Her latest album may have been a bomb and her marriage in shambles, but Mariah Carey can at least know that she is the ultimate pop star.
At least that is the case according to Time magazine who has ranked the singer number 1 on their Ultimate Ranking of Pop Stardom. The magazine looked at every top ten list going back to 1960, assigning points for each week that a song was on the list. In the modern day phenomenon where more than one artist is listed on many songs, both of the singers are given the points for the positions. Artists chosen to analyze had proven track records in both chart performance and contemporary significance.
Carey was able to top the chart based on her longevity, scoring top ten records over 19 years, and in having significant major years. Per the Time analysis, only 19 times did an artist have a big enough year to accumulate over 300 points. Carey did it twice, in 1995 and 2005, which is also significant in the fact that it was a decade between those landmarks. Only two other artists achieved such a mark, Rihanna (2008 and 2010), who is second on the list, and 50 Cent (2003 and 2005), who is 18th, mainly because he burned bright for a couple of years but has had little success since.
The biggest year ever belongs to Usher in 2004 when four songs, Burn, Confessions Part II, My Boo and Yeah! spent a total of total of 26 weeks at number 1. The Beatles have the second best for 1964 when they had eleven top tens including six number 1's.
Elvis Presley does make the list but is much lower than many would believe he deserves; however, as Time began their analysis in 1960, the majority of Presley's big hits charted before the cutoff.
The artist with greatest longevity on the list is Cher with 34 years from her two 1965 hits with Sonny & Cher, Baby Don't Go and I Got You Babe to her huge 1999 hit Believe. Santana is in a tie for second longest with 33 years from 1970's Black Magic Woman and Evil Ways to 2003's Why Don't You and I. Also at 33 years is Barbra Streisand from 1964's People to 1997's I Finally Found Someone. The Beatles, surprisingly, are third at 31 years from their breakout year of 1964 to 1995's Free As a Bird.
It does appear that there were some editorial decisions that were made that may have denied a few significant artists a ranking on the list. Noticeably missing are the two biggest American groups, the Beach Boys and Chicago.
The top twenty:
Boys II Men
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