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8 Surprising Music Acts That Never Had a No. 1 Single

These artists may have been able to sell out stadiums but they haven’t hit No.1 on the charts!

The Billboard Hot 100 chart has been keeping track of the top songs in the U.S. since 1958, monitoring music sales, radio play and online streaming. While some artists have achieved major success in all three categories, thus shooting to the top of the charts, other artists have found fame in other ways.

Artists like One Direction sold out massive concert venues, had impressive merchandise sales and a huge online following, but never hit the top of the US Hot 100 over the span of their career.

Other musicians like the Backstreet Boys and Green Day topped other Billboard charts but never found themselves in the No. 1 spot of the Hot 100.

No matter where they landed on the charts, it’s clear that these artists have accumulated millions of fans and significant success.

Find out which surprising musicians have never hit No. 1 on the Hot 100.

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1. One Direction

Despite their worldwide success and millions of adoring fans, One Direction never made it to No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The closest the group got was their single “Best Song Ever,” which debuted at No. 2 as well as “What Makes You Beautiful,” which made it to No. 4, and “Live While We’re Young,” which peaked at No. 3. However, they have topped the UK charts.

2. Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys have sold millions of albums and sold out shows around the world but haven’t hit No 1. on the Hot 100. Though they haven’t achieved this milestone, they have hit the top of the Billboard 200 for their albums “DNA,” “Millenium” and “Black & Blue.”

3. David Guetta

David Guetta has worked with some of the most famous musicians in the world but their collabs have yet to top the Hot 100. Some of his songs have gotten pretty close with “Turn Me On” and “Without You” reaching No. 4 and “Sexy Chick” hitting no. 5.

4. Green Day

Green Day has topped the Alternative chart numerous times, but they’ve yet to reach no. 1 on the Hot 100. The highest position the group has reached is “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” at the No. 2 spot.

5. Beastie Boys

While the Beastie Boys have never topped the Hot 100, they’ve certainly had their fair share of success on the charts with four of their albums reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

“Licensed to Ill,” “Ill Communication,” “Hello Nasty” and “To The 5 Boroughs” have all hit the top of the chart.

6. Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen has almost a dozen Hot 100 hits but none of them have ever reached No. 1. Bruce came close with his hit “Dancing in the Dark,” which spent several weeks in the No. 2 position and even went platinum.

7. Bob Marley

While Bob Marley is arguably the most iconic reggae artist, his songs never hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart. In fact, his highest charting song “Roots, Rock, Reggae,” only hit the No. 51 spot.

8. Nirvana

Surprisingly, Nirvana has never taken the top spot on the Hot 100 chart, despite selling millions of albums around the world. Their highest charting song was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which reached No. 6. While the band’s singles didn’t hit No. 1, their albums “Nevermind” and “In Utero” topped the Billboard 200.


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