Motown's Most Notable No. 1's

By Tristin Marshall

Motown has been supplying No. 1 singles and albums to Young America since the 1960s. Across the Urban music board, Motown still continues to generate the sound that resonate with their audiences. Between soulful singles by The Temptations, Soul Train hits by Stevie Wonder, and modern-day soul music by Kevin Ross, Motown has charted hits across urban, pop, and dance music for decades.

Diana Ross and The Supremes scored three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 between 1966-1969. ‘Diana Ross And The Supremes Greatest Hits,’ ‘The Supremes A’ Go-Go,’ and ‘TCB’ all proved to be big hits for Motown in its early days and continue to carry the legacy of the label.

In 1970, The Jackson 5’s debut single on Motown “I Want You Back” went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, along with “I’ll Be There” and “ABC” that same year.

Rick James’ smash single “Super Freak” disrupted the conservative sound of soul music, but the risk yielded an even greater reward for Motown. The song charted at No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1981.

R&B quartet Boyz II Men brought the 90’s many classic singles and No. 1 albums. The group hit No. 1 twice in the mid-90’s with the album ‘II’ and ‘Evolution,’ released in 1994 and 1997 respectively. The group also had five No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during this time, including “I’ll Make Love To You,” “End of the Road,” and “On Bended Knee.”

Erykah Badu’s early-aughts hit “Bag Lady” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. In 2017, Motown saw yet another success on the charts when Kevin Ross’ single “Long Song Away” went No. 1 on the Adult R&B charts.

At the end of 2017, Migos member Quavo and rapper Travis Scott released their highly-anticipated collaboration ‘Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho,’ which also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap chart. Quality Control Music’s soundtrack ‘Control The Streets, Vol. 1’ also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop chart at the end of the year.

At the top of 2018, Migos released their sophomore album ‘Culture II,’ which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200.

As Motown is on the heels of entering its 60th year, it’s hard not to celebrate the accolades that have come to the label since its inception. As the label and legacy continues, Motown will continue to produce No. 1 hits for the new sound of Young America.

Keep up with Motown

Ooops, no player here yet!