It is a huge milestone to have a single reach the summit of the Billboard Hot 100. These artists did that.
The chart is the weekly list of song that are the 100 most successful in the country for each given week. The chart is based on radio airplay, digital sales, social media engagements, and streaming. That has not always been the case however, as it was previously based solely on purchases on radio. Even more of a major accomplishment is to have your first single reach the #1 spot on the Hot 100; this is a difficult feat that very few artists have been able to attain. Most recently, Lil’ Nas X has made buzz as his new single “Old Town Road” has springboard to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Here’s a look at his record and fourteen others that made artists stars as their first release.
Lil’ Nas X, “Old Town Road” (2019)
This new anthem has been a major hit on most radio platforms. While it has been rumored to be boycotted by country music radio stations, it is currently the #1 song in the country, gaining mainstream attention across several social media outlets and streaming platforms.
Chris Brown, “Run It!” (2005)
One of the most decorated performers of the last fifteen years, Brown’s debut single surged to #1 on one of the most star studded years in recent music years. The single stayed at #1 for six weeks, replacing Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”. To this day, the record remains one of his bigger hits.
Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow” (2017)
Pop’s biggest star took the sky with the release of this bonafide banger that had music listeners of all races singing along with this. The record quickly climbed and soared rising the chart weekly in the summer of 2017, until it dethroned Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” heading into the fall. Cardi has since amassed two other #1s thus far.
Kelly Rowland, “Dilemma” (2002)
A member of legendary group Destiny’s Child. Kelly Rowland’s first taste of solo stardom came as she sang the hook on rapper Nelly’s hit single, “Dilemma”, in the summer of 2002. The single would be the fire that ignited her desires to pursue her own solo career. To date, it is Rowland’s only #1 single as a solo artist.
Fantasia, “I Believe” (2003)
The winner of the third season of American Idol, Fantasia, stormed onto the scene with the release of her debut single, “I Believe”. The single not only went to #1, it debuted there, making her the first artist to have their debut single debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Ciara, “Goodies” (2004)
Atlanta born and raised, Lil’ CiCi stormed onto the music scene in the summer of 2004 and her debut single, “Goodies”, quickly made her a household name after reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s message alludes to the importance of saving your innocence in sexual relationships.
Mariah Carey, “Vision of Love” (1990)
Carey’s first single quickly made her a household name in the summer of 1990. Noted for introducing the world to her epic range and whistle town over urban pop beats, it would become her first of 18 chart toppers — the most for any solo artist in music history.
Britney Spears, “Baby…One More Time!” (1999)
Teen pop’s biggest star was undoubtedly Britney Spears. Her debut single was evident to that. The single introduced the world to the “good-bad” side of Ms. Spears and quickly made her one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. It remains one of the biggest selling singles of all time.
Jennifer Lopez, “If You Had My Love” (1998)
After already conquering the world of film, Lopez was signed to Sony Music as a rumored replacement to Mariah Carey in the fall of 1998. Lopez’s debut single made a large impression on audiences, as similar to Carey’s initial release, it too peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Alicia Keys, “Fallin’” (2001)
Alicia Keys’ debut single is still regarded as one the biggest songs of her career and most defining moments of the 2000s. The record has become one of her signature piano ballads.
Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (1960)
Arguably the biggest pop group of all-time, Jackson 5 made a huge splash on the music scene. Lead by young Michael, the group’s lead single “I Want You Back” would be their first of four consecutive number one singles to reach #1; a feat that would later be best by Mariah Carey in 1991 whose first five singles would #1.
50 Cent, “In Da Club” (2002)
Though hype was originally cast around him on soundtracks and as a featured artist, 50’s first official single, “In Da Club”, is widely cited as one of the most masterful and important rap records of all time. The single received critical acclaim from music critics and fans. It quickly introduced him to an audience ready to embrace.
Bruno Mars, “Just The Way You Are” (2010)
Bruno was featured on the hit single “Nothin’ On You” by B.O.B., Mars bested himself with his own debut single, “Just The Way You Are”, that became a major hit in the winter of 2010.
Desiigner, ”Panda” (2016)
While the song was previously teased on Kanye West’s “Life of Pablo” album, the full length single itself was a major hit in the Spring of 2016. After garnering several comparisons to Future, the record would dominate the club and radio following its rise to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Ashanti, “Always On Time/Foolish” (2001)
Ashanti stormed onto the scene in 2001 as the first lady of Murda Inc. After being featured on Ja Rule’s #1 hit single, “Always on Time”, the songstress made her official debut with the smash single “Foolish”, which gave her two consecutive #1 singles in heading into 2002.