Latin Conference & Awards

Chart Beat: Michael Jackson

As music fans mourn the loss of the King of Pop, we offer a special tribute edition of Chart Beat. Below are some examples of the astounding dominance of Michael Jackson on Billboard surveys.

NO. 1 FROM THE START: Jackson was on his way to chart royalty beginning with the debut of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" on the Billboard Hot 100 dated Nov. 15, 1969, when Jackson was 11 years old.

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

"I Want You Back," Jan. 31, 1970 (one week at No. 1)
"ABC," April 25, 1970 (two weeks at No. 1)
"The Love You Save," June 27, 1970 (two weeks at No. 1)
"I'll Be There," Oct. 17, 1970 (five weeks at No. 1)

The Jackson 5 remains the only group to start so strongly. 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.

TRULY THE KING: Michael Jackson stands as the male artist with the most No. 1s in the history of the Billboard 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 leaders than Jackson. Below is a look at the male artists with the most Hot 100 No. 1s:

13, Michael Jackson
10, Stevie Wonder
9, Elton John
9, Paul McCartney
8, George Michael
8, 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 ballad bowed at the summit Sept. 2, 1995.

DON'T STOP 'TIL YOU GET ENOUGH: "Thriller" remains the album by a single artist with the most weeks at No. 1 (37, 1983-84) in the 53-year history of the Billboard 200. Only the "West Side Story" soundtrack reigned longer (54 weeks, 1962-63).

Here is a recap of the albums to lead the Billboard 200 the longest:

54 weeks, "West Side Story" soundtrack
37 weeks, "Thriller," Michael Jackson
31 weeks, "Calypso," Harry Belafonte
31 weeks, "Rumours," Fleetwood Mac
31 weeks, "South Pacific" soundtrack

SEVEN SOARED: "Thriller" also became the first album to send seven songs into the Billboard Hot 100's top 10. Here are their peak positions and dates on the Hot 100:

No. 2, "The Girl Is Mine" (Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney), Jan. 8, 1983
No. 1 (seven weeks), "Billie Jean," March 5, 1983
No. 1 (three weeks), "Beat It," April 30, 1983
No. 5, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," July 16, 1983
No. 7, "Human Nature," Sept. 17, 1983
No. 10, "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)," Nov. 26, 1983
No. 4, "Thriller," March 3, 1984

Only two other artists have subsequently accomplished the feat. Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." produced seven top 10s in 1984-86, as did Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation 1814" in 1989-91. (She would've likely had an eighth, as "State of the World" reached No. 5 on Hot 100 Airplay in April 1991. Because it was not a commercially-available single, however, it was not allowed to appear on the Hot 100, per chart rules at the time).

Michael Jackson narrowly missed repeating the sevenfold success with "Bad," the follow-up to "Thriller." Six of the set's seven singles reached the top 10; "Another Part of Me" peaked at No. 11.

SO 'BAD,' IT WAS GOOD: "Bad" did, however, become the only album in the Hot 100's history to produce five No. 1s:

"I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (with Siedah Garrett) (one week), Sept. 19, 1987
"Bad" (two weeks), Oct. 24, 1987
"The Way You Make Me Feel" (one week), Jan. 23, 1988
"Man in the Mirror" (two weeks), March 26, 1988
"Dirty Diana" (one week), July 2, 1988

Janet Jackson came closest to equaling the accomplishment. "Rhythm Nation 1814" sported four No. 1s, while two tracks ("Rhythm Nation" and "Come Back to Me") stopped at No. 2.

ROCK WITH YOU: In addition to his command of the Billboard Hot 100 (47 total entries), Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Adult Contemporary and Hot Dance Club Play, Jackson even crossed three songs over to Billboard's Album Rock chart at the height of "Thriller" hysteria. Spurred by Eddie Van Halen's guitar work, "Beat It" rose the highest, to No. 14, in 1983.

Jackson's catalog found fans across various genres this decade. Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music," featuring its sample of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," last year granted Jackson his highest writing credit on the Hot 100 since "Remember the Time" in 1992 (each peaking at No. 3), while two rock-centric covers reached the Hot 100's top 40: Alien Ant Farm's "Smooth Criminal" hit No. 23 in 2001, and Fall Out Boy's "Beat It," featuring John Mayer, climbed to No. 19 in April 2008.

On the chart dated June 7, 2008, David Cook's version of "Billie Jean" spent a week at No. 47 after his "American Idol" victory, marking Jackson's most recent credit (writer) on the Hot 100. (As an artist, Jackson last appeared the week of Feb. 23, 2008, when "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008," with Akon, ranked at No. 99).

ENDURING: "You Rock My World" spent a week at its peak of No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of Sept. 22, 2001. While it remains his sole top 10 on the chart this decade, it provided yet more evidence of Jackson's elite status on the charts into the 2000s.

With the song's rise to the top 10, Jackson became the only solo artist to post top 10 titles on the Hot 100 in each of the '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s (and that's not including the 17-8 rise of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" on the last Hot 100 of the '60s, dated Dec. 27, 1969). Aerosmith is the only other act to collect top 10s in each decade since the '70s.