This week's news that pop star Mariah Carey has surpassed Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most No. 1 singles on Billboard's U.S pop chart has now officially been challenged by Elvis Presley Enterprises. When Carey's "Touch My Body" rocketed to No. 1 on this week's chart, it gave the singer her 18th No. 1, the most by any solo artist on Billboard's Hot 100.
A pair of readers have helpfully pointed out that a post on the official Elvis website, the business entity created by the Estate of Elvis Presley and the Elvis Presley Trust, claims that the King had, in fact, 18 No. 1 singles, meaning Carey would have simply tied Presley.
But not so fast, writes Billboard's chart guru Geoff Mayfield in this week's edition of the magazine. The confusion lies with 1958 chart-toppers "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog." The Presley site lists the two songs as separate No. 1 singles.
Seemingly makes sense, except that when "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" topped the chart, they did so as one double-sided release. Writes Mayfield in his column, "Billboard's charts department and the magazine's ranking trivia expert, Fred Bronson, consider those two songs comprise but one single, and thus a singular No. 1 shared by the two songs."
And thus the debate will surely rage on.
From the EPE site:
Elvis Presley Record Chart Statistics Clarification
Elvis Aaron Presley had 149 songs to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart in America. Of these, 114 were in the top forty, 40 were in the top ten, and 18 went to number one. His number one singles spent a total of 80 weeks at number one. He has also had over 90 charted albums with ten of them reaching number one. These figures are only for the pop charts, and only in America. He was also a leading artist in the American country, R&B, and gospel fields, and his chart success in other countries was substantial.
It is estimated that Elvis Presley has sold over one billion record units worldwide, more than anyone in record industry history. In America alone, Elvis has had 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with more certifications expected as research into his past record sales continues and as current sales go on. Research is also underway to document his record sales achievements in other countries. It is estimated that 40% of Elvis' total record sales have been outside the United States.
Elvis Presley Billboard Chart Statistics: #1 hits:
1. Heartbreak Hotel
2. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
3. Don’t Be Cruel
4. Hound Dog
5. Love Me Tender
6. Too Much
7. All Shook Up
8. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
9. Jailhouse Rock
11. Hard Headed Woman
12. A Big Hunk O’ Love
13. Stuck On You
14. It’s Now or Never
15. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
17. Good Luck Charm
18. Suspicious Minds