Born To Make History

Dave Iannacone

Love her or hate her, there is little denying that Lady Gaga’s new single “Born This Way” was one of the most talked about and anticipated releases of 2011 thus far. Pretty much as soon as the song was released, the buzz grew exponentially thanks to its too-close-for-comfort similarities with Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” questionable lyrics and an almost instantaneous battle against Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me.” In addition, a show-stopping Grammy performance only added to the attention it was getting. Needless to say, “Born This Way” became an instant hit, and a massive one at that.

Aside from the fact that the song made history by selling a million copies on iTunes in only five days, and even aside from becoming the nineteenth song in history to debut at number one, the song made some pretty serious history by becoming the one thousandth number one single in the Billboard Hot 100. Ironically, in the same week, the cast of Glee broke Elvis Presley’s record for most appearances on the chart (despite only having two top-10 singles,) making this a pretty epic week in music history.

Since the chart’s inception in 1958 when Ricky Nelsons’ “Poor Little Fool” became the first number one single, over fifty years worth of songs have reached the summit. Number 1,000 could not have come in a more epic fashion. Of the other 998 singles, the Beatles hold the record for most number ones singles with 20, followed by Mariah Carey with 18. The cast of Glee holds the record for most chart appearances (currently 113) followed by Elvis with 108. Elvis also holds the record for most top-40 hits (104), but Madonna edged him out by only one song for most top-10 hits (37).

Despite all of the controversy, mixed reactions, and what many consider to be over-hype, the message of “Born This Way” is one we can all get into. Lady Gaga is currently one of the biggest pop stars in the world (if the not the biggest) and she worked for this hit. Lady Gaga is still very early in her career, and she is far from breaking many records (although she is on track to,) but she is already in the history books as the artist who had the one thousandth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and that’s an accomplishment that will never be taken away from her.