Drake Leads Billboard Hot 100, Ariana Grande Arrives at No. 3 & J. Cole Collects Record Three Debuts in Top 10
"Nice for What" rules for a third week, Grande's' "No Tears Left to Cry" launches at No. 3 & Cole becomes the first artist to debut three tracks in the top 10 simultaneously.
Meanwhile, four songs debut in the Hot 100's top 10, marking a first in the chart's 59-year history. Ariana Grande's "No Tears Left to Cry" launches at No. 3 and J. Cole starts at Nos. 6, 8 and 10 with "ATM," "Kevin's Heart" and "KOD," respectively, as parent album KOD bows as his fifth No. 1 on the Billboard 200. On the Hot 100, Cole is the first artist ever to debut three titles in the top 10 in the same week.
Let's run down an especially busy top 10 of the Hot 100 (dated May 5), which blends all-genre streaming, airplay and sales data. All charts will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (May 1).
As on the Hot 100, "Nice," released on Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records, spends a third week at No. 1 on the Streaming Songs chart, down 10 percent to 53.6 million U.S. streams in the week ending April 26, according to Nielsen Music. It slips 2-4 on Digital Song Sales with 33,000 downloads sold (down 34 percent) in the week ending April 26, while jumping 27-17 on the Radio Songs chart with 51 million in all-format airplay audience (up 27 percent) in the week ending April 29, good for the Hot 100's top Airplay Gainer award for a second straight week.
Drake has now spent 34 cumulative weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100, dating to his first week on top as featured on Rihanna's "What's My Name?" (Nov. 20, 2010), the first of his five No. 1s. With his latest frame at the summit, he ties Elton John for the third-most weeks at No. 1 among solo males in the chart's history. Usher leads with 47, followed by Michael Jackson (37). Among all artists, Drake and John share eighth place; Mariah Carey paces all acts with 79 weeks at No. 1.
Drake logs the Nos. 1 and 2 songs on the Hot 100 for a third week, as "God's Plan" posts a third frame at the runner-up spot after tallying its first 11 weeks at No. 1. The track holds at No. 3 on Radio Songs (116 million, up 2 percent) and falls 2-4 on Streaming Songs (40.8 million, down 8 percent) and 5-6 on Digital Song Sales (28,000, down 8 percent).
Ariana Grande bursts onto the Hot 100 at No. 3 with "No Tears Left to Cry." Following its April 20 release, the track premieres at No. 1 on Digital Song Sales (100,000 sold), where it's Grande's third leader; No. 5 on Streaming Songs (36.9 million); and No. 35 on Radio Songs (27 million).
Grande earns her ninth Hot 100 top 10 and sixth to debut in the region. She ties Lady Gaga and Rihanna for sixth place among all acts for the most top 10 debuts, after Taylor Swift (14), Drake (12), Eminem (eight), Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne (seven each).
Also notably, while "Tears" is, as of now, a stand-alone single, should it wind up serving as the lead single from Grande's fourth proper LP, she'll extend an unprecedented honor and become the only artist to have debuted the first single from each of her first four LPs in the Hot 100's top 10. Her debut entry, "The Way," featuring Mac Miller, opened at No. 10, ushering in her first album, Yours Truly, in 2013; "Problem," featuring Iggy Azalea, launched at No. 3 (a career-best bow tied by "Tears") as the first single from 2014's My Everything; and, in 2016, "Dangerous Woman," the title cut from her most recent full-length, began at No. 10, making her the first artist to debut the lead single from each of her first three proper albums in the Hot 100's top 10.
As for its sales sum, "Tears" is the first song to sell at least 100,000 downloads in a week in three months, since Drake's "God's Plan" opened with 127,000 on Feb. 3. The 12-week gap between 100,000-selling downloads is the longest on the chart, which began in October 2004, since the list's first 63 weeks of existence (through January 2006), as download sales continue to decline as streaming surges.
Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be" drops 3-4 on the Hot 100, after reaching No. 2. It leads the Radio Songs chart for a fourth week (136 million, down 4 percent) and Hot Country Songs for a 22nd frame.
J. Cole debuts an unprecedented three songs in the Hot 100's top 10 simultaneously: "ATM" at No. 6 (a new personal best), "Kevin's Heart" at No. 8 and "KOD" at No. 10. The songs start at Nos. 2 (42.6 million), 3 (39.7 million) and 6 (33.2 million) on Streaming Songs, while selling 10,000, 7,000 and 18,000 downloads, respectively.
Cole adds his second, third and fourth Hot 100 top 10s, all of which have debuted in the top 10; he first reached the region when "Deja Vu," from his previous LP, 4 Your Eyez Only, debuted at its No. 7 peak in December 2016.
Cole becomes the first artist in the Hot 100's archives to have debuted three songs in the top 10 simultaneously, surpassing two artists who doubled up with new entries in the same week. Ed Sheeran bowed with "Shape of You" (No. 1) and "Castle on the Hill" (No. 6) on Jan. 28, 2017, while Drake has scored such a twofer twice, with "Passionfruit" (No. 8) and "Portland" (featuring Quavo and Travis Scott, No. 9) on April 8, 2017, and "God's Plan" (No. 1) and "Diplomatic Immunity" (No. 7) this Feb. 3.
Plus, with Grande's "Tears" and Cole's three tracks all beginning on the Hot 100 in the top 10, the chart welcomes four top 10 debuts simultaneously for the first time. Twice before, as many as three songs had started in the top 10 together: On March 3, 2012, Katy Perry's "Part of Me," Nicki Minaj's "Starships" and Chris Brown's "Turn Up the Music" soared in at Nos. 1, 9 and 10, respectively. On the chart dated Oct. 20 that year, One Direction's "Live While We're Young," Swift's "Red" and Adele's "Skyfall" premiered at Nos. 3, 6 and 8, respectively.
In between Cole's three new top 10s on the Hot 100, Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey's "The Middle" drops to No. 7 from its No. 5 high, as the collab leads the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart for a 13th week, as well as the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart (where it's each act's first No. 1) for a first frame, and BlocBoy JB's "Look Alive," featuring Drake, falls 6-9 after hitting No. 5.
Find out more Hot 100 news in the weekly "Hot 100 Chart Moves" column and by listening (and subscribing) to Billboard's Chart Beat Podcast and Pop Shop Podcast. And again, be sure to visit Billboard.com tomorrow (May 1), when all charts, including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh. The next issue of Billboard magazine is on sale Friday (May 4).