Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Freaky Girl” launches at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Aug. 27), marking a milestone for the rapper: It’s her first leader unaccompanied by any other artists (and her third overall).
Meanwhile, the track, which samples Rick James’ 1981 classic “Super Freak,” marks the latest notable chart achievement for one of its writers and producers – Dr. Luke – who adds his 18th Hot 100 No. 1 both as a writer and producer. He ties Mariah Carey for the fourth-most No. 1s among writers over the Hot 100’s 64-year history, while holding in third place for the most leaders among producers. Born Lukasz Gottwald, he first led the list as the producer and co-writer of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” in 2007. Before Minaj’s new No. 1, he most recently reigned (billed as a producer as Tyson Trax) via Doja Cat’s “Say So,” also featuring Minaj, in May 2020.
Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26), of The Beatles, rank first and second, respectively, for having written the most Hot 100 No. 1s, thanks to their respective group and solo outputs. Max Martin places third among writers, having penned 25 No. 1s, from Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” in 1999 through, most recently, Coldplay and BTS’ “My Universe” in October 2021.
Max Martin, meanwhile, is tied with George Martin for the most Hot 100 No. 1s among producers, each with 23. As with his writing history, the former’s No. 1 run as a producer stretches from “…Baby One More Time” through “My Universe.” The latter, notably, produced 19 of The Beatles’ 20 No. 1s. The lone Fab Four No. 1 that he didn’t produce? Their last, 1970’s “The Long and Winding Road,” on which Phil Spector took the reins. His other four leaders as a producer: America’s “Sister Golden Hair” (1975), McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s “Ebony and Ivory” (1982), McCartney and Michael Jackson’s “Say, Say, Say” (1983-84) and Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997” (1997-98).
Here is an updated look at the songwriters and producers with the most Hot 100 No. 1s all-time, through the chart dated Aug. 27, 2022 (compiled via Billboard charts department research and Fred Bronson’s invaluable The Billboard Book of Number One Hits).
Most Hot 100 No. 1s by Writers
- 32, Paul McCartney
- 26, John Lennon
- 25, Max Martin
- 18, Mariah Carey
- 18, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald
- 16, Barry Gibb
- 15, James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III
- 15, Brian Holland
- 15, Terry Lewis
- 14, Lamont Dozier
Most Hot 100 No. 1s by Producers
- 23, George Martin
- 23, Max Martin
- 18, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald
- 16, James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III
- 16, Terry Lewis
- 15, Mariah Carey
- 14, Barry Gibb
- 13, Lamont Dozier
- 13, Albhy Galuten
- 13, Brian Holland
- 13, Karl Richardson
As for other talents on the lists above, Mariah Carey‘s count climbed to 18 Hot 100 No. 1s as a writer and 15 as a producer, and 19 as an artist, thanks to her 25-years-in-the-making present received when “All I Want for Christmas Is You” reached No. 1 in December 2019. (Carey’s only No. 1 that she didn’t author? Her 1992 cover of the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.”)
Barry Gibb‘s totals include the Bee Gees‘ nine Hot 100 No. 1s, seven of which Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson also produced. Gibb, Galuten and Richardson also co-produced all three of Andy Gibb’s leaders.
Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald has co-written and co-produced all 17 of his Hot 100 No. 1s, from Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” in 2007 through Doja Cat’s “Say So,” featuring Nicki Minaj, in 2020. Of those, he co-wrote 10 and co-produced nine with Martin.
James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Lewis guided the sound of pop/R&B beginning in the ’80s, having co-written and co-produced 14 Hot 100 No. 1s, including nine recorded by Janet Jackson. They also co-produced George Michael‘s 1988 leader “Monkey” and Usher‘s 2001 topper “U Remind Me,” giving them 16 total No. 1s as producers, and co-wrote Carey’s 1996 leader “Always Be My Baby,” making for 15 No. 1s for them as writers.
Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, along with Eddie Holland (13 Hot 100 No. 1s as a writer), made their influential mark on Motown, thanks in large part to the threesome having written (and Brian Holland and Dozier having produced) the first 10 of The Supremes‘ 12 total No. 1s in the ’60s.
Also, a special mention of Steve Sholes, who, while not on the rankings above, produced 10 No. 1s by Elvis Presley on Hot 100 predecessor charts in 1956-58 and six of the King’s seven Hot 100 leaders following the survey’s inception.