With two more debuts this week, the cast of Fox's "Glee" ups its total of career charted songs on the Billboard Hot 100 to a milestone 200 titles. Amazingly, the TV troupe has reached the sum in less than three years.
The cast first appeared on the Hot 100 the week of June 6, 2009, led by the No. 4 arrival of its cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." The act's highest charted entry to date even bested the peak of the original version, which rocked to No. 9 in 1981.
This week, the "Glee" cast hits an even 200 career Hot 100 appearances, as its remake of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" - the original of which becomes the new No. 1 song on the Hot 100 - debuts at No. 26 and its mash-up of Duran Duran's '80s smashes "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio" enters at No. 98. ("Somebody" marks the 61st charted remake of a Hot 100 No. 1 with which the "Glee" ensemble has charted.)
Here is a recap of the acts with the most Hot 100 hits dating to the chart's inception the week of Aug. 4, 1958. (Under its current formula, the chart blends Nielsen Music digital sales and airplay data for the majority of its weekly points total, with streaming data accounting for a smaller percentage):
200, "Glee" cast
108, Elvis Presley
101, Lil Wayne
91, James Brown
74, Ray Charles
73, Aretha Franklin
71, the Beatles
67, Elton John
63, Stevie Wonder
(Presley's career predates the Hot 100's launch. Combining his songs that reached various Hot 100 predecessor charts beginning in 1956, his total would swell to an unofficial 139, according to Billboard historian Joel Whitburn's reference book "Top Pop Singles.")
Notably, despite the cast's record total of Hot 100 visits, most "Glee" songs spend a mere one week on the chart. Only 33 of its 200 entries have racked more than a single frame on the list, with "Believin' " leading with seven charted weeks total. As "Glee" releases multiple tracks alongside each new episode, fans generally move on each week to the cast's next available batch of songs.
The "Glee" cast has charted almost exclusively with updates of songs already made popular by other acts, although original track "Loser Like Me" remains its second-highest-charted hit, having reached No. 6 last year. (The cast notched the other of its three Hot 100 top 10s with a remake of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream.")
More recently, the series has begun to help create hits for other acts. On its Dec. 6 episode, "Glee" covered then-little-known fun.'s "We Are Young." The cover debuted on the Hot 100 at its No. 12 peak and the original entered at No. 53 the week of Dec. 24, 2011 - two months before fun.'s version reached the chart's top 40 (spurred by its inclusion in a Chevrolet Sonic ad that aired during the Super Bowl). This week, fun.'s version of "Young" falls 1-2 on the Hot 100 after six weeks in charge, ceding the top spot to "Somebody," one of the show's latest remakes.
After breaking the 200-hit barrier this week, the "Glee" cast could keep extending its Hot 100 record total as soon as next week, when remakes of songs by the Bee Gees and other '70s acts could debut following last night's (April 17) disco-centric, polyester-infused episode, "Saturday Night Glee-ver."