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Bruce Springsteen Is Back at No. 1 on Adult Alternative Songs After 18 Years

Bruce Springsteen
Danny Clinch

Bruce Springsteen

"Letter to You" ends the longest gap between No. 1s in the chart's 24-year history.

After a record 18-year break, Bruce Springsteen is back atop Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart.

"Letter to You," the lead single from Springsteen's new album of the same name, rises 2-1 on the tally dated Nov. 14.

Springsteen scores his second No. 1 on the chart, which began in January 1996, after his three-week leader "The Rising" in August 2002. In between, Springsteen made 11 Adult Alternative Songs appearances, climbing as high as No. 2 twice, with "Radio Nowhere" (October 2007) and "Working on a Dream" (January 2009). "Letter to You" also marks Springsteen's first top 10 since the latter song, and his seventh overall.

The Boss' 18-year, three-month absence from No. 1 is the longest in the chart's history by eight years; it surpasses The Killers' 10-year, four-month wait between 2007's "Read My Mind" and 2017's "The Man."

In 2020 alone, three acts have returned to No. 1 after long respites, with Springsteen joined by Michael Franti & Spearhead (nine years and 11 months between "The Sound of Sunshine" in 2010 and "I Got You" in 2020) and Ray LaMontagne (nine years and nine months between "Beg Steal or Borrow" in 2010 and "Strong Enough" in 2020).

Concurrently, "Letter to You" rises 33-28 on the all-rock-format, audience-based Rock Airplay chart with 1.5 million audience impressions, up 11%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

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Letter to You, Springsteen's 20th studio album, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart dated Nov. 7.