The song just barely holds off Eminem's "The Monster," featuring Rihanna, at No. 2, for a third week. Plus, Passenger rides into the top 10 with "Let Her Go"
Lorde's "Royals" commands the Billboard Hot 100 for a ninth week, keeping Eminem's "The Monster," featuring Rihanna, at No. 2 for a second frame. The latter song moves even closer to the summit, however, setting up a possible takeover atop the chart as soon as next week.
Meanwhile, Passenger enters the top 10 with its first Hot 100 entry, "Let Her Go."
Let's dig into the numbers like it's a Thanksgiving Day feast and stuff this story with juicy chart facts. (Can you guess who's thankful for bad puns?)
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"Royals" rules the Radio Songs chart for a sixth week with 143 million audience impressions (down 12%), according to Nielsen BDS. It holds at No. 2 on other Hot 100 component charts: Digital Songs (177,000 downloads sold, up 12%, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and Streaming Songs (6.5 million U.S. streams, down 8%, according to BDS). It also repeats at No. 2 on the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart (2.2 million on-demand U.S. streams, down 2%).
"Royals," which tops Hot Rock Songs for a 13th week, becomes just the fifth No. 1 by a female in her first appearance as a lead act to reign for at least nine weeks in the Hot 100's 55-year history. Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" (1977) and Ashanti's "Foolish" (2002) each led for 10 weeks, while Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" (2012) and Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" (2010) also ruled for nine frames each. (Prior to "Foolish," Ashanti topped the Hot 100 as a featured act on Ja Rule's two-week No. 1 "Always on Time.")
Eminem's "The Monster" bullets at No. 2 on the Hot 100 for a third week. The collaboration claims the chart's top Airplay Gainer award for a third week, climbing 8-6 on Radio Songs with a 32% increase to 100 million. It spends a third week at No. 1 on Digital Songs with 241,000 downloads sold (down 1%) and a second week atop On-Demand Songs (2.6 million, down 3%), while holding at No. 3 on Streaming Songs (6 million, down 1%).
"Monster" spends a fourth week at No. 1 on both Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rap Songs.
The race for No. 1 on the Hot 100 was the closest since Feb. 18, 2012, when Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" displaced Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" (after two weeks at No. 1) by a slightly smaller margin. After an 18% difference in overall Hot 100 chart points separated "Royals" and "Monster" two weeks ago, the margin was halved to 9% last week. This week, with "Royals" down by 9% and "Monster" down by 1%, a mere 0.4% difference keeps the former atop the Hot 100, possibly setting the stage for the latter to rise to No. 1 as soon as next week.
Miley Cyrus' former two-week Hot 100 No. 1 "Wrecking Ball" remains at No. 3. It tallies an eighth week atop Streaming Songs (7.8 million, down 10%) and holds at its No. 4 peak on Radio Songs (113 million, down 1%). On Digital Songs, which it led the week of Sept. 28, it stays at No. 10 (89,000, down 16%).
OneRepublic notches its second top five Hot 100 hit, as "Counting Stars" shoots 6-4. The band's "Apologize" (billed as by Timbaland featuring OneRepublic) peaked at No. 2 for four weeks in 2007. "Stars" backtracks 2-3 on Digital Songs despite a 2% gain to 167,000 and elevates 9-8 on Radio Songs (93 million, up 23%) and 10-9 on Streaming Songs (4.2 million, up 5%).
Avicii's No. 4-peaking "Wake Me Up!" dips to No. 5 on the Hot 100. It stays at its No. 2 highpoint on Radio Songs (142 million, down 5%) and dominates Dance/Electronic Songs for a 12th week.
Imagine Dragons' "Demons" advances 7-6 on the Hot 100, highlighted by its rise to the Radio Songs top five (6-5; 112 million, up 9%). It's the second Radio Songs top five for the band, which peaked at No. 2 for two weeks in August with "Radioactive."
Katy Perry's former two-week Hot 100 No. 1 "Roar" retreats 5-7. Meanwhile, "Unconditionally," the second single from her album "PRISM," remains bulleted at No. 16 in its fifth week. It rises 13-11 on Radio Songs (60 million, up 9%), holds at No. 19 on Digital Songs (58,000, up 10%) and enters Streaming Songs at No. 35 (1.7 million, up 28%).
Pitbull's folktronica collaboration "Timber," featuring Ke$ha, two-steps 10-8 on the Hot 100. "Timber" logs a second week at No. 4 on Digital Songs (166,000, up 15%) and rises 17-13 on Radio Songs (55 million, up 18%) and 16-13 on Streaming Songs (3.2 million, up 10%).
Drake's No. 4-peaking "Hold On, We're Going Home," featuring Majid Jordan, falls 8-9 on the Hot 100, while topping R&B Songs for a ninth week.
Rounding out the Hot 100's top 10, Passenger's folk ballad "Let Her Go" motors into the tier, lifting 11-10 in its 17th week on the chart. The song reaches the region fueled by climbs on Digital Songs (8-7; 117,000, up 3%), Radio Songs (23-15; 51 million, up 18%) and Streaming Songs (20-15; 2.9 million, up 10%). The track's ascent to the top 10 follows its No. 2 peak on the Official U.K. Singles chart in June.
Outside the Hot 100's top 10, notable debuts include three from One Direction: "Diana" (No. 11), "Midnight Memories" (No. 12) and "Strong" (No. 87), all from the group's album "Midnight Memories," due atop next week's Billboard 200. Also new, among other debuts, are Justin Bieber's "PYD," featuring R. Kelly (No. 54); John Newman's former U.K. No. 1 "Love Me Again" (No. 85); and Ariana Grande's "Last Christmas" (No. 96). Although Wham! made the song a modern holiday classic after its 1984 release, it's reached the Hot 100 only once before: the "Glee" cast's cover spent two weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 63, in 2009. Grande's version jingles in with 40,000 first-week downloads sold.
Plus, Enya's "Only Time" revisits the Hot 100, re-entering at No. 43 thanks to its use in an ad that's gone viral. Volvo spot "The Epic Split featuring Van Damme," posted on Nov. 13, made the rounds on social networks during the chart week, helping the song rack 4.2 million streams, good for a colossal 1,704% gain. (As its title suggests, the ad features actor Jean-Claude Van Damme performing an impressive stunt: splits while straddling two moving trucks.) "Time" originally became an anthem of healing after the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001. It topped Adult Contemporary for six weeks and Adult Pop Songs for four frames and reached No. 10 on the Hot 100 that year.
Visit Billboard.com tomorrow (Nov. 28), when all rankings, including the Hot 100 in its entirety and Digital Songs, Radio Songs, Streaming Songs and On-Demand Songs will be refreshed, as they are each Thursday. The latest charts will also appear in the next issue of Billboard magazine (on sale on Friday, Nov. 29).