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Five Finger Death Punch’s ‘Blue On Black’ Tops Mainstream Rock Songs

The cover of The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band's '90s tune features Shepherd, Gilbert & Queen's Brian May.

Five Finger Death Punch notches its seventh No. 1 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart with its cover of The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band‘s “Blue On Black,” which rises 3-1 on the June 1-dated tally.

All three of the metal act’s singles from its latest album, 2018’s And Justice for None, have topped Mainstream Rock Songs, and the band’s streak of three leaders in a row is its best, dating to its first No. 1, “Coming Down,” in September 2012.

The accolades don’t stop there for “Blue On Black.” In fact, they’re quite plentiful, thanks in large part to the track’s featured artists.


Although the song was initially released on Justice without any special guests, a version released in April added Shepherd, whose original band version of “Blue On Black” ruled Mainstream Rock Songs for six weeks in 1998, as well as Queen‘s Brian May and country singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert, with proceeds from the new rendition benefiting The Gary Sinise Foundation. The track had already spent two weeks on Mainstream Rock Songs credited only to FFDP; once the trio of featured performers was added, it skyrocketed, needing just six more weeks to reach the top spot.

May snags his first No. 1 on Mainstream Rock Songs, counting both his solo work and output with Queen. Previously, he twice peaked at No. 3 as a member of Queen (“I Want It All,” June 1989; “Real World,” July 1993), while solo tune “Driven By You” hit No. 9 in March 1993.

Shepherd tops Mainstream Rock Songs for the first time since the original “Blue On Black” led in 1998.


Gilbert, meanwhile, earns his first Mainstream Rock Songs leader, adding to a career that’s seen him gather four Country Airplay No. 1s, dating to 2011. He isn’t, however, the first artist more known for country music to rule the tally; for instance, in 2015, Zac Brown Band led with “Heavy Is the Head,” featuring Chris Cornell.

“Blue On Black” is the first cover to lead Mainstream Rock Songs since Bad Wolves’ rendition of The Cranberries‘ “Zombie” in May 2018. It’s also the first time in the 38-year history of the chart that a remake of a song that reached No. 1 on the tally has ruled the list. That feat was nearly accomplished last year when a cover of The Offspring‘s “Gone Away” by (guess who?) Five Finger Death Punch reached No. 2.