Special Report

This Is the Artist With the Most No. 1 Hits

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20. Elton John
> No. 1 hits: 6
> Total weeks at No. 1: 27
> First chart topper: Crocodile Rock (Feb. 3, 1973)
> Last chart topper: Candle In The Wind 1997/Something About The Way You Look Tonight (Jan. 10, 1998)

One of the most legendary singers and composers of his generation, Sir Elton has sold more than 300 million records and has had more than 50 songs hit the Billboard Hot 100 — and his tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” remains the best-selling chart single of all time. He’s had surprisingly few No. 1 hits, however, and most of his chart toppers (which include “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “Island Girl”) haven’t exactly gone down as timeless classics.

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19. Phil Collins
> No. 1 hits: 7
> Total weeks at No. 1: 15
> First chart topper: Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) (Apr. 21, 1984)
> Last chart topper: Another Day In Paradise (Jan. 13, 1990)

It’s easy to forget just how massive a star Phil Collins was in the ’80s, and how many ride-or-die superfans he had, and still has. If you include his releases with Genesis, he had more U.S. top 40 singles than any other artist during the decade. His slew of No. 1 hits, including “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now),” “Sussudio,” and “Another Day In Paradise” demonstrate his substantial range, from deeply personal ballads to super-peppy pop.

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18. George Michael
> No. 1 hits: 7
> Total weeks at No. 1: 17
> First chart topper: Faith (Dec. 12, 1987)
> Last chart topper: Praying For Time (Oct. 13, 1990)

Born Georgios Panayiotou, ’80s powerhouse George Michael first burst onto the scene as part of the pop duo Wham!, but he really came into his own after beginning his solo career with the smash single “Careless Whisper.” His final solo chart topper came in 1990 with “Praying For Time,” and his 1991 duet with Eltion John — “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” — also reached No. 1 and is an absolute tour de force.

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17. Taylor Swift
> No. 1 hits: 7
> Total weeks at No. 1: 20
> First chart topper: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Sep. 1, 2012)
> Last chart topper: Willow (Dec. 26, 2020)

One of the most successful singer-songwriters of the past 20 years, Taylor Swift started out as a country singer and has since evolved into a pop superstar with record sales of more than 200 million to her name. If you need further proof of her evolution, look no further than her first chart-topper, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and compare it to her most recent No. 1, 2020’s “Willow.”

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16. Elvis Presley
> No. 1 hits: 7
> Total weeks at No. 1: 22
> First chart topper: A Big Hunk O’ Love (Aug. 10, 1959)
> Last chart topper: Suspicious Minds (Nov. 1, 1969)

As mentioned earlier, many of Elvis Presley’s earliest hits, including “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock,” were released before Billboard started up the Hot 100 in 1958. His career was actually on the decline when he charted his first official No. 1 hit, “A Big Hunk O’ Love,” in 1959, which makes it even more impressive that he managed to chart six more within the next 10 years, finishing strong with 1969’s “Suspicious Minds.”

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