Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to email@example.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
Hello there Gary,
When "Firework" reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 in December, you noted that Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" became the first album by a solo female to generate three No. 1 singles ("California Gurls," featuring Snoop Dogg, and the title cut previously led the list).
Since then, Perry has sent a fourth song from "Dream," "E.T.," to the Hot 100's pinnacle, making her the first female artist to achieve the feat since Mariah Carey, whose self-titled debut album contained four leaders.
That's quite an impressive feat on Perry's part, but it should also be noted that with the 2-1 rise this week for "S&M," Rihanna also has three No. 1s from an album. "What's My Name?," featuring Drake, "Only Girl (In the World)" and "S&M" all appear on her latest release "Loud."
Thank you so very much,
You highlight yet another intriguing aspect of Rihanna's latest Hot 100 leader.
With the coronation of "S&M" (whose singers could similarly, and fittingly, be abbreviated as "R&B," for Rihanna and Britney ...), Rihanna joins only Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey - who duetted on the No. 15-peaking "When You Believe" in 1999 - as the only female artists to score at least three Hot 100 No. 1s from multiple albums, as Rihanna has already earned the honor once before:
"Whitney Houston," 1985-86
"Saving All My Love for You," "How Will I Know," "Greatest Love of All"
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "So Emotional," "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"
"Mariah Carey," 1990-91
"Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday," "I Don't Wanna Cry"
"Fantasy," "One Sweet Day," with Boyz II Men, "Always Be My Baby"
"Good Girl Gone Bad," 2007-08
"Umbrella," "Take a Bow," "Disturbia"
"What's My Name?," featuring Drake, "Only Girl (In the World)," "S&M," featuring Britney Spears
(Rihanna is included on the list because while "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia" appeared only on the deluxe reissue of "Good Girl Gone Bad," Billboard and SoundScan classified the original and repackaged versions of the set as one product and the album maintained a single listing throughout its chart life).