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Katy Perry Ties Rihanna For Most Pop Songs No. 1s

With a 3-1 gallop for "Dark Horse," Perry matches Rihanna's total of 11 No. 1s on the radio airplay chart.

Katy Perry matches Rihanna for the most No. 1s in the 21-year history of Billboard’s top 40-based Pop Songs radio airplay chart, as “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, trots 3-1. The song marks Perry’s 11th No. 1 on the ranking (which is fueled by Nielsen BDS monitored data), equaling Rihanna’s sum. Rihanna had pulled ahead of Perry when Eminem’s “The Monster,” on which Rihanna is featured, began a five-week reign the week of Dec. 21.

P!nk ranks third with nine Pop Songs No. 1s, followed by Lady Gaga with seven. Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake share with fifth-place with six No. 1s apiece. (The Pop Songs chart launched the week of Oct. 3, 1992, after the career start of Carey, among others.)


Since arriving the week of May 31, 2008, with “I Kissed a Girl,” Perry’s record on Pop Songs has been nearly impeccable. While 11 of her 15 chart entries have reached No. 1, three others still peaked in the top 10: “Kissed” (No. 2), 2012’s “Part of Me” (No. 3) and “Horse” predecessor single “Unconditionally” (No. 8). Of her chart visits as a lead act, only “Thinking of You” (No. 17, 2009) has fallen shy of the top 10.

“Horse” is the second Pop Songs No. 1 from Perry’s Capitol Records album, “PRISM.” Lead track “Roar” ruled for five weeks beginning in September. As previously reported, programmer interest was so high in “Horse” that it debuted on Pop Songs the week of Dec. 21 prior to its release as a radio single (as “Unconditionally” was still scaling the chart). “Horse” had previously been released digitally as a “PRISM” preview track. “Katy’s become one of the most consistent hit-makers for top 40, so the reality is once radio heard ‘PRISM,’ it reacted,” Capitol Music Group executive VP Greg Thompson told Billboard in December. “The album is packed with singles.”

“PRISM” topped the Nov. 9 Billboard 200 and has sold 1.1 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In addition to the Pop Songs tally, both “Roar” and “Horse” have crowned the airplay/sales/streaming-based Billboard Hot 100, with the latter song having led the survey for two weeks running.

Upon Perry’s record-tying 11th Pop Songs No. 1, here’s a recap of her leading titles on the chart:

Title, Chart Date Reached No. 1, Weeks at No. 1
“Hot N Cold,” Nov. 29, 2008, three
“Waking Up in Vegas,” Aug. 8, 2009, two
“California Gurls” (featuring Snoop Dogg), July 3, 2010, seven
“Teenage Dream,” Oct. 2, 2010, four

“Firework,” Jan. 8, 2011, four
“E.T.” (featuring Kanye West), April 30, 2011, six
“Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” Aug. 13, 2011, six
“The One That Got Away,” Feb. 11, 2012, one
“Wide Awake,” Aug. 11, 2012, four
“Roar,” Sept. 28, 2013
“Dark Horse” (featuring Juicy J), Feb. 22, 2014, one to date