Madonna’s Madame X ended up on top, beating Springsteen’s Western Stars by almost exactly 30,000 equivalent units, securing the pop icon not only another chart-topper, but moving her up on the all-time ranking of the artists who have landed in the coveted position most often in the process.
With nine chart-owners to her credit, Madonna now claims the fifth-most No. 1 albums in U.S. history, and she’s tied with some of the greatest acts to ever record and release music. Three other familiar names, Eminem, Garth Brooks and The Rolling Stones, have also made it to the highest possible rung on the Billboard 200 nine times.
Just ahead of Madonna (and company) with 10 No. 1s is Elvis Presley, and in front of him come both Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen, with 11 apiece. Had the latter beaten Madonna, he would have remained in third place among artists with the most No. 1s, but he would have altered the rest of the list.
In second place comes Jay-Z with 14 leaders, and in a relatively distant first remain The Beatles, whose 19 No. 1 albums continues to be the most impressive count of any act. In fact, while plenty of artists may join this list in the coming years, and while names like Springsteen, Streisand, Eminem, Madonna and more may add to their tallies, it’s possible that no one will ever challenge The Fab Four when it comes to the most chart-toppers on the Billboard 200.