Here is the list of the artists who have had the most Top Ten hits in what Casey Kasem used to call the rock era:
- o Madonna: 38
- o Elvis Presley: 36
- o The Beatles: 34
- o Michael Jackson: 29
- o Rihanna: 29
- o Stevie Wonder: 28
- o Elton John: 27
- o Janet Jackson: 27
- o Mariah Carey: 27
- o The Rolling Stones: 23
- o Paul McCartney: 23
- o Whitney Houston: 23
That’s 12 artists, eight of whom were stone-cold locks for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and four of whom are women of color, with no overlap between the two groups. Hmmm. (Of course, Rihanna is not yet eligible.) (Also, please note that Paul McCartney has been an integral part of FIFTY-SEVEN Top Ten hits.)
Here’s another fun fact for you: There have been 22 albums that ended up having five Top Ten singles on them. That includes two by Michael Jackson, 16 single albums from various artists, one compilation – and three by Janet Jackson.
The Case For Janet Jackson is simply one of the greatest hitmakers of all time. She had a Number One song in 1986 (“When I Think of You”) and a Number One song in 2001 (“All for You”). Rhythm Nation 1814 is the only album in history to have five Top Five singles.
She’s also been a huge influence, especially among female R&B singers, but well beyond that: Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Adam Levine, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift – all of them were inspired by Jackson. It would be easier to list the contemporary pop singers who weren’t influenced by Jackson, although I’m not aware of any.
The Case Against Jackson is sometimes considered a puppet under the influence of her producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and thus not a creator of her own music. While Jam and Lewis have done brilliant work with her, that should hardly overshadow her own contributions. She gets co-writing and co-producing credits on most of her hit records.
Besides, let’s look at that list up top again: Madonna always used co-writers and outside producers, Elton John never wrote a single one of his own lyrics, and Elvis Presley didn’t write songs at all. Hey, you know who else always had an outside producer to steer things along? The Beatles.
The Cool Factor She invented the two-person hand bra.
The Verdict I vote yes on Janet Jackson.