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Apr 04 2013
Last Heard: How Long It's Been Since These Icons Went Top 40 Comments (9)

Hit-artists

What follows is a list of 125+ household-name artists grouped by the last years in which they appeared on a single that hit the Top 40 of Billboard's “Hot 100” chart in the U.S.

As a recovering teen chart nut, I find this stuff fascinating. It speaks to their relevance as artists in some cases, but speaks to the relevance of having a “hit single” in cases where the artists are clearly still quite successful by other measures.

Most of all, it's just wow-inducing to see how long it's been for some of these artists, who have sold millions and millions of records in their storied careers. It's also interesting seeing the groups of artists who enjoyed their last Top 40 success in the same year.

Finally: This is updated as of March 31, 2020. However, that means some of my original 125 have died. The concept of the list is to choose living artists. Rather than add more and delete the dearly departed, I am indicating who has died. Also, I'm confused about J.Lo and Shakira; I'm sure they had Top 40 entries with old songs (as Mariah did) recently, post-Super Bowl, but not sure which ones would have been last.

(Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on any; it's hard juggling artists' singles, featured appearances, etc.)

Enjoy...

Never in the Top 40

Andrea Bocelli

Debbie Harry (as solo artist)

Courtney Love (solo or with Hole)

Marilyn Manson

Liza Minnelli

**********

1964

Connie Francis

**********

1967

Lesley Gore — died 2015

**********

1971

Van Morrison

**********

1977

Lynyrd Skynyrd

**********

1978

Patti Smith

**********

1979

Bob Dylan

Gloria Gaynor

**********

1980

Carole King

Wayne Newton

Pink Floyd

Neil Sedaka

**********

1981

James Taylor

**********

1982

Blondie

Rush

The Who

**********

1983

Paul Anka

Neil Diamond

**********

1984

The Go-Go's

Julio Iglesias

Barry Manilow

Willie Nelson

**********

1985

Kate Bush

Olivia Newton-John

Diana Ross

**********

1986

Jackson Browne

Dire Straits

The Pointer Sisters

Paul Simon

The Talking Heads

**********

1987

David Bowie — died 2016; hit #40 with a song the week after this death

Dionne Warwick

Stevie Wonder

**********

1988

Pat Benatar

Foreigner

Glenn Frey

Joni Mitchell

Pet Shop Boys

Robert Plant

**********

1989

The Bangles

Elvis Costello

Al Green

Cyndi Lauper

Paul McCartney

Stevie Nicks

The Rolling Stones

**********

1990

Belinda Carlisle

Hall & Oates

Kiss

Bette Midler

**********

1991

Roberta Flack

Huey Lewis & the News

**********

1992

The Cure

Boy George

Peter Gabriel

Don Henley

k.d. lang

Ozzy Osbourne

Sade

**********

1993

Duran Duran

Billy Joel

New Order

Tina Turner 

**********

1994

Beck

R.E.M.

Tom Petty — died 2017

**********

1995

Annie Lennox

Meat Loaf

Van Halen

Neil Young*

*Young played on a Pearl Jam hit in 1995, but received no chart credit. Prior to this, his most recent Top 40 hit was in 1972.

**********

1996

Bryan Adams

George Michael — died 2016

Journey

Lionel Richie

**********

1997

Depeche Mode

Bruce Springsteen

**********

1998

Cher

Aretha Franklin — died 2018

Oasis

Prince — died 2016

Spice Girls

Rod Stewart

**********

1999

Garth Brooks

Phil Collins

Gloria Estefan

Kenny G

Garbage

Ice Cube

Elton John

Kenny Rogers — died 2020

**********

2000

Eric Clapton

**********

2001

Aerosmith

Enya

Ricky Martin

**********

2002

Alanis Morisette

*NSYNC

**********

2003

Jewel

Shania Twain

**********

2005

Backstreet Boys

Nine Inch Nails

Dolly Parton

U2

**********

2007

Bon Jovi

Santana

**********

2008

Sheryl Crow

Guns 'N Roses

Metallica

New Kids on the Block 

**********

2009

Green Day

Dave Matthews Band 

**********

2010

Céline Dion* (2002)

Janet Jackson* (2008)

LL Cool J* (2006)

Barbra Streisand* (1996)

*Only charted due to "We Are the World 25 for Haiti." See parenthetics for previous year with a hit.

**********

2011

Mick Jagger

The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Shakira

**********

2012

Madonna

**********

2013

Mariah Carey — hit #1 in 2020 with “All I Want for Christmas Is You” re-release

**********

2014

Jennifer Lopez

**********

2019

Eminem

**********

Full Details (Roughly Chronological)

Andrea Bocelli = never

Debbie Harry = never

Courtney Love = never

Marilyn Manson = never

Liza Minnelli = never

Connie Francis, "Be Anything (But Be Mine)," #25 (1964)

Lesley Gore, "California Nights," #16 (1967)

Van Morrison, "Wild Night," #28 (1971)

Lynyrd Skynyrd, "What's Your Name?" #13 (1977)

Patti Smith, "Because the Night," #13 (1978)

Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive," #1 (1978)

Pink Floyd, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)," #1 (1979)

Bob Dylan, "Gotta Serve Somebody," #24 (1979)

Carole King, "One Fine Day,"#12 (1980)

Wayne Newton, "Years," #35 (1980)

Neil Sedaka, "Should've Never Let You Go" (duet with Dara Sedaka), #19 (1980)

James Taylor, "Her Town Too" (duet with J.D. Souther), #11 (1981)

Blondie, "Island of Lost Souls," #37 (1982)

ABBA, "When All is Said and Done," #27  (1982)

Neil Diamond, "Heartlight," #5 (1982)

Rush, "New World Man," #21 (1982)

Paul Anka, "Hold Me 'Til the Morning Comes," #40 (1983)

Barry Manilow, "Read 'Em and Weep," #18 (1983)

Julio Iglesias, "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" (duet with Willie Nelson), #5 (1984)

Diana Ross, "Missing You," #10 (1984)

The Go-Go's, "Turn to  You," #32 (1984)

Willie Nelson, "We Are the World" (Various), #1 (1985)

Olivia Newton-John, "Soul Kiss," #20 (1985)

Dire Straits, "Walk of Life," #7 (1985)

Kate Bush, "Running Up That Hill," #30 (1985)

Paul Simon, "You Can Call Me Al," #23 (1986)

The Talking Heads, "Wild Wild Life," #25 (1986)

Jackson Browne, "For America," #30 (1986)

The Pointer Sisters, "Goldmine," #33 (1986)

Dionne Warwick, "Love Power" (duet with Jeffrey Osborne), #12 (1987)

David Bowie, "Never Let Me Down," #27 (1987)

Stevie Wonder, "Skeletons," #19 (1987)

Pet Shop Boys, "Domino Dancing," #18 (1988)

Robert Plant, "Tall Cool One," #25 (1988)

Foreigner, "I Don't Wanna Live Without You," #5 (1988)

Al Green, "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (duet with Annie Lennox), #9 (1988)

Joni Mitchell, "Snakes and Ladders," #32 (1988)

Glenn Frey, "True Love," #13 (1988)

Pat Benatar, "All Fired Up," #18 (1989)

The Bangles, "Be With You," #30 (1989)

The Rolling Stones, "Rock and a Hard Place," #23 (1989)

Cyndi Lauper, "I Drove All Night," #6 (1989)

Stevie Nicks, "Rooms on Fire," #16 (1989)

Paul McCartney, "My Brave Face," #25 (1989)

Elvis Costello, "Veronica," #19 (1989)

Kiss, "Forever (Remix)," #8 (1990)

Bette Midler, "From a Distance," #2 (1990)

Belinda Carlisle, "Summer Rain," #30 (1990)

Hall & Oates, "So Close," #11 (1990)

Huey Lewis & the News, "It Hit Me Like a Hammer," #21 (1991)

Roberta Flack, "Set the Night to Music" (duet with Maxi Priest), #6 (1991)

Peter Gabriel, "Steam," #32 (1992)

Sade, "No Ordinary Love," #20 (1992)

Boy George, "The Crying Game," #15 (1992)

The Cure, "Friday I'm in Love," #18 (1992)

k.d. lang, "Constant Craving," #38 (1992)

Don Henley, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (duet with Patty Smyth), #2 (1992)

Ozzy Osbourne, "Mama, I'm Coming Come," #28 (1992)

Duran Duran, "Come Undone" #7 (1993)

New Order, "Regret," #28 (1993)

Tina Turner, "I Don't Wanna Fight," #9 (1993)

Billy Joel, "All About Soul," #29 (1993)

R.E.M., "Bang and Blame," #19 (1994)

Tom Petty, "You Don't Know How It Feels," #13 (1994)

Beck, "Loser," #10 (1994)

Meat Loaf, "I'd Lie for You (and That's the Truth)" (with Patti Russo), #13 (1995)

Neil Young, "I Got Id" by Pearl Jam,  #7 (1995) [Young played guitar on the track, but received no Billboard credit; previous entry was "Old Man," #31 (1972)]

Annie Lennox, "No More I Love Yous," #23 (1995)

Van Halen, "Can't Stop Lovin' You," #30 (1995)

George Michael, "Fastlove," #8 (1996)

Journey, "When You Love a Woman," #12 (1996)

Lionel Richie, "Don't Wanna Lose You," #39 (1996)

Bryan Adams, "I Finally Found Someone" (duet with Barbra Streisand), #8 (1996)

Depeche Mode, "It's No Good," #38 (1997)

Bruce Springsteen, "Secret Garden," #19 (1997)

Cher, "Believe," #1 (1998)

Rod Stewart, "Ooh La La," #39 (1998)

Aretha Franklin, "A Rose is Still a Rose," #26 (1998)

Prince, "1999," #40 (1998) [non-rerelease = "I Hate U," #12 (1995)]

Spice Girls, "Goodbye," #11 (1998)

Oasis, "Don't Go Away," #35 (1998)

Kenny G, "Auld Lang Syne," #7 (1999)

Elton John, "Written in the Stars" (duet with LeAnn Rimes), #29 (1999)

Phil Collins, "You'll Be in My Heart," #21 (1999)

Gloria Estefan, "Music of My Heart" (duet with *NSYNC), #2 (1999)

Garth Brooks, "Lost in You" (as "Chris Gaines"), #5 (1999)

Ice Cube, "You Can Do It" (with Mack 10 & Ms. Toi), #35 (1999)

Garbage, "When I Grow Up," #4 (1999)

Kenny Rogers, "Buy Me a Rose" (with Alison Krauss & Billy Dean), #40 (1999)

Eric Clapton, "Riding with the King" (duet with B.B. King), #26 (2000)

Ricky Martin, "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely" (duet with Christina Aguilera), #13 (2001)

Aerosmith, "Jaded," #7 (2001)

Enya, "Only Time," #10 (2001)

Alanis Morisette, "Hands Clean," #23 (2002)

*NSYNC, "Girlfriend" (feat. Nelly), #5 (2002)

Shania Twain, "Forever and for Always," #20 (2003)

Jewel, "Intuition," #20 (2003)

Dolly Parton, "When I Get Where I'm Going" (duet with Brad Paisley),  #39 (2005)

U2, "Original of the Species," #23 (2005)

Backstreet Boys, "Incomplete," #13 (2005)

Nine Inche Nails, "The Hand That Feeds," #31 (2005)

Bon Jovi, "(You Want To) Make a Memory," #27 (2007)

Santana, "Into the Night" (feat. Chad Kroeger), #26 (2007)

Metallica, "The Day That Never Comes," #31 (2008)

Guns N' Roses, "Chinese Democracy," #34 (2008)

Sheryl Crow, "Just Stand Up!" (Various), #11 (2008)

New Kids on the Block, "Summertime" (feat. Ne-Yo), #35 (2008)

Mariah Carey, "Obsessed," #7 (2009)

Green Day, "21 Guns," #22 (2009)

Dave Matthews Band, "Funny the Way It Is," #37 (2009)

Céline Dion, "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (Various), #2 (2010) ["A New Day Has Come," #22 (2002)]

Barbra Streisand, "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (Various), #2 (2010) [non-group = "I Finally Found Someone" (duet with Bryan Adams), #8 (1996)]

Janet Jackson, "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (Various), #2 (2010) [non-group = "Feedback," #19 (2008)]

LL Cool J, "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (Various), #2 (2010) [non-group = "Control Myself" (feat. Jennifer Lopez), #4 (2006)]

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie," #38 (2011)

Shakira, "Loca" (feat. El Cata & Dizzee Rascal), #32 (2011)

Mick Jagger, "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever" (will.i.am feat. Mick Jagger & Jennifer Lopez), #36 (2011)

Madonna, "Give Me All Your Luvin'," #10 (2012)

Jennifer Lopez, "Booty," #18 (2014)

Mariah Carey, "All I Want for Christmas Is You," #1 (2020)

Eminem, "Godzilla" (feat. Juice Wrld), #3 (2020)

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