Billboard Celebrates 1000 #1s, including Mariah's 18!
Mariah Carey. Boyz II Men. Hip-hop. 'Candle in the Wind.'
The bump of hip-hop and thrash of grunge may dominate our sonic memory of the '90s, yet the hits that bookended the decade were soaked in smooth. [...] While the album charts heralded the rise of "alternative" through hip-hop's spreading popularity and rock's rediscovered grit, the singles chart walked a different beat. Among the No. 1s, there was no Nirvana, no Dr. Dre or Snoop Dogg, no Pearl Jam, no Wu-Tang Clan. There was, however, Mariah Carey. Lots and lots of Mariah Carey.It's only fitting that the decade's undisputed hitmaker would also be the first legitimately new star of the '90s. Holdovers from the '80s dominated the first half of 1990. Then, in early August, Carey began a four-week run with "Vision of Love," the first of a record 14 No. 1s for the decade, including "One Sweet Day," her holiday season collaboration with Boyz II Men in 1995. "Day" spent 16 weeks at No. 1 and the two acts' dual success seemed apropos; during the '90s, nearly one of every six weeks saw either artist with the top single.
Their success was a stunning sign of how far R&B had come since the relative dol-drums of the '80s.
By decade's end, some familiar faces still held on. There was Carey, of course, with Jay-Z riding shotgun on her late-1999 single "Heartbreaker".