Artists With the Most No. 1 Hits

May 2, 2019 by Steven M. Peters

Releasing a No. 1 hit song is a dream for all musicians working in popular music. And while tens of thousands of songs have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 — the music industry’s standard chart for popular singles — since its inception in 1958, fewer than 700 unique artists have managed to reach the coveted No. 1 position.

To send multiple singles to the top of the charts is even more rare. In fact, only 28 artists have managed to have more than four singles reach the No. 1 spot in the history of the Hot 100. These performers generally have careers that span decades — producing high quality music that appeals to music fans again and again throughout the years — making them the opposite of a one-hit wonder.

24/7 Tempo has identified the artists with the most No. 1 hits based on Billboard Hot 100 chart rankings going back to 1958. All of the artists who appear on the list are recognizable, as are their extensive catalogs of chart-topping music. They also span the entirety of popular music genres since the late 1950s — from the culture-shaking rock and roll of Elvis Presley to the modern pop music of Rihanna.

Click here to see the artists with the most No. 1 hits.

To identify the artists with the most No. 1 hits, 24/7 Tempo reviewed Billboard Hot 100 rankings going back to August 1958. In cases where artists had the same number of No. 1 hits, the artist who spent more overall weeks in the No. 1 position was given the higher rank. In some cases, ties still remained. We attributed collaborative tracks to the primary artist or the artist that released the album on which the track appears. Certain songs were attributed to artists because the songs appeared on their Spotify pages. For instance, songs released under Prince and the Revolution and Prince and the N.P.G. were credited under Prince. The date accompanying each artist’s “first chart topper” is the date that song reached the top of the chart.

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28. Eagles
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 5
> First chart topper: Best Of My Love (3/1/1975)

The Eagles’ greatest hits album is the highest certified album of all time, meaning recognized sales and streams of the album are higher than any other. The band has also had success on the pop charts, with five songs reaching No. 1 in the 1970s, although each of those singles held the position for one week only.

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27. KC And The Sunshine Band
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 6
> First chart topper: Get Down Tonight (8/30/1975)

Disco and funk outfit KC and the Sunshine Band had huge success during the 1970s with singles such as “That’s The Way (I Like It).” Their final No. 1 was the love ballad “Please Don’t Go,” which peaked in 1980.

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26. Lionel Richie
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 12
> First chart topper: Truly (11/27/1982)

Lionel Richie had a hugely successful solo career after leaving The Commodores in 1982. Prior to his departure he had one chart-topping hit without the group, “Endless Love,” which he performed as a duet with Diana Ross.

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25. The Four Seasons
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 16
> First chart topper: Sherry (9/15/1962)

The Four Seasons, also frequently referred to as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, released four No. 1 hits during the first half of the 1960s. Their final No. 1 hit — which peaked in 1976 — was named for that period: “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).”

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24. Bruno Mars
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 16
> First chart topper: Just The Way You Are (10/2/2010)

Bruno Mars scored four No. 1 hits of his first two studio albums: “Just the Way You Are,” “Grenade,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” and “When I Was Your Man.” In 2017, he had another major hit with “That’s What I Like,” which spent 52 total weeks on the Hot 100 but only one week in the top position.

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23. Taylor Swift
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 17
> First chart topper: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (9/1/2012)

Twenty-nine-year old pop sensation Taylor Swift is the youngest artist to currently have released at least five No. 1 hits on the Hot 100. Swift’s song “Blank Space” spent the most time in the top position, at seven weeks, beginning in November 2014.

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22. Olivia Newton-John
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 17
> First chart topper: I Honestly Love You (10/5/1974)

Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John released five chart-topping singles throughout her music career, with the last being 1981’s “Physical.” Three years prior, Newton-John had a major hit with “You’re The One That I Want” off the “Grease” soundtrack, which she performed with John Travolta.

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21. Beyoncé
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 22
> First chart topper: Crazy In Love (7/12/2003)

Despite her ongoing popularity — including a much-heralded headlining performance at Coachella music festival in 2018 — Beyoncé has not scored a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 since “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” in 2008. Other No. 1 hits include “Irreplaceable” and “Crazy In Love,” which featured Jay-Z.

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20. Elton John
> No. 1 hits: 5
> Total weeks at No. 1: 23
> First chart topper: Crocodile Rock (2/3/1973)

Singer-songwriter Elton John is a machine when it comes to pop hits, releasing 67 songs throughout his career that charted on the Hot 100. His double A-side “Candle In The Wind/Something About The Way You Look Tonight” — released in 1997 in dedication to the late Diana, Princess of Wales — spent an impressive 14 weeks at No. 1.

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19. Diana Ross
> No. 1 hits: 6
> Total weeks at No. 1: 11
> First chart topper: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (9/19/1970)

In addition to her work with The Supremes, Diana Ross has also had a successful solo career and did tremendously well on the Hot 100. Ross’s No. 1 hits include her duet with Lionel Richie — “Endless Love” — which spent nine weeks at No. 1.

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18. Paula Abdul
> No. 1 hits: 6
> Total weeks at No. 1: 12
> First chart topper: Straight Up (2/11/1989)

Dancer-turned-singer Paula Abdul released only three studio albums, yet scored six No. 1 hits between 1989 and 1991.

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17. Daryl Hall & John Oates
> No. 1 hits: 6
> Total weeks at No. 1: 14
> First chart topper: Rich Girl (3/26/1977)

Pop rock duo Daryl Hall and John Oates, also known as Hall & Oates, scored their first No. 1 in with their song “Rich Girl.” The group’s other five songs to make it to the top of the charts all did so during the early 1980s, with the last being “Out of Touch” in 1984.

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16. George Michael
> No. 1 hits: 7
> Total weeks at No. 1: 12
> First chart topper: Faith (12/12/1987)

Singer George Michael helped send three songs to No. 1 as a part of pop duo Wham! before finding even greater success as a solo artist. Michael’s final single to climb to the top of the Hot 100 was “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” a live performance the singer recorded along with Elton John, who originally recorded it.

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15. Phil Collins
> No. 1 hits: 7
> Total weeks at No. 1: 14
> First chart topper: Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) (4/21/1984)

Former singer and drummer of Genesis, Phil Collins had numerous hit singles as a solo artist in the 1980s. His chart toppers include the iconic tracks “Sussudio” and “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now).”

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14. Elvis Presley
> No. 1 hits: 7
> Total weeks at No. 1: 22
> First chart topper: A Big Hunk O’ Love (8/10/1959)

The King of Rock and Roll revolutionized popular music forever by combining blues, country, and soul music. Elvis dominated the charts for most of his career with songs including “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” “Surrender,” and “Suspicious Minds.”

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13. The Rolling Stones
> No. 1 hits: 8
> Total weeks at No. 1: 17
> First chart topper: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (7/10/1965)

Rock and roll legends The Rolling Stones have had 57 songs in the Hot 100 in total, eight of which have reached No. 1. While the band has continued to put out new music — releasing covers album “Blue & Lonesome” as recently as 2016 — they haven’t had a chart-topping single since 1978’s “Miss You.”

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12. Stevie Wonder
> No. 1 hits: 9
> Total weeks at No. 1: 21
> First chart topper: Fingertips – Pt 2 (8/10/1963)

Stevie Wonder’s first No. 1 single, “Fingertips,” was released when the singer had only just turned 13 years old. He would continue to release chart toppers throughout the 1970s and 80s.

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11. Usher
> No. 1 hits: 9
> Total weeks at No. 1: 22
> First chart topper: Nice & Slow (2/14/1998)

R&B singer Usher charted his nine No. 1 hits over a dozen years, spanning from 1998 to 2010. Usher’s most recent single to top the chart — “OMG” — spent a total of 30 weeks on the Hot 100 and four weeks at No. 1.

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10. Bee Gees
> No. 1 hits: 9
> Total weeks at No. 1: 27
> First chart topper: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart (8/7/1971)

The Bee Gees found their place in popular music after transitioning from a Beatles-inspired pop group to the disco sound they’re best known for. Eight of the band’s nine No. 1 hits were released from 1975 to 1979, with the exception being 1971’s “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.”

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9. Janet Jackson
> No. 1 hits: 10
> Total weeks at No. 1: 21
> First chart topper: When I Think Of You (10/11/1986)

While never reaching the success of her brother Michael, Janet Jackson’s 10 No. 1 hits are nothing to scoff at. By keeping up with the changing trends in pop and R&B, the singer maintained popularity throughout the 1980s and 1990s with singles such as “When I Think Of You,” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” and “Doesn’t Really Matter.”

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8. Whitney Houston
> No. 1 hits: 11
> Total weeks at No. 1: 31
> First chart topper: Saving All My Love For You (10/26/1985)

R&B diva Whitney Houston was the first artist to ever have seven consecutive singles reach the top of the charts. Among her major hits was her 1992 cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which spent 14 weeks at the top of the Hot 100 and is one of the best selling singles of all time.

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7. Katy Perry
> No. 1 hits: 12
> Total weeks at No. 1: 18
> First chart topper: I Kissed A Girl (7/5/2008)

Pop star Katy Perry — born Katheryn Hudson — has had nine No. 1 hits despite only releasing five studio albums under the name Katy Perry. Perry has not topped the Hot 100 since 2014’s “Dark Horse,” which featured rapper Juicy J.

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6. The Supremes
> No. 1 hits: 12
> Total weeks at No. 1: 19
> First chart topper: Where Did Our Love Go (8/22/1964)

The Supremes — under the leadership of soul superstar Diana Ross — had 12 No. 1 singles from 1964 through 1969. Diana Ross would go on to chart six additional No. 1 hits as a solo artist.

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5. Madonna
> No. 1 hits: 12
> Total weeks at No. 1: 32
> First chart topper: Like A Virgin (12/22/1984)

Madonna has a knack for reinventing herself, adjusting her image and sound, thereby remaining relevant in the ever-changing world of pop music. Madonna’s chart-topping hits cover a 16-year period between her earliest hit — 1984’s “Like a Virgin” — and her most recent, “Music,” which peaked in 2000.

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4. Michael Jackson
> No. 1 hits: 13
> Total weeks at No. 1: 30
> First chart topper: Ben (10/14/1972)

Michael Jackson acquired the title of “the King of Pop” — a label supported by his success on the pop charts. Five of Jackson’s 13 No. 1 singles appeared on one album: 1987’s “Bad.”

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3. Rihanna
> No. 1 hits: 16
> Total weeks at No. 1: 15
> First chart topper: SOS (5/13/2006)

At 31 years old, Rihanna is the second-youngest artist to release more than four No. 1 songs. Rihanna’s best-performing single, “We Found Love,” spent 10 weeks at No. 1 and was declared 9x Multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2015.

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2. Mariah Carey
> No. 1 hits: 18
> Total weeks at No. 1: 60
> First chart topper: Vision Of Love (8/4/1990)

Powerhouse singer Mariah Carey has charted 18 No. 1 singles, the earliest of which was “Vision of Love” in 1990 and the most recent “Touch My Body” in 2008. The song “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men spent 16 weeks at No. 1, tying one other song for most weeks at the top of the Hot 100.

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1. The Beatles
> No. 1 hits: 20
> Total weeks at No. 1: 59
> First chart topper: I Want To Hold Your Hand (2/1/1964)

The Beatles’ influence on popular music cannot be overstated. In just over a decade of activity, the band was hugely innovative without sacrificing quality, as proved by their 20 chart-topping singles, more than any other artist. The Beatles’ song to spend the most time at No. 1 is the Paul McCartney-penned “Hey Jude,” at nine weeks.