"Here's the thing,” says Mariah Carey. “Do you know which chart it went No. 1 on first?”
She’s referring to “Fantasy,” her bubbly 1995 single that became the first song from a female artist to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. As Carey is quick to point out, that certainly wasn’t the only chart it topped upon release. “There were many different remixes of that song,” she continues. “My favorite version is the Bad Boy remix featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard. I know that [drove the song] to No. 1 on the hip-hop charts, and the original went No. 1 on the pop chart -- but I’m not sure which one I found out about first.”
The song actually topped the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs simultaneously (it did top R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay before Mainstream Top 40). But Carey could be forgiven for a slight memory lapse: For the top solo female artist of all time, “Fantasy” is just one in a long line of record-setting chart achievements. She is the solo artist with the most No. 1 hits on the Hot 100, the only female artist to have three songs debut at No. 1 on that chart and the artist who has spent the most time at No. 1 (79 total weeks). For 23 years, “One Sweet Day,” her collaboration with Boyz II Men, held or shared the record for most weeks spent atop the chart -- until Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” came along.