The Queen of Pop Makes Music History Again

The Queen of Pop Makes Music History Again

Madonna makes Billboard chart history, as she earns her 44th No. 1 on Dance Club Songs, where “Living for Love” lifts 2-1. (The ranking, dated March 7, will refresh on Billboard.com on Thursday, Feb. 26.)

With the coronation, Madonna equals George Strait, who’s logged 44 No. 1s on Hot Country Songs, for the most leaders ever by an act on a singular Billboard chart.

It’s fitting history for the artists also known, respectively, and reverently, as the Queen of Pop and the King of Country.

With her 44th leading title on Dance Club Songs, which measures reports submitted by a national sample of club DJs, Madonna pulls further ahead of runners-up Beyonce and Rihanna. In fact, Madonna has tallied as many No. 1s as they have combined: 22 each. (The chart launched as a national survey in the Billboard issue dated Aug. 28, 1976.)

Madonna, who performed “Love” at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, matches Strait’s esteemed honor, with the latter icon having stood at the Hot Country Songs summit with 44 smashes between 1982 and 2009. He first reigned with “Fool Hearted Memory” (Aug. 28, 1982) and most recently ruled with “River of Love” (April 18, 2009.)

“Love” introduces Madonna’s 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, due March 10.

“The reason I wanted to call the record Rebel Heart was because I felt like it explored two very distinct sides of my personality,” Madonna told Billboard‘s Keith Caulfield in December. “The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me.”

Specifically of the house music-infused “Love,” the ever-youthful Material Girl similarly said, “It’s kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed in together.”

Looking ahead, all Madonna needs is one more leader, perhaps also from Rebel Heart, to pass Strait and claim vaunted chart history — 45 No. 1s on one ranking — all to herself.

For now, at least, Madonna and Strait make for unparalleled Billboard chart royalty.

Further, the ascension to No. 1 for “Living for Love” brings Madonna’s total of No. 1s on published, currents-based Billboard music charts to 173. (That number includes multiple No. 1 rankings for individual songs. For example, “Take a Bow” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary, Radio Songs and Pop Songs. So, it adds four No. 1s to her overall tally.)

See more of Madonna’s music titles that spent multiple weeks at No. 1