Kanye West Breaks Michael Jackson's Top 40 Hits Record: How the King of Pop Influenced Him
It's officially official: Kanye West now has more top 40 hits than Michael Jackson.
As Billboard reports, the rapper's collaboration with Schoolboy Q on "THat Part" rose from 42-40 this week, making it the 40th top 40 hit to feature Yeezy. Previously, 'Ye and the King of Pop were tied with 39 top 40s each, but "That Part's" recent chart rise gave Kanye a boost in the rankings.
Elvis Presley still holds strong as the male with the most top 40 hits (80), followed by Lil Wayne(69), Elton John (57), Drake (53), Stevie Wonder (46), Jay Z (45), James Brown (44), Chris Brown (42) and Marvin Gaye (41), but as Kanye works his way up the list with his 40th top 40, he surpasses M.J., one of his musical icons, in this ranking.
Kanye's been very vocal when it comes to the influence the late entertainer had on his artistic career. In Yeezy's 2013 song "I Am a God," he raps that he's "the only rapper who compared to Michael." He's featured name checking the entertainer in Twista's 2003 song "Slow Jamz" as well as Keri Hilson's 2009 track "Knock You Down."
Michael's influence on Kanye isn't limited to music, either. As he told Ellen DeGeneres on herdaytime talk show earlier this year, "I have to be Michael Jackson of apparel in order to break open the doors for everyone that will come after I'm gone, after I'm dead, after they call me wacko Kanye."
He went on to mention that there was a time when MTV didn't want to air Michael's videos. "Isn't that so funny that people point fingers at the people who have influenced us the most?" he asked Ellen. "They talk the most s--t about the people who care the most."
In an even more candid interview with BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe back in 2013, Kanye credited the late King of Pop for rising to his current level of superstardom. "Like, for me, as Kanye West, I would not be Kanye West if it wasn't for Michael Jackson," he said. "So for me, in my life and creativity it's been challenging, yeah, it's been challenging and everything. But I was able to ascend to massive heights because of the foundation that my mother and my father and my grandfather laid through civil rights, what Michael Jackson did with music videos and the ground he broke. There would be no Kanye West if it wasn't for Michael Jackson."