On August 4, 1958, Billboard launched the Hot 100. Sixty years later, not only did it change pop music, but the chart is the gold-standard of America’s top songs on a weekly basis. Attaining a spot on that list and earning a No. 1 spot is a serious hill to climb. But for some musicians, they were able to reach those heights while achieving other success in their careers.
Billboard released a Top Hot 100 artist list to honor musics best. Who is one of the most decorative Grammy winners or the musician who recorded two albums before turning 20? Here are the musicians who left us with great music while gaining some big achievements.
Olivia Newton-John Collected Three Grammy’s By The Time She Was 25
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It wasn’t a common thing back in the day, but the Grease star had her music recognized by the time she hit the quarter-of-a-century mark. Olivia won a total of four Grammy’s, including Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Let Me Be There.”
But, how many musicians can say they won Record of the Year before turning 26? Not many people except for Olivia. The Australian did just that with her single “I Honestly Love You.”
In 1979, Elton John Was The First Western Rock Star To Perform In Russia
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This was the first time Russians had seen a westerner perform. Because the country hadn’t released his music, it took some time to win over the crowd. But, all eight shows sold out and ran for over two hours with identical setlists.
Following the success of his shows, A Single Man would become John’s first officially released album in the USSR, but with one change. The project was renamed Elton John Sings in Russian.
Janet Jackson Made History With Her Brother
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Michael was dominating the charts until Janet’s “When I Think Of You” went No. 1 in 1986. Her single led her and Michael to become the first siblings to top the charts as solo artists.
In 1995, the Jacksons’ collaboration on “Scream” is listed in the Guinness World Record as the most expensive music video ever made. Working with a budget of $7 million, they won a Grammy Award for Best Short-Form Music Video. Michael made history for himself too. Found out what he did to open the door for other musicians shortly!
Usher Had Two Albums Released Before He Was 20
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Usher found himself with a record contract with LaFace Records after performing on Star Search. In 1994, the Atlanta native released his first album Usher at age 15. He would soon become known for his polished vocals and broad vocal range.
Three years later, he would release his second album, My Way. The singles “Nice & Slow” and “You Make Me Wanna” throttled the aspiring musician into the limelight, selling more than 7 million copies when he was just 19 years old.
Stevie Wonder Has 25 Grammy Awards
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The R&B diety won his first Grammy in 1973 when he won Album of the Year with Innervisions. His last Grammy came in 2007 when he won Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals from the single “For Once In My Life.”
Since that last win, Stevie has received 74 Grammy nominations. But, four other musicians are ahead of him for most wins. Pierre Boulez, Alison Krauss, Quincy Jones, and Georg Solti all have more.
Billie Jean By Michael Jackson Was The First Music Video By A Black Artist On MTV
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“Billie Jean” opened the door for other colored artists to be featured on MTV. The single would appear on the top of the Hot 100 chart for seven weeks.
The second track from the King of Pop’s 1982 album paved the way for the musician to star in the infamous “Thriller” music video. The video was so popular that it was released as a home video. It went on to become a best-seller. Fun fact: a musical prodigy from Minnesota composed their first song at seven-years-old. Details behind that are still on the way.
Daryl Hall & John Oates Are The Most Succesful Duo Of The Rock Era
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Surpassing the greats before them, like Simon & Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers, Hall and Oates have sold more than 40 million records. They’ve had six No. 1 hits appear on the Billboard Hot 100 and the duo had 34 char hits on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The two enjoyed success in the United Kingdom with two UK top ten albums while being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014.
Chicago Is Among The Top Ten Best-Selling U.S. Groups Ever
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The American rock band is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups. They have been one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records.
Since the beginning of the group’s formation, Chicago has flown under the radar. Regarding both albums and singles, they’re not far behind the Beach Boys either. In 1971, four years after their formation, the group was the first rock act to sell out Carnegie Hall for a week.
Prince Composed His First Song At The Age Of Seven
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The Minnesota native was somewhat of a child prodigy. With his father playing music in their home, it didn’t take long for Prince to compose “Funk Machine” on his jazz musician father’s piano.
As soon as he got into his teens, he made his first demo at 17 while playing in bands with his cousin. But, thanks to his musical talent, Prince would eventually sign a record contract with Warner Brothers just two years later. Who was the musician that impressed Jay Z so much that he had to act fast? The girl who has her own holiday in Barbados is coming up.
The Supremes Is The Most Successful Girl Group Of All Time
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One of the most popular musical acts ever, the premier act of Motown Records didn’t miss a beat. Diana Ross and company sang timeless classics like “Stop! In The Name Of Love.”
Despite some group changes, the list of their Motown hits goes on and on. In fact, there have been many girl groups who have ruled the Billboard charts since their glory days. However, there hasn’t been a group who has yet to challenge their supremacy.
In 1978, The Bee Gees Released Eight Songs That Reached Number One
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There’s only one other group who can say they did this. Only The Beatles can claim the same level of success as the Bee Gees. The trio released four songs, including “How Deep Is Your Love.”
Andy Gibb, the youngest of the Gibb family, topped the charts with “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” and “Shadow Dancing.” The elder Gibb’s wrote both songs, but that didn’t stop them from writing “Grease” and “If I Can’t Have You.”
Rihanna Was Discovered By Jay-Z
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After sending demo tapes to Def Jam Records, Rihanna scored an audition. Needless to say, she knocked her audition out of the park. Once she caught the attention of Jay-Z, he wouldn’t let her leave the building until she signed with the label.
At 16-years-old, she had her first contract signed. The Barbados native has come a long way since then, especially having no formal training in dance or music. For some people, one of the Beatles was thought to have invented heavy metal thanks to a song from the White Album. Find out which Beatle that was shortly.
John Pasche Designed The Rolling Stones Infamous Logo
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Pasche designed the “Tongue and Lip” design logo in 1971. Craig Braun revised the logo when he was designing the album package. Pasche was also the one who designed four tour posters for the group from 1970-1974.
The logo was originally reproduced on the U.S. inner sleeve and the cover of the Sticky Fingers album in April 1971. Braun’s version of the tongue and lips logo is the sole version used by the Stones for tours, promotions, and worldwide marketing.
Whitney Houston Was An Album Chart Queen
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Almost no musician conquered the Billboard 200 albums chart quite like Whitney Houston. Not many people can say they have 11 number one hits in their careers, but Houston sure does.
She’s the only female singer to have seven consecutive hits from 1985-1988. The soundtrack to The Bodyguard stayed at number one for 20 weeks straight. Her single “I Will Always Love You” spent 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Paul McCartney Helped Invent Heavy Metal Thanks To Helter Skelter
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Most people consider “Helter Skelter” to be one of the first heavy metal songs, specifically because of its heavy bass, drums, and McCartney’s screaming vocals.
The Beatle was inspired to write the song after Pete Townshend from The Who described their single “I Can See For Miles,” as the loudest, rawest, dirtiest Who song ever. McCartney wrote the song for the White Album, and it’s been covered by Aerosmith and Motley Crue. Hardcore Beatles fans might not know that there was a prequel behind the Abbey Road cover. The story behind the old lady is just ahead.
Mariah Carey’s Big Break Was Almost Like A Modern Cinderella Tale
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In 1988, the little-known pop artist accompanied Brenda K. Starr at a record executives gala. There, Carey handed her demo tape to Tommy Mottola, the head of Columbia Records.
Mottola listened to the demo on his way home as he was enamored by Carey’s voice. He returned to the event, only to find she had left. After a two week search, he immediately signed the diva and the two would be married from 1993-1998.
Elvis’ “That’s Alright” Single Was A Significant Moment For Rock N’ Roll
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The cover of Arthur Crudup’s “That’s Alright” was an important moment in American musical history. In 1954, a local DJ played Elvis’ version of Crudup’s single, which was played 13 more times that day.
However, people believed Elvis was black, and Sam Phillips had a unique idea for a white singer who could sing “black” rhythm and blues. Of course, his single made him an instant hit, sending him on a path to stardom.
The Beatles Famous Abbey Road Picture Has A Prequel
The final album cover photograph of the Fab Four walking in time came from a series of eight shots. Photographer Iain MacMillan took the official photos, but Paul’s wife, Linda, happened to be standing by with her camera to catch this elderly lady talk to Ringo.
Despite having their differences at the time, fans could hope that the four Beatles came off as kind to the lady.
Rod Stewart Staged The World Record For The Largest Free Concert
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A free concert set by the British musician happened at Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. On New Year’s Eve in 1994, Stewart’s show attracted an audience of 4.2 million.
Despite a majority of the crowd not seeing a thing, being apart of the world’s biggest concert at the end of the year must have been an epic moment. It was certainly a night concert-goers or Stewart fans will never forget for the rest of their lives.
Madonna Is The Highest-Grossing Solo Touring Artist
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When Madonna wrapped up her Rebel Heart Tour in 2016, she earned $170 million and sold more than a million tickets. The tour launched in 2015, spanning over seven months and visiting four continents.
Based on Billboard’s Boxscore archives that go back to 1990, her overall concert gross accumulated to $1.31 billion with the tour’s final show. The diva first earned the top solo touring distinction in 2009 following her Sticky & Sweet tour.