Fifty years after the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, Justin Bieber is bigger than the Beatles. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but the Canadian pop star is now the Fab-est of them all in at least one respect: With a whopping 17 songs on this week's Billboard Hot 100, Bieber breaks a chart record that's been held or shared by the Beatles for more than half a century.

Bieber's hit parade — which includes three songs in the Top 10 — bests the previous record of 14 simultaneous Hot 100 singles, which the Beatles set on April 11, 1964. (That mark was tied twice earlier this year, both times by Drake.) The chart landslide comes as Bieber's most recent album, Purpose, debuts at No. 1 on the magazine's Top 200 Albums chart.

While Bieber's certainly popular, Beatles loyalists can take comfort in the knowledge that a portion of his current omnipresence on the charts is owed to the succession of recent seismic shifts in the way singles and albums are tallied. Rather than the two-pronged system of physical product and radio play that fueled the record industry in the '60s, current artists have to navigate a dizzying array of delivery mechanisms to reach an infinite number of niche audiences.

In other words, it's easier to impact the charts, but arguably harder to dominate them, so even if Bieber stands little chance of achieving the level of cultural influence exerted by the Beatles, he's still managed an impressive feat worth celebrating this week. Perhaps he'll celebrate with a viewing of The Beatles 1+?

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