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A week after Billboard's Alternative Songs airplay chart linked its first string of three straight No. 1s by soloists in nearly three decades, Lana Del Rey extends the streak to record territory, as "Doin' Time" becomes her first leader on the list dated Sept. 28, as well as the unprecedented fourth No. 1 in a row by a soloist.
Del Rey makes for the first time in the Alternative Songs chart's 31-year history that four straight No. 1s belong to soloists; "Doin' Time" follows Dominic Fike's "3 Nights," Matt Maeson's "Cringe" and streak-starter Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy."
Only once before had soloists strung together three straight No. 1s: Morrissey's "Tomorrow," Peter Gabriel's "Digging in the Dirt" and Suzanne Vega's "Blood Makes Noise," in 1992.
In 2019 alone, soloists have scored five No. 1s, with Eilish's "Bury a Friend" (two weeks beginning in May) joining the above list. The sum ties for the most leaders by soloists in a lead capacity in a single year. Five solo artist-led songs first ruled in 1989, all by different acts: Julian Cope's "Charlotte Anne," Lou Reed's "Dirty Blvd.," Elvis Costello's "Veronica," Ian McCulloch's "Proud to Fall" and Kate Bush's "Love and Anger." In 1992, the aforementioned three solo tunes were joined by Reed's "What's Good" and Gabriel's "Steam."
Should a sixth song by a soloist reach No. 1 on Alternative Songs before the end of 2019, it would set a new all-time mark for the most in a year. Most weeks at No. 1, however, might be a tougher statistic to top; with the coronation of "Doin' Time," soloists have led Alternative Songs for 10 weeks in 2019, a mark exceeded in 2012: 16 weeks, due mainly to 12-week ruler "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra.
Now for "Doin' Time" itself. The song is Del Rey's first No. 1 on Alternative Songs in her second appearance, following the No. 29-peaking "West Coast" in 2014. The reign follows the song's ascent to the top of the all-rock-format Rock Airplay chart, where it leads for a fourth week with 10.9 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music.
Del Rey is the fifth act to nab a first Alternative Songs leader in 2019, following Fike, Maeson, Eilish and SHAED (with "Trampoline"); six did so in 2018. "Doin' Time" is also the fifth song by a woman or a band with a female vocalist to rule Alternative Songs this year, joined by Eilish's two leaders, SHAED and The Head and the Heart (though the latter's "Missed Connection" doesn't feature Charity Rose Thielen on lead vocals). If one includes the latter, 2019 marks the first time in the chart's history that five No. 1s have been by women or bands with female vocalists.
"Doin' Time" also gets Sublime back to No. 1 on Alternative Songs, relatively speaking. Del Rey's cover of the song marks the second Sublime composition to reach No. 1, after the band's own "What I Got" ruled for three weeks in 1996. (Its original "Doin' Time" peaked at No. 28 in 1997.) Del Rey notches the seventh cover to rule Alternative Songs since the chart's inception and the first since Weezer's rendition of Toto's "Africa" last summer.
Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Del Rey's latest studio album, debuted at No. 1 on Alternative Albums and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 dated Sept. 14.
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