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Ask Billboard: Historic Hot 100 No. 1s, Continued

Chart Beat readers muse about milestone Hot 100 No. 1s, including one from Stevie Wonder, plus news on another Stevie (Nicks).

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hi Gary,

Thank you, and this column’s readers, for sharing picks for No. 1 songs among the Billboard Hot 100’s 1,000 leaders that are. Here are some of mine:

2, “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu),” Dominico Modugno (1958)
This song is notable for two reasons. It was the first foreign-language Hot 100 No. 1, and also the first Hot 100 No. 1 to be written or co-written by its singer.

4, “It’s All in the Game,” Tommy Edwards (1958)
The first Hot 100 No. 1 written or co-written by a major U.S. politician. This song was co-penned by Charles Gates Dawes, who was Vice President of the United States during the second administration of President Calvin Coolidge.

6, “Tom Dooley,” the Kingston Trio (1958)
The first Hot 100 No. 1 written about a real-life historical figure. Tom Dula (pronounced “Dooley” in the local dialect) was a Confederate soldier from North Carolina who was tried, convicted and hanged for the murder of his fiancée, Laura Foster. The trial and hanging received national publicity.

8, “The Chipmunk Song,” the Chipmunks with David Seville (1958)
The first Hot 100 No. 1 to inspire other media. “The Three Chipmunks” comic book was first published in 1959, and “The Alvin Show” debuted on television in 1961.

16, “Lonely Boy,” Paul Anka (1959)
The first Hot 100 No. 1 by a Canadian-born artist.

71, “Stranger on the Shore,” Mr. Acker Bilk (1962)
The first Hot 100 No. 1 by a British-born artist.

96, “Fingertips (Pt. II),” Little Stevie Wonder (1963)
The first “live” recording to reach No. 1 on the Hot 100.

285, “I Am Woman,” Helen Reddy (1972)
The first Hot 100 No. 1 by an Australian-born artist. This song also became an anthem for the Women’s Liberation movement.

Thank you for opening this discussion, Gary.

Blair Buchta
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Hi Gary,

Just wanted to add my “two” cents on the recent achievement of Lady Gaga having scored the 1,000th No. 1 single on the Hot 100. I found a few more interesting facts related to the chart’s top two positions.

“Everything I Do (I Do It for You)” by Bryan Adams notably held five singles at No. 2. During his seven-week reign beginning July 27, 1991, Adams blocked these five songs from toppling him:

“Right Here, Right Now,” Jesus Jones
“P.A.S.S.I.O.N.,” Rhythm Syndicate
“Every Heartbeat,” Amy Grant
“It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over,” Lenny Kravitz
“Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave),” Roxette

And, “The Way You Move” by OutKast featuring Sleepy Brown held at No. 2 for eight straight weeks prior to ascending to the summit in 2003. Whitney Houston spent 11 weeks at No. 2 after leading the list with “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” in 1995.

Congratulations to all the chart-topping artists so far. Here’s to 1,000 more No. 1s!


Dana E. McIntyre
Hot 100 Chart Enthusiast
Oakland, California

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hi Gary,

The legendary Stevie Nicks is releasing a new album soon. Could you please provide up-to-date sales totals for her albums?


John Irving
Austin, Texas

Hi John,

Nicks releases “In Your Dreams” May 3. The Nicks-written, Dave Stewart-produced first single “Secret Love” is bubbling under the Adult Contemporary chart.

Stevie Nicks – Secret Love by MMMusic

In what should be a tour bursting with beloved hits, Nicks and Rod Stewart‘s “Heart & Soul” trek runs March 20 through April 23 (although the pair’s April 15 show in Phoenix is the closest they’ll come to Austin …)

Here is a look at Nicks’ album sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan:

46,000, “The Soundstage Sessions” (2009)
348,000, “Crystal Visions… The Very Best of Stevie Nicks” (2007)
663,000, “Trouble in Shangri-La” (2001)
172,000, “The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks” (1998)
231,000, “Street Angel” (1994)
1,543,000, “Timespace: Best of Stevie Nicks” (1991)

Sales for albums released prior to the advent of SoundScan in 1991:
79,000, “The Other Side of the Mirror” (1989)
99,000, “Rock a Little” (1986)
200,000, “The Wild Heart” (1983)
855,000, “Bella Donna” (1981)

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), here are the certifications for Nicks’ four pre-SoundScan era studio albums:

Platinum, “The Other Side of the Mirror”
Platinum, “Rock a Little”
2x Multi-Platinum, “The Wild Heart”
4x Multi-Platinum, “Bella Donna”

Nicks has collaborated on several songs with songwriter Rick Nowels, whose deep resume includes hits for Madonna, Belinda Carlisle and Colbie Caillat.

Nowels wrote three of my favorite Nicks songs: “I Can’t Wait” (1986), “Two Kinds of Love,” featuring Bruce Hornsby and Kenny G (1989), and “Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind” (1994).

In an e-mail last year, Nowels called “Two Kinds of Love” (which inexplicably failed to reach the Adult Contemporary chart upon its release as the second single from “The Other Side of the Mirror”) “one of my faves too!”

“Madonna, Belinda, Stevie … all goddesses of pop.”


With “American Idol” having unveiled this season’s top 24 contestants, per my goal of hoping to identify this year’s eventual champion as early possible, here are my picks for the top 12:

Casey Abrams
Naima Adedapo
Lauren Alaina
Jovany Barreto
James Durbin
Clint Jun Gamboa
Ashton Jones
Stefano Langone
Brett Loewenstern
Jacob Lusk
Paul McDonald
Rachel Zevita

(As noted the past two weeks, my girlfriend, Michelle, and I are locked in our own “‘Idol” competition. 11 of my 41 original choices for this year’s potential winners rank among the top 24, while seven of her 25 picks remain. We’ve yet to agree on whether my higher total of remaining contestants is more impressive than her higher percentage – 28% (7 of 25) to 27% (11 of 41) – of identifying this season’s finalists.

We do share the same prediction for the top three:
3, James Durbin
2, Casey Abrams
And 1 … Lauren Alaina)

Which singer do you think has the best chance to be crowned the next “American Idol”?

Follow’s complete coverage of the 10th season of “American Idol” and, as always, please feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below or by e-mailing