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‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Ace ‘Billboard’s 500 Best Pop Songs’ Category

The contestants on Jeopardy! on Friday (Feb. 2) cleaned up on the category “Billboard’s 500 Best Pop Songs,” answering all five questions correctly in quick succession.

The Jeopardy! producers chose five songs near the top of the list, which was a staff project that was posted on Billboard.com on Oct. 19, 2023 to mark the Billboard Hot 100‘s 65th anniversary year.

All of the songs chosen ranked in the top 15 on the list – Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” at No. 13, The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” at No. 10, Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” at No. 5, The Temptations’ “My Girl” at No. 3 and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” at No. 1.

That covers a healthy span of years – two songs from the 1960s, one from the ’80s, one from the ’00s and one from the ’10s. The questions drew from the write-ups that accompanied each song on the list. Here are a few examples.

“I’ll tell you something: The Beatles got No. 10 with this 1964 hit, ‘a force the likes of which pop had never encountered.’ The answer, of course: “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

“#3 was this Temptations classic about a lover, immediately recognizable from the opening bassline.” You got to know that’s “My Girl.”

“#5 was this 2005 Kelly Clarkson Grammy winner, ‘the 21st Century’s greatest contribution to the pop canon so far.’” Yep, that’s “Since U Been Gone.”

Those questions weren’t too tough, but you’ve got to keep in mind that the contestants weren’t pop-culture specialists. They’re just generally well-informed people. We’re glad to know that being steeped in basic pop music trivia is considered an essential part of common knowledge.

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