Ask Billboard: How Historic Is Adele & Justin Bieber's Current Chart Domination?

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Justin Bieber; Adele

So far in 2016, only Adele & Bieber have ranked at Nos. 1 & 2 on both the Hot 100 & Billboard 200. How rare is their impressive run?

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20

Hi Gary,

You have previously covered the phenomenon of acts simultaneously ranking atop both the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and Billboard 200 albums chart. It's rare, but does occasionally occur; artists accomplishing this feat so far this decade include some of the biggest names in music, such as Adele, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Eminem and Rihanna.

Recently, though, we've seen an extended run of two stars dominating both charts' top two: For every chart dated in 2016 so far, the top two albums have been 25 by Adele and Purpose by Justin Bieber, while the top two songs have been the former's "Hello" and the latter's "Sorry." This week, the songs finally flip, with "Sorry" replacing "Hello" at No. 1 on the Hot 100.

Have there been other stretches in which the top two spots on both the albums and singles charts have been by the same two acts?

Thanks,

Jesse Rifkin
Washington, D.C.

Hi Jesse,

Two weeks into 2016, we have what should stand as one of the best "Ask Billboard" questions/observations of the entire year (not that we chart everything …)

To recap, the past four weeks, through the current charts dated Jan. 23, have featured Adele and Bieber at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 (except for this week, where Bieber and Adele swap spots on the Hot 100). The pair also ranked at Nos. 1 and 2 for the charts dated Dec. 12 and 19 (then were interrupted for a frame when Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 2).

How do Adele and Bieber's six weeks of blocking all competitors from the top two on both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 stack up historically? In other words, have there been other eras in which two acts teamed up to dominate Billboard's two most signature charts simultaneously, at Nos. 1 and 2, at the expense of all other artists? And, if so, for how long?

Sorry … if this takes a while, but let's say … hello … to more than 50 years of Hot 100 and Billboard 200 history. We'll start with Adele and Bieber's current combined command and work our way back to Aug. 17, 1963, when the Billboard 200 became a single chart (after existing previously, ranking mono and stereo albums separately; the Hot 100 launched Aug. 4, 1958).

Adele & Justin Bieber

Six weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

12/12/2015
1, "Hello," Adele / 25, Adele
2, "Sorry," Justin Bieber / Purpose, Justin Bieber

12/19/2015
1, "Hello," Adele / 25, Adele
2, "Sorry," Justin Bieber / Purpose, Justin Bieber

1/2/2016
1, "Hello," Adele / 25, Adele
2, "Sorry," Justin Bieber / Purpose, Justin Bieber

1/9/2016
1, "Hello," Adele / 25, Adele
2, "Sorry," Justin Bieber / Purpose, Justin Bieber

1/16/2016
1, "Hello," Adele / 25, Adele
2, "Sorry," Justin Bieber / Purpose, Justin Bieber

1/23/2016
1, "Sorry," Justin Bieber / 25, Adele
2, "Hello," Adele / Purpose, Justin Bieber

Ok, we're starting with six weeks of two acts leading the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 concurrently. That's the mark to beat. Let's go back to … well, when did such a double last occur?

Almost 12 years earlier:

OutKast & Twista

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

2/14/2004
1, "The Way You Move," OutKast (feat. Sleepy Brown) / Kamikaze, Twista
2, "Slow Jamz," Twista (feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx) / Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, OutKast

That week, OutKast's hit topped the Hot 100 … dethroning its own "Hey Ya!"

Let's keep time-traveling. Before '04 …

Nelly & Eminem

2 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

7/13/2002
1, "Hot in Herre," Nelly / Nellyville, Nelly
2, "Without Me," Eminem / The Eminem Show, Eminem

7/20/2002
1, "Hot in Herre," Nelly / Nellyville, Nelly
2, "Without Me," Eminem / The Eminem Show, Eminem

Rap ruled the early '00s, and two of the genre's biggest stars doubled up at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 for those two weeks. Those charts mark the last time until Adele and Bieber (a span of 13-and-a-half years) that two acts held the top spots on the surveys for multiple weeks.

Janet & Destiny's Child

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

5/19/2001
1, "All for You," Janet / Survivor, Destiny's Child
2, "Survivor," Destiny's Child / All for You, Janet

Sensing a trend? For the most part … Adele and Bieber … Nelly and Eminem … Janet and Destiny's Child … acts teaming up to rank at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously on both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 tend to be those with lengthy and/or superstar-level career peaks.

For the next one, a bit of an asterisk:

Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston

5 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

1/6/1996
1, "One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey (& Boyz II Men) / Daydream, Mariah Carey
2, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Whitney Houston / Waiting to Exhale, soundtrack

1/13/1996
1, "One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey (& Boyz II Men) / Daydream, Mariah Carey
2, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Whitney Houston / Waiting to Exhale, soundtrack

1/20/1996
1, "One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey (& Boyz II Men) / Waiting to Exhale, soundtrack
2, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Whitney Houston / Daydream, Mariah Carey

1/27/1996
1, "One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey (& Boyz II Men) / Waiting to Exhale, soundtrack
2, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Whitney Houston / Daydream, Mariah Carey

2/3/1996
1, "One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey (& Boyz II Men) / Waiting to Exhale, soundtrack
2, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Whitney Houston / Daydream, Mariah Carey

Exactly 20 years ago, the divas kept all contenders from Nos. 1 and 2 on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 for five straight weeks … if we bend the rules and count the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack as a Houston album; it is officially credited as a soundtrack, not a Houston album, in Billboard's archives. Still, the set generated two top 10s (and three top 40 hits) for Houston, and the rankings above reflect just how ubiquitous Carey and Houston were at the time (with "Day" ultimately crowning the Hot 100 for a record 16 weeks).

Paula Abdul & Janet Jackson

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

2/24/1990
1, "Opposites Attract," Paula Abdul (duet with The Wild Pair) / Forever Your Girl, Paula Abdul
2,"Escapade," Janet Jackson / Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, Janet Jackson

A second (or, chronologically, first) appearance for Jackson. And, another show of girl power's strength atop the charts.

We don't need to rewind too much further for the prior two-fer:

Milli Vanilli & Billy Joel

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

12/2/1989
1, "Blame It on the Rain," Milli Vanilli / Girl You Know It's True, Milli Vanilli
2, "We Didn't Start the Fire," Billy Joel / Storm Front, Billy Joel

While Joel is a legend, Milli Vanilli was infamously stripped of its 1990 best new artist Grammy Award. Still, for much of 1989, the duo dominated, with its album topping the Billboard 200 for seven weeks and yielding five top five Hot 100 hits, including three No. 1s. (And, "Rain" was written by the renowned Diane Warren.)

Peter Gabriel & Kenny Loggins

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

7/26/1986
1, "Sledgehammer," Peter Gabriel / Top Gun, soundtrack
2, "Danger Zone," Kenny Loggins / So, Peter Gabriel

Ok, another case, as with Houston, of not two artists, but still two songs in the Hot 100's top two while their parent albums were Nos. 1 and 2 on the Billboard 200, as Top Gun spun off Loggins' hit. (In another coincidence, a week earlier, Genesis had led the Hot 100 with "Invisible Touch," while former band member Gabriel placed at No. 2 with "Sledgehammer.")

How about one more soundtrack-related pairing:

Lionel Richie & Deniece Williams

2 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

5/19/1984
1, "Hello," Lionel Richie / Footloose, soundtrack
2, "Let's Hear It for the Boy," Deniece Williams / Can't Slow Down, Lionel Richie

5/26/1984
1, "Let's Hear It for the Boy," Deniece Williams / Footloose, soundtrack
2, "Hello," Lionel Richie / Can't Slow Down, Lionel Richie

"Hello" unites Adele and Richie once again!

Paul McCartney & Rick Springfield

2 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

5/29/1982
1, "Ebony and Ivory," Paul McCartney (and Stevie Wonder) / Tug of War, Paul McCartney
2, "Don't Talk to Strangers," Rick Springfield / Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, Rick Springfield

6/5/1982
1, "Ebony and Ivory," Paul McCartney (and Stevie Wonder) / Tug of War, Paul McCartney
2, "Don't Talk to Strangers," Rick Springfield / Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, Rick Springfield

Springfield is likely best remembered for his 1981 No. 1 "Jessie's Girl," but it's with "Strangers" that he and a Beatle blocked all other artists (except for McCartney duet partner Wonder) from the top two on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 for two weeks in '82.

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts & Go-Go's

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

4/10/1982
1, "I Love Rock 'N Roll," Joan Jett & the Blackhearts / Beauty and the Beat, Go-Go's
2, "We Got the Beat, Go-Go's / I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Rock girl power!

Barbra Streisand & Queen

3 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

10/18/1980
1, "Another One Bites the Dust," Queen / The Game, Queen
2, "Woman in Love," Barbra Streisand / Guilty, Barbra Streisand

10/25/1980
1, "Woman in Love," Barbra Streisand / Guilty, Barbra Streisand
2, "Another One Bites the Dust," Queen / The Game, Queen

11/1/1980
1, "Woman in Love," Barbra Streisand / Guilty, Barbra Streisand
2, "Another One Bites the Dust," Queen / The Game, Queen

For three weeks in 1980, we liked the sonic extremes of Streisand and Queen above all other styles.

Barbra Streisand & Eagles

2 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

2/26/1977
1, "New Kid in Town," Eagles / A Star Is Born, soundtrack
2, "Evergreen," Barbra Streisand / Hotel California, Eagles

3/5/1977
1, "Evergreen," Barbra Streisand / A Star Is Born, soundtrack
2, "New Kid in Town," Eagles / Hotel California, Eagles

More evidence of just how bright Streisand's "star" was shining on the charts in the '70s and '80s, thanks, in this case, to the Born soundtrack and the film's love theme.

Linda Ronstadt & AWB

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

2/15/1975
1, "You're No Good," Linda Ronstadt / Heart Like a Wheel, Linda Ronstadt
2, "Pick Up the Pieces," AWB / AWB, Average White Band

Average White Band arrived in full force in 1975, scoring a breakthrough No. 1 song and album. By year's end, the Scottish funk band added three more top 40 Hot 100 hits and another top five album.

John Denver & Elton John

2 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

7/27/1974
1, "Annie's Song," John Denver / Caribou, Elton John
2, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," Elton John / Back Home Again, John Denver

8/3/1974
1, "Annie's Song," John Denver / Caribou, Elton John
2, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," Elton John / Back Home Again, John Denver

Singer-songwriter pop from two of the genre's most successful stars.

George Harrison & Paul McCartney

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

6/30/1973
1, "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)," George Harrison / Living in the Material World, George Harrison
2, "My Love," Paul McCartney (and Wings) / Red Rose Speedway, Paul McCartney (and Wings)

Again, McCartney. And, a showing of how the Beatles' legacy extended three years after their breakup. More on the Beatles ahead …

America & Neil Young

4 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

3/18/1972
1, "Heart of Gold," Neil Young / Harvest, Neil Young
2, "A Horse With No Name," America / America, America

3/25/1972
1, "A Horse With No Name," America / America, America
2, "Heart of Gold," Neil Young / Harvest, Neil Young

4/1/1972
1, "A Horse With No Name," America / America, America
2, "Heart of Gold," Neil Young / Harvest, Neil Young

4/8/1972
1, "A Horse With No Name," America / America, America
2, "Heart of Gold," Neil Young / Harvest, Neil Young

The height of breezy '70s folk-rock.

Simon & Garfunkel & The Beatles

2 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

3/28/1970
1, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Simon & Garfunkel / Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel
2, "Let It Be," The Beatles / Hey Jude, The Beatles

4/4/1970
1, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Simon & Garfunkel / Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel
2, "Let It Be," The Beatles / Hey Jude, The Beatles

Still more Beatles ahead …

The Supremes & The Beatles

1 week
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

1/16/1965
1, "Come See About Me," The Supremes / Beatles '65, The Beatles
2, "I Feel Fine," The Beatles / Where Did Our Love Go, The Supremes

… and …

The Beatles & … The Beatles

9 weeks
Hot 100 / Billboard 200:

2/29/1964
1, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "She Loves You," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

3/7/1964
1, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "She Loves You," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

3/14/1964
1, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "She Loves You," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

3/21/1964
1, "She Loves You," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

3/28/1964
1, "She Loves You," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

4/4/1964
1, "Can't Buy Me Love," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "Twist and Shout," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

4/11/1964
1, "Can't Buy Me Love," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "Twist and Shout," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

4/18/1964
1, "Can't Buy Me Love," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "Twist and Shout," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

4/25/1964
1, "Can't Buy Me Love," The Beatles / Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles
2, "Twist and Shout," The Beatles / Introducing...The Beatles, The Beatles

Yup ... for nine weeks at the pinnacle of Beatlemania, one act, never mind two, held the top two spots on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, yet another illustration of the Fab Four's historic arrival in the U.S. And, for one of those frames, April 4, 1964, the Beatles locked up the entire top five on the Hot 100, while ranking at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Billboard 200, feats that have not been (and may never be?) matched.

So … 2,500 words later (the great Grantland would be proud), the conclusions? Here are three:

1, Generally, superstar acts have combined to chart at Nos. 1 and 2 on both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 at the same time, from Adele and Bieber to artists including Janet Jackson, Destiny's Child, Barbra Streisand, Queen and The Beatles (including McCartney and Harrison as soloists).

2, At six total weeks, Adele and Bieber have tallied the longest such double-up in the two charts' histories by two different acts. Only The Beatles have kept all other artists out of the surveys' top two simultaneously longer, monopolizing the ranks all by themselves for nine weeks in 1964.

(One element to consider: with the Billboard 200 having, in late 2014, transformed form a pure sales chart to a consumption-based survey, including streams and song sales in its mix, acts with big albums and big hit singles from those albums, like Adele and Bieber, since December, may have a better chance to double up at Nos. 1 and 2, since strong song sales now inform parent album ranks; going by pure album sales only, Adele and Bieber have ranked at Nos. 1 and 2 [on the Top Album Sales chart] for four weeks, not six, in their current run, still, of course, an impressive showing. We'll see going forward if the two stars mark an anomaly, or the start of a bigger trend.)

Perhaps music fans will still be lauding the catalogs of Adele and Bieber a half-century from now, as we do with the Beatles now? As blasphemous as that might sound to some, Adele and Bieber are amid a run of popularity (per the stat at the center of this "Ask Billboard") not seen since the Beatles bowed.

3, Adele and Bieber's combined strongholds at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 may pause, or end, on next week's charts, as David Bowie's Blackstar appears headed for the top of the album tally (which would mark his first-ever Billboard 200 No. 1). Even in his absence, the late icon will likely continue to shine above all others, no matter how uncommon their chart supremacy, with his incomparable art.