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Kodak Black’s ‘ZEZE’ Is Highest-Charting ‘Z’ Song Ever to Hit the Billboard Hot 100

Kodak Black's "ZEZE," featuring Travis Scott and Offset, has a massive week on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Oct. 27). The track also makes Hot 100 history, of sorts.

Kodak Black‘s “ZEZE,” featuring Travis Scott and Offset, has a massive week on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Oct. 27). The track blasts in at No. 2 and debuts atop the Streaming Songs chart with 47.6 million U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music.

The track also makes Hot 100 history, of sorts. In the chart’s 60-year history, “ZEZE” becomes the highest-charting song to begin with the letter “Z.” (How many “Z” songs have hit No. 1, you ask? That would be zero. Or zilch.)

In fact, only one other song beginning with the letter “Z” has reached the top 10: Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ No. 8-peaking 1963 hit “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” That song is a cover of James Baskett’s 1946 version, made famous in the Disney film Song of the South and which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Soxx’s version was produced by Phil Spector, with background vocalists from, among others, Darlene Love.

“ZEZE” and “Zip” got us thinking about the other songs that start with “Z” to hit the Hot 100, and it turns out that only 15 have ever done so.

Here they are, sorted by peak position:

Peak Position, Title, Artist, Peak Date
No. 2, “ZEZE,” Kodak Black feat. Travis Scott & Offset, Oct. 27, 2018
No. 8, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, Jan. 12, 1963
No. 11, “Zorba the Greek,” Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Feb. 26, 1966
No. 23, “Zack and Codeine,” Post Malone, May 12, 2018
No. 36, “Zip Code,” The Five Americans, No. 36, Sept. 16, 1967
No. 52, “Zabadak,” Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick and Tich, Feb. 3, 1968
No. 54, “Zombie,” Bad Wolves, March 24, 2018
No. 61, “Zoom,” Lil’ Boosie feat. Yung Joc, Jan. 27, 2007
No. 61, “Zunga Zeng,” K7, March 12, 1994
No. 64, “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart,” The Trammps, Sept. 2, 1972
No. 78, “Zazueira (Za-zoo-wher-a),” Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, April 19, 1969
No. 80, “Zero,” Chris Brown,” Jan. 9, 2016
No. 92, “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart,” The Furys, Feb. 16, 1963
No. 98, “Zero-Zero,” Lawrence Welk, Dec. 8, 1962
No. 99, “Zoom,” Future, March 11, 2017

Oddly, 2018 is the only year in which as many as three such songs have peaked on the Hot 100, as “ZEZE” follows Post Malone’s “Zack and Codeine” and Bad Wolves’ “Zombie,” a cover of The Cranberries’ 1993 hit. The previous high for a year? Two, in 1963.

“Z” actually isn’t the most uncommon letter to start a Hot 100 hit. That distinction belongs to the letter “X,” as only 12 songs beginning with the letter have charted on the Hot 100, led by Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Llif3” (No. 7, 2017). After “Z” (with 15 entries), “Q” is a close third, with 33, led by U.S. Bonds’ two-week 1961 No. 1 “Quarter to Three.”

It’s worth noting that two artists whose names begin with “Z” have led the Hot 100: Zager & Evans, with “In the Year 2525,” a six-week No. 1 in the year 1969, and Zayn, whose “Pillowtalk” debuted and spent a week at No. 1 in 2016.

The Zombies, meanwhile, hit a No. 2 high with “She’s Not There” in 1964 (while ZZ Top reached No. 8 with both “Legs” in 1984 and “Sleeping Bag” in 1985).

Expanding to other charts, one song centered around the letter “Z” ruled Alternative Songs in 1989: The B-52s’ “Channel Z.”

And that concludes our research on this topic, about which we’re clearly zealous.