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Cardi B, Beyonce, Mariah Carey & More: The Elite Acts With at Least Two Hot 100 No. 1s From a Debut Album

As Cardi B celebrates her second No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as "I Like It," with J Balvin and Bad Bunny, rises 2-1 (on the chart dated July 7), the rapper joins a select group of…

As Cardi B celebrates her second No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as “I Like It,” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny, rises 2-1 (on the chart dated July 7), the rapper joins a select group of artists that have notched at least two No. 1s from their debut full-length studio album.

As previously reported, Cardi B is the first act to land two No. 1s from a debut LP since Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, whose The Heist yielded two in 2013, and the first solo artist since Bruno Mars, whose Doo-Wops & Hooligans generated two in 2010-11.

In the Hot 100’s 59-year history, a select 23 acts have scored at least two No. 1s from their debut LPs (15 soloists and eight duos/groups).


The only other rappers to achieve the feat? 50 Cent (with “In Da Club” and “21 Questions,” in 2003) and Puff Daddy (with “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” and “I’ll Be Missing You,” in 1997).

George Michael, Paula Abdul and Mariah Carey hold the record for the most Hot 100 No. 1s from a debut album, with four each. Michael set the record in 1987-88, when he ruled with four consecutive singles from Faith, his first solo LP after dissolving Wham! (“Faith,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey”).

Abdul tied Michael’s mark in 1989-90, when “Straight Up,” “Forever Your Girl,” “Cold Hearted” and “Opposites Attract,” all from her debut set Forever Your Girl, reached the Hot 100’s summit. Carey also reached such lofty rookie status with her debut self-titled album and its four singles (“Vision of Love,” “Love Takes Time,” “Someday” and “I Don’t Wanna Cry”) in 1990-91.

Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Whitney Houston, Milli Vanilli and Wilson Phillips all earned three No. 1s from their debut sets.

In chronological order, here are all 23 acts that have earned at least two No. 1 songs on the Hot 100 from debut LPs:

The Fleetwoods, 1959
“Come Softly to Me” (four weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100) & “Mr. Blue” (one week), from Mr. Blue

The Fleetwoods were the first act to score multiple No. 1s from a debut album, just a year after the Hot 100 launched. The group earned 11 total Hot 100 entries, but reached No. 1 only with those two early-rock-era classics.

The 4 Seasons, 1962
“Sherry” (five weeks) & “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (five weeks), from Sherry & 11 Others

The Frankie Valli-led 4 Seasons launched “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” both from their debut LP, Sherry & 11 Others, to the summit in 1962. The group returned to No. 1 three more times, with “Walk Like a Man,” in 1963 (for three weeks); “Rag Doll,” in 1964 (two); and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” in 1976 (three).

Andy Gibb, 1977-78
“I Just Want to Be Your Everything” (four weeks) & “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” (two weeks), from Flowing Rivers

The youngest Gibb brother took center stage with his debut LP, Flowing Rivers, as both of the set’s singles crowned the Hot 100. His brother Barry Gibb (of the Bee Gees) wrote “Everything” and co-wrote “Water” and also co-produced the set with Andy. Andy Gibb returned to the top once more, with the title track first single from his follow-up album, Shadow Dancing.

Men at Work, 1982-83
“Who Can It Be Now?” (one week) & “Down Under” (four weeks), from Business as Usual

Australian pop group Men at Work earned its first (and only) two No. 1s on the Hot 100 from its debut album, Business as Usual, which spent a whopping 15 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Whitney Houston, 1985-86
“Saving All My Love for You” (one week), “How Will I Know” (two weeks) & “Greatest Love of All” (three weeks), from Whitney Houston

Houston scored a record seven consecutive No. 1s on the Hot 100 (of 11 total), and that run began with three singles from her debut self-titled album, making her the first artist to arrive with such a triple. Her follow-up album, 1987’s Whitney, one-upped her debut, spinning off four No. 1 singles. Beyond earning three No. 1s from a debut set, Houston became the first of nine solo women to have tallied at least two No. 1s from a first LP, through Cardi B.

Starship, 1985-86
“We Built This City” (two weeks) & “Sara” (one week), from Knee Deep in the Hoopla

Starship had already amassed a large following by the time its debut album dropped in 1985, as lead singer Mickey Thomas began his career as the frontman for predecessor band Jefferson Starship. Starship earned one additional No. 1, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” in 1987.

Tiffany, 1987-88
“I Think We’re Alone Now” (two weeks) & “Could’ve Been” (two weeks), from Tiffany

Teen pop star Tiffany (full name Tiffany Darwish) scored her first two (and only) No. 1s on the Hot 100 from her debut set Tiffany in 1987 and 1988, respectively. “I think people want to get back to some fun music,” Tiffany told Billboard in 2016. “I’m very proud to be a part of the ’80s. And I’m really proud to see many of those artists still out there, doing their thing. It puts a smile on my face.”

George Michael, 1988
“Faith” (four weeks), “Father Figure” (two weeks), “One More Try” (three weeks) & “Monkey” (two weeks), from Faith

Fresh off his work as half of Wham!, Michael released Faith, which became the first debut LP to spawn four Hot 100 No. 1s, a mark since matched only by Paula Abdul and Mariah Carey. Prior to Faith, Michael had already earned two leaders under his own billing, as featured on Wham!’s “Careless Whisper,” in 1985, and his duet with Aretha Franklin, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” in 1987. After Faith, Michael returned to No. 1 twice more, with “Praying for Time,” in 1990, and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” with Elton John, in 1992.

Rick Astley, 1988
“Never Gonna Give You Up” (two weeks) & “Together Forever” (one week), from Whenever You Need Somebody

Both of the soulful British singer’s Hot 100 No. 1s were released from his debut album Whenever You Need Somebody, which hit No. 10 on the Billboard 200 in 1988. “It was amazing to turn up in a country that I knew nothing about,” Astley mused of his warm American welcome. “I was No. 1 and everybody knew me.”

Paula Abdul, 1989-90
“Straight Up” (three weeks), “Forever Your Girl” (two weeks), “Cold Hearted” (one week) & “Opposites Attract,” duet with the Wild Pair (three weeks), from Forever Your Girl

Abdul followed George Michael as only the second artist, and first woman, to earn four Hot 100 No. 1s from a debut album. Abdul scored six total No. 1s, leading again with “Rush Rush” and “The Promise of a New Day,” the first two singles from her second LP, Spellbound, in 1991.

Milli Vanilli, 1989
“Baby Don’t Forget My Number” (one week), “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” (two weeks) & “Blame It on the Rain” (two weeks), from Girl You Know It’s True

Dance-pop duo Milli Vanilli was off to a hot start in 1989, but, by late 1990, it came to a screeching halt, when the Grammy Recording Academy rescinded the pair’s Best New Artist award when it was revealed they hadn’t actually sung on its debut album. But Milli Vanilli’s chart achievements still stand, as the twosome notched three No. 1s from their debut LP and four top five hits. The title-track lead single peaked at No. 2.

Wilson Phillips, 1990-91
“Hold On” (one week), “Release Me” (two weeks) & “You’re In Love” (one week), from Wilson Phillips

The swell of albums generating multiple No. 1s in the mid-to-late-’80s (sparked by record labels wanting to best the healthy competition) continued into the early ’90s, with all three of Wilson Phillips’ Hot 100 No. 1s from the trio’s debut self-titled set. “I have my Billboard magazine laminated plaques on the wall of ‘Hold On,’ ‘Release Me’ and ‘You’re in Love,’ our No. 1 records,” Carnie Wilson told Billboard in 2012. “Honestly, I walk by every single day and I practically want to kiss them.”

Mariah Carey, 1990-91
“Vision of Love” (four weeks), “Love Takes Time” (three weeks), “Someday” (two weeks) and “I Don’t Wanna Cry” (two weeks), from Mariah Carey

Carey followed George Michael and Paula Abdul as just the third (and, to date, last) artist to score four Hot 100 No. 1s from a debut studio LP. Carey would go on to earn 18 total No. 1s on the Hot 100 to date, the second-most in the chart’s history (behind The Beatles’ 20) and the most among soloists.

Color Me Badd, 1991-92
“I Adore Mi Amor” (two weeks) & “All 4 Love” (one week), from C.M.B.

Oklahoma-based group Color Me Badd earned its first two (and only) No. 1s on the Hot 100 in 1991 and 1992. The act is the only R&B group with multiple No. 1s from a debut album.

Puff Daddy, 1997
“Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” feat. Mase (six weeks) & “I’ll Be Missing You,” with Faith Evans & feat. 112 (11 weeks), from No Way Out

Puff Daddy earned his first two, of four, Hot 100 No. 1s from No Way Out, becoming the first rapper to achieve the feat.

Christina Aguilera, 1999-2000
“Genie in a Bottle” (five weeks), “What a Girl Wants” (two weeks) & “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” (four weeks), from Christina Aguilera

Three of the four singles from Aguilera’s introductory album (“I Turn to You” reached No. 3) paved the way for her two additional No. 1s, “Lady Marmalade,” with Lil’ Kim, Mya and P!nk, in 2001, and as featured on Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” in 2011.

50 Cent, 2003
“In Da Club” (nine weeks) & “21 Questions,” feat. Nate Dogg (four weeks), from Get Rich or Die Tryin’

50 Cent followed Puff Daddy as the second rapper with multiple Hot 100 No. 1s from a debut album. He has since earned two more chart-toppers: “Candy Shop,” featuring Olivia, in 2005, and “Crack a Bottle,” with Eminem and Dr. Dre, in 2009.

Beyoncé, 2003
“Crazy in Love,” feat. JAY-Z (eight weeks) & “Baby Boy,” feat. Sean Paul (nine weeks), from Dangerously in Love

Like George Michael before her, Beyoncé already boasted a sizable following by the time her debut solo set Dangerously in Love was released in 2003, thanks to her time in Destiny’s Child. Her first solo album spawned four top five Hot 100 hits and two No. 1s, leading the way for four additional solo No. 1s: “Check On It,” featuring Slim Thug, in 2006; “Irreplaceable,” in 2006-07; “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” in 2008-09; and Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” on which she was featured for its first five of six weeks at No. 1 in 2017-18. Dangerously in Love earned Beyoncé her first of six solo No. 1s to date on the Billboard 200.

Fergie, 2006-07
“London Bridge” (three weeks), “Glamorous,” feat. Ludacris (two weeks), and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (one week), from The Dutchess

Another group-to-solo star, Fergie had already established herself as a hitmaker as a member of The Black Eyed Peas. The Dutchess contains her only three solo Hot 100 No. 1s to date, although the Peas notched three leaders in 2009-10.

Lady Gaga, 2009
“Just Dance,” feat. Colby O’Donis (three weeks), & “Poker Face” (one week), from The Fame

Until Cardi B, Lady Gaga stood as the last woman to earn multiple No. 1s from a debut album. Four tracks from The Fame reached the Hot 100’s top 10, while she has since earned an additional No. 1, 2011’s six-week ruler “Born This Way.”

Bruno Mars, 2010-11
“Just the Way You Are” (four weeks) & “Grenade” (four weeks), from Doo-Wops & Hooligans

Mars had already ascended to the summit of the Hot 100 by the time he released his debut LP, as B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You,” featuring Mars, spent two weeks at No. 1 earlier in 2010. Post-Doo-Wops & Hooligans, he’s since earned four more No. 1s: “Locked Out of Heaven,” in 2012-13; “When I Was Your Man,” in 2013; Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!,” featuring Mars, in 2015; and “That’s What I Like,” in 2017.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2013
“Thrift Shop,” feat. Wanz (six weeks) & “Can’t Holds Us,” feat. Ray Dalton (five weeks), from The Heist

Five years passed since the last act until Cardi B earned multiple Hot 100 No. 1s from a debut album. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ leaders are the duo’s only No. 1s (and top 10s) to date.

Cardi B, 2017-18
“Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” (three weeks) & “I Like It,” with J Balvin & Bad Bunny (one week to date), from Invasion of Privacy

Cardi B is the first female rapper, and first act overall in five years, to notch two Hot 100 No. 1s from a debut full-length studio album. In less than a year, Cardi B has earned 19 entries on the Hot 100, including six top 10s and, now, two No 1s from her debut album.

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