(May 22, 2024).  The year 2024 keeps churning out one trivia gem after another.  

In a year where the chart turnover at the top has been so rapid that it’s almost impossible to keep up, yet another unprecedented occurrence has etched itself into the Billboard book of records (if there was one, but please indulge me in a bit of theater of the mind and let’s flip through its pages to find the latest entry).

Here it is:

On this week’s Hot 100, thanks to yet another new song at the top, plus the endurance of those that have already been to that penthouse, there are 12 current or former No. 1 songs listed on the same chart (dated May 25).

Post Malone and Morgan Wallen lead a list of twelve No. 1 songs on this week’s Hot 100 chart

Without doing the week-by-week research through 66 years of the Billboard archives to confirm this, gut-feel and intuition about how these charts have worked tell me this has to be some kind of first.

To put this in perspective, there were many times during the past three-plus decades where there haven’t been as many as twelve different No. 1s over the course of an entire year, much less on the same weekly chart. 

For instance, only eight songs occupied the No. 1 spot in 2005, the fewest ever in any Jan.-Dec. period.  Not too far ahead of that were the years 1993-97, 2001, 2005, and 2013-17 — all with fewer than 12 songs that spent time at No. 1 from start to finish. 

In 2024, there have already been 12 new No. 1s — and 14 total counting two holdovers from 2023 — and we’re only through the month of May. 

Ten of this year’s 12 new No. 1s are still on the Hot 100.  They are (in rank order): “I Had Some Help” – Post Malone ft. Morgan Wallen (No. 1 this week), “Not Like Us” – Kendrick Lamar (No. 2), “Lose Control” – Teddy Swims (No. 6), “Like That” – Future & Metro Boomin ft. Lamar (No. 7), “Fortnight” – Taylor Swift ft. Malone (No. 8), “Too Sweet” – Hozier (No. 10), “We Can’t Be Friends” – Ariana Grande (No. 13), “Cruel Summer” – Taylor Swift (No. 20), “Texas Hold ‘Em” – Beyoncé (No. 49), and “Carnival” – Ye (Kanye West) & Ty Dolla $ign ft. Rich the Kid and Playboi Carti (No. 52).

Two holdovers from last year also dot the list: “Lovin on Me” – Jack Harlow (No. 17), and “I Remember Everything” – Zac Bryan ft. Kacey Musgraves (No. 18).

That’s twelve total.  

The only songs that have occupied the No. 1 spot this year that are no longer on the chart are Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (if it were, we’d have some issues), Ariana Grande’s “yes, and?,” and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hiss.”  Megan’s song spent the fewest number of weeks on the Hot 100 — six — of this year’s chart toppers.  

The fact that there’s been such a rapid turnover — no song has spent more than three consecutive weeks at the top, the first time that’s happened through the month of May in any year since Billboard went modern in 1991 — helps account for this year’s anomaly. 

Still, some of you might be wondering how 2024 could top other years with such rapid-fire turnover at the No. 1 position, particularly during the pre-modern era (before November 1991) when there were several years with as many as 30-35 chart toppers between January and December.

It’s simple: back then, due to differences in how singles were marketed and how Billboard calculated the charts (lists were called in or faxed to the trade publication by stores and radio stations, as opposed to digital detection of actual piece counts and airplay impressions used today), songs rose to the top and then quickly made their descents down and off the Hot 100.

It was rare for a former No. 1 to remain on the list for more than three months after it had peaked.  Two of the most notable exceptions were The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” which remained on the Hot 100 for four months after it relinquished the No. 1 spot in 1978, and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” which did the same in 1980-81.

It’s been a much more common occurrence since 1991, even with the introduction of rules designed to move older songs off the chart and into an oldies recurrent status once they’ve been around a long time and fall below a certain position. 

On this week’s list, for instance, there are three tunes that relinquished the No. 1 spot more than three months ago:  “I Saw Everything,” “Lovin on Me,” and “Cruel Summer,” to go along with the nine songs that have reached No. 1 since the beginning of March.

Taylor Swift and Post Malone each have two No. 1 songs on this week’s chart, along with Kendrick Lamar.

Even by old-school standards, that’s a lot of No. 1 songs.  At the current rate, 2024 is on pace to have more chart toppers than any year since 1991 when there were 27.  With seven months remaining this year, we could easily match or surpass that number.  

This year still has a way to go before it gets anywhere near the two years with the most new number one songs: 1974 and 1975, both of which had 35 different songs ascend to the No. 1 position between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31.

In fact, we’d have to have a new No. 1 nearly every week between now and December for that to happen, which is very unlikely.

Still, the year 2024 has already been record-setting in its own right and whatever happens, you can bet djrobblog will be watching.


DJRob (he/him) is a freelance music blogger from the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, disco, pop, rock and country genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @djrobblog and on Meta’s Threads.

DJRob (@djrobblog) on Threads

You can also register for free (select the menu bars above) to receive notifications of future articles.

By DJ Rob

Your thoughts?