With the climb, which sparks John’s first top 40 Hot 100 hit since “Written in the Stars,” with LeAnn Rimes, in April 1999, he expands his career span of top 40 entries to 50 years and 10 months, dating to the first week in the region for “Your Song,” his first of 58 top 40 hits, on the chart dated Dec. 19, 1970.
John now claims the longest span of top 40 Hot 100 appearances, excluding holiday fare. He passes the late Michael Jackson, whose history (as a soloist) in the tier stretches 46 years, eight months and three weeks, from “Ben” (Nov. 6, 1971) through his featured turn on Drake’s “Don’t Matter to Me” (July 28, 2018).
Including holiday songs (which in the last frame of the 2020 holiday season accounted for a one-week record 39 Hot 100 entries, including many carols first released decades earlier), three iconic acts hold the overall record for the longest span of top 40 hits: Perry Como, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley titles stretch 62 years and five months, from the inaugural Aug. 4, 1958, survey through Jan. 2, 2021.
(Also notably, if The Beatles’ and, as a soloist, Paul McCartney’s span of top 40 Hot 100 hits were combined, including holiday songs, his personal extent of such entries would run 56 years, 11 months and one week, from the band’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on Jan. 25, 1964, through his own “Wonderful Christmastime” on Jan. 2, 2021. Excluding his yuletide favorite, he’d cover 51 years, three months and three weeks, through “FourFiveSeconds,” with Rihanna and Kanye West, on May 16, 2015.)
Another illustration of the impressive scope of John’s longevity? In the current Hot 100’s top five are The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber, Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow, Walker Hayes, Drake, Future, Young Thug and Ed Sheeran. The names in the top five in John’s first week in the top 40? Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, George Harrison, The Fifth Dimension, The Partridge Family and Santana.
(Extra coincidental fun fact: “Your Song” marked John’s first top 40 placement when it jumped 49-38, after becoming his second Hot 100 hit overall. At No. 37, its peak, that week was Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Border Song” … John’s first entry, which had reached No. 92 in August 1970.)
“A lot of it is, of course, due to Dua Lipa’s popularity and the brilliant Pnau remix, but I feel very, very content and happy that I’m relevant,” John recently, and humbly, told Billboard of the reception to “Cold Heart,” which mashes up four of his songs from the ’70s and ’80s. “I’ve always tried to be relevant. I think a lot of that is due to my [Apple Music] show [‘Rocket Hour’]. My object when I do that is to play new music by new artists. I’ve come into contact with them, promote[d] them and become friends.”
Shout-out, as well, to Frankie Valli, who, via a cover, sees one of his hits reach a notable high in the Hot 100’s top 40: Måneskin’s “Beggin’ ” rises 19-16. Not only does it ascend to a new best, it matches the peak of the original by the 4 Seasons in April 1967. While Valli’s history in the Hot 100’s top 40 as a credited soloist spans 1966-78, his catalog has experienced a resurgence thanks not only to “Beggin’ ” but also Surf Mesa’s “ily,” featuring Emilee, a No. 23 hit in November 2020. The song interpolates Valli’s No. 2-peaking 1967 classic “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
(Valli also earned his first Latin Airplay No. 1 last December with a mostly Spanish-language reworking of “Take”: “Te Quiero Baby,” with Chesca and Pitbull.)
Fellow legend Tony Bennett extends his longevity to an unprecedented level on the latest Billboard 200, where, as previously reported, Love for Sale, with Lady Gaga, launches at No. 8. Bennett now boasts a 59-year and one-week span of top 10 albums (starting Oct. 6, 1962), the longest on the chart excluding holiday titles. Only the late Nat “King” Cole’s span is greater, extended by a holiday set: 63 years, eight months and two weeks, from Love Is the Thing (April 20, 1957) through The Christmas Song (Jan. 2, 2021).
Similar to John’s notable through line, Bennett ranks in the current Billboard 200 top 10 below Taylor Swift, Drake, Meek Mill, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo and Doja Cat. In Bennett’s first week in the top 10, he shared space with acts including Cole, Ray Charles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Bobby Vinton and Presley.