Chart Beat

Who Are the Writers and Producers With the Most Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s?

Paul McCartney and John Lennon
Val Wilmer/Redferns

John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles posed backstage at the Finsbury Park Astoria, London during the band's Christmas Show residency on Dec. 30, 1963. 

Max Martin moves up each list thanks to The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights."

As The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" ascends to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated April 4), the song marks his fifth leader as both an artist and songwriter, and his third as a producer.

For co-writer and co-producer Max Martin, the pop luminary ups his totals to even more stratospheric levels. (The Weeknd and Martin wrote "Lights" with Belly, DaHeala and Oscar Holter and produced it with Holter.)

Martin scores his 23rd Hot 100 No. 1 as a writer and 21st as a producer. He boasts the third-most leaders as a writer and the second-most as a producer dating to the chart's Aug. 4, 1958, launch, ranking behind only those involved in the legendary success of The Beatles, who have earned the most No. 1s, 20, by any single billed artist.

Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26) rank first and second, respectively, for having written the most Hot 100 No. 1s, thanks to The Beatles' and their respective solo outputs.

George Martin, meanwhile, produced 23 Hot 100 leaders, including 19 of The Beatles' 20. The lone Fab Four No. 1 that he didn't produce? Their last, 1970's "The Long and Winding Road," on which Phil Spector took the reins. His other four leaders as a producer: America's "Sister Golden Hair" (1975), McCartney and Stevie Wonder's "Ebony and Ivory" (1982), McCartney and Michael Jackson's "Say, Say, Say" (1983-84) and Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" (1997-98).

Here is an updated look at the songwriters and producers with the most Hot 100 No. 1s all-time, through the chart dated April 4, 2020 (compiled via Billboard charts department research and Fred Bronson's invaluable The Billboard Book of Number One Hits).

Most Hot 100 No. 1s by Writers
32, Paul McCartney
26, John Lennon
23, Max Martin
18, Mariah Carey
16, Barry Gibb
16, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald
15, James "Jimmy Jam" Harris III
15, Brian Holland
15, Terry Lewis
14, Lamont Dozier

Most Hot 100 No. 1s by Producers
23, George Martin
21, Max Martin
16, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald
16, James "Jimmy Jam" Harris III
16, Terry Lewis
15, Mariah Carey
14, Barry Gibb
13, Lamont Dozier
13, Albhy Galuten
13, Brian Holland
13, Karl Richardson

As for other talents on the lists above, Mariah Carey's count climbed to 18 Hot 100 No. 1s as a writer and 15 as a producer, and 19 as an artist, thanks to her 25-years-in-the-making present received when "All I Want for Christmas Is You" reached No. 1 in December. (Carey's only No. 1 that she didn't author? Her 1992 cover of the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There.")

Barry Gibb's totals include the Bee Gees' nine Hot 100 No. 1s, seven of which Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson also produced. Gibb, Galuten and Richardson also co-produced all three of Andy Gibb's leaders.

Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald has co-written and co-produced all 16 of his Hot 100 No. 1s, from Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" in 2007 through Katy Perry's "Dark Horse," featuring Juicy J, in 2014. Of those, he co-wrote 10 and co-produced nine with Martin.

James "Jimmy Jam" Harris III and Terry Lewis guided the sound of pop/R&B beginning in the '80s, having co-written and co-produced 14 Hot 100 No. 1s, including nine recorded by Janet Jackson. They also co-produced George Michael's 1988 leader "Monkey" and Usher's 2001 topper "U Remind Me," giving them 16 total No. 1s as producers, and co-wrote Carey's 1996 leader "Always Be My Baby," making for 15 No. 1s for them as writers.

Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, along with Eddie Holland (13 Hot 100 No. 1s as a writer), made their influential mark on Motown, thanks in large part to the threesome having written (and Brian Holland and Dozier having produced) the first 10 of The Supremes' 12 total No. 1s in the '60s.

Also, a special mention of Steve Sholes, who, while not on the rankings above, produced 10 No. 1s by Elvis Presley on Hot 100 predecessor charts in 1956-58 and six of the King's seven Hot 100 leaders following the survey's inception.