Pet Shop Boys

With Macklemore & Ryan Lewis becoming the first duo to top the Hot 100 on its first two attempts, how did other twosomes start their chart careers? Readers check in on that and more.

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20


Hi Gary,

You wrote an interesting article about the chart beginnings of successful duos, but I was wondering if you could please tell me about the chart starts of four successful husband-and-wife duos: Les Paul and Mary Ford, Sonny & Cher, Captain & Tennille, and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. 

And speaking of Cher, her mother, Georgia Holt, just entered the Heatseekers Albums chart (during the week leading up to Mother’s Day!) Which other mothers and daughters have both charted on Billboard rankings?

I also just realized that Cher's son, Elijah Allman, was with rock band Deadsy, which charted on the Billboard 200 with two albums. With Holt now charting, this makes three generations of the same family who have appeared on Billboard surveys. Has that happened before?


Blair Buchta
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Hi Blair,

With Macklemore & Ryan Lewis having become the first duo to take their first two Hot 100 singles to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the spotlight is shining on duos. Let's pan it over to your suggestions.

Paul and Ford placed two entries on the Hot 100: "Put a Ring on My Finger" reached No. 32 in 1958 and "Jura (I Swear I Love You)" peaked at No. 37 in 1961.

Sonny & Cher arrived with the classic "I Got You Babe," which reigned for three weeks in 1965. While they never notched another No. 1, follow-up "Baby Don't Go" rose to No. 8 and the pair added three more top 10s through 1972.

Captain & Tennille likewise launched with a No. 1, "Love Will Keep Us Together," which ruled the Hot 100 for four weeks in 1975. They stumbled with follow-up "Por Amos Viviremos" (No. 49), but then posted four consecutive top five hits. In 1980, they dominated again with "Do That to Me One More Time."

And, McCoo & Davis, Jr. dented the Hot 100 with the No. 91-peaking "I Hope We Get to Love in Time" before "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)" led for a week in January 1977. "Your Love" (No. 15, 1977) was their only other top 40 duet.

As Keith Caulfield noted, it's Cher and Cher's mother alike now owning Billboard chart histories, as Holt enters Heatseekers Albums at No. 13 (and Top Country Albums at No. 43) with "Honky Tonk Woman." The set from the 86-years-young Holt was recorded in 1980 and had remained unreleased.

They're not the first mother-and-daughter to both appear on Billboard charts, however. There are surely others, but the list includes:

Linda Davis, who topped Hot Country Songs in 1993 with the Reba McEntire duet "Does He Love You," and Hillary Scott, of Lady Antebellum

Country icon Loretta Lynn and her twin daughters, the Lynns (Peggy and Patsy), which spent time on Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums in 1997-98

Carole King (no introduction needed, right?) and Louise Goffin, whose "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" reached No. 43 on the Hot 100 in 1979

Michele Phillips, who visited the Hot 100 16 times with the Mamas & the Papas (including spending three weeks at No. 1 in 1966 with "Monday, Monday") and daughter Chynna Phillips, who logged three No. 1s with Wilson Phillips in 1990-91

Mariah Carey and her mom Patricia Carey, who teamed for "O Come All Ye Faithful"/"Hallelujah Chorus"; the track climbed to No. 7 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Bubbling Under chart in 2011.

And, of course, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, who as the Judds, rung up 14 Hot Country Songs No. 1s in 1984-89, while Wynonna added four solo in 1992-96

Oh, one more musical mother and daughter: Beyonce and Blue Ivy Carter, the latter of whom waited a whole few hours after being born before cooing, which dad Jay-Z recorded and turned into the song "Glory." Debuting on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs the week of Jan. 21, 2012 (billed as Jay-Z featuring B.I.C.), the newborn Carter quickly claimed the mark as the youngest artist ever to appear on a Billboard chart.

As for three generations of families gracing Billboard rankings, the first family of the feat would have to be the Williams, with Hank becoming one of the most influential figures in country music before Hank Jr. and Hank III followed the legend onto Billboard's country charts.

(Pages 2-5 of "Ask Billboard," continued below)

The Best of Billboard Video:

See All Billboard Video