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Ask Billboard: Max Martin Notches Another No. 1

With assistance from Taylor Swift, the writer/producer extraordinaire returns to the Billboard Hot 100's summit. Plus, another notable Swift achievement and more.

As always, submit questions about Billboard charts, 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. Or, Tweet @gthot20


@gthot20 Why no mention of #blankspace writer/producer Max Martin in the latest Hot 100 article? Now 19 no. 1s (3rd all-time over 56 yrs.) for Max.

Christian Santillo ?@csantillo

Hi Christian,

Last Wednesday’s Billboard Hot 100 story included lots of nuggets about Taylor Swift’s latest coronation, led mainly by Swift becoming the first woman ever to replace herself at No. 1.

(Quick aside: some readers on Twitter noted that in between Swift topping the Hot 100 with “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space,” Meghan Trainor spent eight weeks at No. 1. So, while, Swift didn’t log consecutive new No. 1s, when looking at all leaders chronologically – “Shake” and “Space” are the 1,038th and 1,040th No. 1s all-time – she still replaced herself at the summit, with “Space” reigning a week after “Shake” spent its fourth, and likely final, week on top.)

With so many feats packed into the weekly post (quick second aside: it now includes a top 10 video recap each week, a production by our amazing video team), I planned on putting up a second story later in the week specifically about Martin. Once I saw your Tweet, however, it made sense as the natural lead for this “Ask Billboard.” (Even more so when I realized that I could easily update Keith Caulfield’s recent item about Martin, which posted in August when Swift and Martin hit No. 1 with “Shake.”)

With Swift having co-written “Space” with Martin (born Karl Martin Sandberg) and Shellback (Karl Johan Schuster), let’s recap the now-19 Hot 100 No. 1s that Martin has written. Incredibly, 17 of them have ruled in just the last six-plus years:

Britney Spears, “…Baby One More Time,” 1999
‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me,” 2000
Katy Perry, “I Kissed a Girl,” 2008
P!nk, “So What,” 2008

Kelly Clarkson, “My Life Would Suck Without You,” 2009
Britney Spears, “3,” 2009
Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg, “California Gurls,” 2010
Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream,” 2010
P!nk, “Raise Your Glass,”2010
Britney Spears, “Hold It Against Me,” 2011
Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, “E.T.,” 2011
Katy Perry, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” 2011
Katy Perry, “Part of Me,” 2012
Maroon 5, “One More Night,” 2012
Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” 2012
Katy Perry, “Roar,” 2013
Katy Perry feat. Juicy J, “Dark Horse,” 2014
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off,” 2014
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space,” 2014

With “Space” marking Martin’s 19th No. 1 as a writer, he remains in third place among writers with the most toppers in the Hot 100’s 56-year history. He ranks behind only Paul McCartney, with 32, and John Lennon (26). With “Shake,” Martin broke past Mariah Carey (17) for sole possession of the third-most leaders among writers.

Martin also co-produced “Space,” which grants him more honors in that field, as well. Martin tallies his 17th No. 1 as a producer, lifting him into sole ownership of the second-most No. 1s among producers in Hot 100 history. He passes Jimmy Jam, Dr. Luke and Terry Lewis, each with 16. The producer with the most No. 1s? George Martin (23). Martin produced 19 of the Beatles’ 20 No. 1s, the most leaders among artists.

(In addition to “Space” and “Shake,” Martin boasts another co-write currently in the top 10: Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s No. 3-peaking “Bang Bang,” now at No. 8.)

A couple more notes on Swift swapping titles atop the Hot 100. From @rock_golf on Twitter:

Technically, Fergie as a member the BEPs replaced herself. Nonetheless, this was a “Swift” return to #1.

True enough – a shoutout to Fergie. Of the nine acts prior to Swift to succeed themselves at No. 1, all were solo males or groups … with Black Eyed Peas member Fergie the only female group member of the bunch. The quartet ran up a record 26-week run at No. 1 in 2009 with “Boom Boom Pow” (12 weeks), followed directly by “I Gotta Feeling” (14).

And, Billboard‘s own social media analyst Trevor Anderson (because why not just repurpose work from another charts dept. teammate …) Tweeted this observation:

@gthot20 Mariah must be seething: close with “Fantasy”/”One Sweet Day” & “We Belong Together”/”Shake It Off” (<- ironic)

Had it not been for a one-week interlude, Carey, not Swift, would’ve been the first female to land back-to-back Hot 100 reigns. In 1995, Carey followed her eight-week command with “Fantasy” with her record 16-week stay with her Boyz II Men duet “One Sweet Day.” She led for “only” 24 of 25 straight weeks, however. Between the two No. 1s, Whitney Houston snuck in a week on top with “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” (which, incidentally, it did 19 years ago today: Nov. 25, 1995).

A decade later, in 2005, Carey ruled the Hot 100 for 14 weeks with “We Belong Together.” In its last week at No. 1, follow-up “Shake It Off” rose 4-2, setting the stage for Carey to make history. The track peaked at No. 2, however, for six weeks. It was caught behind Kanye West’s eventual 10-week No. 1 “Gold Digger,” featuring Jamie Foxx.

(So, as it turns out, that’s a Kanye interception that actually very politely helped Swift.)


Hi Gary,

It seems that when artists have a simultaneous No. 1 song and album, it’s a milestone. With “Blank Space” replacing “Shake It Off” at the top of the Hot 100 – while 1989 remains atop the Billboard 200 – is Taylor Swift the first artist to have two singles reach No. 1 while those songs’ mother album concurrently holds the top spot on the album chart?


Kendra K.

Hi Kendra,

Great observation. Swift has scored two Hot 100 No. 1s – “Shake” and “Space” – in weeks that parent album 1989 has led the Billboard 200.

How rare is that multi-chart achievement? To find out, this time I won’t copy from another member of the charts department. That’d be lazy.

(Instead, I’ll update an old post that I wrote.)

We actually covered the topic in the Nov. 5, 2011 “Ask Billboard,” when Adele became the last artist prior to Swift to top the Hot 100 twice while simultaneously commanding the Billboard 200. Subsequently, in fact, “Set Fire to the Rain” went on to become the third No. 1 from 21, and while the set was again atop the Billboard 200. That made Adele the first act to collect three Hot 100 leaders while a parent release led the album chart.

So, let’s update the list of those who’ve accomplished this impressive and rare honor. Dating to the Aug. 17, 1963 publication of the first Billboard 200 that consolidated stereo and mono album sales, here are the 12 artists, now including Swift, that have dominated the Hot 100 with at least two No. 1s while the albums that yielded those leaders led the Billboard 200:

Album, No. 1 songs/dates)

Bee Gees
Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
Feb. 4-25, 1978, “Stayin’ Alive”
March 18-May 6, 1978, “Night Fever”

Donna Summer
Bad Girls
June 16, 1979, “Hot Stuff”
July 14-Aug. 4, 1979, “Bad Girls”

Michael Jackson
March 5-April 16, 1983, “Billie Jean”
April 30-May 14, 1983, “Beat It”

Prince and the Revolution
Purple Rain soundtrack
Aug. 4, 1984, “When Doves Cry”
Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 1984, “Let’s Go Crazy”

Phil Collins
No Jacket Required
March 30-April 6, 1985, “One More Night”
July 6, 1985, “Sussudio”

George Michael
Feb. 27-March 5, 1988, “Father Figure”
May 28-June 11, 1988, “One More Try”

Milli Vanilli
Girl You Know It’s True
Sept. 23-30, 1989, “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You”
Nov. 25-Dec. 2, 1989, “Blame It on the Rain”

Mariah Carey
Oct. 21-Nov. 4, 1995, “Fantasy”
Dec. 30-Jan. 13, 1996, “One Sweet Day,” with Boyz II Men

July 13-27, 2002, “Hot in Herre”
Aug. 31, 2002, “Dilemma,” featuring Kelly Rowland

April 10-May 8, 2004, “Yeah!,” featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris
May 22-June 5; June 19, 2004, “Burn”

May 21-June 4; June 25, 2011, “Rolling in the Deep”
Nov. 5, 2011, “Someone Like You”
Feb. 4-11, 2012, “Set Fire to the Rain”

Taylor Swift
Nov. 15-22, 2014, “Shake It Off”
Nov. 29, 2014, “Blank Space”

Other than Milli Vanilli (legacy-wise), Swift is in haughty company with all the artists above who’ve released chart-topping albums whose reigns have lasted long enough to lead the Billboard 200 while more than one of their singles have topped the Hot 100. She joins three other women who’ve earned the honor: Summer, Carey and Adele.

Perhaps Swift will join Adele as the only acts to triple up. A future single like “Style” could become a third No. 1 from 1989 … and lift Swift into even loftier territory if it can top the Hot 100 concurrently with the album maintaining its momentum atop the Billboard 200.


Hi Gary,

It’s been a while since readers have shared their personal charts.

Here’s my latest list (counting down to No. 1, of course):

10, “Animals,” Maroon 5
9, “Superheroes,” the Script

8, “You Ruin Me,” the Veronicas
7, “Blame,” Calvin Harris featuring John Newman
6, “Waves,” Mr. Probz
5, “Riptide,” Vance Joy
4, “Heroes,” Alesso featuring Tove Lo
3, “Ghost,” Ella Henderson
2, “Habits (Stay High),” Tove Lo
1, “Cool Kids,” Echosmith


Brian Brostek
Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Gary,

My top songs of the week:

10, “Issues,” James Durbin
9, “Word Crimes,” “Weird Al” Yankovic
8, “Elevation,” Erasure
7, “Ring for Sale,” Kellie Pickler
6, “We Are Done,” the Madden Brothers
5, “I Was Gonna Cancel” (Moto Blanco Remix), Kylie Minogue
4, “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
3, “Retro Romance,” Blake Lewis

2, “Scarecrow,” Alex & Sierra
1, “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor (7 weeks No. 1)

David “Muzicbuff” Geib

Thanks guys. Always fun to highlight rankings from chart-watchers for whom watching the charts isn’t enough … myself included (since 1989, Taylor).

As always, send your personal charts to – and start prepping your 2014 year-end charts, too. Christmas songs are already taking over radio, so it’s almost time to recap the year’s best music, which we’ll do in “Ask Billboard” again this year, via readers’ countdowns.

In the meantime, my latest top 10:

10, “Starting Over,” Plumb
9, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” Band Aid 30
8, “Place I Want to Be,” Jen Coates
7, “Dead Air,” Chvrches
6, “Reason,” Erasure

Countdown extra! Anything by R.E.M., since I watched the new R.E.M. by MTV documentary twice this weekend. Let’s go with … this one:


And, now, back to the countdown:

5, “Little Do You Know,” Alex & Sierra
4, “Drive,” the Well Pennies
3, “Don’t You Worry Love,” Oh Honey
2, “Rabbit,” Lily & Madeleine

And …
1, “From the Night,” Stars

“When I see people come out at night, there are still people who spend their money on shows. That’s an act of enormous generosity, and ‘ego-less-ness’,” Stars lead male singer Torquil Campbell recently told Billboard. “We talk a lot about the narcissism of this era, how everyone’s staring at their phone, and that’s true.

“But, people are still going to shows and loving being in a dark room together and dancing and getting drunk and listening to music. It’s been going on for thousands of years. And, I love it. I think it’s the best part of us.”