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Taylor Swift’s Record Rise & the Best Lead Singles of the Past 25 Years: Chart Beat Podcast

From Boyz II Men to Beyonce to Justin Bieber, a look at acts that introduced albums with definitive hits.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.    

This week, we run down the race between the Billboard Hot 100‘s top two titles, as Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, holds off Taylor Swift‘s “Me!,” featuring Brendon Urie, which makes the biggest vault in the Hot 100’s history, soaring from No. 100 to No. 2 (after it debuted a week earlier based solely on its first three days of airplay, before its first frame of streaming and sales factored into its Hot 100 rank this week).      

In honor of Swift’s return with the expected first taste of her seventh studio LP, senior editor Andrew Unterberger joins for a look back at the most noteworthy lead singles from albums over the past 25 years. From Boyz II Men in the ’90s to Beyoncé in the ’00s to Justin Bieber this decade, several superstars have struck the perfect tone in introducing memorable sets.


Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes! Plus, the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast is also available on Acast, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, PocketCast, Podbean, Stitcher and TuneIn