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I’ve noticed that, as of this week, on the Billboard Hot 100 (dated May 25), Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, has held off four songs that have, so far, peaked at No. 2: Post Malone‘s “Wow.”; Taylor Swift‘s “Me!,” featuring Brendon Urie; Shawn Mendes‘ “If I Can’t Have You”; and, again, as of now, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber‘s “I Don’t Care.”
Which Hot 100 No. 1 has kept the most songs peaking in the silver medal position?
Lil Nas X isn’t horsing around, as “Old Town Road” is now in the discussion of the Hot 100 No. 1s to reign long enough to keep a significant succession of challengers peaking at No. 2.
Streaming has been a major factor in the song’s domination, as it now boasts six of the eight biggest streaming weeks ever.
If the four songs cited above remain No. 2-peaking hits on the Hot 100, “Road” would join four other No. 1s in blocking the second-most runners-up.
Here’s a recap of the Hot 100 No. 1s under which four songs have each peaked at No. 2. Notably, Swift (if “Me!” remains a No. 2 hit) has factored into the last two such instances. In fact, star power abounds among the No. 2 hits below, with Rihanna also on the list below twice, in the company of Lady Gaga, Drake and another Cyrus, while a Mariah Carey No. 1 even kept its follow-up from the top spot.
“Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus, seven weeks at No. 1 (to date), 2019
“Wow.,” Post Malone
“Me!,” Taylor Swift feat. Brendon Urie
“If I Can’t Have You,” Shawn Mendes
“I Don’t Care,” Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber
“TiK ToK,” Ke$ha, nine weeks at No. 1, 2010
“Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga
“Today Was a Fairytale,” Taylor Swift
“We Are the World 25: For Haiti,” Artists for Haiti
“I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas, 14 weeks at No. 1, 2009
“Best I Ever Had,” Drake
“You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift
“Party in the U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus
“Run This Town,” JAY-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West
“We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey, 14 weeks at No. 1, 2005
“Inside Your Heaven,” Bo Bice
“Pon de Replay,” Rihanna
“Don’t Cha,” The Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes
“Shake It Off,” Mariah Carey
“You Light Up My Life,” Debby Boone, 10 weeks at No. 1, 1977
“Keep It Comin’ Love,” KC and the Sunshine Band
“Nobody Does It Better,” Carly Simon
“Boogie Nights,” Heatwave
“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” Crystal Gayle
Those five No. 1s, however, share second place for keeping the most songs peaking at No. 2. Two leaders each barricaded five songs a rank shy of the summit. (And both were more than able to keep up with Joneses.)
“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” Bryan Adams, seven weeks at No. 1, 1991
“Right Here, Right Now,” Jesus Jones
“P.A.S.S.I.O.N.,” Rhythm Syndicate
“Every Heartbeat,” Amy Grant
“It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over,” Lenny Kravitz
“Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave),” Roxette
“The Theme From ‘A Summer Place’,” Percy Faith and His Orchestra, nine weeks at No. 1, 1960
“Handy Man,” Jimmy Jones
“He’ll Have to Go,” Jim Reeves
“Wild One,” Bobby Rydell
“Puppy Love,” Paul Anka
“Greenfields,” The Brothers Four
With the No. 1 run of “Old Town Road” ongoing, and reaction to the song’s official video, which premiered Friday (May 17), set to impact next week’s Hot 100, we’ll see if the song can tie the record for keeping the most hits peaking at No. 2.
It’s great that Billy Ray Cyrus, as featured on Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” has joined other singers named Billy to top the Hot 100. The full list: Billy Davis Jr., Billy Idol, Billy Joel, Billy Ocean, Billy Paul, Billy Preston, Billy Swan and Billy Vera & the Beaters.
It’s also nice to see, thanks to her hit “Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish share space in the top 10 with Billy Ray.
It reminds me of the ’90s when “Kiss the Rain” from Billie Myers and “Girlfriend” and “Day & Night” from Billie Piper were on the charts in the U.S. and UK.
Subang Jaya, Malaysia
While nine male artists named Billy have now topped the Hot 100, we’ll see if Billie Eilish can become the first Billie to reign. This week, “Bad Guy” becomes her first top five Hot 100 hit, jumping 9-4.
When it comes to No. 1 song titles atop the Hot 100, however, “Billie” leads “Billy,” two-to-one:
“Ode to Billie Joe,” Bobbie Gentry, 1967
“Billy, Don’t Be a Hero,” Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, 1974
“Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson, 1983