Usher and will.i.am are only the 13th and 14thartists to amass three or more transatlantic #1 hits since the inception of the British chart in 1952. "OMG" reached #1 on the U.K. singles chart, compiled by the Official Charts Co., a few weeks ago. The song topped Billboard's Hot 100 last week.
Three of the ex-Beatles, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, notched one additional transatlantic #1 hit after the group disbanded in 1970, upping their career totals to 14.Al Martino's "Here In My Heart," which was the #1 song on the first U.K. chart in November 1952, was also the first transatlantic #1. The song had reached #1 in the U.S. five months earlier.
Here's a complete list of all artists who have had three or more transatlantic #1 hits. I'm combining group and solo recordings; lead and (credited) featured parts. The number after the artist's name is the total number of songs by that artist that reached #1 in both countries.
George Harrison, 14. Harrison was the first ex-Beatle to land a transatlantic #1 hit. "My Sweet Lord" hit #1 in the U.S. in December 1970 and in the U.K. the following month. The spiritual smash returned to #1 in the U.K. in January 2002, two months after Harrison died of cancer. He was 58.
John Lennon, 14. Lennon hit #1 in both countries in December 1980, just weeks after he was shot to death, with the graceful and philosophical "(Just Like) Starting Over." Lennon was 40 when he died earlier that month.
Paul McCartney, 14. McCartney, 67, has amassed more transatlantic #1 hits than any other living artist. The pop icon scored in the spring of 1982 with "Ebony And Ivory," a glossy brotherhood anthem on which he teamed with Stevie Wonder.
The Beatles, 13. Six of the group's 13 transatlantic #1 hits are from movie or TV soundtracks: "A Hard Day's Night" (from the movie of the same name), "Ticket To Ride" and "Help!" (from Help!), "All You Need Is Love" and "Hello Goodbye" (from Magical Mystery Tour) and "Get Back" (from Let It Be).
Elvis Presley, 6. Presley had more transatlantic #1 hits than any other American artist. He topped the charts in both countries with "All Shook Up," the movie theme "Jailhouse Rock," "It's Now Or Never," "Are You Lonesome To-night?," "Surrender" and "Good Luck Charm." Presley was 42 when he died in August 1977.
Madonna, 5. Madonna, 51, has had more transatlantic #1 hits than any other female artist. She has scored with "Papa Don't Preach," the movie theme "Who's That Girl," "Like A Prayer," "Vogue" and "Music."
The Rolling Stones, 4. The Stones' four songs to reach #1 in both countries are "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Get Off My Cloud," "Paint It, Black" and "Honky Tonk Women."
George Michael, 4. Michael, 46, rang the bell in both countries with Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Careless Whisper" as well as two superstar collaborations: "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (with Aretha Franklin) and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (with Elton John).
Michael Jackson, 4. Jackson had more transatlantic #1 hits than any other African American artist. He made it to the top spot in both countries with "Billie Jean," "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "Black Or White" and the R. Kelly-penned "You Are Not Alone." Jackson was 50 when he died last June.
Blondie, 3. Blondie had more transatlantic #1 hits than any other mixed-gender or mixed-nationality group. The group, which sprang from the '70s new wave scene, scored with the rock/disco fusion "Heart Of Glass," the hard-charging movie theme "Call Me" (from American Gigolo) and the lilting, reggae-tinged "The Tide Is High."
Whitney Houston, 3. Houston, 46, hit #1 in both countries with the sultry "Saving All My Love For You," the vibrant "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and the Dolly Parton-penned movie theme "I Will Always Love You" (from The Bodyguard).
Elton John, 3. Elton, 63, scored with the irresistible "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (with Kiki Dee), a live remake of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (with George Michael) and the double-sided "Something About The Way You Look Tonight"/"Candle In The Wind 1997."
Usher, 3. Usher, 31, reached the top in both countries in 2004 with the back-to-back hits "Yeah!" (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris) and "Burn." He scored again this year with "OMG" (featuring will.i.am).
will.i.am., 3. will.i.am, 35, rang the bell in both countries last year with back-to-back Black Eyed Peas hits, "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling." He's back on top with Usher's "OMG."Ringo Starr came close to landing a transatlantic #1 on his own in 1974. His cover version of Johnny Burnette's "You're Sixteen" hit #1 in the U.S., but stalled at #4 in the U.K.