Somewhere, Stevie Wonder’s hanging his head in defeat: Rihanna just earned her eleventh No. 1 hit with “We Found Love,” breaking the three-way tie on 10 career no. 1s that the pair had shared with Janet Jackson.
Rihanna now ties Whitney Houston for Hot 100 Diva-dom, but still trails behind quite a few icons, including the Beatles (20), Mariah Carey (18), and Elvis Presley (17).
But what’s perhaps even more noteworthy is how quickly RiRi has racked up those hits: With “We Found Love,” Rihanna made Billboard history by collecting 20 Hot 100 Top 10 singles faster than any solo artist, in just six years and four months. That beats Madonna’s record by five months and ranks Rihanna second only to the Beatles in her short run to 20 Top 10s.
Are pop stars breaking bigger these days, or just peaking more quickly? When Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson’s record for most No. 1 hits from a single album with Teenage Dream, she was only on her second full-length (if you don’t count the collection of Christian songs she released under the name Katy Hudson), while Jackson scored the same milestone with his seventh album, Bad.
Of course, it’s also possible that artists are simply releasing more content in less time. Rihanna’s Talk That Talk is due out November 18, just a year after her last one, Loud — which in turn came only a year after Rated R. At this rate, she may soon catch up with the Beatles.
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