Top 150 Artists 1955-2010

 
Elvis Presley #1 Pop Artist

Elvis Presley #1 Pop Artist

Besides knowing which song is the best of all-time, sometimes it would be nice to know how the artists have fared during the pop era. We have selected the years from 1955-2010, or a total of 66 years of historical information to compile the top 150 artists during this period.

What makes an artist popular is their music and how many singles they released charted on the Billboard Hot 100 charts over the years. This is an attempt to provide information on these top artists over this period.

There were a total of 1,091 songs that reached the #1 position during this period. The year of 2002 had the fewest #1 songs with 7. The years 1974 and 1975 had the most #1 songs with 35. There were over 8,400 artists and 42,000 songs that hit the charts in this era.

The Beatles #2 Pop Artist or Group

The Beatles #2 Pop Artist or Group

This listing will include the top ten artists for special achievements which include:

  • Most chart hits
  • Most top 40 hits
  • Most top 10 hits
  • Most #1 hits
  • Most weeks at the #1 position

The source used for the top 100 artists is “Top Pop Singles 1955-2010” by Joel Whitburn.

Ranking Of The Top 150 Artists 1955-2010

To determine the top 150 artists, we had to use a point system that would be fair to all artists. The point system used is as follows:

  1. The highest chart position reached on the Hot 100, Hot 100 Airplay or Bubbling Under charts.
  2. Point breakdown as follows:
  • #1 = 100 points for its first week at #1, plus 10 points for each additional week.
  • #2 =   90 points for its first week at #2, plus 5 points for each additional week.
  • #3 =   80 points for its first week at #3, plus 3 points for each additional week.
  • #4-5 = 70 points
  • #6-10 = 60 points
  • #11-15 = 50 points
  • #16-20 = 45 points
  • #21-30 = 40 points
  • #31-40 = 35 points
  • #41-50 = 30 points
  • #51-60 = 25 points
  • #61-70 = 20 points
  • #71-90 = 15 points
  • #91-100 = 10 points
  • #101-110 = 5 points
  • #111-120 = 4 points
  • #121-135 = 3 points

3.  Total weeks charted are added in.
4. In case of a tie, the artist listed first is determined by the following tie-breaker rules:

  1. Most charted singles
  2. Most top 40 singles
  3. Most top 10 singles
Madonna #4 Pop Artist

Madonna #4 Pop Artist

When two artists combine for a hit single, such as Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, the full point total is given to both artists. Duos like Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates are considered recording teams and their points are not shared.

An adjustment is made for featured and lead artists. A featured artist on a single will receive 20% of the point total and the lead artist receives 100% of the point total.

Top 150 Artists All-Time 1955-2010

Rank / Artist Points
1.    Elvis Presley 9,029
2.    The Beatles 5,147
3.    Elton John 4,881
4.    Madonna 4,840
5.    Mariah Carey 4,671
6.    Stevie Wonder 4,133
7.    Michael Jackson 3,945
8.    Janet Jackson 3,921
9.    James Brown 3,749
10.   The Rolling Stones 3,681
11.   Aretha Franklin 3,669
12.   Pat Boone 3,527
13.   Whitney Houston 3,433
14.   Rod Stewart 3,365
15.   Marvin Gaye 3,317
16.   Paul McCartney 3,303
17.   Prince 3,220
18.   Ray Charles 3,183
19.   The Beach Boys 3,134
20.   Chicago 3,078
21.   The Temptations 3,045
22.   Ricky Nelson 3,036
23.   Fats Domino 3,029
24.   The Supremes 3,026
25.   Neil Diamond 2,972
26.   Connie Francis 2,971
27.   Bee Gees 2,954
28.   Usher 2,931
29.   Frank Sinatra 2,860
30.   Paul Anka 2,808
31.   R. Kelly 2,790
32.   Dionne Warwick 2,740
33.   The 4 Seasons 2,726
34.   Olivia Newton-John 2,679
35.   Jay-Z 2,647
36.   Billy Joel 2,621
37.   Daryl Hall & John Oates 2,603
38.   Brenda Lee 2,602
39.   Diana Ross 2,599
40.   Nat “King” Cole 2,536
41.   George Michael 2,530
42.   Perry Como 2,474
43.   Kenny Rogers 2,441
44.   Eminem 2,386
45.   The Everly Brothers 2,382
46.   Barbara Streisand 2,323
47.   The Miracles 2,311
48.   Bobby Vinton 2,295
49.   Rihanna 2,266
50.   Taylor Swift 2,242
51.   Gladys Knight & The Pips 2,227
52.   Brook Benton 2,226
53.   Donna Summer 2,206
54.   Phil Collins 2,204
55.   The Platters 2,168
56.   Andy Williams 2,166
57.   Beyonce 2,163
58.   Sam Cooke 2,150
59.   Four Tops 2,136
60.   Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy 2,114
61.   Tim McGraw 2,107
62.   Jackie Wilson 2,081
63.   Bobby Darin 2,074
64.   The Jackson 5 2,065
65.   Bon Jovi 2,064
66.   Cher 2,063
67.   Mary J. Blige 2,055
68.   Bryan Adams 2,034
69.   John Cougar Mellencamp 2,017
70.   Johnny Mathis 1,999
71.   Boyz II Men 1,999
72.   Linda Ronstadt 1,997
73.   Nelly 1,992
74.   Carpenters 1,978
75.   Kool & The Gang 1,975
76.   Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine 1,951
77.   Ludacris 1,950
78.   Chubby Checker 1,929
79.   50 Cent 1,929
80.   Jefferson Airplane 1,897
81.   T. I. 1,845
82.   Celine Dion 1,843
83.   Barry Manilow 1,840
84.   Kenny Chesney 1,823
85.   Dion (Dion & The Belmonts) 1,823
86.   Roy Orbison 1,823
87.   Kanye West 1,822
88.   Neil Sedaka 1,813
89.   Heart 1,804
90.   U2 1,803
91.   Lil Wayne 1,792
92.   Lionel Richie 1,790
93.   Bob Seger 1,783
94.   Glen Campbell 1,760
95.   Aerosmith 1,757
96.   Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass 1,746
97.   Earth, Wind & Fire 1,743
98.   The Isley Brothers 1,717
99.   The 5th Dimension 1,707
100.   Santana 1,664
101.   Pink 1,663
102.   Johnny Cash 1,658
103.   John Denver 1,646
104.   Huey Lewis & The News 1,646
105.   Alicia Keys 1,644
106.   Tommy James & The Shondells 1,643
107.   Patti Page 1,626
108.   Eagles 1,625
109.   Three Dog Night 1,623
110.   Pointer Sisters 1,617
111.   Fleetwood Mac 1,613
112.   Christina Aguilera 1,600
113.   Spinners 1,592
114.   Bruce Springsteen 1,589
115.   The Drifters 1,580
116.   Foreigner 1,576
117.   Black Eyed Peas 1,576
118.   Duran Duran 1,565
119.   Tom Jones 1,564
120.   Snoop Dogg 1,564
121.   Commodores 1,564
122.   Britney Spears 1,553
123.   The Impressions 1,547
124.   Dean Martin 1,547
125.   Chris Brown 1,537
126.   Jerry Butler 1,532
127.   Wilson Pickett 1,526
128.   Johnny Rivers 1,525
129.   Bobby Vee 1,519
130.   Queen 1,515
131.   Destiny’s Child 1,503
132.   Rascal Flatts 1,502
133.   TLC 1,491
134.   Electric Light Orchestra 1,490
135.   Toby Keith 1,489
136.   Bobby Rydell 1,474
137.   Tony Orlando & Dawn 1,467
138.   Journey 1,467
139.   George Strait 1,459
140.   Michael Bolton 1,453
141.   LL Cool J 1,442
142.   Monica 1,440
143.   Richard Marx 1,436
144.   Eric Clapton 1,405
145.   Genesis 1,401
146.   Brad Paisley 1,394
147.   Jennifer Lopez 1,389
148.   Dave Clark Five 1,387
149.   The Doobie Brothers 1,385
150. Herman’s Hermits 1,382

Top Artist Special Achievements

Most Charted Hits                                                                               

Most Charted Hits
Rank Artist No.
1 Elvis Presley 165
2 James Brown 107
3 Ray Charles 91
4 Aretha Franklin 88
5 Fats Domino 77
6 The Beatles 75
7 Frank Sinatra 75
8 Elton John 71
9 Connie Francis 67
10 Nat “King” Cole 66

Most Top 40 Hits

Most Top 40 Hits
Rank Artist No.
1 Elvis Presley 104
2 Elton John 56
3 The Beatles 50
4 Madonna 49
5 Stevie Wonder 45
6 James Brown 44
7 Aretha Franklin 43
8 Rolling Stones 41
9 Marvin Gaye 40
10 Michael Jaskson 38

Most Top Ten Hits

Most Top 10 Hits
Rank Artist No.
1 Elvis Presley 38
2 Madonna 37
3 The Beatles 33
4 Mariah Carey 28
5 Michael Jackson 28
6 Janet Jackson 28
7 Stevie Wonder 27
8 Elton John 26
9 The Rolling Stones 23
10 Whitney Houston 23

Most #1 Hits

Most #1 Hits
Rank Artist No.
1 The Beatles 20
2 Elvis Presley 18
3 Mariah Carey 18
4 Michael Jackson 13
5 Madonna 12
6 The Supremes 12
7 Whitney Houston 11
8 Janet Jackson 10
9 George Michael 10
10 Stevie Wonder 9

Most Weeks At #1

Most Weeks At #1
Rank Artist No.
1 Elvis Presley 80
2 Mariah Carey 79
3 The Beatles 59
4 Boyz II Men 50
5 Usher 47
6 Michael Jackson 37
7 Beyonce 36
8 Janet Jackson 33
9 Madonna 32
10 Whitney Houston 31

Go back to the top 100 songs of all time home page.

Back to Top

 Posted by at 8:11 pm