Lil Wayne gives himself a colossal birthday presents when he learned he’d recently snatched beloved rocker, Elvis Presley’s longstanding record with the most Billboard Hot 100 hits. By toppling the King himself, the rap superstar stands alone for charting the most Billboard Hot 100 hits for a solo artist.
Per Billboard, the 30-year-old Wayne’s latest entry is the Game’s single, “Celebration,” in which he’s a featured artist along with Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown and Tyga, which entered the chart at No. 82. With that milestone, “Tha Black Is Hot” MC now has 109 Hot 100 songs under his belt, surpassing Presley’s mark of 108 that began with the chart’s inception in 1958.
Out of those ditties, however, it’s worth noting that Lil Wayne has only been the lead artist on 42 tracks with the remainder coming in featured appearances, while to Elvis’ enduring credit, the “Jailhouse” rocker was the lead on every one of his 108 tunes that charted.
In addition to other titles, now the self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” can lay claim to a new mantle: Bigger than Elvis.
Also, several of the latter’s classic gems, including “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender” and “All Shook Up” among others, topped the Billboard pop chart in the mid-’50s before the magazine hatched the Hot 100 in 1958, an all-in-one singles popularity standard that factored in radio airplay, retail sales and eventually digital sales and streaming activity.
The last Presley tune to crack the Hot 100 was “Rubberneckin,” used in a Paul Oakenfold remix that came in at No. 94 in 2003.
Lil Wayne has just one hit to reach No. 1 in which he’s the lead artist — “Lollipop,” though that fact doesn’t take away from his musical achievement.
Notably, Presley’s career, and some of his signature hits, like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog,” predated the Hot 100. As Presley placed a hefty 31 titles on pre-Hot 100 Billboard airplay/sales/jukebox charts between just 1956 and summer 1958, according to Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles” reference book, he likely would’ve sent approximately that many more songs onto the Hot 100 had it existed when he arrived.
Presley might easily have sealed the crown forever had some of his biggest hits not been released before the Hot 100 chart was established. According to Billboard, Elvis had 31 songs on the pre-Hot 100 chart between 1956 and 1958, including such smashes as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog.”
Presley’s reign lasted from the time the Hot 100 was established on August 4, 1958 through October 4, 2003, while Wayne managed to pass the king’s total over 13 years and three months, with his first charting song hitting the week of July 10, 1999, when he was just 18. The recogniation of Wayne’s new high-water mark comes on the rapper’s 30th birthday, which he is celebrating today. The only other contemporary artist on the list is Jay-Z, who clocked in at #8 with 71 charting singles.