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All Female No. 1 Collabs Spiked In 2020: Here’s Why

Multiple all-female collaborations dominated the Hot 100 this year — a rare feat.

Throughout the Billboard Hot 100’s 62-year history, only five all-female collaborations have hit No. 1. But this year, in the span of just one month, three superstar female alliances hit the chart’s peak: Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj’s throwback-sounding “Say So” remix (May 16 chart), Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé’s swaggering “Savage” remix (May 30) and Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s empowering anthem “Rain on Me” (June 6).

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Later in the summer, Megan Thee Stallion revisited the Hot 100 summit, alongside Cardi B, on the industry-shaking sex jam “WAP” that spent four weeks at No. 1 in August. Then Grande — who tends to work with a brain trust of fellow young women — recruited Angelina “Sherie” Barrett and Nija Charles to co-write the R&B single “Positions” (the lead track off her sixth album of the same name), which spent two weeks in the penthouse in October.

“Not only is it great for the industry, it’s great for everyone — especially young girls — to see women supporting women,” says 300 Entertainment senior vp promotion Aimie Vaughan-Früehe. She asserts that radio is embracing women as hitmakers more than ever, no matter what they’re singing or rapping about. As Cardi B recently told Billboard, “ ‘WAP” was “such a big victory for me and Megan … to me, it was just a regular raunchy female rap song, but it caused so much controversy.”

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Grande, too, is more sexually explicit than ever on the Positions album (which includes a Doja Cat collaboration), particularly the not-so-subtle second single, “34+35,” on which she croons: “Can you stay up all night?/F–k me ’til the daylight.” Its fembot-themed video garnered almost 13 million views in its first 24 hours. And Megan Thee Stallion closed out the year with new collaborations alongside City Girls and SZA on her debut album, Good News.

Expect all-women singles to top the charts more frequently in 2021 and beyond. “There is going to be a trickle-down effect, or a domino effect, of a bunch more females sticking together,” says Charles, who also co-wrote “Rain on Me.” “I love this new shift we’re in.”

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 19, 2020, issue of Billboard.