Driven in large part by its buzzy, socially-conscious video, Childish Gambino‘s new single “This Is America” should challenge for a No. 1 debut on next week’s Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated May 19); the Hot 100 blends weekly streaming, airplay and sales data, according to Nielsen Music.
According to building Nielsen Music data, the song, released, along with its official video, just after Donald Glover’s musical alter ego took the stage as the musical guest on NBC’s Saturday Night Live May 5 (as Glover hosted), should draw over 50 million U.S. streams in the tracking week, along with over 8 million in radio airplay audience and 60,000 downloads sold.
“America” could unseat Drake‘s “Nice for What,” which has spent its first four weeks on the Hot 100 at No. 1. (Drake has logged the last 15 weeks at the summit overall, thanks to 11 prior frames on top with “God’s Plan,” which likewise debuted at No. 1.) “Nice” could sport over 45 million U.S. streams by the conclusion of the current tracking week, as well as over 70 million in airplay audience and 20,000 sold.
When all numbers are tabulated, the lead in streaming and sales for “America” over “Nice” could be enough to offset the latter’s lead in airplay for Hot 100 supremacy.
Childish Gambino, whose “America” marks his first release on RCA Records, is aiming for his first Hot 100 No. 1, or even top 10. He hit a No. 12 Hot 100 high last August with his fourth and most recent entry on the chart, “Redbone.” His three prior charted titles, in 2013-16, peaked between Nos. 64 and 86.
If “America” launches at No. 1, it would arrive as the 31st No. 1 debut in the Hot 100’s 59-year history. “America” and Drake’s “Nice” and “Plan” would also make for the first trio of back-to-back-to-back No. 1-debuting hits since 1995-96, when Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy,” Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” and Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” all opened atop the chart in succession.
Highlights of next week’s Hot 100 will post on Billboard.com Monday (May 14), with all charts posting the following day (May 15).