Kate Bush solely wrote, produced and performs her 1985 classic “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” which bounds back onto the Billboard Hot 100 (dated June 11) at No. 8, hitting a new high, sparked by its sync in the newly released fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
How rare is it for an artist to triple up in all three fields for a Hot 100 top 10? “Hill” is the first such Hot 100 top 10 this decade, and one of just four among women this century.
“Hill” is the first song to place in the Hot 100’s top tier written, produced and performed by a single talent since J. Cole’s “KOD,” which launched at No. 10, marking its sole week in the top 10, on the chart dated May 5, 2018.
Prior to Cole, a beloved hit written, produced, and performed solely by Prince returned to the Hot 100’s top 10 following his passing: “When Doves Cry” hit No. 8 on the chart dated May 14, 2016.
Despite a small sample size, a notable pattern emerges: “When Doves Cry” was originally released in 1984 and “Hill,” in 1985. The former spent five weeks at No. 1 beginning in July 1984, amid a decade in which 7.4% of all No. 1s were solo-penned, -produced and -performed. The share fell noticeably to 4.3% in the ’90s and 1.6% in the 2000s; inched to 1.7% in ’10s; and has yet to register so far in the ’20s.
Before the return of Prince’s hit, Hozier’s self-written, -produced, and -performed “Take Me to Church” climbed to No. 2 on the Dec. 20, 2014, Hot 100.
Earlier in 2014, Soko logged the last such hit among women before Bush: “We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow” flew in at No. 9 on the Hot 100 dated March 29 that year (for its only week on the chart). The song, written, produced and sung by the French artist (born Stéphanie Sokolinski) bowed largely from streaming, propelled by, as Billboard reported that week, “the viral video ‘First Kiss,’ which hit the Internet on March 10. The three-minute, 28-second clip captures 20 strangers sharing their first kiss.”
(That week, Pharrell Williams was amid his 10-week Hot 100 rule with “Happy,” the most recent solo self-written, -produced and -performed No. 1. Honorable mention: Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves,” written and produced solely by lead singer Dave Bayley, topped the tally for five weeks beginning this March, and ranks at No. 5 on the current chart.)
Ahead of Bush and Soko, no female artist had written, produced and performed a Hot 100 top 10 on her own since Alicia Keys scored two such hits in the ’00s: “If I Ain’t Got You” reached No. 4 on July 3, 2004, after her breakthrough smash “Fallin’ ” achieved six weeks at No. 1 starting on Aug. 18, 2001.
The coronation of “Fallin’ ” was especially significant, as it became just the fourth, and most recent, Hot 100 No. 1 solely written, produced and performed by a female artist. It followed Lauryn Hill‘s “Doo Wop (That Thing),” which soared in atop the chart dated Nov. 14, 1998, and led for two weeks.
Prior to Keys and Hill, Debbie Gibson initiated the exclusive club, and remains its only two-time member, thanks to “Foolish Beat,” which topped the June 25, 1988, Hot 100, and “Lost in Your Eyes,” which began a three-week reign on the March 4, 1989, tally.