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Zayn’s ‘Pillowtalk’ Debuts at No. 1 on Hot 100

Zayn blasts onto the Billboard Hot 100 (dated Feb. 20) at No. 1 with "Pillowtalk," his first solo single after departing One Direction.

Zayn blasts onto the Billboard Hot 100 (dated Feb. 20) at No. 1 with “Pillowtalk,” his first solo single after departing One Direction. The pop singer/songwriter (full name: Zayn Malik) makes his first trip to the top of the Hot 100 after peaking as high as No. 2 with 1D (with the group’s 2013 single “Best Song Ever”). He also earns an honor not achieved since a former Beatle more than 45 years ago (read on).

Plus, Drake enters the Hot 100 at No. 6 with “Summer Sixteen” and G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha reach the top 10 with “Me, Myself & I.”


As we do every Monday, let’s talk the Hot 100’s top 10 and more. Highlights of the airplay, sales and streaming-based Hot 100 post on Billboard.com each Monday, with all charts updated each Tuesday.

“Pillowtalk,” released Jan. 29 on RCA Records, is just the 25th song ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It’s the first since Adele’s “Hello” arrived at the summit on the Nov. 14 chart.

“Pillowtalk” also opens atop the Digital Songs and Streaming Songs charts, with 267,000 first-week U.S. downloads sold and 22.3 million U.S. streams (the fourth-largest streaming start ever) in the week ending Feb. 4, according to Nielsen Music. It also bows at No. 1 on the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart (12.7 million on-demand streams), while also boasting 17 million in radio audience.

Zayn Malik Speaks Out in Revealing Billboard Cover Story: ‘I’m Not Censoring Myself Anymore’

The sultry “Pillowtalk” is from Zayn’s debut album Mind of Mine, due March 25, the one-year anniversary of his departure from One Direction.

Ten more key facts regarding the Hot 100’s new leader (the 1,051st No. 1 overall dating to the chart’s 1958 launch):

>>>  Zayn, born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, is the first U.K. artist to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with a first charted single. He’s the third U.K. act to start at the summit overall, following Adele (“Hello,” 2015) and Elton John (“Candle in the Wind 1997″/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” 1997).

>>>  “Pillowtalk” marks the first No. 1 debut for an artist’s first Hot 100 hit since Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” (March 2, 2013).

Zayn Debuts at No. 1 on U.K. Singles Chart With ‘Pillowtalk’

>>>  Zayn goes where One Direction hasn’t: to No. 1 on the Hot 100. Before he left the boy band, 1D tallied four top 10s, rising as high as No. 2 with “Best Song Ever” in August 2013. (Without Zayn, the group has landed two more top 10s: “Drag Me Down” and “Perfect,” which reached Nos. 3 and 10, respectively, last year.)

>>>  Zayn Go-Go’s where One Direction hasn’t: by reaching No. 2 with 1D and No. 1 as a soloist, he is the first artist in 28 years to peak as high as No. 2 with a group (excluding one-time-only charity acts) and then command the Hot 100 as a solo artist: the Go-Go’s reached a high of No. 2 with “We Got the Beat” in 1982; lead singer Belinda Carlisle then led in 1987 with her own “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.”

>>>  While the definition of “boy band” leaves room for interpretation, Zayn’s coronation of the Hot 100 places him in elite company. If we consider the Beatles a founding pop music boy band, Zayn is the first one-time member of a Hot 100-charting boy band to score a No. 1 with a debut single on the survey since George Harrison. The Quiet Beatle launched with the four-week No. 1 “My Sweet Lord”/”Isn’t It a Pity” in 1970, following the Fab Four’s split earlier that year.

>>>  Other prominent one-time boy band members have crowned the Hot 100 solo, but not with their debut Hot 100 hits. On the list: Bobby Brown (apart from New Edition), Michael Jackson (Jackson 5), Ricky Martin (Menudo), Donny Osmond (the Osmonds), Justin Timberlake (*NSYNC) and, the other three Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

The Evolution of Boy Bands, From The Osmonds to Zayn Malik: A Timeline

>>>  Zayn scores his first Hot 100 No. 1 not just as an artist, but also as a writer. He co-wrote “Pillowtalk” with Anthony and Michael Hannides and Levi Lennox.

>>>  The RCA label notches its first leader since Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!” (featuring Bruno Mars), which reigned for 14 weeks and became the year-end Hot 100 No. 1 for 2015 (and a highlight, among many, of last night’s Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show).

>>>  Despite their ubiquity in daily (or rather, nightly) life, pillows have never been central to hit songs. “Pillowtalk” brings the word pillow to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the first time, besting the previous No. 3 peak of Sylvia’s “Pillow Talk,” which reached No. 3 in 1973. Of course, pillows are associated with sleep … aka, getting some zzz’s. Speaking of the letter z…

>>>  Zayn is the first artist whose first name starts with a Z ever to top the Hot 100. (Zayn is actually a reworking of his birth name, Zain.) And, with Adele having recently reigned, Billboard editors, please feel free to pencil in (and, ahem, thank me for) this future year-end headline: The Year in Music 2016: From A(dele) to Z(ayn).

As for the rest of the Hot 100’s top five: Justin Bieber‘s “Love Yourself” drops to No. 2 after a week at No. 1 and his prior three-week leader “Sorry” dips 2-3 (while topping Radio Songs for a second week, holding at 141 million). Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out” slips to No. 4 on the Hot 100, down a spot from its peak (but adds top Airplay Gainer honors for its 9 percent jump to 131 million), and “Hello” descends 4-5 after logging 10 weeks at No. 1.

Drake debuts at No. 6 on the Hot 100 with “Summer Sixteen” (released Jan. 30). The track, fittingly his 16th Hot 100 top 10, starts at No. 2 on Digital Songs with 215,000 downloads sold, marking his best sales week as a lead artist. Sales mark a hefty 89 percent of the Hot 100 chart points for the song, released as an Apple Music exclusive. The single could be part of Drake’s album Views From the 6, due in April.

Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ Rules at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

Drake also rises 9-7 on the Hot 100 as featured on Rihanna‘s “Work,” following its debut last week. After its first full week of tracking following its Jan. 27 release, the song surges by 23 percent to 156,000 sold; it drops 1-3 on Digital Songs (below the debuts of “Pillowtalk” and “Summer Sixteen”). “Work,” from Anti, the new No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, bounds 27-20 on Radio Songs (51 million, up 15 percent) and debuts on Streaming Songs at No. 41 (4.6 million, up 115 percent) and wins the Hot 100’s top Digital and Streaming Gainer awards.

Flo Rida’s “My House” (5-8) and the Chainsmokers’ “Roses,” featuring Rozes (6-9), both fall three spots from their Hot 100 peaks (although each gains in overall points), while G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha’s “Me, Myself & I” reaches the top 10 (12-10), led by its 9-6 lift on Streaming Songs (12 million, up 13 percent). G-Eazy earns his first Hot 100 top 10 and Rexha her second, following her featured turn (with Nicki Minaj and Afrojack) on David Guetta’s “Hey Mama,” which climbed to No. 8 last June.

Just outside the Hot 100’s top 10, two songs scale the top 20, hitting new highs: DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean,” which climbs 18-14 (and reaches the Pop Songs airplay chart’s top 10, rising 11-10), and Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away,” up 22-17.

Find out more noteworthy news in the weekly “Hot 100 Chart Moves” column to post later this week. And, visit Billboard.com tomorrow (Feb. 9), when all rankings, including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh, as they do each Tuesday. The Hot 100 and other charts will also appear in the next issue of Billboard magazine, on sale Friday (Feb. 12).