Depending on how you look at it, this could mean that Rihanna is the best singer in the history of popular music.
Rihanna roars to a 20th Billboard Hot 100 top 10 single faster than any other solo artist, as “We Found Love,” featuring Calvin Harris, darts 16-9 in its second chart week.
Having first graced the Hot 100 the week of June 11, 2005, with the eventual No. 2-peaking “Pon De Replay,” Rihanna reaches 20 top 10s in a span of just six years and four months, besting Madonna for the quickest collection of top 10s among soloists (from an artist’s first Hot 100 appearance) in the chart’s 53-year history. Madonna tallied her 20th top 10, “Hanky Panky,” the week of July 28, 1990, for a stretch of six years and nine months after her chart introduction with “Holiday.” Rihanna, thus, bests Madonna’s mark by five months.
Among all acts, Rihanna’s run to 20 top 10s is the second-fastest. Only the Beatles sprinted to the sum more quickly, taking just two years, seven months and one week between their chart entrance with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (Jan. 18, 1964) and “Yellow Submarine,” which sailed 52-8 the week of Aug. 27, 1966. The Supremes are pushed to third-place among all artists, having collected their 20 career top 10s in a span of six years, five months and one week in 1964-70.
With the vault, Rihanna becomes the 14th artist to garner as many as 20 Hot 100 top 10s and just the fifth woman to earn the honor. Among women, Madonna leads with 37 top 10s – the highest total among all artists – followed by Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson (27 each) and Whitney Houston (23).
Prior to Rihanna this week, Carey had been the last artist to reach 20 top 10s when “Thank God I Found You,” featuring Joe and 98 Degrees, blasted 22-2 on the Feb. 12, 2000, chart (a week before it led the Hot 100 for one frame).
Notably, in an era where songs can scale the Hot 100’s upper reaches in their debut week solely on the strength of hefty first-week digital sales, all 20 of Rihanna’s top 10s have received radio support concurrent with their moves into the Hot 100’s top 10. Seventeen of the 20, in fact, have reached the top 10 on Radio Songs, with eight bounding all the way to No. 1. And, even the three songs that missed the Radio Songs top 10 still made the list’s top 40 (“Break It Off,” No. 11; “Russian Roulette,” No. 35; and, “Cheers (Drink to That),” No. 13).
Go Rihanna Navy, Go!