Taylor Swift Helps Tie Record Streak for Women Atop Hot 100
As 'Blank Space' leads for a seventh week, women have locked up the top spot for a record-tying 19th week in a row.
Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week, helping rewrite history: Women have now blocked men from the chart's top spot for 19 straight weeks, tying a record first set in 2005.
Swift helps squeeze in more major piece of chart news before 2014 ends, so let's get right to our Wednesday tradition: running down the top 10 and more on the sales/airplay/streaming-based Hot 100.
"Space," released on Big Machine Records and promoted to radio by Republic Records, logs its seventh week at No. 1 on the Hot 100, following two weeks on top (of four total) for her prior single, "Shake It Off' (which made Swift the first woman ever to replace herself at No. 1 on the Hot 100). "Shake" followed eight weeks at the summit for Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass." Before that, Swift began the run with the first two weeks at No. 1 for "Shake." Women, thus, have exclusively dominated the Hot 100 for 19 weeks dating to the chart dated Sept. 6. (This week's Billboard charts are dated Jan. 10.)
The streak matches the one first set from May 7 through Sept. 10, 2005, when Gwen Stefani led for four weeks with "Hollaback Girl"; Mariah Carey added four weeks with "We Belong Together"; Carrie Underwood nabbed a week on top with her American Idol coronation ballad "Inside Your Heaven"; and Carey returned for 10 more weeks at No. 1 with "Together," making for a record-establishing 19 weeks of only women ruling the Hot 100.
Overall, women have occupied the Hot 100's top rank longer, but that's including featured roles on singles by male artists. In 2011, women held the top spot for a record 45 straight weeks. The songs that contributed to the streak: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way' (six weeks); Katy Perry's "E.T.," featuring Kanye West (five); Rihanna's "S&M" (one); Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" (seven); Pitbull's "Give Me Everything," featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer (one); LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock (six); Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"; Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger," featuring Christina Aguilera (four); Adele's "Someone Like You" (five); and Rihanna's "We Found Love," featuring Calvin Harris (eight of its 10 total weeks at No. 1). (That run wrapped exactly three years ago today, on the Dec. 31, 2011 Hot 100.)
The current run is also not the longest for women in lead roles atop the Hot 100. Lead women reigned for 33 weeks in-a-row in 1995-96, but that streak was not exclusive to women. Carey's "Fantasy" led for eight weeks, followed by Whitney Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (one), Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day" (a Hot 100-record 16 weeks at No. 1), Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" (six) and Carey's "Always Be My Baby" (two).
"Space" stays atop the Hot 100 powered by its return (3-1) for a seventh week atop Digital Songs (503,000 downloads sold, up 121 percent, in the week ending Dec. 28, according to Nielsen Music), good for top Digital Gainer honors on the Hot 100. In a now annual tradition, online Christmas-week shopping, aided by gift cards given as presents, spurs sales gains for 98 of the chart's 100 titles this week.
The 503,000 downloads sold for "Space" mark just the 12th instance of a song selling at least half-a-million. And, it's the most since Swift's "Shake" debuted with 544,000 (Sept. 6). In fact, of those 12 titles, Swift boasts four of them, the most of any act. (Perry is the only other artist with multiple such weeks, having notched two.) Swift's best sales week: "We Are Never Getting Back Together" arrived with 623,000 on Sept. 1, 2012. That's the second-best sum overall, trailing only Flo Rida's "Right Round" (636,000, Feb. 28, 2009). (Perhaps surprisingly, of the 12 songs to move at least 500,000 downloads in a week, only five have done so thanks to Christmas-week sales activity.)
Also keeping "Space" atop the Hot 100, it logs a third consecutive week at No. 1 on Radio Songs (144 million in all-format audience, essentially even from last week). On Streaming Songs, it slips 1-3 after six weeks at the summit with a 22 percent slide to 8.9 million U.S. streams.
Below "Space," Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk!," featuring Bruno Mars, rises 3-2 on the Hot 100. It drops 1-2 after a week atop Digital Songs, but with a 50 percent increase to 432,000 sold; jumps 7-4 on Streaming Songs (8.8 million, up 11 percent); and reaches the Radio Songs top 10 (11-10; 68 million, up 8 percent). Mars scores his 12th Radio Songs top 10, passing Perry and Rihanna for the highest total dating to his first week in the bracket (March 20, 2010).
Hozier's "Take Me to Church" falls to No. 3 on the Hot 100 after three weeks at its No. 2 high, but with gains in sales and airplay. It likewise descends 2-3 on Digital Songs despite a 65 percent surge to 402,000 sold. On Radio Songs, "Church" holds at No. 5 (92 million, up 1 percent). It tops the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart for a seventh week (4.2 million, down 15 percent) and rules the Hot Rock Songs chart for a ninth week.
Rounding out the Hot 100's top five, Trainor ranks at No. 4 with "Lips Are Movin" (5-4, returning to its Hot 100 peak) and "Bass," which blasts 10-5 as the chart's top Streaming Gainer. "Lips" leaps 3-2 on Streaming Songs (9.1 million, up 5 percent); rises 6-4 on Digital Songs (339,000, up 122 percent); and climbs 18-15 on Radio Songs (52 million, up 4 percent).
"Bass," meanwhile, rebounds 5-1 for a 10th week atop Streaming Songs (after seven weeks between Nos. 2 and 5) with a 13 percent gain to 9.5 million. With "Bass" at No. 1 and "Lips" at No. 2, Trainor has the two most-streamed songs in the country this week, a feat previously achieved only by Iggy Azalea (for five weeks), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (two) and Miley Cyrus (one). "Bass" charges 9-5 on Digital Songs (237,000, up 180 percent) and even makes a notable resurgence on Radio Songs (23-17; 51 million, up 14 percent). As with sales, airplay for many of 2014's biggest hits increases around Christmas and New Year's, as stations count down the year's top smashes.
Closing out the Hot 100's top 10, Sam Smith's No. 5-peaking "I'm Not the Only One" holds at No. 6; Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" drops to No. 7 from its No. 4 peak; Maroon 5's No. 3 hit "Animals" rebounds 9-8; Swift's "Shake" re-enters the region (11-9); and Nick Jonas' "Jealous" retreats to No. 10 from its No. 8 peak.
Just outside the Hot 100's top 10, Ariana Grande and The Weeknd's "Love Me Harder" slides to No. 11 from its best rank (No. 7), ending Grande's impressive streak of 34 straight weeks in the top 10. Still, she receives a nice consolation present: her new holiday track "Santa Tell Me" rises 2-1 to crown the Holiday 100 songs chart.
Visit Billboard.com tomorrow (Jan. 1), when all rankings, including the Hot 100 in its entirety and Digital Songs, Radio Songs and Streaming Songs, will refresh, as they do each Thursday.