"It's the soundtrack to my life, as well." That's how Mariah Carey responded to Matt Lauer's question on Saturday night's (May 31) NBC special "Mariah Carey at Home in Concert," after he praised her by noting that her music has been a constant in the lives of her fans for nearly a quarter-century. The diva's smoky, sultry introductory ballad "Vision of Love" entered the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1990, and so began her historic chart run.
Carey has commanded the Hot 100 like no other soloist. Her 18 No. 1s are the most among solo acts and second only to the Beatles' 20. Her 79 total weeks at No. 1 are a record (and 20 more than the Fab Four's second-place sum). Meanwhile, while her 1995 leader "One Sweet Day," with Boyz II Men, has spent more time at No. 1 – 16 weeks – than any other topper in the Hot 100's 55-year history.
As Carey returns with "Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse," due on this week's Billboard 200 albums chart, Billboard looks back at her 25 top-performing Hot 100 hit songs.
"I wanted this to be something I could be proud of, whether it's, like, 'Yay, No. 1!,' and this and that. However things end up happening, we've all worked so hard," Carey recently told Billboard of her newest material. "The true lambily have all worked so hard to break all these Billboard records, and to have this incredible experience with me, that I want them to have this almost as a gift."
Mariah Carey's 25 Biggest Billboard Hits is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. The ranking is based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 having the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 proportionately less. Due to various changes in chart rules and methodology through the years, songs have had reigns at No. 1 and on the chart of varying average lengths. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from all years, certain time frames were weighted to account for the differences in song turnover rates.
Hot 100 Peak: 7 (2009)
"Make It Happen"
Hot 100 Peak: 5 (1992)
"I Still Believe"
Hot 100 Peak: 4 (1999)
"Endless Love" (Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey)
Hot 100 Peak: 2 (1994)
"Touch My Body"
Hot 100 Peak: 1 (2 weeks)(2008)
"Heartbreaker" (feat. Jay Z)
Hot 100 Peak: 1 (2 weeks) (1999)
"I'll Be There"
Hot 100 Peak: 1 (2 weeks) (1992)
"Don't Forget About Us"
Hot 100 Peak: 1 (2 weeks) (2005-06)