JAY-Z by the Numbers: From 1996 Chart Debut to Record-Extending No. 1 Album '4:44'
JAY-Z made his Billboard chart debut back in March 1996, and since then, the hip-hop superstar has racked up an impressive tally of feats and figures on the charts. Most recently, he notched his 14th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 dated July 29 with 4:44, extending his record as the solo artist with the most leaders in the history of the tally.
Let’s take a look at JAY-Z, by the numbers, on Billboard’s charts:
14: JAY-Z has earned 14 No. 1s on the Billboard 200 albums chart, extending his existing record as the solo artist with the most leaders in the 61-year history of the tally. His latest leader helps distance him from the two solo acts with the second-most No. 1s -- Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand -- who each have 11 No. 1s. In total, JAY-Z has the second-most No. 1s behind only The Beatles, who have 19 chart-toppers. Further, JAY-Z holds the record for the most No. 1 debuts on the chart, as all 14 of his No. 1s have bowed in the top slot.
36 million: In total, JAY-Z’s albums have sold 36.3 million copies in the U.S., through July 13, according to Nielsen Music. His best-selling album is 1998’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, with 5.4 million sold.
March 16, 1996: JAY-Z made his Billboard chart debut on March 16, 1996, when the double-sided single “Ain’t No Nigga”/“Dead Presidents,” featuring Foxy Brown, bowed on multiple tallies, including Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song eventually peaked at Nos. 4 and 17 on the lists, respectively.
90: Through July 29, 2017, JAY-Z has scored 90 entries on the Hot Rap Songs chart. Among those are 39 top 10s, with five of those going all the way to No. 1.
96: On the Billboard Hot 100, JAY-Z has claimed 96 hits -- the fifth-most in the chart’s 58-year-old history. (On the July 29, 2017-dated chart, nine songs debut from the 4:44 album, pushing his total hits from 87 to 96, surpassing James Brown’s total of 91.)
4: JAY-Z has topped the Billboard Hot 100 four times -- three times as the featured artist on a song and once with a duet. His first three No. 1s were all featured turns: Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” (in 1999), Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” (2003) and Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (2007). In 2009, he brought home his first No. 1 as a lead artist, with “Empire State of Mind,” a duet with Alicia Keys.
35: JAY-Z has notched 35 top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including his newest: “The Story of O.J.” The track bows at No. 10 on the July 29-dated list, marking his first top 10 debut where he’s the lead artist. (He previously debuted in the top 10 as the featured artist on Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” and on Drake’s “Pop Style.”)
5: While not exactly known as a dance artist, JAY-Z has scored five hits on the Dance Club Songs chart -- all through featured turns on other artists’ songs. In 1999, his turn on “Heartbreaker” hit No. 2, and he followed that up with a pair of No. 1s with Beyoncé (“Deja Vu”) and Rihanna (“Umbrella”) in 2006 and 2007, respectively. In 2013, his role on Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” helped the track rise to No. 22, and the following year, JAY-Z teamed up again with Beyoncé on the No. 12-peaking “Drunk in Love.”