But if you’re judging by sheer quantity of radio number ones, the case is closed — and Katy Perry and Rihanna come out on top.
Perry earned her ninth number one single on the Billboard Top 40 chart this week with “Wide Awake,” the final chapter from the unfettered pop onslaught that is Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.
Perry’s sophomore album already made some chart history back when “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart last summer, making Perry is the only other artist besides Michael Jackson to have churned out five number ones from a single album.
“Wide Awake” puts Perry in the same company as Miss Where-Have-You-Been Rihanna, who also ties the record with nine number ones. That means both now beat out Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and P!nk, who have each had seven number ones on the Top 40 chart, and Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, who have both logged six. Who would have thought that the slightly awkward teenager who once starred in a Destiny’s Child tribute performance would go on to earn more number ones than Bey herself?
Also noteworthy: Perry did this in only two albums, while Rihanna reached her mark over the course of six. Make of that what you will, ravenous Internet fan club enthusiasts, but it looks like there’s no exact formula for being a pop juggernaut these days. Case in point: Rihanna received five MTV Video Music Award nominations Tuesday, with Perry following close behind with four. Both are up for the top prize, Video of the Year, for “We Found Love” and for “Wide Awake.”
In other chart dominance news, “Wide Awake” is also Perry’s 10th number one on the Billboard Dance/Club Play chart. A few years ago, claiming success there would have been the big-fish-small-pond equivalent of claiming you were the greatest Candyland player in all of Iceland.
But now that electronic beats, dubsteb breakdowns, and a general appreciation for bleeps and boops are the norm in popular music, this other Perry accomplishment is probably nothing to sneeze at.
Below, enjoy that Destiny’s tribute clip Rihanna from back before the then-teenager was a pop powerhouse:
So, readers, who rules the airwaves of your heart? Katy Perry? Rihanna? Someone else?
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