On May 7, Billboard announced that John Legend’s 2014 single “All of Me” had ousted Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” from the top slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Legend’s recent achievement marks his first No. 1 single on the Hot 100 chart—a big milestone for any artist.
The Billboard Hot 100 has been around since 1958 and its current version primarily calculates a song’s popularity by radio airplay, sales, and, most recently, streaming data from sites like YouTube. Although plenty of musicians have easily taken the top slot many times (most notably The Beatles, Elvis, Mariah Carey, and Michael Jackson), there are quite a few groups that surprisingly have never had a single peak at No. 1. Read on to see which touring acts have yet to secure this coveted distinction.
With its first album in 2011, One Direction made Billboard history as the first U.K. band whose debut came in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band’s two subsequent albums also debuted at No. 1, and One Direction is preparing to promote its latest work with a huge North American stadium tour beginning this August. Despite the band’s undeniable success in the U.S., none of One Direction’s singles have made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100; their closest effort was 2013’s “Best Song Ever,” which peaked at No. 2.
Dave Matthews Band
Arguably one of the most popular touring acts in the U.S., Dave Matthews Band has amassed a huge following since its 1994 debut. Like One Direction, the group has earned a host of No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200—including its last six consecutive releases—but no single has launched to the top of the Hot 100. The 2005 track “American Baby” peaked at 16 and remains the band’s only single to sell more than 500,000 units.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have produced some of the most memorable rock songs of all time—“Born in the U.S.A.,” “Glory Days,” and “Born to Run,” just to name a few—but none of their tracks ever tipped to the top of the chart. “Dancing in the Dark” came in close at the No. 2 slot; it’s also the band’s only single to earn Platinum certification.
In April, KISS finally earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the legendary group has never taken the top slot on the Hot 100 or the Billboard 200. KISS earned two No. 1 tracks in Canada, but its best showing on the Billboard Hot 100 was the 1976 power ballad “Beth,” which peaked at No. 7.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
Few groups have been able to match the vocal harmonies of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and although the trio continues to impress audiences today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame outfit only broke into the Hot 100’s top 10 twice—in 1977, “Just a Song Before I Go” went to No. 7, and five years later, “Wasted on the Way” came in at No. 9.
In July, Mötley Crüe will be embarking on its farewell tour, and as the band takes leave of its fans, it will also be saying goodbye to the chance of earning a No. 1 single. The heavy rock outfit did reach the top of the album charts with 1989’s Dr. Feelgood, but the title track only reached No. 6 on the Hot 100.
With more than 25 studio albums and thousands of Parrothead fans around the world, Jimmy Buffett has never stopped being a major presence on the touring circuit—especially in the summertime. Despite that devotion to his laid-back lifestyle, only one of Buffett’s songs broke into the top 10. His best-known track, “Margaritaville,” reached No. 8 when it was released in 1977.
Some of the most popular classic rock songs—“Any Way You Want It,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and “Faithfully”—come from the Journey discography, but the beloved band was only ever able to reach the second slot on the Hot 100 with the 1982 ballad “Open Arms.” Today, Arnel Pineda carries on Steve Perry’s legacy, acting as lead singer on these hits when the band performs live.