Michael Jackson's Biggest Chart Thrills

On the 30th anniversary of the release of 'Thriller,' a look back at the late King of Pop's most memorable chart reigns.


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As fans worldwide celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson's landmark album "Thriller," Billboard honors the late King of Pop's musical legacy. Chart Beat looks back at the astonishing dominance Jackson enjoyed in what has become a six-decade residence on Billboard surveys.

WANNA BE STARTIN' SOMETHIN': Jackson was on his way to chart royalty beginning with the debut of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" on the Hot 100 dated Nov. 15, 1969. At the time, Jackson was 11 years old.

The Jackson 5 would become the first act to send its first four entries to the Hot 100's summit:

Title, Date Reached No. 1, Weeks at No. 1
"I Want You Back," Jan. 31, 1970, one
"ABC," April 25, 1970, two
"The Love You Save," June 27, 1970, two
"I'll Be There," Oct. 17, 1970, five

The Jackson 5 remains the only group to start with four consecutive Hot 100 leaders. Since, only Mariah Carey (who in 1992 reigned with her cover of "I'll Be There") matched, and bested, the feat, when her first five singles topped the Hot 100 in 1990-91.

DON'T STOP 'TIL YOU GET ENOUGH: Jackson stands as the male artist with the most No. 1s in the 52-year history of the Hot 100. How synonymous have Jackson and the Hot 100 been? They were linked practically from the start. The first Hot 100 was dated Aug. 4, 1958. Jackson was born 25 days later.

Among all artists, only the Beatles (20 No. 1s) and Mariah Carey (18) have notched more chart leaders than Jackson. Below is a look at the male artists with the most Hot 100 No. 1s:

Total No. 1s, Artist
13, Michael Jackson
10, Stevie Wonder
9, Elton John
9, Paul McCartney
9, Usher

Jackson's last leader to date became the first song ever to enter the Hot 100 at No. 1. The R. Kelly-written and co-produced "You Are Not Alone" bowed atop the chart dated Sept. 2, 1995.

JAMS: Jackson likewise places atop the list of the male artists with the most trips to the Hot 100's top 10, an honor shared with another former musical child prodigy, Stevie Wonder:

Total Top 10s, Artist
28, Michael Jackson
28, Stevie Wonder
27, Elton John
25, Elvis Presley
22, Paul McCartney

REMEMBER THE TIME: "Thriller" remains the album by a single artist with the most weeks at No. 1 in the 54-year archives of the Billboard 200. Only the "West Side Story" soundtrack has reigned longer:

Weeks at No. 1, Title, Artist, Date Reached No. 1
54, "West Side Story," (soundtrack), May 5, 1962
37, "Thriller," Michael Jackson, Feb. 26, 1983
31, "Rumours," Fleetwood Mac, April 2, 1977
31, "South Pacific," (soundtrack), May 19, 1958
31, "Calypso," Harry Belafonte, Sept. 8, 1956

With sales of 29 million, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), "Thriller" ranks as the best-selling studio album in U.S. history. The set is tied with the Eagles' best-of collection, "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975."

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