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Ask Billboard: Taylor Swift Has a Hot 100 No. 1 From ‘Lover’ at Last — and Another Chart Record

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Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the United States.

Or, tweet @gthot20.

Let’s open the latest mailbag.

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‘Anti’ Heroes

Hi Gary,

I love the article on Taylor Swift’s dominance with “Cruel Summer,” her 10th career Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 as of this week.

One record not mentioned in the piece: Now that Lover has a No. 1 to its name, Swift ties the record for the most albums of all-new material in a row – seven – with a Hot 100 leader.

Excitingly, she ties Rihanna, whose total includes her latest LP, Anti … so the record could conceivably be extended by either artist, should Rihanna decide to grace us with a full collection of music again.

Best,

Peter Bailinson

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the insights. Here in 2023, we’re discussing active streaks extended by albums released in 2019 — Swift’s Lover, featuring “Cruel Summer,” promoted as a single for the first time this year — and 2016, when Rihanna released Anti. As noted by Billboard’s Elias Leight, music can be especially evergreen as streaming and social media have put songs from earlier eras on a fairly even playing field with newer releases.

As you noted in an “Ask Billboard” mailbag in 2016 (making for more enduring content unveiled that year), Rihanna became the first artist to release seven consecutive studio albums of all-new music that have spun off at least one Hot 100 No. 1.

With Swift matching the mark, let’s look at each artist’s record run.

Rihanna’s Seven Consecutive Albums of All-New Material With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

A Girl Like Me: “SOS,” 2006

Good Girl Gone Bad: “Umbrella” (feat. Jay-Z), “Take a Bow,” “Disturbia,” 2007-08

Rated R: “Rude Boy,” 2009

Loud: “What’s My Name?” (feat. Drake), “Only Girl (In the World),” “S&M” (feat. Britney Spears), 2010

Talk That Talk: “We Found Love” (feat. Calvin Harris), 2011

Unapologetic: “Diamonds,” 2012

Anti: “Work” (feat. Drake), 2016

Taylor Swift’s Seven Consecutive Albums of All-New Material With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

Red: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” 2012

1989: “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood” (feat. Kendrick Lamar), 2014-15

Reputation: “Look What You Made Me Do,” 2017

Lover: “Cruel Summer,” 2023 (originally released in 2019)

Folklore: “Cardigan,” 2020

Evermore: “Willow,” 2020

Midnights: “Anti-Hero,” 2022

Swift, meanwhile, has notched one other Hot 100 No. 1 (while Rihanna has three others, for a total of 14, in featured roles): “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” debuted on top in November 2021. The song is from the second of her three rerecorded albums released so far since 2021: Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version) and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).

Swift, thus, has released eight albums overall that have generated at least one Hot 100 No. 1 (and Rihanna, seven), with the seven listed above joined by Red (Taylor’s Version), which includes “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).”

Where does that haul place Swift historically?

Regardless of consecutive album releases, here’s a rundown of the acts with the most albums (regardless of how much new music was released on them) that have generated Hot 100 No. 1s.

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Ahead of Swift? Only The Beatles, with 12 such sets (per their U.S. tracklists); Mariah Carey, with 10; and, apart from The Beatles, Paul McCartney/Wings, with nine (giving McCartney a hand in a whopping 21 albums below). Like Swift, Madonna and The Supremes each have eight albums with at least one Hot 100 No. 1.

The Beatles boast a record 20 Hot 100 leaders, followed by Carey with 19, while Madonna and The Supremes have each earned 12 and McCartney/Wings, nine.

Here’s a recap of each superstar act’s albums with Hot 100 No. 1s. (Songs on best-of albums are included only if released as singles from them.)

The Beatles’ 12 Albums With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

Meet the Beatles: “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” 1964

The Beatles’ Second Album: “She Loves You,” 1964

Hey Jude: “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Paperback Writer,” “Hey Jude,” 1964-68

A Hard Day’s Night: “A Hard Day’s Night,” 1964

Beatles ’65: “I Feel Fine,” 1964-65

Beatles VI: “Eight Days a Week,” 1965

Help!: “Ticket to Ride,” “Help!,” “Yesterday,” 1965

Yesterday and Today: “We Can Work It Out,” 1966

Magical Mystery Tour: “Penny Lane,” “Hello Goodbye,” 1967

Yellow Submarine: “All You Need Is Love,” 1967

Let It Be: “Get Back,” “Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road,” 1969-70

Abbey Road: “Come Together,” 1969

Mariah Carey’s 10 Albums With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

Mariah Carey: “Vision of Love,” “Love Takes Time,” “Someday,” “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” 1990-91

Emotions: “Emotions,” 1991

MTV Unplugged EP: “I’ll Be There,” 1992

Music Box: “Dreamlover,” “Hero,” 1993-94

Merry Christmas: “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” 2019-23 (originally released in 1994)

Daydream: “Fantasy,” “One Sweet Day” (with Boyz II Men), “Always Be My Baby,” 1995-96

Butterfly: “Honey,” “My All,” 1997-98

Rainbow: “Heartbreaker” (feat. Jay-Z), “Thank God I Found You” (feat. Joe & 98 Degrees), 1999-2000

The Emancipation of Mimi: “We Belong Together,” “Don’t Forget About Us,” 2005-06

E=MC²: “Touch My Body,” 2008

Paul McCartney/Wings’ Nine Albums With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

Ram: “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (with Linda McCartney), 1971

Red Rose Speedway: “My Love,” 1973

Band on the Run: “Band on the Run,” 1974

Venus and Mars: “Listen to What the Man Said,” 1975

Wings at the Speed of Sound: “Silly Love Songs,” 1976

London Town: “With a Little Luck,” 1978

McCartney II: “Coming Up Live,” 1980 (the studio version was released on the album; live versions have appeared on multiple McCartney/Wings albums)

Tug of War: “Ebony and Ivory” (with Stevie Wonder), 1982

Pipes of Peace: “Say Say Say” (with Michael Jackson), 1984

Madonna’s Eight Albums With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

Like a Virgin: “Like a Virgin,” 1984-85

True Blue: “Live to Tell,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Open Your Heart,” 1986-87

Who’s That Girl: “Who’s That Girl,” 1987

Like a Prayer: “Like a Prayer,” 1989

I’m Breathless: Music From and Inspired by the Film Dick Tracy: “Vogue,” 1990

The Immaculate Collection: “Justify My Love,” 1991

Bedtime Stories: “Take a Bow,” 1995

Music: “Music,” 2000

The Supremes’ Eight Albums With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

Where Did Our Love Go: “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” 1964

More Hits by The Supremes: “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again,” 1965

I Hear a Symphony: “I Hear a Symphony,” 1965

The Supremes A’ Go-Go: “You Can’t Hurry Love,” 1966

The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland: “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone,” 1966-67

Greatest Hits: “The Happening,” 1967

Love Child: “Love Child” (Diana Ross & The Supremes), 1968

Cream of the Crop: “Someday We’ll Be Together” (Diana Ross & The Supremes), 1969

Taylor Swift’s Eight Albums With at Least One Hot 100 No. 1:

Red: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” 2012

1989: “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood” (feat. Kendrick Lamar), 2014-15

Reputation: “Look What You Made Me Do,” 2017

Lover: “Cruel Summer,” 2023 (originally released in 2019)

Folklore: “Cardigan,” 2020

Evermore: “Willow,” 2020

Red (Taylor’s Version): “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” 2021

Midnights: “Anti-Hero,” 2022

Notably, those albums encompass a hefty total of 79 Hot 100 No. 1s, reflecting the six acts’ uncommon penchant for maintaining elite relevance over so many releases.

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Meanwhile, The Beatles and Carey, like Swift with “Cruel Summer,” invoked a bit of time travel among their Hot 100 No. 1s. Certain Beatles leaders listed above appeared on albums following their releases as singles, while “All I Want for Christmas Is You” retroactively gave Carey’s album Merry Christmas a No. 1 song an unprecedented 25 years after its release.

Speaking of gifts that keep on giving, and from “Cruel Summer” to fall to “Christmas”: Carey’s seasonal classic sports a 7% gain in streams in the latest tracking week (Oct. 13-19), having tallied nearly 2 million official U.S. streams in that span, according to Luminate. The early flurry of activity follows the announcement of Carey’s Merry Christmas One and All Tour, which begins Nov. 15.

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