The Adult Top 40 Airplay (also known as Adult Pop Songs and Adult Pop Airplay) chart is published weekly by Billboard magazine and ranks "the most popular adult top 40 as based on radio airplay detections measured by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems."
It is a format in which the genre is geared more towards an adult audience who are not into hard rock, hip hop, or adult contemporary fare. The main genres within this format are alternative rock and mainstream pop that is more adult-oriented. It is not to be confused with adult contemporary where rather lesser-known and more ballad-driven songs are played. The current number one song on the chart is "Easy on Me" by Adele.
The chart was first published in the March 16, 1996, issue of Billboard; however, historically, the chart's introduction was in October 1995, when it began as a test chart.
The Adult Top 40 chart was formed following a split of the "Hot Adult Contemporary" chart due to the growing emergence of Adult Top 40 radio stations in the 1990s. These stations played a wider variety of artists and saw a faster turnover of songs compared to traditional adult contemporary radio. Songs by modern rock, dance, and R&B artists were mixed in with acts more closely associated with adult contemporary. According to Billboard, splitting the chart "better reflect[s] the music being played on adult contemporary and adult/top 40 stations."
The first number-one song on the Adult Top 40, from the test chart of October 7, 1995, was "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal. The first number-one song on the Adult Top 40, from the published chart of March 16, 1996, was "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men.
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