The Triple J Hottest 100 is an annual music poll, based on the votes of national Australian radio station Triple J listeners, in order to determine their favourite song of the year. Voting is conducted by SMS and the internet and begins on the new year for the previous year's songs. The 100 most popular songs are then counted down on Australia Day weekend - usually Australia Day itself, January 26. Australians have a public holiday on January 26 to celebrate Australia Day, and it has become an extremely popular way to celebrate Australia Day, with many traditions and party themes.
The poll had been conducted by 2JJJ in Sydney starting in the 1980s, before Triple J became a national broadcaster. It was originally called the Hot 100 and ran on New Year's Day. The Brisbane independent radio Station 4ZZZ had run a survey under the same name and on the same day since 1977 and owned the rights to the name Hot 100. Triple J was legally required to change the name of its annual survey.
The poll attracts over half a million votes every year (500,000 in 2004, 600,000 in 2005, 671,024 in 2006, 700,000 in 2007, 800,000 in 2008 and over 1.1 million in 2009). Triple J claims that it is the world's largest music poll. It began as a write-in poll; it then progressed to phone in, then they started listing the songs for the year so it could be done automatically via SMS and web voting. In 2003, it was only possible to vote on the Triple J web site; registration was required and limited to 10 votes. In 2004 this was expanded to 10 internet votes, and 10 SMS votes.
A compilation CD featuring a selection of the songs in the countdown is released a few months after the count; the first CD is still available as of 2009 More recently, a DVD featuring video clips for some of the songs is also released. These releases form a popular and effective source of income for the station.
During the poll's first few years (1989 to 1991), the eligible songs were not restricted to a particular year. The winner in the first two years (1989 and 1990) was "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, and 1991's favourite song was "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. After a hiatus in 1992 caused by the organiser's realisations that Nirvana would top the poll yet again, the poll returned in 1993, but was limited to songs released in that year.
In the 20 years since its inception, the band who featured the most times (counting each song as appearing only once) has been Powderfinger, with 22 songs between 1996 and 2009.
Dave Grohl has appeared 29 times throughout the countdown including the top spot on two occasions (1991, 2002). 4 times with Nirvana, 19 with Foo Fighters, 5 with Queens of The Stone Age and once with Them Crooked Vultures.
Bernard Fanning has taken out the top spot on three occasions, twice with Powderfinger and once as a solo artist.
The 2009 Hottest 100 on the Triple J website, voting began on December 21, 2009 and closed on January 17, 2010.
The 2010 Hottest 100 on the triple j website, voting began on December 20, 2010 and closed on January 16, 2011.
Hottest 100 top tens and summaries
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