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‘Watermelon Sugar,’ ‘Blueberry Faygo’ & 17 More Top 10 Hits With Fruit Names in Their Titles

History has been made on the Billboard Hot 100 the past two weeks, though this news item may attract more attention from the Food Network than MTV.

For the first time in the Hot 100’s nearly 62-year history, two songs with the names of fruit in their titles appear in the top 10 simultaneously: Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” and Lil Mosey’s “Blueberry Faygo.”

This got us to thinking about all the songs with fruit in their titles that have made the top 10. There are 19 in all since another watermelon song, Mongo Santamaria’s “Watermelon Man” — originally composed by jazz great Herbie Hancock — got this fruit-stand started in 1963. (If the Cuban conga drummer’s first name had been Mango, it would have fit our theme even better, but what can you do?)

The dominant fruit in the bunch: cherries, which figure in four top 10 song titles — Neil Diamond’s “Cherry, Cherry” (which Diamond wrote about an older woman he was seeing, but we erred on the side of inclusiveness), Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Sweet Cherry Wine,” John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Cherry Bomb” and Warrant’s “Cherry Pie.”

Berries equal cherries with four songs on the list if you combine strawberries (two top 10 hits) raspberries (one) and blueberries (one).

Apples are a close second, with three top 10 hits, followed by peaches, watermelon, grapes and the aforementioned strawberries, with two each. Non-berry fruits with one top 10 hit each are coconuts, cantaloupe, pumpkins (yes, they’re a fruit) and passionfruit.

Fruit is a stand-in for sex on several of the songs on this list, from “Cherry Bomb” and “Cherry Pie” to “Watermelon Sugar,” which is probably not really about watermelon consumption, unless Styles is an especially avid fruit-eater.

Eight songs with fruit in their titles made the top 10 in the 1960s, far more than any other decade. There were three in the ‘70s and just one or two in each decade from the ‘80s to the ‘20s. You might have thought that Michelle Obama’s focus on healthy eating would have moved the numbers, but not one song with fruit in its title made the top 10 during the Obama administration.

Two of the 19 fruit songs made No. 1: Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (seven weeks at No. 1 in 1968-69) and The Osmonds’ “One Bad Apple” (five weeks on top in 1971). In both cases, the fruits are used metaphorically. No one is eating those grapes or that apple.

The list of acts involved in these top 10 hits range from the most successful group of all time, The Beatles, to a true one-hit-wonder, Us3, which never landed another Hot 100 entry apart from “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia).” That 1994 hit, like “Watermelon Man,” was based on a Herbie Hancock work, in this case 1964’s “Cantaloupe Island.”

Look back at every song with fruit in its title to make the top 10 on the Hot 100. The songs are listed in chronological order.

“Watermelon Man,” Mongo Santamaria, April 27, 1963, No. 10

“Cherry, Cherry,” Neil Diamond, Oct.15, 1966, No. 6

“Strawberry Fields Forever,” The Beatles, April 1, 1967, No. 8

“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie,” Jay & the Techniques, Sept. 23, 1967, No. 6

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Gladys Knight & the Pips, Dec. 12, 1967, No. 2

“Little Green Apples,” O.C. Smith, Oct. 26, 1968, No. 2

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Marvin Gaye, Dec. 14, 1968, No. 1

“Sweet Cherry Wine,” Tommy James & the Shondells, May 3, 1969, No. 7

“One Bad Apple,” The Osmonds, Feb. 13, 1971, No. 1

“Coconut,” Nilsson, Aug. 26, 1972, No. 8

“Strawberry Letter 23,” Brothers Johnson, Sept. 24, 1977, No. 5

“Raspberry Beret,” Prince & the Revolution, July 20, 1985, No. 2

“Cherry Bomb,” John Cougar Mellencamp, Jan. 9, 1988, No. 8

“Cherry Pie,” Warrant, Nov. 3, 1990, No. 10

“Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),” Us3, March 5, 1994, No. 9

“Peaches & Cream,” 112, July 7, 2001, No. 4

“Passionfruit,” Drake, April 8, 2017, No. 8

“Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles, July 18, 2020, No. 7

“Blueberry Faygo,” Lil Mosey, July 18, 2020, No. 8

Andrew Unterberger assisted in research for this story.

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