In an era that seems more concerned about “the single” rather than “the album,” it has become exceptionally competitive to conquer Billboard Hot 100. Indeed, the successes of the Taylor Swifts, Rihannas, and Justin Biebers are few and far between.
Still, there exists a crop of acts whose chart narratives read as “close but no cigar.”
After the jump, we list five top selling artists who still have been unable to snag that ever elusive top spot. Some may surprise you…
The self proclaimed Queen of Rap has broken numerous records and received various awards, but has thus far been unable to grasp the coveted #1 spot. Despite matching her former coworker’s, Mariah Carey’s, Hot 100 entry count of #44, none of these entries led to a #1 single. Her closest accounts for the thrown came from her ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Bedrock’ records, both of which stifled at the #2 spot. With the fourth era of Pink nigh, maybe the MC’s fourth project will boast the feat she and her Barbz hope for.
Mariah Carey’s vocal offspring has made quite the name for herself since her 2013 debut of ‘The Way.’ The song serves as the star’s first top 10 hit on the Hot 100, and samples Big Pun’s ’97 hit, ‘Still Not A Player.’ Since then, the former Nickelodeon star has spawned countless entries on the Hot 100, none of which managed to make it to the top of the chart. Her highest charting single, ‘Problem (Feat. Iggy Azalea),’ peaked a #2 and was blocked from the top spot by the Aussie rapper’s own single, ‘Fancy.’ With her third album ‘Dangerous Woman’ due in a matter of weeks, we will have to wait and see if the project can foster the aforementioned hit.
Drake serves as Young Money’s second star to make our list. Drizzy has topped the Hot 100 as a featured artist with rumored love interest Rihanna on tracks ‘What’s My Name’ and recent chart topper ‘Work.’ Though able to make it to the top with the help of the Barbadian beauty, the Canadian has failed to achieve the same feat with his solo efforts. Although ‘Hotline Bling’ swept the Internet with memes, covers, and recreations, the track ultimately clocked out at #2. With ‘Views From The 6′ due tomorrow, it is possible Aubrey may see his records reach new heights.
While Jeremih may not be able to match the album sales as the previous entries, the singer/songwriter has been the go to artist for many features over the past couple of years. Though possessing several top 10 hits, the digital dominator (and serial collaborator) has failed to release a single that has charted above his breakout effort, ‘Birthday Sex.’ Coming it at #4 on the tally, Jeremih was but inches away but not close enough.
The soul of Fayetteville, North Carolina has worked his way up to being compared to the greatest of MCs. After three #1 albums, Cole has created a demand for his work that is rivalled by few artists even beyond his Hip Hop genre. While many may assume the star has had at least one #1 single, the ‘Forest Hill Drive’ native has yet to even crack the top 10. The Paula Abdul assisted single ‘Work Out,’ managed to peak at #13 and remains the star’s highest charting single. The 5x Grammy nominee is just in the beginning of his career and has much time to top the chart.
So what do we make of this? In a climate where streaming is now at the forefront, it is possible these artists can move up the chart more easily than before. A number one single is not synonymous with talent or quality or talent, which most of these artists possess.
As ever, though…