By now you’ve probably read that Taylor Swift has surpassed Whitney Houston as the female solo artist with the most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Swift has logged 47 weeks at No. 1, one more than Houston. That’s pretty impressive since the chart dates back to March 1956, before either artist was born.
You may be wondering what other artists are up there on the all-time rankings. Glad you asked.
In all, 22 acts have logged 26 or more weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s flagship album chart. Here’s a complete list. Ties are shown in alphabetical order. In true Casey Kasem style, we’ll count ‘em down to No. 1.
22. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (26 weeks): The ensemble had more weeks at No. 1 than any other instrumental act. The Brass’ longest running No. 1 was What Now My Now (nine weeks in 1966). That’s one week more than its most famous album, Whipped Cream & Other Delights (eight weeks in 1965-66), with a cover that was considered unbelievably sexy in 1965 -- or 2020, for that matter.
21. Barbra Streisand (27 weeks): The legendary star’s longest-running No. 1 was the A Star Is Born soundtrack (six weeks in 1977), on which she shared billing with co-star Kris Kristofferson. Her next longest-running No. 1 was People (five weeks in 1964).
20. Drake (27 weeks): The hip-hop star’s longest running No. 1 to date is Views (13 weeks in 2016).
18. Bruce Springsteen (29 weeks): The Boss’ longest-running No. 1s are Born in the U.S.A. (seven weeks in 1984-85) and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live/1975-85 (seven weeks in 1986-87). He shared billing with the E Street Band on the latter album, a five-disk box set.
18. Led Zeppelin (29 weeks): The band has logged more weeks at No. 1 than any other hard rock or heavy metal band. (Metallica is in second place with 14 weeks on top.) Led Zep’s longest running No. 1s are Led Zeppelin II (seven weeks in 1969-70) and In Through the Out Door (seven weeks in 1979).
16. Eagles (30 weeks): The band’s longest-running No. 1 was The Long Run (nine weeks in 1979). That’s one week more than its most famous and classic album, Hotel California (eight weeks in 1977).
16. Mariah Carey (30 weeks): Carey’s longest-running No. 1 was her debut, Mariah Carey (11 weeks in 1991).
14. Eminem (34 weeks): Eminem has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other hip-hop artist. (Runner-up Drake has logged 27 weeks on top.) Eminem’s longest-running No. 1 was The Marshall Mathers LP (eight weeks in 2000).
14. Adele (34 weeks): Adele’s longest-running No. 1 is 21 (24 weeks in 2011-12).
13. Prince (35 weeks): Prince’ s longest-running No. 1 was the Purple Rain soundtrack (24 weeks in 1984-85). His next longest-running No. 1, Batman, was also tied to a film. Purple Rain was one of two No. 1 albums on which Prince shared billing with his band, The Revolution. (The other was Around the World in a Day, their follow-up to Purple Rain.)
11. The Monkees (37 weeks): The group’s longest-running No. 1 was More of the Monkees (18 weeks in 1967.) It was that year’s longest-running No. 1 album, ahead of a little item titled Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
11. Harry Belafonte (37 weeks): The calypso singer's Belafonte album was No. 1 on the very first weekly Billboard 200 chart. Belafonte’s longest-running No. 1 was Calypso (31 weeks in 1956-57). Belafonte, 93, is the oldest artist on this list.
9. The Rolling Stones (38 weeks): The band’s longest-running No. 1 was Tattoo You (nine weeks in 1981).
9. Fleetwood Mac (38 weeks): The group has had more weeks at No. 1 than any other mixed-gender group. (Prince & the Revolution are runners-up with 27 weeks on top.) Fleetwood Mac’s longest-running No. 1 was Rumours (31 weeks in 1977).
8. Elton John (39 weeks): Captain Fantastic has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other solo artist who wasn’t born in the U.S. (Runner-up is Adele, with 34 weeks on top.) His longest-running No. 1 album was Greatest Hits (10 weeks in 1974-75).
6. The Kingston Trio (46 weeks): The folk trio spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other American group or duo. (Among groups and duos where all the members were born in the U.S., runners-up are Eagles, with 30 weeks at No. 1.) The trio’s longest-running No. 1 was The Kingston Trio at Large (15 weeks in 1959).
6. Whitney Houston (46 weeks): Houston’s longest-running No. 1 was The Bodyguard soundtrack (20 weeks in 1992-93). She recorded just six of the album’s 13 tracks, but they were the ones that sold the album. And her photo dominated the album cover. Houston’s next longest-running No. 1 was Whitney Houston (14 weeks in 1986).
5. Taylor Swift (47 weeks): Swift’s longest-running No. 1 albums are Fearless (11 weeks in 2008-09) and 1989 (11 weeks in 2014-15). Folklore is just four weeks away from equaling that run. At this point, we shouldn’t put anything past her. Swift, 30, is the youngest artist on this list.
4. Michael Jackson (51 weeks): MJ spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other Black artist. (Houston is runner-up at 46 weeks.) His longest running No. 1 was Thriller (37 weeks in 1983-84).
3. Garth Brooks (52 weeks): Brooks has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other country artist. (Runner-up, way back at 17 weeks, is Billy Ray Cyrus). Brooks’ longest-running No. 1 was Ropin’ the Wind (18 weeks in 1991-92).
2. Elvis Presley (67 weeks). Presley spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other solo artist and more than any other American artist. (Brooks is runner-up on both counts.) Presley’s longest-running No. 1 was the Blue Hawaii soundtrack (20 weeks in 1961-62). His tally includes four No. 1 soundtracks: Loving You, G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii and Roustabout.
1.The Beatles (132 weeks): The Fab Four have spent nearly twice as long at No. 1 as any other act. Their longest running No. 1 is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (15 weeks in 1967). Their tally includes four No. 1 soundtracks: A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be.
The Fine Print: If you count the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (which logged 24 weeks at No. 1 in 1978) as a Bee Gees album, the trio had 31 weeks on top. Bee Gees had six tracks on the album -- five of which were No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Their photo was on the front cover -- as prominent as a photo of the film’s star, John Travolta. But Billboard counts it as a multi-artist soundtrack album.
Likewise, if you count The Graduate soundtrack (which logged nine weeks at No. 1 in 1968) as a Simon & Garfunkel album, the duo had 26 weeks at No. 1. The duo recorded eight of the album’s 14 tracks and had a front-cover credit (though not a front-cover photo: The cover was the iconic image of star Dustin Hoffman eyeing co-star Anne Bancroft’s seductively outstretched leg). The Graduate competed on the Billboard 200 with S&G’s fourth album, Bookends. One album or the other was No. 1 for 16 consecutive weeks. Billboard counts The Graduate as a soundtrack, not a S&G album.