The last time a Beyoncé-led track hit the top spot on a non-R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart? “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” in 2009.
There’s no denying the cultural and social impact of Beyoncé’s Lemonade, but the collection also yielded an unexpected side effect: less rhythm and pop radio airplay for a superstar accustomed to locking in No. 1 singles. The last time a Beyoncé-led track hit the top spot on a non-R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart or the Rhythmic Songs tally? “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” on the Pop Songs chart in 2009.
In contrast, radio still loves recurrents by Beyoncé. “Drunk in Love” and “Love on Top” logged 203 and 181 plays, respectively, at R&B/hip-hop radio in the week ending Feb. 12, according to Nielsen Music. During that same period, “Single Ladies” racked up 178 plays at pop radio, followed by “Crazy in Love” at 160 plays.
So far, Lemonade’s biggest hit has been the track “Sorry,” which peaked at No. 33 on Pop Songs; it reached No. 3 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay in July 2016. Label Columbia Records, meanwhile, is five singles in on the album and currently working the more pop-friendly “All Night.” It sits at No. 23 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay but is absent from Pop Songs. At this point, Lemonade is on track to become the first Beyoncé album without a No. 1 single on a Billboard airplay chart -- even the R&B/Hip-Hop rankings (despite its three top 10s on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay).