Special Report

Most Popular Artists Who’ve Never Had a No. 1 Hit

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What do Bruce Springsteen, Faith Hill, Andy Williams, James Brown, and Busta Rhymes have in common? These luminaries in the genres of rock, country, easy listening, soul, and rap, respectively, have never reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (You might be equally surprised at the best-selling musicians who have never won a Grammy.)

To determine the most popular artists who’ve had a No. 1 hit, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on chart performance from the Billboard Hot 100. Artists were ranked based on an inverse score wherein a week at No. 2 (the highest position any of these artists have attained) is worth 99 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 100 worth one point.

Only artists who’ve never had a song reach No. 1, either as solo performer or featured artist, were considered. Highest-charting entries include only songs on which the performer in question is listed as the primary artist (not a featured act). Chart data is current through Aug. 5, 2023.

Click here to see the artists who’ve never had a No. 1 hit

Country stars are the performers most represented here. Faith Hill is just one of the 16 who has failed to summit the Hot 100. Others include Tim McGraw (Hill’s husband), Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and Luke Bryan. It’s worth noting that the country acts named here have staying power, however, even if they never reached the top spot: Eleven of them were on the Hot 100 charts for more that 500 weeks each – and two were on for more than 900. (These are the most dominant reigns in Billboard history.)

After country, which is the genre most often represented here, come rap and rock acts (seven each), soul singers (five – including late ‘50s and early ‘60s luminaries Jackie Wilson, Brook Benton, and Sam Cooke), pop musicians (four), and one boy band – Backstreet Boys. Of all the artists listed here, rapper Lil Baby had by far the most songs on the Hot 100, at 136.

40. Alan Jackson
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 28 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 441 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (feat. Jimmy Buffett) (No. 17 for 2 weeks)

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39. Dierks Bentley
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 29 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 504 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: What Was I Thinkin’ (No. 22 for 2 weeks)

38. Demi Lovato
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 36 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 374 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Sorry Not Sorry (No. 6 for 1 week)

37. Train
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 14 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 316 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Hey, Soul Sister (No. 3 for 4 weeks)

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36. Sam Cooke
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 34 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 325 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Chain Gang (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

35. Electric Light Orchestra
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 24 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 326 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Telephone Line (No. 7 for 2 weeks)

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34. Jackie Wilson
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 53 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 373 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Lonely Teardrops (No. 7 for 2 weeks)

33. Busta Rhymes
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 20 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 312 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Don’t Cha (feat. Mariah Carey & The Flipmode Squad) (No. 3 for 3 weeks)

32. Linkin Park
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 24 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 378 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: In the End (No. 2 for 1 week)

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31. Backstreet Boys
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 18 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 318 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

30. Juice WRLD
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 79 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 440 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Lucid Dreams (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

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29. Andy Williams
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 41 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 359 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (No. 5 for 1 week)

28. Journey
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 25 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 352 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: When You Love a Woman (No. 12 for 1 week)

27. Bruce Springsteen
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 26 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 329 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Dancing in the Dark (No. 2 for 4 weeks)

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26. George Strait
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 37 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 580 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: She’ll Leave You With a Smile (No. 23 for 1 week)

25. J. Cole
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 69 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 430 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Middle Child (No. 4 for 1 week)

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24. The Pointer Sisters
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 26 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 387 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: I’m So Excited (No. 9 for 1 week)

23. Trey Songz
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 36 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 528 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Bottoms Up (feat. Nicki Minaj) (No. 6 for 1 week)

22. 2 Chainz
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 40 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 505 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Talk Dirty (feat. Drake) (No. 24 for 1 week)

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21. Faith Hill
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 23 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 409 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Breathe (No. 2 for 5 weeks)

20. Brook Benton
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 48 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 398 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: It’s Just a Matter of Time (No. 3 for 1 week)

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19. OneRepublic
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 15 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 355 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Counting Stars (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

18. Toby Keith
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 39 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 568 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Red Solo Cup (No. 15 for 1 week)

17. David Guetta
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 23 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 394 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: I’m Good (Blue) (feat. Bebe Rexha) (No. 4 for 2 weeks)

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16. Rick Ross
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 53 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 575 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Money in the Grave (feat. T-Pain) (No. 17 for 1 week)

15. Big Sean
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 54 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 491 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Mercy (feat. E-40) (No. 11 for 1 week)

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14. Luke Combs
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 28 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 454 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Forever After All (No. 2 for 1 week)

13. Brad Paisley
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 40 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 674 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Remind Me (feat. Carrie Underwood) (No. 17 for 1 week)

12. Rascal Flatts
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 37 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 627 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: What Hurts the Most (No. 6 for 1 week)

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11. Florida Georgia Line
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 24 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 527 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Meant to Be (feat. Nelly) (No. 4 for 1 week)

10. Blake Shelton
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 42 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 656 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: God’s Country (No. 17 for 2 weeks)

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9. Dua Lipa
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 20 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 426 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Don’t Start Now (No. 2 for 1 week)

8. Khalid
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 32 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 506 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Eastside (No. 3 for 4 weeks)

7. Imagine Dragons
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 19 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 502 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Radioactive (No. 3 for 4 weeks)

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6. Keith Urban
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 46 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 811 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Blue Ain’t Your Color (No. 24 for 1 week)

5. Luke Bryan
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 37 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 665 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Buy Dirt (No. 16 for 4 weeks)

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4. James Brown
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 88 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 658 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Living in America (No. 4 for 1 week)

3. Kenny Chesney
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 58 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 973 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: The Good Stuff (No. 22 for 2 weeks)

2. Tim McGraw
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 60 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 921 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: Over and Over (feat. Faith Hill) (No. 7 for 1 week)

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1. Lil Baby
> Number of Hot 100 entries: 136 songs
> Time spent on the Hot 100: 911 weeks
> Highest-charting entry: For the Night (feat. Gunna) (No. 4 for 1 week)

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