In this Motown 60 anniversary year, it’s time to celebrate the company’s biggest hits: the records which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the longest runs during the storied history of Hitsville U.S.A. They are ranked according to the number of weeks spent at the chart peak, with ties broken by weeks in the Top 10.

“Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes was Motown Records’ first Number One on the Hot 100, but it was only there for one week. The ten Number One singles listed below spent between 14 and 4 weeks at the top. Boyz II Men, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie have eight of the chart-toppers between them, with Diana’s triumphs spread among her recordings with the Supremes, Lionel and on her own.

The number of records which reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and how long they spent there, has varied considerably over the years. When the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” ruled, it was one of 21 singles to do so in 1970. When Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You” triumphed, it was one of nine records which reached Number One in 1994.


Things you need to know. This time: the biggest #1 hits

(ranked by weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100*)

  • “I’ll Make Love To You,” BOYZ II MEN (14) 1994
  • “End Of The Road,” BOYZ II MEN (13) 1992
  • “Endless Love,” DIANA ROSS & LIONEL RICHIE (9) 1981
  • “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” MARVIN GAYE (7) 1968-69
  • “On Bended Knee,” BOYZ II MEN (6) 1994
  • “I’ll Be There,” THE JACKSON 5 (5) 1970
  • “Upside Down,” DIANA ROSS (4) 1980
  • “All Night Long (All Night),” LIONEL RICHIE (4) 1983
  • “Say You, Say Me,” LIONEL RICHIE (4) 1985-86
  • “Baby Love,” THE SUPREMES (4) 1964

*Ties broken by weeks in Top 10



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