Billie Eilish Becomes Third Solo Woman to Reach Alternative Songs Top 10 With First Three Hits

ISSUE 12 2019 - NOT OUT YET!!! OUT ON MAY 9, 2019 10AM EST
Heather Hazzan
Billie Eilish photographed on April 18, 2019 at SunLight Studios in Los Angeles.

'Bad Guy' zooms 17-10.

Billie Eilish joins an elite group of women in the history of Billboard's Alternative Songs airplay chart, as "Bad Guy" bounds 17-10 on the June 22-dated list.

Why is Eilish in good company? Each of Eilish's first three entries has now hit the Alternative Songs top 10. That's a feat achieved by just two other solo women since the chart began in 1988, and one not earned in over two decades until this week.

First came Suzanne Vega. The singer-songwriter's "Book of Dreams" became her first single to reach Alternative Songs, climbing to No. 8 in May 1990. She followed with a featured spot on DNA's "Tom's Diner" (a remix of a song that she originally recorded a cappella for her 1987 album Solitude Standing); the track reached  No. 7 in October 1990, and she scored her first No. 1, "Blood Makes Noise," in October 1992. (Next single "99.9F°" peaked at No. 13 in January 1993.)

Next, Sheryl Crow earned her first Alternative Songs top 10 with "Leaving Las Vegas," from her debut album Tuesday Night Music Club (No. 8, March 1994). "All I Wanna Do" (No. 4, September 1994) followed, and "Strong Enough" (No. 10, February 1995) completed the trifecta before "Can't Cry Anymore," the fourth single from Club, stopped at No. 38 in July 1995.

Eilish's debut Alternative Songs entry, "You Should See Me in a Crown," hit No. 7 in December 2018. Her first leader, "Bury a Friend," ruled the list for two weeks beginning May 25, followed by the ascent of "Bad Guy." Should Eilish's next entrant reach the top 10, she'll make history as the first solo woman to send her first four charted songs to the top 10.

She wouldn't, however, be the first woman-centric act to do so. Multiple bands fronted by women have taken their first three entries to the Alternative Songs top 10, although none since the mid-'90s, after which female acts have been less prevalent at the format. Notably, The B-52s (an established act long before the chart's onset) reached the top 10 with their first five charted songs in 1989-92.

The Alternative Songs success for "Bad Guy" marks the track's second top 10 airplay chart benchmark, as it also rises 10-9 on Pop Songs. It pushes 14-13 on the all-format Radio Songs chart, up 15% to 50.6 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music.

On the streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Billboard Hot 100, "Bad Guy" ranks at its No. 2 high for a third week.