The Ultimate Rockstars: 25 Artists with the Most Number 1 Hits

Have you ever wondered who has the most #1 songs ever?

You’re not alone.

For most artists, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the UK Singles chart, or a similar list is a dream come true.

After all, earning the coveted number 1 spot isn’t just a testament to the success and popularity of a band or artist.

It can also be an excellent way for creative experts to connect to a wider audience of potential listeners.

The longer a hit stays at the top of the charts, the more it’s played. Increased airtime can pay huge dividends in a world still obsessed with the radio.

While hundreds of artists have reached the top of the charts at least once or twice, only a handful have made musical history with numerous high-ranking songs.

Here’s your guide to the artists with the most number 1 hits ever.

The 25 Artists with the Most Number 1 Hits

For this list, we’re primarily looking at artists with the highest number of #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart from the US. This is the most popular and widely recognized chart list in the United States.

However, it’s worth noting that other artists may have achieved more number 1s on other platforms.

Keep this in mind as you browse through the rock stars below.

1. The Beatles

Number of #1 Hits: 20

By far the most successful band ever to rank on the Billboard Hot 100, the Beatles have proven you don’t need to be a US native to become a chart-topper.

The best-selling British rock band has earned 20 number-1 records, starting with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in 1964.

The Beatles haven’t just achieved phenomenal success in the US either. Many of the group’s hits have reached number 1 in the UK Singles charts. Starting in 1963, the Beatles earned 17 number-1 hits in the following six years.

2. Mariah Carey

Number of #1 Hits: 19

While she might be best known for her unforgettable Christmas ballad, Mariah Carey is more than a festive songstress.

In 1990, Mariah published four number 1 hits with her first debut LP. The streak continued throughout the ’90s and only began to slow slightly through the 2000s.

Mariah’s chart-topping hits include the songs “Hero,” “One Sweet Day,” and “When You Believe,” among many others.

Notably, “One Sweet Day” also stayed at the top of the Billboard charts for 16 weeks, propelling it to the top 3 hits with the longest number #1 position.

3. Elvis Presley

Number of #1 Hits: 18

Elvis Presley, one of the most famous artists in history, earned his fair share of number 1 hits over the years.

Elvis had around 149 songs appearing on America’s Billboard Hot 100 Pop chart, and 114 appeared in the top 40.

Another 40 reached the top 10, and 18 reached number 1.

Presley’s slew of top-performing musical numbers earned him around 80 weeks at the top of the charts – a phenomenal achievement for any artist. Interestingly, some songs also ranked among the shortest hits at number 1.

“Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear” was only around one minute and 48 seconds long.

4. Rihanna

Number of #1 Hits: 14

Queen of the R&B world, Rihanna has emerged as one of the most prominent singers of the 21st century.

With sales of over 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna is currently the second-best-selling female musician of all time.

According to the RIAA rankings, she’s the highest-certified female artist ever.

Alongside 32 top-10 singles in the US and 31 top-10 tunes in the UK, Rihanna has earned 14 number-one placements over the years.

She’s also the proud owner of 12 Billboard Music Awards, 13 American Music Awards, and nine Grammys.

5. Michael Jackson

Number of #1 Hits: 13

Easily one of the most prolific artists ever, the King of Pop changed the music industry forever.

Even before he began his solo career, earning an impressive 13 number-one hits at the top of the Billboard charts, Jackson was already making waves.

He helped The Jackson Five to achieve four separate number 1 hits of their own.

When it was released, Jackson’s album Bad was also the first to produce a record five number-one hit singles.

Not to mention, Jackson was also the first artist to have a top-10 single on the Billboard Hot 100 for five different decades.

6. The Supremes

Number of #1 Hits: 12

If Rihanna is the most successful female solo artist ever to hit the top of the charts on the Billboard Hot 100, then the Supremes are easily the most prolific group.

The American girl group earned no less than 12 number-one singles during their time on the charts.

The band was so influential that many experts believe they paved the way for future African-American R&B, urban, and soul musicians to achieve success.

Billboard even ranked the group as the 16th best artist of all time.

7. Madonna

Number of #1 Hits: 12

Madonna has earned the title of the Queen of Pop, falling just behind Rihanna in terms of female superstardom.

Recognized for her versatility in music production and songwriting, Madonna is one of the most well-documented figures of the modern age.

She’s not just the best-selling female recording artist of all time; she also earned 12 number-1 hits on the Billboard charts.

She’s also achieved the most number-one singles for any woman in Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

8. Beyonce

Number of #1 Hits: 12

One of the most famous female artists ever, Beyonce, has sold more than 200 million records worldwide.

She’s also earned more awards than virtually any other artist in the music industry.

Thirty-one of Beyonce’s singles have appeared in the top ten list for the Billboard Hot 100, and 12 reached the number 1 spot.

Beyonce was also named one of the greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023.

Plus, she was named one of the top artists to define the last century by Time Magazine.

9. Whitney Houston

Number of #1 Hits: 11

Another iconic female singer, Whitney Houston, is one of the most popular musicians ever, selling over 220 million records globally.

She was named the second greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone and had 11 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

Houston was also the only artist to achieve seven consecutive number-one singles on the chart.

Her accolades include 16 Billboard Music Awards, two Emmy Awards, eight Grammys, and 28 Guinness World Records. Houston also has a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

10. Drake

Number of #1 Hits: 11

Canadian singer, songwriter, and rapper Drake has been credited for popularizing R&B and hip-hop.

He has earned 11 number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts (12 if you count the “Sicko Mode” song).

The artist also has a record of 34 Billboard Music Awards, three Juno awards, five Grammy awards, and two Brit Awards to his name.

He also has the most top 10 hit singles of any artist on the Billboard charts (68).

11. Janet Jackson

Number of #1 Hits: 10

Born in 1966, Janet Jackson is considered by many to be one of the most innovative musicians of all time.

Though she might not have achieved the same level of success as her sibling, Michael Jackson, Janet has still accomplished some incredible things.

She was named the decade’s second most successful female artist in the 1990s, just after Mariah Carey.

She’s also earned 10 number-1 hits on the Billboard Charts and holds the record for the most consecutive top-10 entries on the same chart (18).

12. Stevie Wonder

Number of #1 Hits: 10

Tying with Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder is one of the most memorable artists ever. He started his career as a teenager in the ’60s and became a musical phenomenon during the Motown era.

He’s considered a pioneer in the R&B industry and was the youngest artist ever to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart at 13 in 1963.

Stevie has achieved phenomenal success throughout the musical industry alongside an exceptional radio presence.

He has won the most Grammy awards of any solo artist (25). He is also noted for his work as a political activist.

13. George Michael

Number of #1 Hits: 10

English singer and songwriter George Michael has earned many impressive accolades.

Ten of his songs reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. Additionally, Michael had 13 number-one hits in the UK Singles Charts.

He’s been listed as one of the 200 greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone.

What’s more, Michael’s first solo single, “Careless Whisper,” got to number 1 in 20 different countries.

14. Katy Perry

Number of #1 Hits: 9

One of the most successful female singers of all time, Perry has achieved phenomenal recognition on and off the radio waves.

She has reached number 1 on the Billboard charts nine times. She’s the only female singer to earn five number-1 hits from a single album (Teenage Dream).

Perry has sold over 143 million records worldwide and has the most certified diamond singles of any female artist.

She also has three US number 1 albums. She has been given various awards over the years, including a Brit and Juno awards.

15. Elton John

Number of #1 Hits: 9

British pianist, singer, and composer Elton John has had a lasting impact on the music industry.

He released his first hit single, “Your Song,” in 1970 and has continued to produce chart-topping music ever since.

In total, he reached the number 1 spot nine times on the US Hot 100 Billboard charts.

However, John has also had over 50 top 40 singles on the UK Singles chart and another nine number-one hits in the UK.

He’s sold more than 300 million records worldwide, making him one of the top musical artists ever.

16. Usher

Number of #1 Hits: 9

Rising to fame in the late 1990s, Usher earned his first Billboard Hot 100 number-1 single in 1997 with “My Way.”

The artist reached the number 1 spot another eight times and became one of the best-selling musical artists of the 2000s.

Referred to frequently as the King of R&B, Usher has sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

He’s also the fifth most-awarded artist of the Billboard Music Awards, with 18 accolades in total. Plus, he’s recognized as one of the top 50 R&B artists of all time.

17. The Bee Gees

Number of #1 Hits: 9

Formed in 1958, the Bee Gees became one of the most prominent groups ever created in the disco music era.

The group has sold more than 220 million records worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

With nine number 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, The Bee Gees are one of the most successful groups on this list, falling just behind The Supremes and The Beatles.

18. The Rolling Stones

Number of #1 Hits: 8

Another British rock band to make waves in the US, the Rolling Stones rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts eight times over the years.

Some of the group’s chart-topping songs include “Paint It Black” and “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

Like many artists on this list, The Rolling Stones are among the biggest groups of all time, with estimated sales of around 200 million records.

They’ve also been ranked by Rolling Stone and Billboard as one of the top bands ever created.

19. Justin Bieber

Number of #1 Hits: 8

A popular artist in Canada, the US, and worldwide, Justin Bieber has enjoyed an exceptional rise to fame over the years.

He released his eighth number 1 hit single in 2020, with the song “Stay.” He’s also the youngest soloist with eight US number 1 albums.

Bieber currently stands as one of the best-selling solo artists of all time, with sales of more than 150 million records worldwide.

He also has the most Teen Choice Award wins of any male individual and the most MTV Europe Awards of any artist.

20. Phil Collins

Number of #1 Hits: 7

Professional songwriter, record producer, actor, drummer, and singer Phil Collins has achieved phenomenal success in the music industry.

Between 1982 and 1990, Collins reached the number 1 spot seven times in the US and another three times in the UK.

He was also responsible for more US Top 40 hits than any other artist throughout the 1980s.

Some of his most successful singles from the period included “In the Air Tonight” and “Against All Odds.”

Collins is also included in the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.

21. Bruno Mars

Number of #1 Hits: 7

One of the more modern artists on this list, Bruno Mars, started his rise to fame in the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 2012 with the release of his Unorthodox Jukebox album.

The musical collection delivered two number-1 songs: “When I Was Your Man” and “Locked out of Heaven.”

Burno Mars reached the top spot on the charts seven times in the US.

He was also featured in the song “Uptown Funk,” which topped the charts worldwide and spent around 14 weeks in the number 1 position in the US.

22. Hall & Oates

Number of #1 Hits: 6

Daryl Hall and John Oates are a pop-rock duo from America, best known for their unique musical pieces.

They reached the peak of their success in the mid-70s and early ’80s, with songs that fused rock and roll with rhythm, blues, and soul music.

The duo reached the Top 40 in the US with 29 of their 33 singles, although only six of those tunes peaked at number 1.

Seven of Hall & Oates’ albums have been certified platinum; another six have achieved the gold certification over the years.

23. Paula Abdul

Number of #1 Hits: 6

American singer, dancer, and television personality Paula Abdul started her career as a Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader before finding fame with The Jacksons.

Her debut album, Forever Your Girl, became one of the most successful albums in 1988.

Paula quickly set the record for the most number-1 hits from a single debut album. However, she was eventually beaten in this area.

However, she still achieved an impressive six number 1 hits during her time in the music scene.

24. Diana Ross

Number of #1 Hits: 6

Best known by many as the lead singer for The Supremes, Diana Ross also achieved significant success as a solo artist in the music scene.

Following her departure from the Supremes in the ’70s, Ross reached the number 1 spot six times on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ross is the only female artist to have risen to the number 1 spot with Billboard as a solo artist, part of a duet, part of a trio, and as a member of an ensemble.

She also had a top 10 UK hit in every one of the last five decades.

25. Boyz II Men

Number of #1 Hits: 5

Finally, American vocal harmony group Boyz II Men might not have had as many number-1 hits as some artists on this list. However, they’ve still accomplished some fantastic things.

The group has published five number-one singles in the US, setting records for time spent at the top of the charts.

The number 1 single, “One Sweet Day,” stayed at number 1 for 16 weeks.

The group has topped the charts for 50 cumulative weeks, falling just behind Drake, Elvis Presley, Rihanna, and the Beatles. They’re also the only band to knock one of their own songs off the top spot.

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