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James Brown’s Biggest Billboard Hot 100 Hits

A look at the Godfather of Soul's career on the chart.

In honor of James Brown’s birthday (May 3), Billboard takes a look at some of his biggest songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The funk legend first entered the Hot 100 with “Try Me,” which eventually peaked at No. 48 in January 1959. He went on to chart 90 more titles on the list, the biggest of those being his iconic song, “I Got You (I Feel Good).” It ranks at No. 1 on our exclusive recap of his biggest Hot 100 hits (see list, below). The single spent 12 weeks on the chart, plateauing at No. 3 on the chart dated Dec. 18, 1965.

Other top 10 hits included “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “Cold Sweat,” “I Got the Feelin’,” “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud,” and “Living in America.” All of his top 10 hits entered the list between 1965 and 1968 except for “Living in America,” which charted almost two decades later, peaking at No. 4 in March 1986.

Brown has charted 110 entries on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, with 17 titles hitting the top position; he holds the second-most No. 1s on the chart, just behind Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, who are tied for first place with 20 No. 1s each. The Godfather of Soul also found success on the Billboard 200, entering 52 titles on the chart.

Brown has earned two Grammy Awards and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1992. He was among the inaugural class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2003.

Here’s a look at James Brown’s highest-ranking smashes on the Hot 100.

James Brown’s Top 20 Biggest Billboard Hot 100 Hits
1, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), Peak Position No. 3, Peak Date Dec. 18, 1965
2, “Living in America,” No. 4, March 1, 1986
3, “I Got the Feelin’” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), No. 6, April 27, 1968
4, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag (Part 1)” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), No. 8, Sept. 4, 1965
5, “Cold Sweat (Part 1)” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), No. 7, Aug. 26, 1967
6, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), No. 8, June 4, 1966
7, “Mother Popcorn (You Got To Have A Mother For Me) (Part 1),” No. 11, July 26, 1969
8, “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud (Part 1),” No. 10, Oct. 19, 1968
9, “Hot Pants (She Got to Use What She Got to Get What She Wants) (Part 1),” No. 15, Aug. 21, 1971
10, “The Payback (Part 1),” No. 26, May 11, 1974
11, “Super Bad (Part 1 & Part 2),” No. 13, Nov. 21, 1970
12, “Get on the Good Foot (Part 1),” No. 18, Oct. 21, 1972
13, “Give it Up Or Turnit a Loose,” No. 15, March 8, 1969
14, “Licking Stick (Part 1)” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), No. 14, June 29, 1968
15, “Prisoner of Love” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), No. 18, June 15, 1963
16, “Get Up (I Feel Like Being Like A) Sex Machine (Part 1),” No. 15, Aug. 8, 1970
17, “My Thang,” No. 29, Aug. 17, 1974
18, “Ain’t it Funky Now (Part 1),” No. 24, Jan. 24, 1970
19, “Oh Baby Don’t You Weep (Part 1)” (James Brown and The Famous Flames), No. 23, March 14, 1964
20, “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I’ll Get it Myself),” No. 20, May 10, 1969

James Brown’s Biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, through the May 6, 2017, ranking. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods.