, known for their horn section and fusion of rock, jazz, and classical music.
Look Away was written by Diane Warren and became the band’s third number-one single in the United States.
|December 24, 1988 – January 13, 1989
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Poison is an American glam metal band formed in 1983 with Bret Michaels as the lead vocalist.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn is a power ballad and the band’s only number-one single, reflecting on the end of a relationship.
The Biggest Pop Artists of 1988 include:
Anita Baker, Al B. Sure!, Billy Ocean, Bobby Brown, Bobby McFerrin, The Boys, Breathe, Cheap Trick, Cherrelle, Chicago, Debbie Gibson, D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Def Leppard, Elton John, George Harrison, George Michael, Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine, Guns N’ Roses, INXS, Karyn White, Kool Moe Dee, Keith Sweat, Levert, Luther Vandross, Micheal Jackson, New Edition, Paula Abdul, Pebbles, Pet Shop Boys, Phil Collins, Poison, Prince, Richard Marx, Rick Astley, Sade, Salt-N-Pepa, Stephanie Mills, Steve Winwood, Surface, Taylor Dayne, Terence Trent D’Arby, Tiffany, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Van Halen, Whitney Houston
(HPS music data is compiled from charts, including Billboard’s Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance, and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)