To celebrate Black Music Month, Chart Watch collated a list of the biggest white artists in the history of Billboard's R&B chart. That may seem to be an odd way to celebrate Black Music Month, but it dramatizes that black music has influenced countless artists in a wide range of genres. Elvis Presley, whose hits 'That's All Right (mama)', 'Hound Dog', 'Mystery Train', 'I Feel So Bad', 'High Heel Sneakers', 'Crying In The Chapel' etc were remakes of earlier R&B hits, is the most successful white artist in the history of the R&B chart, which is now called Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Twenty-one white artists rank among the top 500 R&B hit-makers in chart history in chart researcher Joel Whitburn's indispensable book Hot R&B Songs 1942-2010. The roster includes numerous blue-eyed soul singers (George Michael, Daryl Hall & John Oates), a rap icon (Eminem), disco stars (KC & the Sunshine Band), a pop provocateur (Madonna) and funk stars - but Elvis stands out above all.
As James Brown the God-Father of R&B and Soul noted, "I wasn’t just a fan, I was his brother. Last time I saw Elvis alive was at Graceland. We sang ‘Old Blind Barnabus’ together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There’ll never be another like that soul brother."
The #1 white artist who ranks among the top 500 R&B hit-makers in chart history are:
1. Elvis Presley. The king of rock and roll had 24 top 10 R&B hits, from 1956's "Heartbreak Hotel" to 1963's " Devil In Disguise." Six of them, including "Hound Dog," reached #1. Blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton had a #1 R&B hit with "Hound Dog" in 1953.