Justin Timberlake Hits Number 1 Twenty Years After His Debut, A Rarity In Today's Music World

by VVN Music

This week, Justin Timberlake is at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Can't Stop the Feeling!, the first time a veteran artist has topped that chart since Santana in 2000.

We started wondering just how rare it was for an artist at least twenty years into his recording career to reach the number one spot.

Timberlake's first record, with the group N'SYNC, was the 1996 hit I Want You Back, making this his twentieth year as a recording artist. No artist had achieved that status since Santana, who did it in 2000 with Maria Maria.

Prior to Santana, though, it was a regular occurrence. Artists like Cher, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Steve Winwood and many more hit the top of the charts well after their twenty year anniversary in recording. What that says is that, since the beginning of the 2000's, the world of music has changed where the efforts of older artists are not values or receiving the airplay and promotion necessary for them to continue to have hit records. Only the latest and greatest have any chance of a major hit with the older artists relegated to occasional hit albums and the touring circuit.

Overall, 38 number 1 hits came from artists that, at the time they hit the top of the charts, had been recording for at least twenty years. While Timberlake is on the short end of that scale, Cher (34) holds the record, hitting number 1 in 1999 with Believe, 34 years after the release of her first recording.

Here is our list of the records that hit number 1 by artists who had been recording for twenty years or more at the time the release became a chart topper:
  • 2016 - Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake (first release in 1996)
  • 2000 - Maria Maria - Santana Featuring The Product G&B (1969)
  • 1999 - Smooth - Santana Featuring Rob Thomas (1969)
  • 1999 - Believe - Cher (1965)
  • 1998 - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith (1973)
  • 1995 - You Are Not Alone - Michael Jackson (1969)
  • 1994 - All For Love - Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Sting (1964)
  • 1991 - Black or White - Michael Jackson (1969)
  • 1989 - Another Day in Paradise - Phil Collins (1969)
  • 1989 - We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel (1965)
  • 1989 - The Living Years - Mike + the Mechanics (1968)
  • 1989 - Two Hearts - Phil Collins (1969)
  • 1988 - Kokomo - Beach Boys (1961)
  • 1988 - Roll With It - Steve Winwood (1964)
  • 1988 - Got My Mind Set On You - George Harrison (1961)
  • 1987 - (I've Had) The Time of My Life - Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (1963)
  • 1987 - Shakedown - Bob Seger (1961)
  • 1987 - I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) - Aretha Franklin and George Michael (1956)
  • 1987 - At This Moment - Billy Vera (1967)
  • 1986 - Higher Love - Steve Winwood (1964)
  • 1986 - On My Own - Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald (1962)
  • 1986 - Sara - Starship (1966 as Jefferson Airplane)
  • 1986 - That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick (1962), Gladys Knight (1958), Elton John, Stevie Wonder (1962)
  • 1985 - Part Time Love - Stevie Wonder (1962)
  • 1984 - I Just Called to Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder (1962)
  • 1984 - What's Love Got to Do With It - Tina Turner (1961)
  • 1983 - Say Say Say - Paul McCartney (1961) & Michael Jackson
  • 1983 - Islands in the Stream - Kenny Rogers (1958) & Dolly Parton (1959)
  • 1982 - Ebony & Ivory - Paul McCartney (1961) & Stevie Wonder (1962)
  • 1981 - Endless Love - Diana Ross (1960) & Lionel Richie
  • 1981 - 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton (1959)
  • 1980 - Lady - Kenny Rogers (1958)
  • 1980 - Upside Down - Diana Ross (1960)
  • 1972 - The Candy Man - Sammy Davis, Jr. (1950)
  • 1967 - Something Stupid - Frank Sinatra (1939) & Nancy Sinatra
  • 1966 - Strangers in the Night - Frank Sinatra (1939)
  • 1964 - Hello Dolly - Louis Armstrong (1923)
  • 1961 - Calcutta - Lawrence Welk (1928)



1 comment

Jack Suslak said...

Elton John also 1997 with Candle

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