Rihanna ties Gaga, Beyonce, Mariah for no. 1 pop radio hits

rihanna-rain-dont-let-upImage Credit: RD/Erik Kabik/Retna ltdAs MTV reports today, Good Girl Gone Bad Rihanna has gone good enough to qualify for a pretty rarefied status: With Eminem duet “Love the Way You Lie,” the Barbadian songstress has now officially had six #1 songs on the Pop Songs radio airplay chart.

Other artists with a Radio Divas Sixer membership in their wallet alongside the black AmEx and Sam’s Club card include Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce. (The latter two actually achieved it together with their “Telephone” collab earlier this year, though technicalities aside, Mimi is far and away the winner, having earned six no. 1 songs on the Hot 100 before the creation of the Pop Songs chart in 1993, and six after.)

Members of the next-tier-down posse include Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, and Pink, all with five no. 1’s.

What do you think, Mixers—should Mariah just own this radio rodeo, fair and square? Has Rihanna earned her spot in the club? And who, if anyone, will be next?

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Comments (34 total) Add your comment
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  • D2

    Anyone who says Rihanna is unworthy of this title is just plain stupid. She has 7 number ones 2005-2010 which is the most number ones for any artist in a period of time, and of last decade.

    • Boo

      Makes sense, she’s used the same vocals on every one

    • u

      Two of those number 1s were collaborations on other people’s songs (T.I. and Eminem). To me, that’s a bit of a cop-out, and I’m not being a “hater”, I would still complain if this were an artist I liked. Personally, I don’t think collaborations should count unless that song appears on BOTH artists’ albums, or both artists are credited in the songwriting.

      • u

        OK, scratch the songwriting requirement, most artists these days don’t write their own songs, and by that logic Rihanna has no #1s. I think in order for a #1 to be credited to all the artists involved in a collaboration, the song must appear on both of their albums, with the exception of songs that appear on movie soundtracks.

      • D2

        Thats actually retarded cause Beyonce and others count collabs, not to mention her collaboration on each sonng was usually the hook, responsible for the success.

      • u

        Note that I did say I would complain if this were any artist, this is not a Rihanna-specific issue. I just feel it is a cop-out to credit collaborations that went to #1 to the artist being featured on the song, because then it means that at this point an artist could go their entire career without putting out any new material, yet continue to rack up #1s solely by being featured on other artists’ songs. That would be encouraging labels to keep failing artists on board without wasting money on having them record new albums.

    • Paula

      That’s not more than any other artist in 5 years. Mariah had 4 #1 singles in 1990, another #1 in 1991, another #1 in 1992, 2 more #1’s in 1993, and 3 #1’s in 1995 so that makes…11 #1 singles in 5 years! ummm….i think that out does Rihanna quite a bit

  • whatevs

    If always been iffy about allowing collaborations to count, but it’s not like she wouldn’t have reached this status later on anyway. That song is much more Eminem than her though.

  • ST

    I’m mixed on this. Rhianna’s most recent song was a collaboration with Eminem so it’s not really her single. She was featured on HIS song. I’m not hating on RhiRhi but I don’t really think it’s fair to count that song to her credit when it’s not really hers. The Beyonce/Gaga collaboration was a little different because they’re both on the song and both on the list already. As for Mariah, I think she should own it.

  • Torrence5

    The category/chart “Pop Air Play” is relatively new & irrelevant — the chart that counts is Billboard’s Hott 100 (all forms of music are included) Sure there is a chart for country, adult contemporary, jazz, etc — but the chart that indicates the most #1 that is significant is the Hot 100 in Billboard

  • Torrence5

    Also, along with Mariah there are several artist who beat this Pop feat (Madonna & WHitney) on the more important HOT 100 Chart & Diana Ross at least would place second with 5 #1s on Billboard’s Hot 100. So, 7 #1s in the Pop category/chart is commendable, but not all that impressive or significant.

  • the girl

    Mariah owns this rodeo! As much as I am not entirely fond of her new material, she has still experienced success at a level that those other pop stars are only beginning to contemplate as a possibility.

    • Phil

      I love how everyone always comes here and sings the praises of Mariah when in reality the ONLY reason amny of her songs from the late 9O’s/early 00’s were #1 hits (“My All”, “Loverboy”) because of the availability of not just a single, but a separate maxi single (which I mentioned this term to a 24 yr old and sadly, he asked me WHAT that was!!! GASP!) readily available for purchase when alot of the fellow radio hits at the time (3 Doors Down, ATC, Sonique all on Universal I might add) were NOT singles and had to be purchased on the album & didn’t receive the same number of points that were tabulated towards #1 since there were no singles like with Mariah’s releases that benefited from sales and smaller radio play. Mariah is NOT the Bell of the ball as many of you suggest, she just had really good record contracts, and a superstar label with which to get songs released in numerous single formats. This is why she isn’t as big in the iTunes era of singles, after the 1st two weeks, no one wants to hear her anymore, and the remix packages are more hip-hop than dance. And trust me, I am a fan, but I also know the industry. Ya’ll are talking alot of BS.

      • Seth

        My heart skipped a beat with that comment… I’m 24 and I know full well the power of the sales of maxi-singles. I still have plenty of them stashed away somewhere!

  • bobbyv

    These days (hate to sound so old at 37), artists take no time off between projects..I got so sick of Beyonce, I almost vomited everytime I saw her… so it’s doesn’t suprise me that artists that have not been around very long can rack up hits very quickly. Remember back when artists like Janet Jackson and Madonna dropped an album every few years? Now it seems multiple singles are released at once and pop artists release new cds almost yearly. It’s no wonder I pretty much stopped listening to mainstream pop around ’95.

    • Janizzle

      That’s a good point!

    • Teri

      That’s because today’s audiences have very short attention spans. Most artists these days can’t afford to take time off between projects and reclaim their superstar status. Look at Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera

      • fancypants

        Sade disappeared for 10 years, and came back with Soldier of Love in Feb, which gave her some of her best sales ever. She keeps her fans wanting more, always.

      • u

        Perhaps they could capture the public’s attention if they made music that could actually stand the test of time, and not have the sole goal of reaching the top of the charts.

      • Phil

        @fancypants – Agreed! However “Soldier of Love” didn’t become a HUGE Urban hit, and failed to become a crossover multi-format hit like “No Ordinary Love” or “By Your Side”…she had nice sales but little radio support.

  • benjamin moore

    Without Mariah and Madonna there is no Beyonce(who i absolutely ADORE!) Without Beyonce, there is no Rihanna, and Lady Gaga is a combo of all of the above plus Marilyn Manson!! They are all kickass but Mariah does deserve the crown for all those years of hits!! Beyonce is coming for dat crown tho gurrl, with Gaga on her heels!! makes these ladies keep up their A game!!

  • RyRyNYC

    I’m confused… why is this important? The chart is clearly base-less as it is new and artists who have the most number ones on the REAL chart that matters (Hot 100 Billboard chart) have barely any hits on this chart when compared… also, radio sucks – they play THE WORST SONGS on heavy repeat.

  • Alberto

    Considering the crap that gets played on the radio, who cares? It’s the people at the radio stations who decide what gets played; that dictates what is on the charts. Then 12 year olds go out & buy it. That is by no means a true indicator of what is popular with the public. I’m 23 & I don’t know ANYONE who listens to the radio. There are some of us who don’t consider “DIVA POPSTAR featuring Rent a Rapper” music.

    • u

      I’m 18 and I don’t listen to the radio either… well except for satellite radio. To which I mainly stay within oldie and alternative stations. I don’t mean to sound like a typical hipster snob, but today’s pop music DOES suck very badly.

  • HBF82

    Absolutely Matiah. No question.

  • Troy

    The crap they’re playing on the radio now isn’t worth listening too anyway…and these so called artist only bite off of each other to stay on the charts. Beyoonkie, for one bit off of Lady GaGa and the vicious cycle goes on. I’m just glad that Beyookie is giving us somewhat of a break from hearing her rattling voice…now if we could just get her face to hide too….

    • Many Moons

      I believe Beyonce established herself as a superstar way before Gaga ever arrived on the scene, so why in the world would she bite off Gaga? And what’s your problem with your Beyonce? You sound like a 12-year-old with your childish insults.

      • Laura

        Beyonce relevancy has been on the decline and the Telephone song with Gaga was the perfect way to become releavant again.

      • Many Moons

        Beyonce has yet to become “irrelevant” in any manner. Stop with the childish lies.

  • Seth

    Can we please mention the fact that the only reason these songs hit the top of the pop chart is because radio stations/record companies make us CHOKE on the songs? There is no such thing as variety on top 40 radio anymore.

    Turn your local top 40 radio station on for a few hours and count how many times you hear the same songs. Payola is still alive and well.

  • Phil

    The other point I failed to mention was the rotations. Top 40/CHR (Contemporay Hit Radio)’s #1 played song in the 90’s used to have the most spins at THE MOST 70 a week. Today, since most stations no long play re-current hits from yesterday years, the top spun song on any given week can reacha peak of up to & not including 120 spins! Thats a RIDICULOUS jump, so I understand why people complain about how artists like Rihanna, Beyonce & Gaga can have such massive radio hits these days. These are ALL facts usually ignored when publishing these kind of articles, and contrary to what some may think, they are factors which SHOULD matter when discussing the different eras on radio hits, if you want the discussion to be taken seriously.

  • maya

    all 4 of them have done well.each of them have #1 hits from beyonce is “crazy in love”,from rihanna is “umbrella,from mariah carey is “obsessed”, and from the queen of pop & fashion(lady gaga) is “bad romance”.

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