As previously reported, XXXTentacion tops the Billboard Hot 100 (dated June 30) with “Sad!,” which jumps from No. 52 to No. 1 after the rapper/singer died June 18 at age 20 after being shot in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
In the Hot 100’s 59-year history, only seven other solo artists have hit No. 1 posthumously. XXXTentacion is the first to do so since Static Major led the list on May 3, 2008, as the featured artist on Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” which spent five weeks at No. 1.
XXXTentacion is the first soloist in a lead role to top the Hot 100 after passing away since The Notorious B.I.G., with “Mo Money Mo Problems,” featuring Puff Daddy and Mase, in 1997.
Notably, six of the eight artists below earned their first No. 1s after they died, whereas the other two (Jim Croce and John Lennon) had previously reached the summit.
In chronological order, here is a recap of all the solo artists who have led the Hot 100 posthumously.
Otis Redding – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” hit No. 1 March 16, 1968 (and led for four weeks)
After passing away in a plane crash on Dec. 10, 1967, at age 26, Redding’s classic debuted on the Hot 100 in January 1968 and reached the summit two months later, earning him his first No. 1 after 19 prior entries (in which he rose no higher than No. 21). The song spent four weeks on top and has since been covered by dozens of artists, from Michael Bolton to Sammy Hagar.
Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee,” March 20, 1971 (two weeks)
Joplin died of a heroin overdose on Oct. 4, 1970, at age 27, and five months later, the rock pioneer earned her first No. 1 with “Me and Bobby McGee.” Joplin charted just one solo Hot 100 entry in her lifetime (“Kozmic Blues”; No. 41, 1969), plus three as a member of Big Brother and the Holding Company, but logged four posthumous entries, led by “McGee.”
Jim Croce – “Time in a Bottle,” Dec. 29, 1973 (two weeks)
Croce passed away in a plane crash on Sept. 20, 1973, and notched his second No. 1 hit three months later with the ballad “Time in a Bottle.” He previously led the Hot 100 with “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” for two weeks in July 1973. The revered folk singer earned two additional posthumous top 10s: “I Got a Name,” which hit No. 10 in November 1973, and “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song,” which reached No. 9 in April 1974.
John Lennon – “(Just Like) Starting Over,” Dec. 27, 1980 (five weeks)
After his murder on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon added his second solo No. 1, and biggest solo hit, “(Just Like) Starting Over.” Not counting the record 20 No. 1s by The Beatles, the icon previously reigned with “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” in November 1974. (“Imagine,” perhaps his signature song, peaked at No. 3 in 1971.)
The Notorious B.I.G. – “Hypnotize,” May 3, 1997 (three weeks); “Mo Money Mo Problems,” featuring Puff Daddy & Mase, Aug. 30, 1997 (two weeks)
The Notorious B.I.G. holds the distinction of being the only artist with two posthumous Hot 100 No. 1s. After his shooting death on March 9, 1997, Biggie posted his first two leaders, “Hypnotize,” that May, and “Mo Money Mo Problems,” in August. He nearly earned a third, as Puff Daddy’s “Been Around the World,” featuring Biggie and Mase, reached No. 2 in January 1998.
Soulja Slim – “Slow Motion” (Juvenile feat. Soulja Slim), Aug. 7, 2004 (two weeks)
Soulja Slim’s sole entry on the Hot 100 debuted nine months after his shooting death on Nov. 26, 2003. As featured on Juvenile’s “Slow Motion,” he reigned for two weeks in August 2004, marking the latest that an artist has led the Hot 100 after passing away.
Static Major – “Lollipop” (Lil Wayne feat. Static Major), May 3, 2008 (five weeks)
Like Soulja Slim, Static Major’s first and only entry on the Hot 100 occurred after his death (on Feb. 25, 2008). Static Major, who died of internal bleeding, earned a featured billing on Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” which debuted on the Hot 100 in March 2008 and hit No. 1 two months later.
XXXTentacion – “Sad!,” June 30, 2018 (one week to-date)
The song first reached a No. 7 high on March 31, when parent album ? became XXXTentacion’s first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. After he was shot and killed June 18, the track vaulted to No. 1 on the Hot 100, with a 264 percent surge to 48.9 million U.S. streams in the week ending June 21, according to Nielsen Music. Before his death, the chart success of XXXTentacion was concurrent with numerous controversies and legal troubles. When he died, he was awaiting trial on over a dozen felony charges and allegations of domestic violence against his then-pregnant girlfriend.