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Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ Gallops to No. 1 On Hot 100

Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, races into the Billboard Hot 100’s winner’s circle, rising 2-1. The song, infused with trap dance elements, marking a bit of a departure from her…

Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, races into the Billboard Hot 100’s winner’s circle, rising 2-1. The song, infused with trap dance elements, marking a bit of a departure from her standard pure-pop fare, becomes her ninth career leader.

“This No. 1 is the most unexpected one I’ve ever had,” Perry tells Billboard exclusively. “‘Dark Horse’ has been a dark horse of a song, since August when the KatyCats voted to release it early on iTunes, before ‘PRISM’ even came out. I’m so thrilled and grateful to have these moments.”

As we do each Wednesday, let’s run down the numbers behind the Hot 100’s top 10, starting with a host of accolades that Perry and Juicy J earn upon their coronation.

Nine No. 1s: “Dark Horse” marks Perry’s ninth Hot 100 No. 1, lifting her into a five-way tie for 10th place among artists with the most toppers in the chart’s 55-year history. The Beatles lead with 20 No. 1s, followed by Mariah Carey (18), Michael Jackson, Rihanna (13 each), Madonna, the Supremes (12 each), Whitney Houston (11), Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder (10 each). Perry equals the No. 1 sums of the Bee Gees, Elton John, Paul McCartney (solo/apart from the Beatles) and Usher.

Perry’s nine Hot 100 champs are: “I Kissed a Girl” (2008), “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, “Teenage Dream,” “Firework” (2010), “E.T.,” featuring Kanye West, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” (2011), “Part of Me” (2012), “Roar” (2013) and “Dark Horse.”

The ’10s Spot: Perry has tallied eight of her nine Hot 100 No. 1s in the ’10s, tying Rihanna for the highest total this decade. Bruno Mars ranks second in the ’10s with five leaders, followed by Adele, Eminem and Ke$ha (three each).

As of this week, Perry becomes the only artist to have risen to No. 1 in each year of the current decade.

‘Dream’ On: “Dark Horse” is the second Hot 100 No. 1 from Perry’s album “PRISM,” following lead single “Roar,” which ruled for two weeks in September. With Perry having logged five No. 1s from her last album, “Teenage Dream” (tying Michael Jackson’s “Bad” in 1987-88 for the most No. 1s from an album), she joins a select group of (now five) women who’ve tallied multiple No. 1s from consecutive studio albums.

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Mariah Carey collected multiple Hot 100 No. 1s from an incredible four consecutive studio sets (excluding her 1994 holiday release “Merry Christmas”). She notched two from 1993’s “Music Box” (“Dreamlover,” “Hero”); three from 1995’s “Daydream” (“Fantasy,” “One Sweet Day,” with Boyz II Men, “Always Be My Baby”); two from 1997’s “Butterfly” (“Honey,” “My All”) and two from 1999’s “Rainbow” (“Heartbreaker,” featuring Jay Z, and “Thank God I Found You,” featuring Joe and 98 Degrees).

Whitney Houston earned multiple No. 1s from three straight studio efforts: “Whitney Houston” yielded three in 1985-86 (“Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All”); “Whitney” produced four in 1987-88 (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”); and, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” generated two in 1990-91 (the title cut, “All the Man That I Need”).

Janet Jackson managed the achievement over two albums. She scored four No. 1s from 1989’s “Rhythm Nation 1814” (“Miss You Much,” “Escapade,” “Black Cat,” “Love Will Never Do (Without You)”) and two from 1993’s “Janet.” (“That’s the Way Love Goes,” “Again”).

Paula Abdul created the elite club in 1989-91. She posted four No. 1s from 1989’s “Forever Your Girl” (“Straight Up,” the title track, “Cold Hearted,” “Opposites Attract,” with the Wild Pair) and two from 1991’s “Spellbound” (“Rush Rush,” “The Promise of a New Day”).

(Looking ahead, should Perry post a third No. 1 from “PRISM” [perhaps potential single candidates like “Birthday,” “Walking on Air” or “International Smile”?], she’d join Houston as the only women with at least three leaders from consecutive studio albums.)

“Horse” Races: Let’s also hear it for the song that has Perry back in the saddle at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Horse-torians, take note: the new No. 1 is the second with the word “horse” in its title. America’s “A Horse With No Name” led for three weeks in 1972. The next highest-peaking such songs to have raced up the Hot 100: Cliff Nobles & Co.’s “The Horse” (No. 2, 1968) and Taylor Swift’s “White Horse” (No. 13, 2008).

Juicy’s Jump: Meanwhile, “Dark Horse” featured act Juicy J celebrates his first Hot 100 No. 1. He previously peaked as high as No. 11 in October as a guest, with Miley Cyrus and Wiz Khalifa, on Mike WiLL Made-It’s “23.”

As Billboard’s Keith Caulfield notes, Juicy J also joins the lofty ranks of acts who’ve earned an Academy Award and a Hot 100 No. 1. As a member of Three 6 Mafia, the rapper (born Jordan Houston) shared in the group’s win for best original song in 2006 for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” from the film “Hustle & Flow.” Among the artists who’ve doubled up with Oscars and Hot 100 No. 1s are Adele, the Beatles, Irene Cara, Cher, Phil Collins, Eminem, Elton John, Henry Mancini, Prince, Lionel Richie, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.

As for how “Horse” wins the Hot 100’s first-place ribbon, it leads all but one of the Hot 100’s main component charts. It tops Digital Songs (294,000 downloads sold, up 12%, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart (2.5 million U.S. streams, up 28%, according to Nielsen BDS) for a third week each and takes over atop Streaming Songs, where it pushes 3-1 (5.6 million streams, up 8%). It’s Perry’s second No. 1 on Streaming Songs, following “Roar.” The song’s streaming momentum could increase once its video is released; Perry is currently in the process of filming it. Notably, with no official clip so far, VEVO on YouTube is the source of most of the cut’s streaming activity, accounting for 39% of its streams. Spotify is a close second among data sources with 37%.

On Radio Songs, “Dark Horse” surges 9-4 with 101 million all-format audience impressions, up 21%, according to BDS.

Perry performed “Dark Horse” on the Grammy Awards Sunday night (Jan. 26), helping fuel its rise on this week’s charts. As previously reported, the latest sales tracking week ended on Sunday night (Jan. 26), so while a bevy of Grammy-related songs and albums show gains this week, we’ll see the full impact of the night on next week’s charts, once a full week of sales have registered.

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“Dark Horse” dethrones Pitbull’s “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha (1-2), after three weeks atop the Hot 100. “Timber” rises 3-2 on Radio Songs (although with a 3% decreases to 127 million), and dips 2-3 on Streaming Songs (5.4 million, down 1%) and 3-5 on Digital Songs (169,000, down 16%).

In terms of overall Hot 100 chart points, “Dark Horse” wins the race to No. 1 over “Timber” by far more than a nose. With the former up by 14% and the latter down by 8%, “Horse” takes the title by a comfortable 19% margin.

Rounding out the Hot 100’s top five, OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” holds at No. 3 (and atop Radio Songs for a second week, holding with 143 million), followed by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” and Eminem’s former four-week No. 1 “Monster,” featuring Rihanna, which hold at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. The latter spends a 13th week at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Jason Derulo lands the Hot 100’s lone new top 10 arrival this week, as “Talk Dirty,” featuring 2 Chainz, vaults 15-6 with the top Streaming Gainer award. It rockets into the Streaming Songs top 10 (17-8; 3.9 million, up 53%) and blasts 6-2 on Digital Songs with 194,000 downloads sold (up 31%). In its second week on Radio Songs, it speeds 48-26 (40 million, up 45%).

“Dirty” has been boosted by the buzz of its “Celebrities Talkin’ Dirty” trailer video, in which artists including Robin Thicke, Flo Rida and Ariana Grande endorse it, with OneDirection also having posted a clip of the boy band dancing along to it.

The song becomes Derulo’s fourth Hot 100 top 10 and first since his first three entries all reached the region in 2009-10: “Whatcha Say” (one week at No. 1), “In My Head” (No. 5) and “Ridin’ Solo” (No. 9). In between “Solo” and “Dirty,” Derulo still managed to notch four top 30 hits, including last year’s “The Other Side” (No. 18) and “Marry Me” (No. 26). 2 Chainz locks up his second Hot 100 top 10; A$AP Rocky’s “F**kin Problems,” on which he’s featured alongside Drake and Kendrick Lamar, peaked at No. 8 a year ago.

Closing out the Hot 100’s top 10, Passenger’s “Let Her Go” descends 6-7 (and leads Hot Rock Songs for a third week); Lorde’s “Team” holds at its No. 8 peak to date, while her former nine-week No. 1 “Royals,” honored at the Grammys Sunday for song of the year and best pop solo performance, drops 7-9; and, Bastille’s “Pompeii” spends its second week at its No. 10 highpoint.

Visit tomorrow (Jan. 30), when all rankings, including the Hot 100 in its entirety and Digital Songs, Radio Songs, Streaming Songs and On-Demand Songs, will refresh, as they do each Thursday. The latest charts will also appear in the next issue of Billboard magazine (on sale on Friday, Jan. 31).