Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
Or, tweet @gthot20.
This year I have had different songs chart 1 , 2, 3, 4, and 5. Thank you.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 28, 2020
Hi Justin (Bieber, from Ontario, Canada),
Thanks for writing in to “Ask Billboard” (even if you didn’t realize you did, or if you didn’t technically ask a question).
Your 2020 on the Billboard Hot 100 includes an impressive five songs that have peaked at each of the chart’s top five spots. Here’s a recap:
No. 1 (one week), “Stuck With U,” with Ariana Grande
No. 2, “Yummy”
No. 3 (to date), “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper
No. 4, “10,000 Hours,” with Dan + Shay
No. 5, “Intentions,” featuring Quavo
A high-five for your high five!
Technicality: “10,000 Hours” debuted and peaked at No. 4 last October, but did return to the top 10 for seven weeks, including another week in the top five, at No. 5, in 2020. The other four songs above all debuted and peaked between January and, with the arrival of “Holy,” this week.
Per your keen chart-watching, how rare is it to have charted songs in a single year that have peaked at each position in the Hot 100’s top five? It turns out that you’re the first to achieve the honor in the chart’s 62-year history.
Previously, some iconic acts came close, starting with Janet Jackson, who peaked at Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 with five songs from one album: her breakthrough classic Control. The set’s first five singles claimed a peak at each top five position: “What Have You Done for Me Lately” (No. 4, May 1986); “Nasty” (No. 3, July 1986); “When I Think of You” (No. 1, two weeks, October 1986); “Control” (No. 5, January 1987); and “Let’s Wait Awhile” (No. 2, March 1987).
Jackson, meanwhile, retains the record for the quickest span of charting hits at Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, as those five songs peaked over a stretch of only 10 months. Comparatively, “10,000 Hours” debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Oct. 19, 2019-dated Hot 100 and “Holy” debuts at No. 3 on the Oct. 3, 2020, list, making for a slightly longer span of 11 months and two weeks.
Similarly, Herman’s Hermits first ran up a hefty six top five Hot 100 hits at each rank over a year, from March 1965 through March 1966: “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” (No. 2); “Silhouettes” (No. 5); “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” (No. 1, three weeks); “Wonderful World” (No. 4); “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” (No. 1, one week); and “Listen People” (No. 3).
Looking at all these acts, the feat speaks to the uncommon ability to send several songs into the Hot 100’s top five in a concentrated time, reflecting a robust appetite among fans for music from star artists, as well as, stemming from that popularity, a bit of chart luck in hitting on every number.
Of course, repeatedly reaching the chart’s ceiling in such a quick span is more laudable, and Michael Jackson earned five Hot 100 No. 1s from his album Bad in 1987-88 even more quickly than Janet earned her five top five hits from Control, dominating with his five leaders over just nine months and two weeks.
Even more impressive, The Beatles earned their first five No. 1s in a flash of just six months, exactly, in 1964, from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (Feb. 1) through “A Hard Day’s Night” (Aug. 1), still the record for the fastest accumulation of five No. 1s in the Hot 100’s history.
And, perhaps marking the most praised achievement regarding the Hot 100’s top five, The Beatles monopolized the entire region on the ranking dated April 4, 1964.
Quick quiz, and getting back to quirky fun facts per the mailbag’s original topic: One artist has scored exactly five total top five Hot 100 hits with those songs peaking at each position in the region, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Can you name him, her or them? Answer below.
As for other acts with hits that peaked at each rank in the Hot 100’s top five over short spans, The Beatles did so starting in 1964-66, followed by Donna Summer (1978-80), Madonna (first in 1984-86) and 50 Cent (2005-07).
Most recently before Bieber (oops, I mean, you), Rihanna‘s five latest top five Hot 100 hits peaked at each rank in the tier, in 2015-17, including one with a Beatle: “FourFiveSeconds,” with Kanye West and Paul McCartney (No. 4, 2015). That collab preceded “Work,” featuring Drake (No. 1, nine weeks, 2016); “This Is What You Came For,” by Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna (No. 3, 2016); “Love on the Brain” (No. 5, 2017); and “Wild Thoughts,” by DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller (No. 2, 2017).
West has also peaked at each top five rung on the Hot 100 with his five most recent top five hits, in 2009-15.
Plus, Drake, the leader with 41 top 10 Hot 100 hits, peaked at Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 with his first five top five hits in 2009-13.
Quiz answer: One artist has scored five career top five Hot 100 hits with those singles having peaked at each position in the region. Taylor Dayne ran up such a history in 1988-90, thanks to songs from her first two albums: “I’ll Always Love You” (No. 3); “Don’t Rush Me” (No. 2); “With Every Beat of My Heart” (No. 5); “Love Will Lead You Back” (No. 1, one week); and “I’ll Be Your Shelter” (No. 4).
(Perhaps her most enduring song, her debut smash “Tell It to My Heart,” reached No. 7 in 1988.)
As for one more hallowed act, Elvis Presley reached each position in the Hot 100’s top five from 1958, when the chart began, through 1963. Among his hits in that span was 1961’s No. 2-peaking “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The standard famously begins with the lyric, “Wise men say / Only fools rush in.” The line appears (minus “only”) in tribute, 59 years later, in “Holy.”