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Lorde’s ‘Royals’ Crowns Pop Songs Chart

The song's crossover continues, as it takes over atop the mainstream top 40 radio airplay tally.

Lorde lifts 2-1 on Billboard’s Nielsen BDS-based Pop Songs chart with “Royals.” With the coronation, the 16-year-old New Zealander continues her rapid rise with her breakthrough hit.

(Charts will refresh on Billboard.com and Billboardbiz on Thursday, Oct. 24, and will appear in the next issue of Billboard magazine.)

The song has topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks running and has sold 2.5 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. With seven weeks atop the Alternative Songs airplay chart (Aug. 24-Oct. 5), “Royals” passed Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” (1995) for the longest reign by a lead female in the list’s 25-year history.


Lorde (born Ella Yelich-O’Connor on Nov. 7, 1996) becomes the third-youngest solo artist to crown Pop Songs (which launched in 1992). JoJo was 13 years and seven months old when “Leave (Get Out)” began a five-week reign in 2004, while Miley Cyrus was 16 years, 11 months and two weeks old when “Party in the U.S.A.” reached No. 1 in 2009. The five youngest soloists to top the chart are all female, in fact: Britney Spears was 17 years two months and three weeks old when “…Baby One More Time” hit the top in 1999 and Avril Lavigne was 17 years and 10 months when “Complicated” climbed to the summit in 2002.

(Including group members, Hanson’s Zac Hanson is the youngest artist to rule Pop Songs. He was a mere 11 years and six months old when the brother trio’s “MmmBop” reached No. 1 in 1997.)

“Royals” concurrently becomes the first Alternative Songs No. 1 to ascend to the Rhythmic top five, as it bounds 6-3 with Greatest Gainer honors (up 783 plays) for a third consecutive week on the latter list. Crazytown’s Alternative Songs leader “Butterfly” had previously come closest to the feat, having flown to No. 6 on Rhythmic in 2001.

“Royals” bullets at No. 2 for second week on Adult Pop Songs. It topped Triple A for eight weeks. This week, it debuts at No. 46 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (2.7 million in audience, up 57%) and surges 33-26 on Dance/Club Play Songs. Meanwhile, follow-up “Team” jumps 22-18 on Alternative Songs and 25-20 on Triple A. Both songs appear on Lorde’s debut full-length album “Pure Heroine,” which has sold 192,000 copies in its first two weeks of release.

“I don’t use the word lightly, but I’d say she’s a legitimate genius,” Lava president Jason Flom says of Lorde. “We know we’ve got somebody who’s not only achieving extraordinary commercial success, but who can be around a long time and be the artist of her generation.”