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Rock Legends Who Never Had a No. 1 Single

The above list of Rock Legends Who Never Had a No. 1 Single is all the more surprising when you consider the success so many of them had by any other measure. They’ve sold million of albums, had videos in wall-to-wall rotation, sold out football stadiums across the globe, won Grammys and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Yet, there are great bands here who never reached the Top 40 at all, much less No. 1. Elsewhere, several have gotten as close as you can get to topping the Billboard Hot 100 without doing it: the runner-up spot. In fact, one of these rock legends notched five consecutive No. 2 hits in a row.

For some, this lack of success on the singles chart is simply a function of the era. These were album-oriented artists, rather than radio fixtures. For others, however, the mystery is how songs that were played – and, in fact, are still played – with such mind-numbing regularity on the radio somehow didn’t reach the top of the chart.

There are disconcerting moments when songs that were very much of their time somehow managed to keep timeless classics from achieving the pinnacle of chart success. But also reminders of how truly great the competition is at the very top.

Our focus on the Billboard Top 100 list means that some acts that had far greater success overseas will get lumped in. There are also solo acts here who had No. 1 songs with their former bands. Whatever their path to the above list, they remain – in some cases, head-scratchingly so –Rock Legends Who Never Had a No. 1 Single.

Top 10 Debut Singles

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