Last night in Los Angeles, Billboard held its annual Women in Music gala, at which young pop star Selena Gomez was honored with the prestigious Woman of the Year award. But when it comes to actual Billboard chart performance, there’s a whole other list of women who’ve dominated over the past 50 years, including many veteran stars.
Let’s start with the Queen of Pop: Madonna is the all-time top-performing female artist since the Billboard Hot 100 chart started in 1958. She’s scored a record 38 top 10s, 12 of which reached #1. Mariah Carey is right behind her in second place, followed by Janet Jackson at #3, Whitney Houston at #4, The Supremes at #6, Olivia Newton-John at #7 and Aretha Franklin at #8.
The biggest all-time hit on the Hot 100 by a woman belongs to country star LeAnn Rimes, whose 1997 smash “How Do I Live” spent 69 weeks on the charts, including 27 weeks in the top 5. Newton-John’s “Physical” is at #2, Debby Boone‘s “You Light Up My Life” is at #3 and Carey’s “We Belong Together” is at #4.
On the Billboard 200 album chart, Barbra Streisand reigns supreme. Since that chart launched in 1963, she’s scored 34 top-10 albums, including 11 number ones. Mariah, Whitney and Madonna follow at #3, #4 and #5, respectively.
As for the top individual album by a woman on the Billboard 200, that would be Adele‘s 21, which spent 24 weeks at #1 — the longest run ever by a solo female artist in the chart’s history. Carole King‘s Tapestry landed at #4 on the tally.
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