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Top 10 Billboard Records

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Ever since 1958, the American music industry has been using the Billboard Hot 100 as its standard singles popularity chart. Distributed weekly by Billboard magazine, the chart ranks songs based on sales and radio play. For this list, we've chosen some of the most interesting and impressive Billboard records set by some of history's most popular artists. In honor of the 55th anniversary of its creation on August 4th, counts down our picks for the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 records.

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They made chart history. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 records.

Ever since 1958, the Billboard Hot 100 chart has ranked songs based on sales and radio play. For this list, we've chosen some of the most interesting and impressive Billboard records set by some of history's most popular artists.

#10 – Longest Climb to #1: Los Del Rio with “Macarena” (1995-1996)

Whether or not you thought Los Del Rio’s Latin dance-pop was any good, there’s no denying it’s a helluva catchy track – and with help from some super-easy arm movements, the Bayside Boys’ 1996 English-Spanish remix became an international sensation. It may have only hit the top spot in its 33rd week, but its 14-week reign and accompanying dance moves ensured a cult following today.

#9 – Oldest Male Artist to Reach #1: Louis Armstrong with “Hello Dolly” (1964)

Active for over 55 years, Louis Armstrong built a rep with his unique vocals, trumpet abilities and lively stage presence. Despite poor health, Ambassador Satch continued charming audiences with live performances during his last years. So it’s not surprising he holds the record for oldest male artist with a Hot 100 #1, which he claimed at age 62 and ¾ from The Beatles – no less – with “Hello Dolly.”

#8 – Youngest Artist to Reach #1: Michael Jackson with “I Want You Back” (1969-70)

Before he was the King of Pop, Michael Jackson joined his older brothers in the Jackson 5. After captivating audiences with his singing and dancing skills, the preteen was given main lead vocal duties on their debut major-label single: “I Want You Back” was not only the first of their four consecutive number ones, but it also made 11-year-old MJ the Billboard Hot 100’s youngest ever chart-topper.

#7 – Youngest Artist to Write, Produce and Perform a #1 single: Debbie Gibson with “Foolish Beat” (1988)

When her debut dropped, Debbie Gibson hadn’t even reached her 17th birthday. While Out of the Blue’s first three singles were top 5 hits, it’s the pop ballad “Foolish Beat” that made history when it topped the Hot 100 in 1988. As the song’s writer, producer and singer, the 17 and ¾ year-old Gibson was the youngest artist to achieve this feat in the chart’s existence.

#6 – Biggest Jump to #1: Kelly Clarkson with “My Life Would Suck Without You” (2009)

Though the Original American Idol made Billboard history on several occasions, it’s with the lead single off her fourth record that she impressed us most. By jumping from the Hot 100’s 97th spot to the 1st position, “My Life Would Suck Without You” surpassed her previously set record with “A Moment Like This,” which leapt from 52 to number 1. Accomplishing this within a week makes it even more impressive.

#5 – Most Weeks at #1: Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men with “One Sweet Day” (1995)

Bringing together the musical talents of Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, this ballad’s pop and R&B flavors touched so many music lovers it monopolized Billboard’s top spot for sixteen straight weeks. The sad song about love and loss didn’t only make a number one debut, but also spent a total of nineteen weeks within the Billboard Hot 100’s top ten.

#4 – Female Artist with the Most Chart Entries in a Week: Taylor Swift with 11 (2010)

Thanks to her third studio album, Taylor Swift is the holder of multiple Billboard records. The chart-topping Speak Now sold so well that every song on the record – 14 in all – appeared on the Hot 100 in 2010! Most notably, however, the country pop effort helped her become the only female to have eleven charting entries in one week.

#3 – Most Consecutive #1 singles: Whitney Houston with 7 (1985-88)

It was “Saving All My Love For You” that marked Whitney Houston’s first in a series of record-setting number ones. Following two more off her self-titled debut, Houston’s sophomore effort spawned four other chart-toppers, bringing her grand total to 7 consecutive Hot 100 number ones. Houston ruled the charts again in the ‘90s – this time for 14 weeks – with history’s best-selling single by a female artist.

#2 – Album with the Most #1 singles: Michael Jackson with Bad (1987) and Katy Perry with Teenage Dream (2010)

Thriller may have seen seven out of its nine tracks reach the top 10, but it’s Bad that became the first album to ever yield five Hot 100 number ones. From “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” to “Dirty Diana,” Michael Jackson held the top spot with his mastery of pop, R&B, dance, funk, and rock. Over twenty years later, Katy Perry did the same with Teenage Dream and became the first female artist to do so in the process.

#1 – Most #1 Singles Ever: The Beatles with 20 (1960-70)

Considering how many Billboard records they have, it’s not that shocking the Fab Four are the holders of the most Hot 100 number ones of all time with 20. In 1964 alone, the Brits nabbed six chart-toppers. That same year, The Beatles also placed the most Billboard entries within a week with over 10 different songs, which included dominating all of Billboard’s top five spots – at once.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most interesting Billboard Hot 100 record? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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