On Aug. 7, 1971, the Bee Gees completed a transatlantic milestone, becoming the first Australian act to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” sailed to the top of the chart. Since that ballad broke through, Australian acts have maintained a second home on the Hot 100, clocking an array of chart-toppers and other smash singles in every decade as they’ve taken the U.S. (and the world) by storm.
As the 2017 Australian Open heads into its final matches in Melbourne this weekend, Billboard has partnered with Tennis Channel to create a companion list of the top 10 Australian acts of all time. Check out the music all-stars from the Land Down Under who have likewise risen above the competition for top honors in the musical world.
The Bee Gees reign as the all-time top-performing Australian-born or -bred act over the Hot 100’s 58-year history (having been born in England and raised in Australia, before moving back to England). The trio secures the No. 1 position thanks largely to nine No. 1 titles — the third-best sum of any group (after The Beatles, with 20, and The Supremes, with 12). After earning their first chart-topper in 1971, brothers Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb hit their stride with the soundtrack to 1977’s Saturday Night Fever. The blockbuster ushered in the height of disco music and reaped critical and commercial accolades for the group, powering them to three Hot 100 No. 1s and the Grammy for album of the year.
Olivia Newton-John earns the runner-up prize and nets the top rank by a woman, thanks to her many successes in the 1970s and early 1980s. The star appealed to audiences through her pop, adult and country music and starring roles in the hit films Grease and Xanadu. She served up five No. 1 Hot 100 hits in her career, including the top title of all time by an Australian, “Physical.” At the time, its 10-week domination tied the mark for the longest-running No. 1 single and stands as the biggest Hot 100 song of the 1980s.
All-Time Top 10 Australian Acts on the Billboard Hot 100:
10. Men at Work
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “Down Under” (1982), No. 1 (four weeks)
9. Savage Garden
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “Truly Madly Deeply” (1997), No. 1 (two weeks)
8. Little River Band
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “Reminiscing” (1978), No. 3
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “Need You Tonight” (1987), No. 1 (one week)
6. Rick Springfield
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “Jessie’s Girl” (1981), No. 1 (one week)
5. Helen Reddy
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “Delta Dawn” (1973), No. 1 (one week)
4. Air Supply
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “All Out of Love” (1980), No. 2
3. Andy Gibb
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” (1977), No. 1 (four weeks)
2. Olivia Newton-John
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “Physical” (1981), No. 1 (10 weeks)
1. Bee Gees
Biggest Hot 100 hit: “How Deep Is Your Love” (1977), No. 1 (three weeks)
The Top 10 Australian Acts chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, from the chart’s inception on Aug. 4, 1958, through the Dec. 24, 2016, 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, certain eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods. The Top 10 Australian Acts chart utilizes the same point system and adjusted weighting as the Songs list, but aggregates all titles for each act that charted over the course of its career.