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How Excited Is Lewis Capaldi to Be No. 1 on the Hot 100? He 'Could Punch a Lion in the Mouth'

Lewis Capaldi
Alexandra Gavillet

Lewis Capaldi

The Scottish singer/songwriter talks to Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast about his new status as "America's Sweetheart" after "Someone You Loved" tops the chart.

“I can’t believe it! It’s f---ing amazing!” Those were among the first words Lewis Capaldi told the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast after finding out his song “Someone You Loved” had hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Capaldi was in Madrid, Spain on Oct. 28 when he learned the news, and he was clearly over the moon with the achievement.

“It feels like this is such a f---in’ wild magnitude that there’s no way that I could react that’s going to be appropriate,” the 23-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter says of topping the Hot 100 with his first chart entry. “But I just feel f---ing amazing!” (Listen to the full interview, below.)

“Someone You Loved” was released in November of 2018, and debuted on the Hot 100 in May of this year. Since then, the song has been steadily working its way up the list, and had halted at No. 3 for three nonconsecutive weeks, stuck behind a pair of No. 1s in Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” and Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Señorita.” “To be honest, I’d kind of given up on the whole (going to No. 1 thing),” he says. 

Well, slow and steady wins the race, as “Someone” rose to the top slot in its 24th week on the tally -- the fifth-longest climb to No. 1 in the 61-year-history of the chart.

Below are some the highlights from our chat with Capaldi -- including his reaction to finding out he was No. 1 on the Hot 100, how it feels to be “America’s sweetheart,” why he didn't release a guest-enhanced remix of the track to boost it up the chart, and more.

On just how amped he was to find out he was No. 1:

I'm so full of energy and I just feel like I could punch a lion in the mouth … I feel like I could punch a lion right in its stupid mouth. That's what I feel like. (Laughs.)

On how it feels, to borrow his Twitter handle name, to be America’s sweetheart right now:

I feel like America's sweetheart, at least for a moment. At least for a fleeting moment, I feel like I'm the sweetest heart in all of the U.S. of A. It feels good. I feel terrific. I feel like I'm a wrestler, and I'm just walking out (to the ring) and there's an American flag, and I'm saying 'U.S.A.! U.S.A.!' That's what I feel like, a wrestler.

Why does he think the song has been embraced by so many people around the world?

I have no f---in' idea. But I'm happy! I have no clue why this piano ballad has done what it's done. I never thought… (we) were writing a big song here… I just wrote a song and thankfully people seemed to like it and maybe I'll be able to pay rent for the next few months! (He's joking, as he lives at home with his parents.)

His thoughts on how his "piano ballad" cut through and made it to No. 1 in a time when hip-hop and uptempo pop music has been so dominant — and why he decided not to release a guest-enhanced remix of the track to help boost it up the chart:

I think nowadays, genre means less and less to people. As long as people like the song that's all that matters … We have had moments of opportunities along the way with the song where there's been (discussions of getting a guest artist on the track). For me and my manager, we were always very much like … my thing was I'd rather have a No. 3 (peaking) record by myself than … a No. 1 with someone else on it, and people may be like … confused and be like 'oh that song that person jumped on.' For me and my manager it was always very like, 'let's just stick to your guns on this one and really just have this as … my song.' To be honest, I'd kind of given up on the whole (No. 1 thing). I felt like, No. 3, nailed it … So this last week has really been quite a shock …

So, now that he's gone to No. 1, here come the remixes?

Now's the time! Now's the time. (Laughs.) Someone phone Migos, let them know!

What will he do to celebrate the No. 1 achievement?

…I'm on tour for the next two and a half, three weeks. So, after that two and a half, three weeks, I'm gonna go home, and I'm gonna get so f---ed up, you have no idea. I am gonna get so pished. That's what we call it in the U.K. Pished. P-i-s-h-e-d. Pished. … Listen guys, I'll probably, I'm gonna be sick. I'll be sick. I'll be sick in the toilet. And the next morning I'll have an upset stomach and I'll probably be really sad and be like 'oh, why am I drinking at all?!' And then I'll wake up the day after and I'll be happy again. So that's my plan. Play these shows, two and a half weeks. Get so f---ed up that I spew and feel sad, really sad the next day, really sad the next day. Questioning everything in my life… and then the following day I'll be fine again. And then we go on a U.K. tour! And it'll be lovely! And I'm back in America at the end of the year! … That's my plan!

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard's senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and deputy editor, digital Katie Atkinson every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)