As he debuts as a featured artist (with Chris Brown, Tyga and Wiz Khalifa) on Game‘s aptly titled “Celebration” at No. 82, the superstar rapper rewrites the mark for the most Hot 100 chart visits. Now with 109 entries, Weezy passes Elvis Presley, who totaled 108 between the chart’s 1958 launch and 2003.
Updated: Artists with the most Billboard Hot 100 hits, as leads and featured acts combined, in the chart’s 54-year history:
204, “Glee” Cast
The “Glee” cast is the only act with more Hot 100 hits than Lil Wayne or Presley, having tallied 204 entries since its 2009 arrival.
Of course, as the “Glee” cast’s total is influenced by the act releasing multiple singles digitally week-by-week (the bulk of which have charted due to sales exclusively, absent of radio support), Lil Wayne’s sum is likewise partly a product of the era of rappers sharing credit on each other’s tracks. Weezy has been the lead artist on 42 – or only 39% – of his Hot 100 hits, showing as a featured act on his other 67. Presley was billed as the lead artist on all 108 of his chart hits. The King’s still-highest sum of the most Hot 100 hits as a lead solo artist seems safe, given that the next-closest solo acts with the most entries as leads are James Brown (91), Aretha Franklin (73) and Ray Charles (72).
Also notably, Presley’s career, and some of his signature hits, like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog,” predated the Hot 100. As Presley placed a hefty 31 titles on pre-Hot 100 Billboard airplay/sales/jukebox charts between just 1956 and summer 1958, according to Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles” reference book, he likely would’ve sent approximately that many more songs onto the Hot 100 had it existed when he arrived.
Presley’s Hot 100 span encompasses the chart’s Aug. 4, 1958, inception through Oct. 4, 2003 (45 years and two months), when “Rubberneckin’ ” ranked at No. 100 after peaking at No. 94. Lil Wayne has passed Presley’s total over 13 years and three months, having first appeared the week of July 10, 1999.
While making approximately two-thirds of his Hot 100 visits in featured roles, Lil Wayne has still enjoyed laudable Hot 100 accolades. He’s notched two No. 1s: 2008’s “Lollipop” and 2009’s “Down,” on which he assisted Jay Sean. Fifty-seven of his Hot 100 entries have reached the top 40 and 17, the top 10 (compared to Presley’s 80 and 25, respectively).