When it comes to the music industry, the competition is fierce! While numbers aren't everything, at least for some artists, scoring a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 is a feat every musician wants to earn.
Although there have been a few singers who surprisingly don't have a Billboard Hot 100 #1, there are plenty who do! Despite some of the biggest names in the current industry dominating the charts, there are some of the classic icons from the 70s, 80s, and 90s who hold the record for most hits, which includes both Rihanna and Madonna.
So, who else makes the list? Let's dive right in!
Updated on November 29, 2022: While she hasn't made the cut yet, Taylor Swift is an honorable mention as she continues to top charts. With her newest album, Midnights, releasing in October of this year, she has received high praises and recognition. In one week of the release, Swift claimed the top ten slots with ten of her songs. This release brought her name to the number one albums slot for the 11th time, proving she is a force to be reckoned with.
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10 Stevie Wonder Has 10 Hits On The Charts
Stevie Wonder has been going strong for decades, so it's no surprise that he's part of this list. He got his first No. 1 hit when he was 13 with his song "Fingertips," and since then his career took off, launching him into the superstar he is today.
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He's had 9 other number ones since then. Some of his other most popular singles are "Superstition," "I Just Called To Say I Love You," "Part-Time Lover," and of course, one of the greatest duets of all time: "Ebony & Ivory," which he wrote and recorded with Sir Paul McCartney. Although Stevie Wonder has taken a step back from the limelight for some time now, there's no denying that he can sing like nobody's business.
9 Janet Jackson Currently Holds 10 Hit Singles
Tied with Stevie, the one and only Janet Jackson has also achieved 10 Billboard No. 1 hits, something many of the Jacksons are familiar with! Her first hit came about back in 1986, with the song "When I Think of You."
Other amazing hits were "Miss You Much," "Escapade," "Black Cat," and "That's The Way Love Goes." The latter also won a Grammy for Best R&B Song, which is one of six that she has to her name! In 2019, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, proving once again how influential she still is. Although she's still got a lot to give, Janet Jackson is busy taking care of her son, Eissa Al Mana.
8 Whitney Houston Has 11 Hits To Her Name
The death of Whitney Houston was one of music's most tragic losses of the past decade, but she has left behind a beautiful catalog for fans to listen to and remember her, many of which went on to reach number one!
The first song of hers to go to the top spot was "Saving All My Love For You," which came out back in 1985 when Whitney was just 22 years old. She then had ten other hits, of course, among which include "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "So Emotional," "I'm Your Baby Tonight," and the timeless, heartbreaking single "I Will Always Love You."
7 Madonna Cracked 12 Hit Singles On The Billboard Chart
The readers must have been wondering when the Queen of Pop was going to show up. The incredible Madonna has 12 number one hits so far, but with how well her latest record, Madame X, did commercially, it wouldn't be surprising if some of her future work added to her list of hits.
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"Crazy For You" was her first number 1 in 1985, but many of her most popular songs are also in the same category. Some of them are "Papa Don't Preach," "Open Your Heart," "Like a Prayer," and "Vogue," to name a few. Madonna recently hosted her own Pride party in New York City, the first she's gone to and performed at since the pandemic. The singer proved her abilities that night, showing everyone that she's still got it!
6 The Supremes Also Have 12 Hits On The List
The Supremes are tied with Madonna regarding their number of hits, but it's not just the fact that they have 12 number one hits that is interesting; they did it all in just five years! To this day, they are still one of America's most important singing groups of all time. In 1964, they debuted at the top of the chart with "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," and "Come See About Me."
The next year, there was "Stop! In The Name Of Love," "I Hear A Symphony," and "Back In My Arms Again." Although the group is no longer together, Supremes lead, Diana Ross, is still very much active in the music industry and recently announced a brand new album after 15 years!
5 Michael Jackson Performed 13 Great Billboard Hits
Without counting his work with The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson has 13 number one hits in the Hot 100 as a solo artist. He was only 14 years old when his song "Ben" reached number 1 in 1972, and after that, it was nothing but success for the King of Pop.
Some of the hits include, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," and "Rock With You," from 1979, and "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and "Say Say Say." Although the singer has since passed, his kids continue to keep his legacy alive!
4 Rihanna Claims A Spot With 14 Hits
It's remarkable that someone as young as Rihanna is so far up on this list, but then again, it's not difficult to see why. She was 18 years old when she released "S.O.S" in 2006, and that song became her first number one hit on the Hot 100.
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The next year there was "Umbrella" followed by "Rude Boy," "Only Girl (In the World)," "Diamonds," and "Love the Way You Lie," a stellar duet with Eminem. While Rihanna is taking her sweet time with album number nine, the star is currently busy taking over the cosmetics and clothing industry with the success of her Fenty line.
3 Elvis Presley Successfully Added 18 Songs To The List
Elvis Presley's case is peculiar because many of the songs that are now considered number one singles came out before the Billboard Hot 100 chart was created in 1958. Elvis was one of the creators of the rock and roll genre, so it makes sense that his success precedes the charts.
Some of his greatest pre-Hot 100 hits are "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," and "Love Me Tender" back in 1956. Then during the 60s he had the songs "Stuck On You," "Now Or Never," and "Are You Lonesome Tonight," along with many others, proving himself to really be the King of Rock.
2 Mariah Carey Has 19 Singles On The Hot 100
With 19 number one Hot 100 hits, Mariah Carey earned second place on this list. Her talents and stage presence were clear from the beginning, and her first number-one single was also her debut song, "Vision Of Love," in 1990 at 20 years old.
That same year she would go on to have another number one with "Love Takes Time," and in 1991, she topped the charts again with the songs "Someday," "I Don't Wanna Cry," and "Emotions." Mariah's last hit was with "Touch My Body" tying her with Elvis. However, in 2019, Mimi's Christmas hit, 'AIWFCIY' went number one, allowing her to become the solo artist with the most number-one songs!
1 The Beatles Top The Ranks With 20 Songs
To no one's surprise, the greatest rock band of all time holds the record to the most number-one hits, though it was very close. The Beatles lasted less than a decade, but still managed to not only change the course of rock and roll (and music in general) but to make songs that are still listened to over fifty years later. "Love Me Do, She Loves You," and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" were some of The Beatles' first hits, and the ones that caused the so-called Beatlemania, but in the late sixties they changed directions.
They topped the charts again with songs like "Penny Lane," "All You Need Is Love," and "Hey Jude," cementing themselves as the biggest group in the world!
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