Chart Beat

Rewinding the Charts: 30 Years Ago, Prince Reigned With the Hot 100's Top Two

Prince
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on February 19, 1985 in Inglewood, California.

In 1986, he led on his own and as the writer of the chart's runner-up song. Also, this week in 1990, he returned to No. 1 as a writer, thanks to Sinead O'Connor.

As the world mourns Prince, who died April 21 at the age of 57, his fans can remember the music icon by revisiting one of his most impressive chart feats, which occurred 30 years ago this week.

Prince Dies at 57: Iconic Musical Genius Found Dead in Paisley Park

On the Billboard Hot 100 dated April 19, 1986, Prince earned the rare distinction of writing both the Nos. 1 and 2 songs on the chart. That week, "Kiss" (credited to Prince and The Revolution) sealed up the No. 1 slot for its first of two weeks on top. Directly behind, "Manic Monday," which he wrote for the Bangles (under the name Christopher), rose to No. 2, its peak.

Just how unusual was the honor? As then-Chart Beat editor Paul Grein noted, "That makes Prince one of only five songwriters [or songwriting teams] in the past 30 years to hold down the top two positions simultaneously." The other four such songwriting entities: Elvis Presley; John Lennon and Paul McCartney; Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, a.k.a. the Bee Gees; and Jim Steinman.

Prince's songwriting prowess also scored him another No. 1 writing credit this same week in 1990, when Sinead O'Connor's cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U" reached the summit for the first of four weeks on the April 21-dated Hot 100. Prince originally composed the track for The Family, a side project signed to his Paisley Park record label.

Four years after O'Connor made a hit out of "Nothing," Prince's his own version climbed to No. 62 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in January 1994.

--Additional reporting by Gary Trust