For chart fans, the most frustrating positions on a tally can be Nos. 2, 11 and 41. Those are the ranks that fall just outside the more desirable Nos. 1, 10 and 40.
So far in 2013, just one song has peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” featuring Mary Lambert.
With the single slipping down the chart, it would seem that a climb into the top 10 is now unlikely. Had it reached the region, it would’ve been the third top 10 single from the duo, which reached No. 1 with both “Thrift Shop” (featuring Wanz) and “Can’t Hold Us” (featuring Ray Dalton). All three singles are from the duo’s album “The Heist,” which has sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“Same Love” spent four (nonconsecutive) weeks stalled at No. 11. In the 55-year history of the Hot 100, just two No. 11-peaking tracks have totaled more time at the position: the Chamber Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today” (1968) and Sister Hazel’s “All For You” (1997), both of which spent five weeks stuck oh-so-close to the top 10’s barrier.
Here’s a look at the songs that have spent at least four weeks peaking at No. 11 on the Hot 100:
Title, Artist, Peak Year, Weeks At No. 11
“All For You,” Sister Hazel, 1997, five
“Time Has Come Today,” the Chamber Brothers, 1968, five
“Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert, 2013, four
“Gone,” 2001, ‘N Sync, four
“It’s Raining Again,” Supertramp, 1982, four
“Honey Chile,” Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, 1967, four
Another 23 songs, meanwhile, have peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100 for three weeks apiece. Among the more notable examples: Timbaland’s “Carry Out” (featuring Justin Timberlake) (2010); Haddaway’s “What Is Love” (1993); Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me” (1976); Steely Dan’s “Reeling in the Years” (1973); and the Foundations’ “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” (1968).
Still, “Same Love” has become a landmark song due to its subject matter. The song was written in support of Macklemore’s two gay uncles and gay godfather, with lyrics about how Macklemore himself thought he might be gay when he was younger. “The [recent] Supreme Court ruling was a confluence of art and real life that gave a hit song added resonance and further momentum,” David Orleans, president of Alternative Distribution Alliance, which distributes “The Heist,” told Billboard in July.
“This is a really powerful song which has great relevance today but it moves people in a way that means it will continue to have a life of its own for a long time.”
“Same Love” has also scored success, including top 10 peaks, on multiple Billboard charts. It rose to No. 2 on Rap Songs, No. 3 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rhythmic, No. 5 on Pop Songs and No. 8 on Radio Songs and Digital Songs. It’s sold 1.9 million downloads, according to SoundScan.
(Extra studious chart watchers, meanwhile, might remember another act, like Macklemore & Lewis, that followed two Hot 100 No. 1 with a statistically-tantalizing No. 11 hit: In 1989, after reigning with “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing,” Fine Young Cannibals peaked at No. 11 with “Don’t Look Back,” the third single from the group’s seven-week Billboard 200 No. 1 album “The Raw & the Cooked.”)