Major Lazer is back atop a Billboard airplay chart, but it might not be one that you expect.
“Head” marks the first airplay chart No. 1 for Major Lazer, which comprises Diplo, Walshy Fire and Ape Drums, since “Cold Water” (featuring Justin Bieber and Mo), which ruled Pop Songs for a week in October 2016. Major Lazer boasts two Pop Songs leaders, as “Lean On,” with DJ Snake and also featuring Mo, led for a week in September 2015. “Lean On” also topped the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart for 13 weeks beginning in July 2015, while Major Lazer’s “Light It Up,” featuring Nyla and Fuse ODG, ruled for two frames in April 2016.
But Adult Alternative Songs is new territory for Major Lazer, which had never reached a rock airplay chart prior to “Head.” The featured vocalist, of course, has plenty of rock cred: Mumford & Sons has notched four Alternative Songs No. 1s, four Adult Alternative Songs leaders and two Rock Airplay rulers. “Head” marks Mumford’s first solo appearance on any of the lists.
Major Lazer is the third act in a row to snag a first Adult Alternative Songs leader, following Tame Impala with “Lost in Yesterday” (May 30) and The Strokes with “Bad Decisions” (May 2). Adding Black Pumas, with “Colors,” four acts have led Adult Alternative Songs for the first time in 2020, already equaling the count of all of 2019: Maggie Rogers, Vampire Weekend, Brittany Howard (her first solo No. 1 apart from Alabama Shakes) and Caamp.
The race for No. 1 on the latest Adult Alternative Songs sported a photo finish, as “Head” prevailed over The Killers‘ “Caution” by just one spin (the chart ranks the week’s most-played songs on a panel of 47 reporting stations, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data). “Head” wins the closest battle for No. 1 since Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ “Dark Necessities” also nosed out the runner-up, The Record Company‘s “Off the Ground,” by one play on the June 18, 2016, survey.
“Head” is from Lazerism, Major Lazer’s fourth studio album, expected this month. It marks the group’s first full-length since 2015’s Peace Is the Mission.