Before Nelly did it with “Dilemma” and “Hot in Herre,” who was the last recording artist to have both the #1 and #2 songs on the Billboard Top 100?
Not many people noticed, but Ja Rule did it in March 2002. “Ain’t It Funny” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule was #1 while “Always On Time” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti was #2. If you sneer at guest appearances, then the last act to qualify was the Bee Gees in 1978 with “Night Fever” and “Stayin’ Alive.” Only four other acts in the rock era had occupied the top two slots simultaneously before Nelly: Puff Daddy, Boyz II Men, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles (who had the top five singles the first week of April 1964: from top to bottom, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Please Please Me”).
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)