Drake Ties Michael Jackson for Most No. 1 Billboard Songs. Is The Tie Truly Equal?

Written By Chris Samuel

The Boy Ties The King?

Drake has reached yet another incredible milestone in his illustrious career. The rap superstar is now tied to the late music icon Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 songs by a male solo artist. However, this new milestone raises the question–is it truly equal?

Drake, Michael Jackson
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Drake & J. Cole Hit No. 1

Drake has achieved yet another historic milestone by tying with the late music icon Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 songs for a male solo artist. Drizzy’s latest No.1 song is “First Person Shooter,” featuring J. Cole. The chart-topping song is from his latest album, For All The Dogs, and marks J. Cole’s first No. 1 song ever. 

Users on Twitter (X) reacted to the new feat. One user said, “HE IS THE GOAT.” Other users expressed that Drizzy’s accomplishments don’t equate to the success and legacy of Jackson.

One user commented “Nobody, i repeat Nobody can replicate Michael Jackson impact on music. One other user commented “It’s not a fair comparison cos if Michael was here drake will never catch up! But that’s impressive regardless.”

True Or False?

However, some argue that despite his accomplishments, Drake’s success cannot be equated to the impact and legacy of the legendary Michael Jackson.

While the Toronto native and Jackson are among the best-selling artists of all time, their careers have spanned different eras, resulting in variations in sales and streaming. Jackson, known for his iconic songs like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” attained most of his No. 1 hits in the 1980s and became the first artist to have a top-ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades. 

His songs dominate streaming platforms, with “Billie Jean” having 1.5 billion streams on Spotify, and “Beat It” accumulating 975 million streams. The late pop icon’s physical album sales heavily contributed to his success.

The Streaming Era Vs. Physical Copies

In contrast, Drake has capitalized on the rise of streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify, significantly influencing how music is consumed. His highest-selling song, “God’s Plan,” has amassed over two billion streams and achieved 15 times platinum status. 

The “Search & Rescue” rapper’s latest album, For All The Dogs has also made history, with all songs entering the chart. He holds numerous records, including top-five hits, top 10s, top 20 entries, top 40 hits, and overall charted titles. 

Additionally, Drake became the first artist to tally at least 300 total entries on the Hot 100. While streaming numbers are impressive, critics argue that the disparity in sales methods makes it challenging to compare Drake’s achievements to those of MJ. 

In today’s streaming era, it would take 150 listens to a Drake song to match one physical sale of a Jackson song. These differences in sales models contribute to the debate surrounding the equality of Drake and Jackson’s record-breaking accomplishments.

Milestone After Milestone

Another accomplishment Drake reached was becoming the first artist to ever surpass 75 billion streams on Spotify in February 2023. To acknowledge the feat, he put on Instagram that he should get a “LeBron-sized check” for the historic amount of streams. 

The “Hotline Bling” rapper also made history by tying rap legend Jay-Z with the most #1 albums on the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B chart. Both rappers held the tie at 14 albums each after the release of Drake’s 2022 joint album with 21 Savage, Her Loss.

The Weeknd’s Recent Tour Potentially Surpasses MJ’s ‘Bad’ Tour

In a similar vein, another artist who recently broke a record once held by Michael Jackson is R&B/pop singer The Weeknd. The Canadian singer achieved the title of the highest-grossing tour ever by a Black artist, potentially surpassing the previous record set by Jackson’s Bad Tour.

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Written by Chris Samuel

Chris Samuel is a North Carolina native who has a passion for writing but is also a big history buff and is a sports reporter in the side. Chris is an avid hip-hop fan whose favorite artists include J. Cole, JID, Larry June, Griselda, Freddie Gibbs, NaS, Joey Bada$$ and also Old School R&B.

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