Cee Lo Green's "F---You (Forget You)" rises 2-1 on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart in its 25th chart week, completing the longest journey to the summit in the Nielsen BDS-based radio airplay ranking's 18-year history.
The song passes the 23-week climb to No. 1 on Mainstream Top 40 for P!nk's "U + Ur Hand" in 2006-07.
The Mainstream Top 40 chart span of "F---You" is actually 30 weeks, dating to its debut on the Sept. 25, 2010, survey. The song reached an original peak of No. 18 in October in a nine-week chart stay through Nov. 20.
Following the song's last week on the list in its first chart run, its pop culture profile surged. The cast of Fox's "Glee," featuring Gwyneth Paltrow on lead vocals, reinterpreted the song on the series' Nov. 16 episode. The cast's cover debuted and peaked at No. 11 on the Dec. 4 Billboard Hot 100.
The same week, Green's original recording roared into the top 10 (22-9) on the Hot 100. On Dec. 1, Green received four Grammy Award nominations for "F---You," including record and song of the year. (He and Paltrow performed the song on the Grammys in February, and it won the Urban Alternative trophy that night.)
Buoyed by its newfound buzz, Green's single reignited at radio, re-entering Mainstream Top 40 the week of Jan. 1 after five weeks below the chart's No. 40 anchor spot.
"F---You" would go on to spend four weeks peaking at No. 2 on the Hot 100. Last week, it reached No. 1 on Hot 100 Airplay. The song has sold 3.7 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"The key was that 'F---You' never stopped selling, so we couldn't just walk away because of a (low) chart number," Roadrunner Records senior VP/promotion Mike Easterlin told Billboard in February.
"'Glee' and the Grammys were key to bringing it back to the forefront, making radio believe that it was a song that they not only could play again, but probably should.
"The final piece of the puzzle was audience research. Many of the programmers that were unsure re-tested it and it came back huge, giving them the confidence to go back on it."
"I am proud of our staff for never giving up," said Easterlin upon the track's hard-fought Mainstream Top 40 coronation.
"We're thankful to radio for being open to giving this song a second chance, as well as to the programmers that stuck with it even after it fell off the chart at the end of last year."
All charts will be refreshed Thursday (April 7) on Billboard.biz.