What rock band has the most No. 1 hits?
It’s a question not so far removed from what rock band has sold the most albums. Except when you’re deducing the rock band with the most No. 1 hits, you’re considering only the popularity of songs released as singles, not the impact of studio albums.
And looking specifically at hit singles gives you a pretty precise barometer of popular music.
That’s because charts such as the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart tally what songs are popular that week, and we have weeks upon weeks of that music history to pull from. So it’s not hard to find out what rock band has the most No. 1 singles.
Do you know the answer? Because we’re itching to tell you. Interestingly, although perhaps unsurprisingly — as far as Billboard is concerned — the rock band with the most No. 1 hits is the same as the one that’s sold the most albums.
What Rock Band Has the Most No. 1s Hits?
Indeed, the rock band that’s logged the most Billboard No. 1 hits is The Beatles, with 20 chart-toppers that hit the airwaves from 1964 to 1970.
The Beatles are also the rock band that’s sold the most albums, moving 600 million LPs worldwide, with 183 million sold in the U.S. alone.
READ MORE: What Rock Band’s Sold the Most Albums?
And The Beatles aren’t just the rock band with the most No. 1 hits. According to Billboard, they’re the artist with the most No. 1 singles out of any genre — as of August 2023 — with pop stars including Mariah Carey (19 number ones) and Rihanna (14) trailing behind them.
What About the U.K. Charts?
But what about the Official Charts in the U.K.? What rock band do they say is the one that has the most No. 1 hit singles in the United Kingdom?
Well, it depends on if you consider Elvis Presley a rock band — because Elvis amassed 21 chart-toppers on the U.K. singles chart from 1957 to 1977. And guess what? The Beatles are right behind him on the U.K. chart, with 17 number ones from 1963 to 1969.
So, are The Beatles still the rock band with the most No. 1 hits? We guess that’s up to the listener to decide — because Elvis was undoubtedly a rock artist (but certainly not considered a “band” himself).
Still, the Beatles are the most widely accepted answer to this question — as a quick internet search will tell you — crowning them as the true winner of the rock band with the most No. 1 hit singles. (It also shows the weight the Hot 100 carries globally.)
As this point, it’s hard to imagine any other rock artist ever catching up to The Beatles’ No. 1s — although we suppose it’s not out of the realm of possibility!
The Beatles’ 20 No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100:
– “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” seven weeks beginning Feb. 1, 1964
– “She Loves You,” two, March 21, 1964
– “Can’t Buy Me Love,” five, April 4, 1964
– “Love Me Do,” one, May 30, 1964
– “A Hard Day’s Night,” two, Aug. 1, 1964
– “I Feel Fine,” three, Dec. 26, 1964
– “Eight Days a Week,” two, March 13, 1965
– “Ticket to Ride,” one, May 22, 1965
– “Help!,” three, Sept. 4, 1965
– “Yesterday,” four, Oct. 9, 1965
– “We Can Work It Out,” three, Jan. 8, 1966
– “Paperback Writer,” two, June 25, 1966
– “Penny Lane,” one, March 18, 1967
– “All You Need Is Love,” one, Aug. 19, 1967
– “Hello Goodbye,” three, Aug. 19, 1967
– “Hey Jude,” nine, Sept. 28, 1968
– “Get Back,” with Billy Preston, five, May 24, 1969
– “Come Together”/”Something,” one, Nov. 29, 1969
– “Let It Be,” two, April 11, 1970
– “The Long and Winding Road”/”For You Blue,” two, June 13, 1970
The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (Live on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1964)
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