Short & Sweet Success: At Under 2 Minutes, Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' Is Shortest Hot 100 No. 1 Since 1965

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Lil Nas X

The last quickest leader? An earworm by Herman's Hermits.

As Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" charges to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (dated April 13), the genre-bending song becomes the shortest leader on the list by song length in over 53 years.

Per Record Research's Paul Haney, "Road," at 1:53 in length (counting its original version, not its 2:37-long remix with Billy Ray Cyrus), packs the quickest punch at No. 1 since Herman's Hermits' "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," which led the list dated Aug. 7, 1965. The latter song, the British band's hooky second No. 1, sports a 1:49 runtime.

Encompassing the Hot 100's entire 60-year history, "Road" ties David Rose's 1962 No. 1 "The Stripper" as the fifth-briefest leader.

Here is a quick look at the shortest Hot 100 No. 1s by length:

Song Length, Title, Artist, Date Reached No. 1
1:38, "Stay," Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs, Nov. 21, 1960
1:49, "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," Herman's Hermits, Aug. 7, 1965
1:51, "Surrender," Elvis Presley, March 20, 1961
1:52, "He's So Fine," The Chiffons, March 30, 1963
1:53, "Old Town Road," Lil Nas X, April 13, 2019
1:53, "The Stripper," David Rose, July 7, 1962

"Road" follows a trend toward shorter hit songs in recent years. In 2017, Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang," running 2:04, became the shortest Hot 100 top 10 since 1975, while, in 2016, Piko-Taro's "PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen) made history as the shortest Hot 100 entry ever: a mere 45 seconds long. Still, the longest Hot 100 hit in terms of length also charted in 2016: David Bowie's "Blackstar," which wraps three seconds shy of 10 minutes.