Mariah Carey Has More Number 1 Hits Than Elvis Presley — And Is Close to Beating The Beatles’ Record
Mariah Carey has been one of the music industry’s most bankable stars for over three decades. The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, actor, and author has notched several hit singles on the Billboard charts and shown that she’s one of the most versatile artists in the business.
Mariah Carey has 19 number 1 hits
Mariah Carey burst onto the scene in 1990 as a new R&B singer with an undeniable voice. Her debut album, Mariah Carey, spawned four singles that went on to reach the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Vision of Love,” “Love Takes Time,” “Someday,” and “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” The title track for her sophomore album Emotions also hit number one.
Carey’s 1993 album Music Box contained two number-one singles, “Dreamlover” and “Hero.” Her 1995 LP Daydream contained the hit singles “Fantasy,” “Always Be My Baby,” and the Boyz II Men collab “One Sweet Day,” which went on to hold the record for most weeks spent atop the Hot 100 chart for nearly two decades until Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” in 2019.
“Honey” and “My All” from her Butterfly album reached number one in the late ’90s, while Rainbow singles “Heartbreaker” and “Thank God I Found You” both topped the chart. Her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi saw Carey’s return to the top spot of the Hot 100 with “We Belong Together” and “Don’t Forget About Us.” In 2008, she earned another number-one for “Touch My Body,” and in 2019, her 1994 hit song “All I Want For Christmas is You” went number one 25 years after its release.
In total, Carey can claim 19 number-one hits to her name — the most for any solo artist in history.
The Beatles had 20 number 1 hits
Carey’s record for most number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 is only matched by The Beatles, who have a total of 20.
Among The Beatles’ number-one songs are well-known hits such as “Help!”, “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together,” and “All You Need is Love.” Other songs of theirs to reach the top of the charts were “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Yesterday,” “Hello Goodbye,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Carey’s most recent album, 2018’s Caution, failed to spawn any number-one hits. But if she earns just one more, she will be tied with The Beatles as the rulers of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Elvis Presley had 18 number 1 hits
Elvis Presley, meanwhile, holds the number-three spot for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart in history. While Carey earned hers over the course of three decades, Presley had a dominating stretch of a few years similar to The Beatles, earning a dozen number-one hits just in the second half of the 1950s.
The King had five number-one songs in 1956 alone: “Heartbreak Hotel,” “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” and “Love Me Tender.” He was just 21 years at the time. The following year, the young singer earned number-ones for “Too Much,” “All Shook Up,” “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” In 1958, he had “Don’t” and “Hard Headed Woman.” And in 1959, he had “A Big Hunk o’ Love.”
Elvis’ reign continued into the next decade. “Stuck on You,” “Now or Never,” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” all topped the chart in 1960, “Surrender” went number-one in 1961, while “Good Luck Charm” matched its success the next year. His final number-one, “Suspicious Minds,” closed out the decade in 1969 for a total of 18 chart-topping songs in 13 years.