Just three months into 2019, solo women in lead roles have already matched the time they spent at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in all of 2018.
So far this year, solo women have totaled 11 weeks at No. 1, out of 13 total calendar frames.
Leading the resurgence, Ariana Grande‘s “7 Rings” rules the Hot 100 (dated March 30) for, aptly, a seventh week, matching the reign of her first No. 1, “Thank U, Next,” for her personal best. Both songs contribute to women’s chart supremacy in 2019, joined by Halsey‘s “Without Me” and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow.”
Women’s 2018 and 2019 sums outpace that of 2017: eight weeks, this decade’s low for women with lead billings atop the Hot 100. Still, those 11-week tallies pale in comparison to women’s highpoint in the ’10s: 37 weeks at No. 1 in 2011, when Gaga, Adele, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Britney Spears took turns at the top.
Meanwhile, solo men in lead roles have topped the Hot 100 for two weeks in 2019, thanks to a No. 1 frame each for Bradley Cooper on “Shallow” and Post Malone and Swae Lee for “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).” That’s after logging 37 weeks in charge in 2018 and a decade-best 43 frames at the summit in 2017; unsurprisingly, those years coincided with an explosion of male-dominated hip-hop.
(One group has led the Hot 100 in the first quarter of 2019: Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker,” the brother trio’s first No. 1, which debuted atop the March 16-dated chart.)
So far this decade, lead solo women have totaled more weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 than lead solo men in four years (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014), while the latter have claimed five titles (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018). As for notable swings, tracing from when pop gave way to hip-hop, women outperformed men by 37 weeks to 6 atop the chart in 2011, while men won 2017 by a 43-to-8 landslide in 2017.
With all numbers crunched, the yearly averages of lead solo men vs. women in lead roles atop the Hot 100 from 2010 through 2018 stand at 24.4 vs. 19.8 weeks. (Duos/groups account for 8.2 annual weeks at No. 1 in that span.)
Still, if women maintain their torrid pace that has so far defined 2019 – and with new music being teased by the likes of Rihanna, Swift, Halsey and Gaga – that average disparity could dissipate by year’s end.