2019 American Music Awards

Kelly Clarkson Makes History as First 'American Idol' Contestant With 100 Billboard No. 1s

Ray Mickshaw/FOX via Getty Images
Kelly Clarkson performs onstage during Fox's American Idol season 15 on Feb. 25, 2016 in Hollywood, California. 

"Piece by Piece" tops two charts this week: Digital Songs & Pop Digital Songs.

With her emotional "Piece by Piece" hitting No. 1 on two charts, Kelly Clarkson is the first American Idol contestant to earn 100 chart-toppers, counting all national, domestic music charts (current, recurrent and catalog) compiled by Billboard.

The sudden success of the autobiographical title track from Clarkson's seventh studio album is due to the first Idol winner's deeply touching Feb. 25 performance on the Fox series. "Piece by Piece" zooms 35-1 on Digital Songs (dated March 19) and also soars 20-1 on Pop Digital Songs.

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Clarkson's run of Billboard No. 1s began Oct. 5, 2002, when her coronation song, "A Moment Like This," rocketed 52-1 on the Billboard Hot 100, shattering a 38-year-old record set by the Beatles in 1964 (when "Can't Buy Me Love" flew 27-1) for the biggest leap to the pole position. Clarkson has since rewritten her own record, skyrocketing 97-1 with "My Life Would Suck Without You" in 2009.

As the first winner of American Idol, Clarkson made the show's subtitle, The Search for a Superstar, come true. Now, 14 years later, Clarkson has proven to be not just a superstar, but an enduring one. She has also demonstrated that after 15 seasons, Idol can still generate No. 1 songs and albums.

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The double-chart-topping feat of "Piece by Piece" this week gives Idol a grand total of 458 Billboard No. 1s. Carrie Underwood is close behind Clarkson with 83, and in third place is Chris Daughtry, whose band Daughtry has earned 40 No. 1s. Rounding out the top five are Fantasia (35) and Mandisa (25).

Here is a complete list of how many No. 1s each Idol alum has achieved. All are finalists, with the exception of William Hung, who auditioned during season 3. His rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" didn't get him very far on the show, but was memorable enough to help him achieve instant fame. His debut album, Inspiration, began a two-week reign on the Top Independent Albums chart on April 24, 2004.

Billboard No. 1s by American Idol contestants:
Kelly Clarkson, 100
Carrie Underwood, 83
Chris Daughtry [Daughtry] , 40
Fantasia, 35
Mandisa, 25
Phillip Phillips, 20
Jennifer Hudson, 17
Ruben Studdard, 16
Clay Aiken, 12
Colton Dixon, 12
Scotty McCreery, 12
Adam Lambert, 10
David Cook, 8
Kimberley Locke, 8
Josh Gracin, 7
Jordin Sparks, 7
David Archuleta, 5
Danny Gokey, 5
Kellie Pickler, 5
Kris Allen, 4
Elliott Yamin, 4
Taylor Hicks, 3
American Idol Finalists, 2
Bo Bice, 2
Jason Castro, 2
Bucky Covington, 2
Blake Lewis, 2
Chris Sligh, 2
Casey Abrams, 1
Paris Bennett, 1
Diana DeGarmo, 1
Lee DeWyze, 1
Tamyra Gray, 1
Casey James, 1
Jessica Sanchez, 1
William Hung, 1


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