Special Report

The Biggest Hits From Each Member of The Beatles

Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

When the Beatles broke up in April 1970, fans of the band were left wondering what the ex-Fab Four would do after having created, in Ringo’s words, “the greatest show on earth”? The answer came quickly.

Creative differences had been pulling the group apart in the years leading up to its dissolution. One area of tension was Harrison’s desire to have a greater role in the band’s songwriting process. As it turned out, he would be the first ex-Beatle to have a No. 1 hit, with “My Sweet Lord/Isn’t It A Pity,” which first charted in late November 1970. He had a total of three No. 1s as a solo artist before he passed away in 2001. 

To determine the biggest hits of the Beatles’ solo careers, 24/7 Tempo reviewed performance data on the Billboard Hot 100 song charts. Songs by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, either by themselves or collaborating with other (non-Beatles) artists, were ranked based on an inverse score wherein a week at No. 1 is worth 100 points, a week at No. 2 worth 99 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 100 worth one point. Chart data is current through the week of August 20, 2022.

McCartney, Harrison, and Starr all had chart-toppers in 1973. McCartney and his band Wings took flight the following year with three songs in the Billboard Top 10. (Of course, when they were still together, the Beatles scored the top prize 20 times, making them the artists with the most No. 1 hits.)

Click here to see the biggest hits from each member of The Beatles

Also in 1974, John Lennon summited the Billboard chart for the first time as a solo performer with the single “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night.” He had a total of four top-10 songs, two of them becoming hits after he was slain in December of 1980.

Starr has five top-10 hits on the list, but has not had a Billboard Hot 100 success since “No No Song/snookeroo” in February of 1975.

McCartney has tried to stay relevant through collaborations with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, and Kanye West. His pairing with Rihanna and West yielded the top-10 hit  “FourFiveSeconds,” which reached No. 4 in February of 2015. (These are the most iconic musical duos in history.)

Source: Fred Mott / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

25. Ringo Starr, “No No Song/snookeroo”
> Entered Hot 100: February 8, 1975
> Peak position on Hot 100: #3 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 14

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

24. John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”
> Entered Hot 100: March 28, 1981
> Peak position on Hot 100: #10 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 17

Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images

23. Paul McCartney and Wings, “Jet”
> Entered Hot 100: February 9, 1974
> Peak position on Hot 100: #7 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 14

Source: Central Press / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

22. Ringo Starr, “It Don’t Come Easy”
> Entered Hot 100: May 1, 1971
> Peak position on Hot 100: #4 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 12

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Source: Evening Standard / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

21. Ringo Starr, “Oh My My”
> Entered Hot 100: March 9, 1974
> Peak position on Hot 100: #5 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 14

Source: David Harris / Keystone / Getty Images

20. Paul McCartney, “Take It Away”
> Entered Hot 100: July 10, 1982
> Peak position on Hot 100: #10 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 16

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Source: Keystone Features / Getty Images

19. John Lennon With the Plastic Ono Nuclear Band, “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night”
> Entered Hot 100: September 28, 1974
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 15

Source: John Williams / Getty Images

18. George Harrison, “Give Me Love – (Give Me Peace on Earth)”
> Entered Hot 100: May 19, 1973
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 14

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

17. George Harrison, “All Those Years Ago”
> Entered Hot 100: May 23, 1981
> Peak position on Hot 100: #2 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 16

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Source: Central Press / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

16. Paul McCartney, “Spies Like Us”
> Entered Hot 100: November 23, 1985
> Peak position on Hot 100: #7 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 17

Source: Evening Standard / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

15. Ringo Starr, “Photograph”
> Entered Hot 100: October 6, 1973
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 16

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

14. Ringo Starr, “You’re Sixteen”
> Entered Hot 100: December 15, 1973
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 15

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

13. Paul McCartney and Wings, “Junior’s Farm/Sally G”
> Entered Hot 100: November 9, 1974
> Peak position on Hot 100: #3 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 17

Source: Steve Morley / Staff / Getty Images

12. George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord/Isn’t It a Pity”
> Entered Hot 100: November 28, 1970
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 4 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 14

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Source: John Williams / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

11. Paul McCartney, “No More Lonely Nights”
> Entered Hot 100: October 13, 1984
> Peak position on Hot 100: #6 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 18

Source: Reg Lancaster / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

10. Paul McCartney and Wings, “Band on the Run”
> Entered Hot 100: April 20, 1974
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 18

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

9. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, “The Girl Is Mine”
> Entered Hot 100: November 6, 1982
> Peak position on Hot 100: #2 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 18

Source: Evening Standard / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

8. Paul McCartney and Wings, “My Love”
> Entered Hot 100: April 14, 1973
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 4 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 18

Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

7. Rihanna & Kanye West & Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds”
> Entered Hot 100: February 7, 2015
> Peak position on Hot 100: #4 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 20

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Source: Mike Lawn / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

6. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, “Ebony and Ivory”
> Entered Hot 100: April 10, 1982
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 7 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 19

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

5. George Harrison, “Got My Mind Set on You”
> Entered Hot 100: October 24, 1987
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 22

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

4. John Lennon, “Woman”
> Entered Hot 100: January 17, 1981
> Peak position on Hot 100: #2 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 20

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

3. Paul McCartney and Wings, “Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)”
> Entered Hot 100: April 26, 1980
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 21

Source: Express / Getty Images

2. Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, “Say Say Say”
> Entered Hot 100: October 15, 1983
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 6 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 22

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

1. John Lennon, “(Just Like) Starting Over”
> Entered Hot 100: November 1, 1980
> Peak position on Hot 100: #1 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Hot 100: 22

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