The song wraps the longest journey to No. 1 on AC among songs by women, outpacing the 33-week climb of Enya‘s “Only Time” in 2001.
Overall, only two songs have taken more scenic trips to the top of the AC chart than “The Bones”: matchbox twenty‘s “If You’re Gone” (42 weeks, 2000-01) and Post Malone‘s “Circles,” which completed a 41-week ascent four weeks ago.
“The Bones” leads yet another airplay chart, adding to its impressive multi-format résumé.
To recap its history on Billboard format-specific airplay rankings:
Adult Alternative Songs: No. 17 peak, Jan. 25, 2020
Country Airplay: No. 1, two weeks, Feb. 15-22
Adult Pop Songs: No. 1, one week, April 11
Pop Songs: No. 13, June 20
Adult Contemporary: No. 1, one week to date, Sept. 5
“The Bones” is the first song to have topped AC, Adult Pop Songs and Country Airplay in over a decade, since Lady A‘s “Need You Now” led the lists for 15, nine and five weeks, respectively, in 2009-10.
“The Bones” is just the third to song crown all three rankings, also joining Faith Hill‘s “Breathe,” which led AC for 17 weeks, Country Airplay for six weeks and Adult Pop Songs for one frame in 1999-2000.
(Adult Pop Songs began in 1996, after Country Airplay in 1990 and AC in 1961.)
Released in February 2019, “The Bones” was first promoted to adult pop radio by Columbia Records. A remix with Morris’ labelmate Hozier then drew support at the adult alternative format. Marking an atypical crossover chronology, the song was subsequently worked to country radio, by Columbia Nashville, becoming Morris’ fourth Country Airplay No. 1, before peaking on pop and adult airplay charts.
“We had a lot of confidence that we had something special,” Pete Cosenza, Columbia senior vp/adult promotion, told Billboard upon the song’s takeover atop Adult Pop Songs. “We’d been watching it on streaming services. We said, ‘There’s something going on here. Let’s go for this.’ We sent it out and started chasing it.”
“The Bones” is Morris’ second Adult Contemporary No. 1, in as many visits to the chart. “The Middle,” with Zedd and Grey, reigned for seven weeks beginning in July 2018.
“The Bones” is from Morris’ second LP, GIRL, which debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums and No. 4 on the all-genre Billboard 200 in March 2019 and has earned 845,000 equivalent album units through Aug. 27. The song has drawn 2.4 billion in cumulative, all-format radio reach and 475 million on-demand U.S. streams and sold 302,000 downloads.
“The Bones” also led the multi-metric Hot Country Songs chart for 19 weeks, the longest reign in the chart’s 62-year history for a hit by a woman and no accompanying acts.
“The fans have spoken on this one,” Morris told Billboard earlier this year. “It’s a real, gritty love song that I wrote years ago [with Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz sharing co-write credits]. I couldn’t be more proud that it’s become one of the biggest songs of my career to-date.”