After two weeks of a reigning "Renegades" by X Ambassadors, Elle King tops Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart (dated Oct. 31) with her breakthrough "Ex's & Oh's." The bluesy pop/rock track rules as the chart's top gainer in all three metrics: airplay (73 million in audience, up 13 percent, according to Nielsen Music), streaming (3.2 million U.S. streams, up 10 percent) and digital sales (66,000 sold, up 4 percent).
That chart triple crown hasn't been earned since the chart dated April 4, when Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance" was the week's most-streamed, downloaded and played rock song; at No. 2 that frame, it rose to No. 1 for a record-setting 27-week command the following week.
Only four women or female-led acts have topped Hot Rock Songs since the chart launched in June 2009. And all four have led since 2013, as alternative's harder edges continued to give way to more folk and electronic influences. Lorde opened the floodgates on the chart dated Sept. 14, 2013, with "Royals," followed by Paramore's "Ain't It Fun" and Tove Lo's "Habits (Stay High)," both in 2014, prior to King's coronation. Similarly, when "Ex's & Oh's" reached No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart last month, it became just the second song by a solo woman to climb to the tally's summit in two decades, following "Royals."
With the fall of X Ambassadors' "Renegades" from No. 1 to No. 2 on Hot Rock Songs, it marks (barring a return to the top spot) the shortest reign on the chart in three years, since Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait," which spent one week at No. 1 (Oct. 13, 2012). Despite its drop from the top, "Renegades" rises in airplay (84 million, up 5 percent) and streaming (3.7 million, up 3 percent); it slips by 5 percent to 39,000 sold).