Weekly Chart Notes: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Do What Other Duos Didn't
As the twosome becomes the first duo to send its first two singles to No.1 on the Hot 100, a look back at the chart starts of other popular pairs.
As previously reported, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis log an historic No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, as "Can't Hold Us" (featuring Ray Dalton) follows their "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz) to the top, making the act the first duo ever to reign with its first two Hot 100 singles.
How did other dominant duos begin their Hot 100 histories?
Here's a look at the chart starts of notable musical twosomes, as well as how their hit-packed catalogs unfolded, reinforcing that songs accepted by consumers will ultimately become hits, regardless of when they arrive in an act's career.
Fifty-six years ago this month, the siblings made their debut on multiple Billboard pop charts that predated the Hot 100's Aug. 4, 1958, launch - and came oh-so-close to reigning back-to-back from their start. Their introductory hit "Bye Bye Love" reached No. 2 on the Top 100 and the Best Sellers in Stores charts, while follow-up and fellow classic "Wake Up Little Susie" crowned the Top 100, Best Sellers and Most Played by Jockeys (i.e., radio airplay) surveys.
Their exceptional opening run expanded to include two more No. 1s in 1958: "All I Have to Do Is Dream" (No. 1 on all three tallies) and "Bird Dog," a sales chart leader. The pair subsequently notched 12 Hot 100 top 10s, including the five-week No. 1 "Cathy's Clown" in 1960.
Simon & Garfunkel
The fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers dented the Best Sellers chart in late 1957 with "Hey, Schoolgirl" (No. 49), credited to their then-name Tom & Jerry. Eight years later, they launched their Hot 100 career with the two-week No. 1 "The Sounds of Silence," while "Homeward Bound" (No. 5) and "I Am a Rock" (No. 3) followed in 1966.
The duo added five more top 10s through 1975 (about the time that Paul Simon began earning his spot in the "Saturday Night Live" Five-Timers Club).
Like Simon & Garfunkel, the brother-and-sister pair arrived with a mid-charting hit, 1970's No. 54 Hot 100 entry (and Beatles remake) "Ticket to Ride," before catching on with a string of smash singles. Next came six consecutive top three hits, beginning with "(They Long to Be) Close to You" (four weeks at No. 1) and "We've Only Just Begun" (No. 2) later in 1970.
The pair rung up 27 Hot 100 hits (including 12 top 10s) through 1982, prior to Karen Carpenter's death in 1983.
Daryl Hall & John Oates
Again, some of the top duos of the rock era logged low-key chart beginnings. "She's Gone" debuted on the Hot 100 in February 1974, but stopped at No. 60. Rereleased two years later, the song soared to No. 7. In between, "Sara Smile" became their first top 10, reaching No. 4 earlier in 1976.
With 34 Hot 100 appearances, 16 top 10s and six No. 1s, Hall & Oates claim the highest sums among duos in each category.
Unlike the three prior acts, Air Supply roared up (from Down Under) the Hot 100 from its arrival, as "Lost in Love" rose to No. 3 in 1980. While its first seven singles each reached the top five, marking a record career-opening streak among duos, it wasn't until its fourth try, with "The One That You Love," that it topped the Hot 100. (Second hit "All Out of Love" peaked at No. 2).
Air Supply scored its eighth and most recent top 10 with the No. 2-peaking "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" in 1983. In 2010, the act appeared on Adult Contemporary, with two titles, for the first time since 1993.
Many might think that Wham! conquered the Hot 100 with its first three hits, as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Careless Whisper" and "Everything She Wants" each ruled in 1984-85. Billed as Wham! U.K., however, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley first hit the Hot 100 with 1983's "Bad Boys," which edged its way to a No. 60 peak.
Wham! tallied three more top 10s before Michael posted 14 on his own between 1986 and 1996.
1989 new duos, part one: While their legacy is accepted as irreparably tarnished once it was revealed that Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan didn't sing on their debut album, Milli Vanilli came as close as the Everly Brothers to posting a pair of career-opening No. 1s until Macklemore & Lewis. Like the Everlys, Milli Vanilli began with a No. 2 (Hot 100) hit, "Girl You Know It's True." While it's likely more forgotten than "Girl," follow-up "Baby Don't Forget My Number" then reached No. 1, as did follow-ups "Girl I'm Gonna Miss You" and "Blame It on the Rain."
"All or Nothing," the fifth and final single from the act's "Girl You Know It's True," a seven-week Billboard 200 No. 1, climbed to No. 4 in 1990, before Milli Vanilli's Grammy Award for best new artist was revoked later that year following confirmation of the act's (and label's) ruse.
Sadly, in 1998 Pilatus was found dead at age 33 from a suspected alcohol and prescription pill overdose in a Frankfurt, Germany, hotel room on the eve of a promotional tour for a new Milli Vanilli album, "Back and in Attack." The set remains unreleased.
1989 new duos, part two: Dean Cushman, an American exchange student visiting Sweden, became a fan of Roxette after seeing one of the act's shows (as recounted in Fred Bronson's invaluable "Billboard Book of Number One Hits"). Cushman brought the CD "Look Sharp!" back to play for his local pop radio station (KDWB Minneapolis), which played the set's "The Look." Listeners liked it and, released as a U.S. single, it became a debut No. 1 for the duo (Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson).
Roxette might've gone two-for-two atop the Hot 100 from the start had "Listen to Your Heart" directly followed "The Look." The song topped the chart in November 1989, but "Dressed for Success" preceded it, reaching No. 14 that July. Roxette totaled 12 Hot 100 hits, including six top 10s, four of which ascended to No. 1, through 1994.
Still together, the power-pop pair charted on Adult Contemporary with the catchy "She's Got Nothing On (But the Radio)" in 2011.
Sadly in the news since last week, when the duo's Chris Kelly passed away at 34, Kris Kross arrived with 1992's "Jump," still the longest-reigning (eight weeks at No. 1) debut hit by a duo in the Hot 100's nearly 55-year history. The song marks Kris Kross' sole Hot 100 top 10 (with its second chart entry, "Warm It Up," peaking at No. 13 in 1992).
Click here for an in-depth recap of the rappers' entire Billboard chart history.
The hip-hop pair collected their likely best-remembered pop hits with "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move." Reigning back-to-back in 2003-04, OutKast is the only duo ever to replace itself at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Still, the duo had first hit No. 1 in 2001 with "Ms. Jackson" - after notching eight chart entries starting in 1994. After the act's consecutive toppers, its "Roses" bloomed to a No. 9 peak in 2004.
Like Air Supply, Savage Garden scored U.S. success following its beginning in Australia. The No. 4-peaking "I Want You" marked the twosome's Hot 100 debut, while its third ("Truly Madly Deeply") and fifth ("I Knew I Loved You") chart entries soared to No. 1.
When Billboard ranked the top 50 hits of the Adult Contemporary chart's first 50 years in 2011, "Truly" took the vaunted No. 1 spot.
In 2011, duo crowned the Hot 100 with "Party Rock Anthem" (featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock), which became Billboard's Song of the Summer that year. Follow-up "Sexy and I Know It" likewise shimmied to No. 1 in early 2012. The act had first reached the Hot 100, however, with five other songs, starting with 2009's No. 51-peaking "I'm in Miami Trick."
Considering the bevy of memorable hits that the acts above have contributed over the past five decades-plus, Macklemore & Lewis' achievement this week of becoming the first duo to top the Hot 100 in its first two visits seems all the more impressive.