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‘Celebration’: Madonna’s 40 Most Impressive Instants

Madonna adds to her storied Billboard chart career, as she notches her milestone 40th No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs with 'Celebration.'

Today’s Chart Beat entry focuses solely on Madonna, who reaches a milestone in her legendary Billboard chart career. Spotlighting another artist in light of Madonna’s latest feat would be, simply, immaterial.

TAKE A BOW: 26 years to the chart week after notching her first No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, Madonna rules for a 40th time, rising 2-1 with “Celebration.” She easily extends her lead for most No. 1s in the chart’s history, pulling further ahead of runner-up Janet Jackson, who has 18.

Madonna first appeared on the tally with “Everybody” on the chart dated Nov. 6, 1982, eventually taking the cut to No. 3. Her follow-up, “Burning Up/Physical Attraction” (counted as one title in Billboard’s archives), also reached No. 3.

The third time was the charm for Madonna, as the double-sided “Holiday/Lucky Star” marked her first No. 1 stay beginning Sept. 24, 1983.

Here, in chronological order, are Madonna’s 40 No. 1s on Dance/Club Play Songs. For titles that spent multiple weeks at No. 1, total frames in the lead are noted in parentheses.

1983, “Holiday/Lucky Star” (five weeks)
1984, “Like a Virgin” (three weeks)
1985, “Material Girl”
1985, “Angel/Into the Groove”
1987, “Open Your Heart”

1987, “Causing a Commotion (Remix)”
1988, “You Can Dance (LP Cuts)”
1989, “Like a Prayer” (two weeks)
1989, “Express Yourself” (three weeks)
1990, “Keep It Together”

1990, “Vogue” (two weeks)
1991, “Justify My Love” (two weeks)
1992, “Erotica”
1993, “Deeper and Deeper”
1993, “Fever”

1994, “Secret” (two weeks)
1995, “Bedtime Story”
1997, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”
1998, “Frozen” (two weeks)
1998, “Ray of Light” (four weeks)

1999, “Nothing Really Matters” (two weeks)
1999, “Beautiful Stranger” (two weeks)
2000, “American Pie”
2000, “Music” (five weeks)
2001, “Don’t Tell Me”

2001, “What It Feels Like for a Girl”
2001, “Impressive Instant” (two weeks)
2002, “Die Another Day” (two weeks)
2003, “American Life”
2003, “Hollywood”

2003, “Me Against the Music,” Britney Spears featuring Madonna (two weeks)
2004, “Nothing Fails”
2004, “Love Profusion”
2005, “Hung Up” (four weeks)
2006, “Sorry” (two weeks)

2006, “Get Together”
2006, “Jump” (two weeks)
2008, “4 Minutes,” Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland (two weeks)
2008, “Give It 2 Me”
2009, “Celebration”

Comparing her chart champs by decade, Madonna scored nine Dance/Club Songs No. 1s in the ’80s and 13 in the ’90s. Since 2000, she has almost doubled her total, adding 18 No. 1s in that span.

At five weeks each, “Holiday/Lucky Star” and “Music” represent Madonna’s longest reigns. “Ray of Light” and “Hung Up” are next with four weeks each in charge.

GET TOGETHER: Perhaps the cowboy hat Madonna wore on the cover of her 2000 album “Music” was a foreshadowing of this week’s accomplishment. Madonna joins only two other artists in the history of Billboard charts to collect 40 No. 1s on a survey. The prior two each managed the feat on Country Songs.

Between 1968 and 1986, Conway Twitty sent 40 songs to the top of Country Songs. He first led with “Next in Line” and last reigned with “Desperado Love.”

George Strait joined the exclusive 40-No. 1s club when “She Let Herself Go” reached the top of Country Songs in January 2006. He had first held sway with “Fool Hearted Memory” in 1982. He passed Twitty with “Give It Away,” his 41st No. 1, in September 2006.

Strait holds the mark for most No. 1s on a Billboard chart. His sum stands at 44, with “River of Love” having become his latest leader in April. He could add a 45th topper as soon as next week: “Living for the Night” holds at No. 2 with a bullet this week.

(While Madonna Louise Ciccone has never appeared on Country Songs, another Madonna has. Madonna Dolan rose to No. 82 with “The Home Team” in 1988).

DEEPER AND DEEPER: If we include Madonna’s No. 1s on other current-based, domestic Billboard charts, her chart-topping total swells to a colossal 146 leading entries.

By format, here are Madonna’s No. 1 sums on the following lists:

Dance/Club Play Songs: 40
Hot Dance Singles Sales: 33 (Last week, “Celebration” crowned the list, becoming her perfect 17th No. 1 of 17 entries this decade).
Hot Singles Sales: 15
Billboard Hot 100: 12
Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay: 9
Billboard 200: 7
Hot Dance Airplay: 7
Top Music Video Sales: 7
Adult Contemporary: 5
Internet Albums: 3
Digital Albums: 2
Digital Songs: 2
Hot Videoclips: 2
Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40: 1
Dance/Electronic Albums: 1

WHO’S THAT GIRL: Madonna has made two other notable appearances on Dance/Club Play Songs, although she did not receive artist credit on either top five track.

She wrote and contributed background vocals to Jellybean‘s 1984 No. 1 “Sidewalk Talk.”

In 1996, she took part in Junior Vasquez‘s No. 2 “If Madonna Calls.” The song features telephone answering messages from Madonna to Vasquez.

In a career as luminous as Madonna’s, that last effort might just be the only case where Madonna could be accused of phoning it in.