Chart Commentary (Past and Present)

September 18, 2021

“21” SAVAGE SONGS

Not only did all 21 tracks from Drake’s new album, Certified Lover Boy, debut on the Hot 100, they ALL debuted within the Top 40!  This means that he has 52.5% of this week’s Top 40!

September 11, 2021

LOOKING OVER “DONDA”

As you peruse the album credits of Kanye West’s 10th #1 album, “Donda,” you’ll notice that 23 titles have debuted on the Hot 100 – twelve of which debuted within the Top 40.  He’s only second to rap nemesis, Drake, who landed at 23 titles in a single week three other times, with his 2018 release “Scorpion” filling out a record 27 songs on the Hot 100!  In other words, on the July 14, 2018 chart, Drake had 27% of the Hot 100 real estate!

TOP 40 “BUTTER”

“Butter” by BTS becomes the 40th single to log at least 10 weeks at #1.  The last to do it was “the Box” by Roddy Ricch when it ran for 11 weeks from January-March 2020.

“LIGHTS” OUT

After a record-setting 90 weeks on the Hot 100, “Blinding Lights” by the Weeknd has fallen off the chart.  

September 4, 2021

LEVITATUS CONTINUOSO

With 34 weeks in the Top 10 (and counting), Dua Lipa continues to be the female (either as a soloist or in a lead role) with the longest run within the Top 10.  Let’s see if the “Levitating” continues…

August 28, 2021

PSSSST

According to the “Rumors,” this is Lizzo’s third Top 10 and Cardi B’s 10th.  Pass it on…

Also, “Rumors” tops the R&B/Hip Hop Chart.  This is the second song with the exact title to hit #1.  The first was in 1986 by Timex Social Club, which also peaked at #8 on the Hot 100.  But you didn’t hear that from me…

THE LEVITATION CONTINUES

“Levitation” by Dua Lipa is spending its 33rd week in the Top 10.  This puts her in a three-way tie for third place for most weeks.  Among women in a lead role, Dua Lipa holds this record surpassing LeAnn Rimes and “How Do I Live” which spent 32 weeks.  Funnily enough, both songs peaked at #2.  Dua has a long way to go to catchup to and pass the 57 weeks spent just scored by the Weeknd and “Blinding Lights.”

August 21, 2021

LONGEST WEEKS AT #2…WITH AN ASTERISK

“Good 4 U” logs its record-tying 11th week at No. 2 on the Hot 100, encompassing the chart’s 63-year history. It matches Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” which also debuted at No. 1 before settling in at No. 2. “Good 4 U” has ranked directly below BTS’ “Butter” (for eight weeks) and “Permission to Dance” (one week) and now The Kid LAROI and Bieber’s “Stay” (two weeks). “Exhale” spent all 11 of its weeks at No. 2 a spot below Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” in 1995-96.

Songs to Spend the Most Weeks at No. 2 on the Hot 100:
11, “Good 4 U,” Olivia Rodrigo, first week at No. 2: June 5, 2021
11, “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” Whitney Houston, Dec. 2, 1995
10, “Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish, June 8, 2019
10, “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars, April 1, 2017
10, “Work It,” Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Nov. 16, 2002*
10, “Freak Me,” Silk, March 27, 1993
10, “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” Foreigner, Nov. 28, 1981*

(*Five of the seven songs above hit No. 1 on the Hot 100; only “Work It” and “Waiting for a Girl Like You” peaked at No. 2.)

As a purist, Missy Elliott and Foreigner are the true record holders as they have peaked AND spent their 10 weeks solely at #2.

“LIGHT”ING UP THE 88s

“Blinding Lights” by the Weeknd now holds the record for the most weeks on the Hot 100.  It is currently spending its 88th week (and counting).  Let’s see how far it goes before the lights go out.

August 14, 2021

“STAY”…AGAIN

“Stay” by the Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber is the second song with the exact title to hit #1.  The first was way back in November 1960 when Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs spent a week at the top.  If you noticed, I said the exact title.  This does not include the Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories hit because of the parenthetical in the title – “Stay (I Missed You)”.

8:1 ODDS

“Stay” becomes the Kid LAROI’s first number one while this is Bieber’s eighth trip to the summit.

HE COMES FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER

the Kid LAROI is only the second solo Australian male to hit #1.  The first? Rick Springfield back in August 1981 with a little song called “Jessie’s Girl.”  The last Australian soloist to hit number one was Sia in August 2016 with “Cheap Thrills,” a song she did with Sean Paul.  What is this with Aussies and August #1s?!

WHAT WERE YOU DOING AT 17?

The Kid LAROI was born Aug. 17, 2003, making him the most recently born artist to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. Thus, his age as of the Aug. 14, 2021-dated chart: three days shy of his 18th birthday. He’s the youngest artist to lead the survey since Jawsh 685 was 17 years, 11 months, and two weeks old when “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat),” with Jason Derulo and BTS, topped the Oct. 17, 2020, chart.

“KIDS” WHO PLAY

The Kid LAROI is the fourth “Kid”-named act to top the Hot 100, after New Kids on the Block (three No. 1s), WizKid, and Kid Cudi (one each). No kidding.

NEIGHBORS TO THE NORTH

As stated earlier, Justin Bieber scores his eighth number one; thus, tying him with Drake as the most chart-toppers by Canadians.  The Weeknd is a close third with six.  And since they are all actively charting, watch these numbers.

…SPEAKING OF THE WEEKND…

His massive “Blinding Lights” is spending its record-tying 87th week on the Hot 100 at #16.  After debuting on the December 14, 2019 chart AND spending four non-consecutive weeks at number one AND becoming the #1 song of 2020, how is it still hanging on while other #1s have come and gone?  Is it still receiving massive airplay?  Strong sales?  That cool reminiscent 1980s “Take on Me”/A-Ha vibe?  I dunno.  But here’s the song it’s tied with: Radioactive/Imagine Dragons which peaked at #3 in July 2013.

August 8, 2021

#9 DREAM

By sliding into their 9th non-consecutive week at #1, BTS’ “Butter” joins the ranks of these other almost double-digit #1s.  Here they are broken up by decade in chronological order.

Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin (1959)


Theme from “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith (1960)

Hey Jude by The Beatles (1968)


None in the 1970s


Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes (1981) – #1 song of 1981

Endless Love by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (1981)


None in the 1990s


In da Club by 50 Cent (2003)

Baby Boy by Beyonce featuring Sean Paul (2003)

Hey Ya! by OutKast (2003-2004)

Let Me Love You by Mario (2005)

Candy Shop by 50 Cent featuring Olivia (2005)


TiK ToK by Ke$ha (2010)

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (2012)

One More Night by Maroon 5 (2012)

Royals by Lorde (2013)

Work by Rihanna featuring Drake (2016)


Butter by BTS (2021)

July 31, 2021

8 x 2-ISH

By rebounding 7-1, “Butter” by BTS now ties Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” for spending eight weeks at #1 – the most of 2021, so far.

“PERMISSION” TO RETURN

As “Butter” replaces “Permission to Dance” at No. 1 on the Hot 100, a week after “Permission to Dance” took over for “Butter,” BTS is the first act to displace itself at No. 1 with a new leader and then send the previous No. 1 back to the summit with no other acts holding the top spot in between. 

July 24, 2021

“PERMISSION” TO ENTER”

BTS replaces themselves at #1 as “Permission to Dance” moshes their way onto the chart at the top!  

TIED FOR SECOND

Of the 55 songs that have debuted at #1, four of them belong to BTS.  This puts them in a three-way tie with Drake and Justin Bieber for second place for most #1 debuts.  The leader is Ariana Grande with five.  Since all are still active on the chart, expect these numbers to rise.

FAST 5

It took BTS 10 months and two weeks to score five Number Ones!  That’s the fastest any act has done this trick since Michael Jackson racked up five in a row from September 1987 – June 1988 – or nine months and two weeks.  His list was…

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (with Siedah Garrett) – September 19, 1987 – one week

Bad – October 24, 1987 – two weeks

The Way You Make Me Feel – January 23, 1988 – one week

Man in the Mirror – March 26, 1988 – two weeks

Dirty Diana – July 2, 1988 – one week


But even THIS is not the fastest.  That record belongs to the Beatles who hit five times from February 1964 – August 1964 – which equates to exactly six months!  Their legendary playlist consists of…

I Want to Hold Your Hand – February 1, 1964 – seven weeks

She Loves You – March 21, 1964 – two weeks

Can’t Buy Me Love – April 4, 1964 – five weeks

Love Me Do – May 30, 1964 – one week

A Hard Day’s Night – August 1, 1964 – two weeks

Fun fact: The first three were back-to-back-to-back totalling 14 consecutive weeks at #1.

THE REPLACEMENTS

With “Permission to Dance” replacing “Butter” atop the Hot 100, BTS is the first artist to dethrone itself since Drake, whose “In My Feelings” ended the eight-week reign of “Nice for What” on the July 21, 2018 chart. (Before that, on the April 21, 2018-dated survey, “Nice” soared in at No. 1, wrapping the rule of his “God’s Plan.”)

“DANCE” WITH US

BTS sends the ninth song with the word “dance” in its title to the top of the Hot 100. Here’s the full “dance” card:

Save the Last Dance for Me,” The Drifters, three weeks at No. 1, beginning Oct. 17, 1960
Let’s Dance,” David Bowie, one, May 21, 1983
Flashdance…What a Feeling,” Irene Cara, six, May 28, 1983
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” Whitney Houston, two, June 27, 1987
Batdance,” Prince, one, Aug. 5, 1989
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” C+C Music Factory, two, Feb. 9, 1991
Just Dance,” Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis, three, Jan. 17, 2009
One Dance,” Drake feat. WizKid & Kyla, 10, May 21, 2016
Permission to Dance,” BTS, one week to-date, July 24, 2021

SIDE NOTE: Four songs with “dancing” in their titles have topped the Hot 100, all, unsurprisingly, at the height of the disco era: “You Should Be Dancing,” Bee Gees, 1976; “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” Leo Sayer, 1977; “Dancing Queen,” ABBA, 1977; and “Shadow Dancing, Andy Gibb, 1978.

A YOUNG 100

With his duet “Stay” with the Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber becomes the youngest male artist to score 100 Hot 100 chart appearances at the ripe old age of 27 years, four months and three weeks, spanning from his March 1, 1994 birthday.  He beats out Drake, who was 28 years, 11 months and two weeks in 2015 (now #2) and Lil Wayne who was 29 years, five months and three weeks in 2012 (now #3).

July 17, 2021

7 Weeks for 7 Members

The seven-man K-pop group, BTS, spreads their “Butter” for a seventh week at #1.  Basically, each guy gets a week.Attachments area

July 10, 2021

CHURNING “BUTTER”

BTS churns their 6th week at #1.  “Butter” is one of nine titles to spend their first six weeks on the chart at #1 – with Mariah Carey doing it twice (Fantasy (8 weeks) and One Sweet Day (16 weeks with Boyz II Men)) in 1995-1996.  For those loving my percentiles, they are in that 17% quotient of songs to spend their first six weeks at #1.

EDWARD THE VIII

Ed Sheeran gains his eighth Top 10 as “Bad Habits” crashes onto the chart at #5.

July 3, 2021

1/5 OF”BUTTER”

Of the 54 songs to have debuted at #1, Butter/BTS is one of eleven to have spent their first five weeks at the top.  This equates to 20% overall.

THERE CAN BE ONLY “ONE”

While it’s not a record (I don’t think), there are five other former Number One songs just hanging out in the Top 10..

June 26, 2021


“BUTTER” SPREADS ANOTHER WEEK

BTS’ 4th #1 spends its 4th consecutive week at the top.  It is now the 13th song to do this or 24% of the 54 songs to debut and spend its first four weeks at #1.  Let’s see if they make it 5.

June 19, 2021

“BUTTER” SEE YOUR MATH

As stated in last week’s piece that 45% of songs that debuted at #1 spent their second week at #1.  Now, BTS’ “Butter” is part of that 28% (or 15 songs) that have scored with their first three consecutive weeks at the top.

BUNNY HOPS

Bad Bunny scores his fourth Top 10 as “Yonaguni” enters that chart at #10.  This is the first bilingual Top 10 where English is not featured.  This song is predominately sung in Spanish with additional lyrics in Japanese. 

This is his first time hitting the Top 10 with no accompanying acts.  His other appearances were “I Like It,” with Cardi B and J Balvin, began at No. 8 in April 2018 and spent a week at No. 1 that July; “MIA,” featuring Drake, debuted at its No. 5 peak in October 2018; and “Dákiti,” with Jhay Cortez, opened at No. 9 in November 2020 and hit No. 5 in December.

ASIAN GEOGRAPHY 101

Continuing on about “Yonaguni,” it is the westernmost island of Japan and is home to the endangered, yet protected Yonaguni pony.  Lo siento, Senor Bunny.

June 12, 2021


“BUTTER” ON A ROLL

Of the 54 songs that have debuted at #1, Butter is the 23rd title to have its first two consecutive weeks at the top.  For those really into stats, that’s a 43% second-week success rate.  Two others have done it this year: drivers license by Olivia Rodrigo and Rapstar by Polo G.  Will they make it three?

June 5, 2021

BTS (BETWEEN THE SONGS)

This is BTS’ 4th #1 in 9 months and their 3rd to debut at #1

Dynamite” beginning September 5, 2020 for three non-consecutive weeks

Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” with Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo for a week in October 17, 2020

Life Goes On” for another week in December 5, 2020

Butter” for one week (and counting) beginning June 5, 2021.

BTS is the first group to have three #1 debuts.  Ariana Grande leads all acts with five.

BTS earned their first four #1s in exactly nine months (September 5, 2020 – June 5, 2021).  They are one of an elite seven acts to have their first four #1s in under a year.  Here are the others…

  1. The Beatles, four months (February 1 – May 30, 1964)
  2. The Supremes, seven months and one week (August 22, 1964 – March 27, 1965)
  3. Justin Timberlake, seven months and two weeks (September 9, 2006 – April 21, 2007)
  4. The Jackson 5, eight months and two weeks (January 31 – October 17, 1970)
  5. BTS, nine months (September 5, 2020 – June 5, 2021)
  6. Mariah Carey, nine months and three weeks (August 4, 1990 – May 25, 1991)
  7. Paula Abdul, one year (February 11, 1989 – February 10, 1990)

If you include all artists regardless of when it happened, Rihanna did it twice: Four in eight months all in 2010, then started another four-pack spanning nine months from 2010-2011.

RODRIGO’S RECORDS

With “good 4 u,” “deja vu,” and “traitor” all in the Top 10 simultaneously, Olivia Rodrigo is the first artist in Hot 100 history to have three concurrent songs in the Top 10 from a debut album (SOUR).

May 29, 2021

GOOD 4 U

“Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo is the 53rd song to debut at #1.  The first?  “You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson in September 1995.  The longest? “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey with Boyz II Men for 16 consecutive weeks!

Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album Sour Is the first debut album since Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy to have two #1 songs.  “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” and “I Like It” (with Bad Bunny and J Balvin) hit the top in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album Sour makes history as the first album to have two songs that have debuted at #1.  “Drivers License” revved in in January 2021.

Previous albums to have two #1 debuts are:

  1. Mariah Carey’s Daydream: Fantasy and One Sweet Day (with Boyz II Men) in 1995-1996.
  2. Drake’s Scorpion: God’s Plan and Nice for What in 2018
  3. Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next: Thank U, Next and 7 Rings in 2018-2019

Fun fact: For each of these artists, it was their fifth album.

THE OFF SEASON

J. Cole storms onto the chart with songs from his #1 album, the Off-Season, with four of them landing in the Top Ten.

J. Cole is the fourth artist to score four simultaneous Top 10 debuts.  He follows Drake (July 14, 2018), Lil Wayne (October 13, 2018) and Juice WRLD (July 25, 2020).

Rodrigo’s #1 debut + J.Cole’s quartet = 5 songs that have begun their chart lives in the Top Ten (or a newly minted chart record).

May 22, 2021

LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

This week spends its second non-consecutive week at #1.  There was a four week gap between weeks at the top.  Last time that happened was with Circles/Post Malone.  He spent his first two weeks in December 2019 and his third week in January 2020.

This is Bruno Mars’ 8th #1 following…

  1. Nothin’ on You (B.o.B featuring Mars) beginning May 2010 for two weeks
  2. Just the Way You Are beginning October 2010 for four weeks
  3. Grenade beginning January 2011 for four non-consecutive weeks
  4. Locked Out of Heaven beginning December 2012 for six weeks
  5. When I Was Your Man in April 2013 for one week
  6. Uptown Funk! (Mark Ronson featuring Mars) beginning January 2015 for 14 weeks
  7. That’s What I Like in May 2017 for one week
  8. Leave the Door Open (Silk Sonic [Mars & Anderson.Paak]) beginning in April 2021 for two non-consecutive weeks and counting
He has a career total of 34+ weeks at #1.

“DOOR” TO THE TOP 10

“Leave the Door Open” is the only title that has entered the #1 spot.  There have been only four others since 1955 to have gained entry into the Top 10.

Next Door to an Angel/Neil Sedaka (#5, 1962)

The Door Is Still Open to My Heart/Dean Martin (#6, 1964)

Lookin’ Out My Back Door/Creedence Clearwater Revival (#2, 1970)

Let My Love Open the Door/Peter Townsend (#9, 1980)