List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

This is a list of all those musicians who made #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, as defined in Joel Whitburn's "Top R&B Singles" (ISBN 0-89820-115-2).

The chart was officially titled as follows :-

Oct 1942 - Feb 1945 The Harlem Hit Parade
Feb 1945 - Jun 1949 Race Records
Jun 1949 - Oct 1958 Rhythm & Blues Records
Oct 1958 - Nov 1963 Hot R&B Sides
Nov 1963 - Jan 1965 No chart published
Jan 1965 - Aug 1969 Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles
Aug 1969 - Jul 1973 Best Selling Soul Singles
Jul 1973 - Jun 1982 Hot Soul Singles
Jun 1982 - Oct 1990 Hot Black Singles
Oct 1990 - Hot R&B Singles

Lists are alphabetical by year.
NOTE : Annual totals may not sum to 52 weeks because :-

  1. sometimes the #1 place was shared
  2. totals are counted from the start of the stay at #1 - for example, a hit which reached #1 in November 1945 and stayed there 11 weeks is included in the 1945 list but not 1946.

As well as the R&B best sellers (BS) chart, between 1948-1957 there was also an R&B juke box (JB) chart, and from 1955-58 there was an R&B airplay (JY - jockeys) chart. These charts were consolidated into one in October 1958. Years at #1 on these different charts are listed where appropriate.

Contents

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

  • Ella Fitzgerald (with Louis Jordan) (5 weeks)
  • Lionel Hampton (16 weeks)
  • The Ink Spots (3 weeks)
  • Louis Jordan (35 weeks, inc. 5 weeks with Ella Fitzgerald)

1947

1948

1949

1950

  • Roy Brown (3 weeks BS)
  • Ruth Brown (11 weeks BS, 7 weeks JB)
  • Nat "King" Cole (4 weeks JB)
  • Lowell Fulson (1 week BS, 4 weeks JB)
  • Ivory Joe Hunter (2 weeks BS, 7 weeks JB)
  • Louis Jordan (7 weeks BS, 4 weeks JB)
  • Joe Liggins (11 weeks BS, 13 weeks JB)
  • Percy Mayfield (2 weeks BS, 1 week JB)
  • Joe Morris (4 weeks BS, 3 weeks JB)
  • Johnny Otis and Little Esther (13 weeks BS, 10 weeks JB) (9 weeks BS / 5 weeks JB with The Robins, 4 weeks BS / 5 weeks JB with Mel Walker)

1951

1952

1953

1954

  • Faye Adams (6 weeks BS, 5 weeks JB)
  • Ruth Brown (5 weeks BS, 9 weeks JB)
  • The Charms (9 weeks BS, 2 weeks JB, 2 weeks JY)
  • Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters (8 weeks BS, 8 weeks JB)
  • Guitar Slim (6 weeks BS, 14 weeks JB)
  • Roy Hamilton (8 weeks BS, 5 weeks JB)
  • B.B. King (2 weeks JB)
  • The Midnighters (9 weeks BS, 4 weeks JB)
  • Big Joe Turner (3 weeks JB)

1955

  • Johnny Ace (9 weeks BS, 9 weeks JB, 10 weeks JY)
  • Chuck Berry (9 weeks BS, 11 weeks JB, 9 weeks JY)
  • Ray Charles (1 week JB, 1 week JY)
  • Bo Diddley (2 weeks JB)
  • Fats Domino (11 weeks BS, 8 weeks JB, 10 weeks JY)
  • The Drifters (1 week JB)
  • Roy Hamilton (3 weeks BS)
  • Al Hibbler (1 week JB)
  • Etta James (4 weeks JY)
  • Little Walter ( 4 weeks BS, 5 weeks JB, 2 weeks JY)
  • Jay McShann (3 weeks BS, 2 weeks JB, 2 weeks JY)
  • The Moonglows (2 weeks JB, 1 week JY)
  • The Penguins (3 weeks BS, 3 weeks JB, 1 week JY)
  • The Platters (7 weeks BS, 6 weeks JB, 5 weeks JY)

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960

  • Hank Ballard and The Midnighters (3 weeks)
  • Brook Benton (23 weeks, inc. 14 weeks with Dinah Washington)
  • Bill Black (8 weeks)
  • Buster Brown (1 week)
  • Jerry Butler (7 weeks)
  • The Drifters (1 week)
  • The Everly Brothers (1 week)
  • Bobby Marchan (1 week)
  • Dinah Washington (15 weeks, inc. 14 weeks with Brook Benton)
  • Jackie Wilson (7 weeks)

1961

1962

1963

1964

NOTE: No R&B charts were published between November 1963 and January 1965. The following R&B artists (as assessed by Joel Whitburn) had #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart during that period :

1965

1966

  • James Brown (2 weeks)
  • Ray Charles (1 week)
  • Eddie Floyd (1 week)
  • The Four Tops (2 weeks)
  • Slim Harpo (2 weeks)
  • Wilson Pickett (8 weeks)
  • Lou Rawls (1 week)
  • Sam & Dave (1 week)
  • Percy Sledge (4 weeks)
  • The Supremes (6 weeks)
  • The Temptations (16 weeks)
  • Joe Tex (1 week)
  • Stevie Wonder (6 weeks)

1967

1968

1969

1970

  • Brook Benton (1 week)
  • James Brown (2 weeks)
  • Tyrone Davis (2 weeks)
  • Aretha Franklin (5 weeks)
  • The Jackson Five (20 weeks)
  • The Moments (5 weeks)
  • Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (3 weeks)
  • Diana Ross (1 week)
  • Sly & The Family Stone (5 weeks)
  • The Supremes (1 week)
  • Stevie Wonder (6 weeks)

1971

1972

1973

  • Aretha Franklin (2 weeks)
  • Marvin Gaye (6 weeks)
  • The Independents (1 week)
  • Eddie Kendricks (2 weeks)
  • Gladys Knight & The Pips (8 weeks)
  • Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (2 weeks)
  • The Ohio Players (1 week)
  • The O'Jays (4 weeks)
  • Billy Preston (1 week)
  • The Spinners (5 weeks)
  • The Staple Singers (3 weeks)
  • Sylvia (2 weeks)
  • Johnnie Taylor (2 weeks)
  • The Temptations (2 weeks)
  • Timmy Thomas (2 weeks)
  • Fred Wesley & The J.B.s (2 weeks)
  • Barry White (2 weeks)
  • Stevie Wonder (6 weeks)

1974

1975

1976

1977

  • William Bell (1 week)
  • The Brothers Johnson (1 week)
  • Natalie Cole (5 weeks)
  • The Commodores (1 week)
  • Earth, Wind & Fire (7 weeks)
  • The Emotions (4 weeks)
  • The Floaters (6 weeks)
  • Aretha Franklin (1 week)
  • Marvin Gaye (5 weeks)
  • Thelma Houston (1 week)
  • The Isley Brothers (1 week)
  • K.C. & The Sunshine Band (1 week)
  • L.T.D. (2 weeks)
  • The O'Jays (1 week)
  • Rufus featuring Chaka Khan (2 weeks)
  • Slave (1 week)
  • Tavares (1 week)
  • Barry White (5 weeks)
  • Stevie Wonder (6 weeks)

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

  • George Clinton (4 weeks)
  • DeBarge (5 weeks)
  • Aretha Franklin (2 weeks)
  • The Gap Band (1 week)
  • Michael Jackson (13 weeks, inc. 3 weeks with Paul McCartney)
  • Rick James (6 weeks)
  • Gladys Knight & The Pips (1 week)
  • Mtume (8 weeks)
  • New Edition (1 week)
  • Lionel Richie (7 weeks)
  • Rufus and Chaka Khan (1 week)
  • Donna Summer (3 weeks)

1984

  • Ashford & Simpson (3 weeks)
  • Cameo (4 weeks)
  • Chaka Khan (3 weeks)
  • Kool & The Gang (2 weeks)
  • Patti LaBelle (4 weeks)
  • Cheryl Lynn (1 week)
  • Midnight Star (5 weeks)
  • New Edition (1 week)
  • O'Bryan (1 week)
  • Billy Ocean (4 weeks)
  • Ray Parker Jr. (2 weeks)
  • Prince (9 weeks)
  • Lionel Richie (3 weeks)
  • Rockwell (5 weeks)
  • Deniece Williams (3 weeks)
  • Stevie Wonder (3 weeks)
  • Yarbrough & Peoples (1 week)

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

  • Atlantic Starr (1 week)
  • Babyface (2 weeks)
  • Anita Baker (1 week)
  • Regina Belle (1 week)
  • Chuckii Booker (1 week)
  • The Boys (1 week)
  • Bobby Brown (2 weeks)
  • Peabo Bryson (1 week)
  • Natalie Cole (1 week)
  • De La Soul (1 week)
  • Roberta Flack (1 week)
  • Eric Gable (1 week)
  • The Gap Band (2 weeks)
  • Miki Howard (1 week)
  • Janet Jackson (2 weeks)
  • Jermaine Jackson (1 week)
  • Levert (1 week)
  • Maze feat. Frankie Beverly (2 weeks)
  • Stephanie Mills (2 weeks)
  • New Edition (2 weeks)
  • The O'Jays (2 weeks)
  • Prince (1 week)
  • Teddy Riley feat. Guy (1 week)
  • Skyy (2 weeks)
  • Soul II Soul (3 weeks)
  • Surface (5 weeks)
  • Today (1 week)
  • Luther Vandross (2 weeks)
  • Jody Watley (1 week)
  • Karyn White (5 weeks)
  • Vanessa Williams (2 weeks)

1990

1991

1992

  • Al B. Sure! (1 week)
  • Mariah Carey (3 weeks)
  • Arrested Development (1 week)
  • Mary J. Blige (3 weeks)
  • Chuckii Booker (1 week)
  • Boyz II Men (5 weeks)
  • Bobby Brown (2 weeks)
  • Tevin Campbell (2 weeks)
  • En Vogue (3 weeks)
  • Aaron Hall (2 weeks)
  • Whitney Houston (11 weeks)
  • Miki Howard (1 week)
  • Michael Jackson (3 weeks)
  • Jodeci (4 weeks)
  • Glenn Jones (1 week)
  • R. Kelly and Public Announcement (3 weeks)
  • Gerald Levert (1 week)
  • Lo-Key? (1 week)
  • Prince (1 week)
  • Lionel Richie (1 week)
  • Lisa Stansfield (1 week)
  • Keith Sweat (2 weeks)
  • TLC (2 weeks)
  • Troop (1 week)
  • Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson with BBD and Ralph Tresvant (1 week)
  • Vanessa Williams (3 weeks)

1993

Campbell*Tevin (3 weeks)

1994

  • Aaliyah (3 weeks)
  • Mariah Carey (2 weeks)
  • Boyz II Men (9 weeks)
  • Brandy (4 weeks)
  • Janet Jackson (10 weeks)
  • Jodeci (4 weeks)
  • R. Kelly (12 weeks)
  • TLC (9 weeks)
  • Barry White (3 weeks)
  • Xscape (2 weeks)

1995

1996

  • Monica (2 weeks)
  • Mary J. Blige (5 weeks)
  • R. Kelly (15 weeks inc. 1 with Ronald Isley)
  • SWV (1 week)
  • Mariah Carey (1 week)
  • Bone Thugs N Harmony (7 weeks)
  • Toni Braxton (2 weeks)
  • 2Pac (3 weeks)
  • K-Ci and JoJo (3 weeks with 2Pac)
  • Roger Troutman (3 weeks with 2Pac)
  • Keith Sweat (6 weeks inc. 3 with Athena Cage)
  • New Edition (3 weeks)
  • Aaliyah (2 weeks)
  • Az Yet (1 week)
  • Blackstreet (4 weeks)
  • Dr. Dre (4 weeks with Blackstreet)
  • Ginuwine (2 weeks)

1997




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