Billboard’s Hot 100 Achievements


Below are some Billboard top 100 achievements to get you started.  Additional achievements to follow shortly!

• The first number-one song on the Hot 100 was “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson (August 4, 1958).

• The number-one song on the first week Billboard incorporated sales and airplay data from Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems was “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” by P.M. Dawn (November 30, 1991). The first “airplay-only” song to reach number one (no points from a commercial single release) was “Try Again” by Aaliyah (June 17, 2000).

• For the week of April 11, 1964, the Beatles had fourteen singles on the Hot 100, a record unlikely to be surpassed at any time in the conceivable future. The group held the number 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 14, 38, 48, 50, 52, 61, 74, 78 and 81 slots. One week earlier, five Beatles singles had filled the entire top five, also a record.

• American Idol season 7 winner David Cook set a record with the most debuts in a single week (11) in the issue dated June 7, 2008.

• “The Twist” by Chubby Checker is the only song to hit number one twice in two separate chart runs (one week in 1960 and two weeks in 1962).

• “Le Freak” by Chic (1978), “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis (2008), “Whatever You Like” by T.I. (2008) and “Live Your Life” by T.I. featuring Rihanna (2008) are the only songs to reach the number-one position three separate times during the same chart run; each was knocked off the top of the chart twice by other singles, before reclaiming the slot.

• The record for the most separate chart runs for the same single is nine, and is held by Bing Crosby‘s “White Christmas”. Re-released annually by Decca Records, the song was still on the chart in January 1955, as well as 1955 through 1962. The song also had twelve previous runs on Billboard’s pre-rock charts, from 1942 to 1945, and 1947 to 1953. For singles first released during the rock era, the record is five separate chart runs, and is held by three other Christmas songs: David Seville and the Chipmunks’ “The Chipmunk Song”, which charted for five consecutive years between 1958 and 1962, topping the Hot 100 during its original 1958 run; Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock”, which charted in 1957, 1958, and 1960 through 1962; and the Harry Simeone Chorale’s “Little Drummer Boy”, which is the only single of the rock era to reach the top forty for five consecutive years, between 1958 and 1962. Beginning in 1963, Billboard consigned these and other seasonal rereleases to a separate Christmas chart, ending their strings of appearances on the Hot 100. (“Best Sellers in Stores” and “Most Played in Jukeboxes” charts)

James Brown holds the record for most Hot 100 entries (ninety-nine) without a number-one song.

Creedence Clearwater Revival holds the record for the most number-two hits (5) without ever hitting number one.

• Steve Alaimo has had the most singles to chart on the Hot 100 (9) without ever having reached the Top 40.

• The oldest artist to hit number one on the Hot 100 is Louis Armstrong in 1964 with ” Hello, Dolly!” at the age of 62. The oldest woman to top the Hot 100 is Cher with “Believe” in 1999 at the age of 53.

• The youngest artist to hit number one on the Hot 100 is Stevie Wonder in 1963 with ” Fingertips Pt. 2″ at the age of 13. The youngest female to top the Hot 100 is Little Peggy March, also in 1963, with “I Will Follow Him” at the age of 15. Wonder’s single was also the first live recording to top the chart.

• The youngest artist to chart on the Hot 100 is Jordy, a four-year-old from France whose “Dur Dur D’Être Bébé” (roughly, “It’s Tough to Be a Baby”) reached number fifty-eight.

• The oldest artist to chart on the Hot 100 is comedian George Burns, whose “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again” began its 10-week chart run the day before his 84th birthday. This 1980 release peaked at number forty-nine. Before that, Burns’ most recent charting record had been a spoken word comedic routine with his wife and partner Gracie Allen in the summer of 1933.

• The artist with the longest overall span of hits on Billboard’s chart is Elvis Presley, who debuted with “Heartbreak Hotel” in February 1956; a remixed version of “Rubberneckin'” charted in late 2003, more than 47 years later. For non-posthumous artists, Frankie Valli first charted as one of the Four Lovers in 1956, and had his final placement with The Four Seasons in 1995. If pre-1955 charts are considered, Nat “King” Cole’s Billboard career extended from November 1943 until his studio-spliced “duet” with daughter Natalie in 1991 (“Unforgettable”), some 48 years later. (“Best Sellers in Stores” and “Most Played in Jukeboxes” charts)

Elton John had at least one top forty hit every calendar year from 1970 (beginning with “Your Song”) until 1999 (with “Written in the Stars”, a duet with LeAnn Rimes). (However, this methodology credits one late 1995 hit that extended into the January 1996 chart, and another single whose chart run covered both 1997 and 1998.) Whether John’s streak lasted 26 or 30 consecutive years depends on which criteria are considered; either figure would be the longest in chart history.

• Two Tommy James & the Shondells covers (“I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany and “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol) were consecutive number-one hits in 1987.

• Several artists have charted with two recordings of the same song, but only three acts have hit the top ten with two different versions of the same song. Those acts are The Ventures (“Walk, Don’t Run”/”Walk, Don’t Run ’64”), Neil Sedaka (“Breaking Up is Hard to Do”), Elton John (“Candle in the Wind”/”Candle in the Wind 1997”; also “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” the second as a duet with George Michael).

• The song with the most versions on the Hot 100 is “Unchained Melody,” which charted with nine different performers: Les Baxter (whose version topped the chart); Al Hibbler; the Righteous Brothers, who recorded two separate versions that charted 25 years apart; Roy Hamilton; June Valli; Vito & the Salutations; the Sweet Inspirations; and Heart. (“Best Sellers in Stores” and “Most Played in Jukeboxes” charts)

• The Beatles and Usher are the only two artists to have both the year-end number-one and number-two songs in the same year, with the former having “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” in 1964, and the latter with “Yeah!” and “Burn” in 2004.

• Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, Faith Hill, and Lifehouse are the only three acts to have a Billboard Year-End number-one single that did not top the Billboard Hot 100 at any point during its run. In all three cases, the relevant single peaked at number two: Sam the Sham’s “Wooly Bully” (1965), Faith Hill’s “Breathe” (2000), and Lifehouse’s “Hanging by a Moment” (2001).

The Isley Brothers hold the record for being the only act to have had Top 40 hits on the Hot 100 in six consecutive decades: the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

• Usher holds the record for the most weeks spent at number one in a calendar year. In 2004 he spent twenty-eight weeks at number one with four different singles. This represents 54% of 2004’s chart weeks.

• The Bee Gees claimed the number one spot for 25 of 32 consecutive weeks beginning the last week of 1977, either as writers, producers, and/or backing vocalists on singles by Yvonne Elliman, their younger brother Andy Gibb, and on three singles credited to themselves.

• When Lisa Loeb hit number one with “Stay (I Missed You)” in 1994, she became the only artist to top the Hot 100 before being signed to any record label.

• The longest title for a song to chart in the Hot 100 was “Medley: Intro “Venus”/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I’ll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want to Know a Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/Nowhere Man/You’re Going to Lose That Girl/Stars on 45” (41 words) by Stars on 45. It went to number one in 1981.

• The instrumental artist with the most Hot 100 hits is Herb Alpert. Thirty of his thirty-five charting singles are without vocals. He is also the only artist to reach number one with both a vocal (“This Guy’s In Love With You” in 1968) and an instrumental (“Rise” in 1979).

Barry White is the only artist to have written a #1 instrumental and #1 vocal songs within 1 year (“Love’s Theme” by Love Unlimited Orchestra and “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe” by Barry White both in 1974).

• The number one hit with the shortest running time (1:37) is Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs’ “Stay.” The shortest charting record of the rock era was 1964’s “Little Boxes” by the Womenfolk, which was exactly one minute long, and reached number eighty-three.

• “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses (1992) stands as the longest-running song to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, at a length of 8:55.

• The largest act to chart in the Hot 100 is the 375-person Mormon Tabernacle Choir, whose version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” reached number thirteen in 1959.

• Studio drummer Hal Blaine appeared on the most number one hits, thirty-nine in all, between 1961 and 1976.

• During the 12-week period from January 18-April 5, 1975, the Hot 100 was topped by 12 different number one singles, the longest such stretch of constant chart turnover. Two Elton John singles, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Philadelphia Freedom”, bookended the streak with two two-week stays in the top position.

• The most separate number one singles in a single calendar year is 35, which occurred in both 1974 and 1975. 2002 and 2005 had the fewest chart-topping singles, with just 8 apiece.

• In 1973, George Harrison‘s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”‘ replaced Paul McCartney’s “‘My Love”; the two had been bandmates in the Beatles. In 1978, Andy Gibb’s number one “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” replaced “Stayin’ Alive” by his brothers, the Bee Gees; the Bee Gees then did the same to his single with their “Night Fever”‘. In 1986, Genesis’ “Invisible Touch” was replaced in the top spot by the band’s original lead singer Peter Gabriel and “Sledgehammer”.

Paul McCartney is the only artist to have separate top-ten singles as a solo act, as half of a duo, as a third of a trio, as a fourth of a quartet, and as a fifth of a quintet. (Graham Nash also charted in these five configurations, but only in the top forty.)