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Here Are All the Hits That Have Debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100

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Drake famously boasted that he started from the bottom. When it comes to the Billboard Hot 100, however, he has, impressively, started at the top more than any other artist.

The superstar has launched at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with seven songs, from “God’s Plan” in 2018 to, most recently, “Jimmy Cooks,” featuring 21 Savage, in 2022.

Next up, BTS, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift each boast five No. 1 Hot 100 arrivals.

Through the Hot 100 dated Aug. 26, 2023, an elite 69 singles have bounded in at No. 1, reflecting a welcome so warm (or hot) that within a week of their releases, they have vaulted over every other song in their way and reigned as the most popular hit in the U.S. upon their first appearances on the survey.

The first No. 1 debut in the Hot 100’s history? Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone,” on the chart dated Sept. 2, 1995 (after the list began in August 1958). “Michael Jackson is alone in Hot 100 history this week with his new single, ‘You Are Not Alone,’ which debuts at No. 1 on the chart,” a story noted on page 5 of that issue. “This is the first time a record has entered the chart at No. 1.”

Key to the historic bow? “In the past year [1995], all major labels have been releasing commercial singles on Tuesday of each week, which, according to Michael Ellis, then-associate Billboard publisher, ‘has given us a more accurate comparison of first-week sales movement for all singles,’ ” Billboard reported. “Now, all records have a full six-day selling period during that first week; it’s on a level playing field. Having a full week on the street [also] allows records to debut higher on the chart.”

(Today, most songs are released on Fridays, aligning with the Hot 100’s Friday-Thursday tracking week, so titles often debut following a full first week of streaming, radio airplay and sales data.)

Proving prophetic, Ellis added, “On average, we expect to see higher chart debuts in the future.” He concluded: “A No. 1 debut is truly extraordinary.”

Browse the full list below of every No. 1 debut in the Hot 100’s history.

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