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Imagine Dragons’ ‘Evolve’ Is First Album With 3 Alternative Songs No. 1s This Decade

"Whatever It Takes" makes the set the first to earn the honor since Kings of Leon tripled up with 'Only By the Night' in 2009.

Imagine DragonsEvolve becomes the first album to generate at least three No. 1s on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs airplay chart this decade, as “Whatever It Takes” rises 2-1 on the March 17-dated tally.

The song follows the 13-week reign of the set’s lead single, “Believer” (beginning April 1, 2017), and the three-week rule of “Thunder” (starting Nov. 4). The band has now led the chart for nearly a third of the past year (17 of the past 52 weeks).

“Whatever” is Imagine Dragons’ fourth Alternative Songs No. 1 overall. They first led with “Radioactive,” for 13 weeks beginning March 2, 2013.

With the ascent of “Whatever,” 2017’s Evolve becomes the 11th album in the history of the Alternative Songs chart (which began in 1988) to produce at least three No. 1s, and the first in nearly a decade. The last album to score such a hat trick, Kings of Leon‘s Only By the Night, was released on Sept. 19, 2008, and produced the leaders “Sex on Fire,” “Use Somebody” and “Notion,” between December 2008 and September 2009.

10 of those 11 sets each spurred three Alternative Songs No. 1s, while one yielded a record five: Linkin Park‘s Meteora, in 2003-04. Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers are the only acts to score three No. 1s from each of two albums.

Albums With at Least Three Alternative Songs No. 1s
Evolve, Imagine Dragons: “Believer,” “Thunder,” “Whatever It Takes,” 2017-18
Only By the Night, Kings of Leon: “Sex on Fire,” “Use Somebody,” “Notion,” 2008-09
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters: “The Pretender,” “Long Road to Ruin,” “Let It Die,” 2007-08
Stadium Arcadium, Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Dani California,” “Tell Me Baby,” “Snow (Hey Oh),” 2006-07
With Teeth, Nine Inch Nails: “The Hand That Feeds,” “Only,” “Every Day Is Exactly the Same,” 2005-06
American Idiot, Green Day: “American Idiot,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Holiday,” 2004-05
Meteora, Linkin Park: “Somewhere I Belong,” “Faint,” “Numb,” “Lying from You,” “Breaking the Habit,” 2003-04
Californication, Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Scar Tissue,” “Otherside,” “Californication,” 1999-2000
Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette: “You Oughta Know,” “Hand in My Pocket,” “Ironic,” 1995-96
Dookie, Green Day: “Longview,” “Basket Case,” “When I Come Around,” 1994-95
Achtung Baby, U2: “The Fly,” “Mysterious Ways,” “One,” 1991-92

Additionally, Imagine Dragons have now notched three Alternative Songs No. 1s in a row, the 14th streak of at least that many leaders (counting consecutive charting titles). twenty one pilots had most recently accomplished the feat, a week after Cage the Elephant did, in 2015-16. (Linkin Park linked a record six straight No. 1s in 2003-07: its five from Meteora and “What I’ve Done.”)

“Whatever” concurrently notches its third week at No. 1 on the all-rock-format Rock Airplay chart, reaching a new weekly high of 12.5 million audience impressions (up 4 percent), according to Nielsen Music. It breaks into the top 10 (11-9) and top 30 (31-30) of the Adult Alternative Songs and Mainstream Rock Songs airplay charts, respectively.


The track also rises to No. 1 on Rock Digital Song Sales and Alternative Digital Song Sales (34,000 sold, up 30 percent). Imagine Dragons extend their record to six Rock Digital Song Sales No. 1s, twice as many as their closest competitors (Adele, Coldplay and Fall Out Boy). They likewise hold a six-to-three lead for the most No. 1s on Alternative Digital Song Sales (over Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, Lorde, Mumford & Sons and twenty one pilots).

Meanwhile, “Whatever” continues its pop crossover, pushing 15-14 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart and 20-19 on Pop Songs. It also becomes the band’s eighth top 40 hit on the all-genre, streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Billboard Hot 100, where it jumps 43-34.