Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’ Holds Atop Hot 100, Elton John & Britney Spears’ ‘Hold Me Closer’ Launches in Top 10
“As It Was” boasts the longest reign since Lil Nas X’s record 19-week domination with “Old Town Road.”
Harry Styles‘ “As It Was” rules the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart for a 12th week. The song claims outright the longest stay at the summit this decade, breaking out of a tie with Roddy Ricch’s “The Box,” which led for 11 weeks in 2020.
“As It Was” boasts the longest Hot 100 domination since Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, reigned for a record 19 weeks in 2019.
Plus, Steve Lacy‘s “Bad Habit” rises to a new No. 2 Hot 100 best and Elton John and Britney Spears‘ “Hold Me Closer” bounds onto the chart at No. 6. The latter, the latest mash-up of John classics, marks his 29th Hot 100 top 10 and Spears’ 14th, and her first in nearly 10 years. Earlier this year, John added his first top 10 since 1998, when his previous multi-song reworking of his own catalog, “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” with Dua Lipa, reached No. 7.
The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated Sept. 10, 2022) will update on Billboard.com Wednesday (Sept. 7, a day later than usual due to the Monday Labor Day holiday in the U.S.) For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
“As It Was,” released on Erskine/Columbia Records, tallied 69.9 million radio airplay audience impressions (down 3%), 15.4 million streams (up 2%) and 4,000 downloads sold (up 9%) in the Aug. 26-Sept. 1 tracking week, according to Luminate.
The single, from Styles’ album Harry’s House, holds at No. 2 after four weeks atop the Radio Songs chart, beginning in May; dips 6-7 on Streaming Songs, after two weeks on top starting in its debut week in April; and rebounds 22-19 on Digital Song Sales, following a week in charge in May.
Longest Hot 100 reign this decade
“As It Was” moves into sole possession of the most weeks spent atop the Hot 100 in the 2020s. Here’s a recap of the longest commands so far this decade:
- 12 weeks at No. 1, “As It Was,” Harry Styles, beginning April 16, 2022
- 11, “The Box,” Roddy Ricch, Jan. 18, 2020
- 10, “Easy on Me,” Adele, Oct. 30, 2021
- 10, “Butter,” BTS, June 5, 2021
- 8, “Drivers License,” Olivia Rodrigo, Jan. 23, 2021
- 8, “Mood,” 24kGoldn feat. iann dior, Oct. 24, 2020
Notably, four of the six songs above were released on Columbia (with “The Box” on Atlantic Records and “Drivers License” on Interscope Records). (“Old Town Road,” as noted above, is also a Columbia release.)
Most weeks ever in Hot 100’s top two
In addition to logging the longest Hot 100 rule of the 2020s so far, “As It Was” ties the record for the most weeks spent in the chart’s top two positions over the list’s entire 64-year history, having logged 21 of its 22 weeks on the chart in the top two, from its April 16 debut through the newest, Sept. 10-dated survey.
Here’s a look at the titles to post the most weeks in the Hot 100’s top two spots:
- 21 weeks in the top two, “As It Was,” Harry Styles, beginning April 16, 2022 (12 weeks at No. 1, 9 weeks at No. 2)
- 21, “Stay,” The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber, Aug. 14, 2021 (7, 14)
- 19, “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus, April 13, 2019 (19, 0)
- 18, “Uptown Funk!,” Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, Jan. 17, 2015 (14, 4)
- 17, “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, May 27, 2017 (16, 1)
- 16, “Shape of You,” Ed Sheeran, Jan. 28, 2017 (12, 4)
- 16, “I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas, July 11, 2009 (14, 2)
- 16, “We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey, June 4, 2005 (14, 2)
- 16, “One Sweet Day,” Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men, Dec. 2, 1995 (16, 0)
The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber’s “Stay” added its 21st week in the Hot 100’s top two on the chart dated this April 9, a week after becoming the first song to spend 20 weeks in the top two. “No one seems to be tired of this earworm,” Brady Bedard, Columbia senior vp of pop promotion, told Billboard of “Stay” at the time – with the label having released the hits with the three longest runs in the Hot 100’s top two spots.
No. 1 for 12 weeks over 22 weeks
Plus, as updated from a week earlier, “As It Was” has now ranked atop the Hot 100 for 12 weeks over a span of 22 weeks, from its debut through the current chart. (In its other 10 weeks on the tally, it placed at either No. 2 or No. 3.) That’s the third-longest span for a song topping the tally, over the chart’s archives – and the most for a song in a single release cycle.
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” holds the record for the longest stretch from a song’s first to its most recent week at No. 1: two years and three weeks (Dec. 21, 2019-Jan. 8, 2022), having passed Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” which led in two distinct runs spanning a year and four months (Sept. 19, 1960-Jan. 20, 1962).
No. 1 Adult Contemporary
“As It Was” simultaneously tops the Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart, jumping from No. 4. Styles scores his second AC leader, after “Adore You” ruled for 10 weeks beginning in August 2020. Among other Billboard format airplay charts, “As It Was” has led Adult Pop Airplay (for eight weeks), Pop Airplay (seven) and Dance/Mix Show Airplay (two). (It also reached No. 14 on Adult Alternative Airplay and No. 34 on Alternative Airplay.)
Steve Lacy’s first Hot 100 hit, “Bad Habit,” bumps from No. 3 to a new No. 2 high, as it posts a third week at No. 1 on Streaming Songs (20.3 million, down 2%). The track also tops the multi-metric Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, Hot Rock Songs and Hot Alternative Songs charts for a second week each and ascends to No. 1 on both the multi-metric Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot R&B Songs charts – making history as the first song to rule all five lists, or even Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (each genre’s overarching songs survey), dating to October 2012, when Billboard‘s main genre-based song charts adopted the Hot 100’s methodology.
Being promoted to multiple radio formats, by RCA Records, “Bad Habit” concurrently hits the Pop Airplay chart’s top 10 (11-10) and climbs 20-19 on Rhythmic Airplay, 27-19 on Adult Alternative Airplay and 33-28 on Adult Pop Airplay, while building on both alternative and mainstream R&B/hip-hop stations. On the all-format Radio Songs chart, it leaps 24-19 (27.5 million, up 18%).
Elsewhere in the Hot 100’s top five, Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” descends 2-3, after two weeks at No. 1, as it adds a ninth week atop Radio Songs (70 million, down 7%); Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” is steady at No. 4 on the Hot 100, after hitting No. 3, with top Sales Gainer honors (7,000, up 72%, sparked by a new CD single option and 69-cent sale-pricing during the tracking week); and Nicky Youre and dazy’s “Sunroof” reaches the region, rising 6-5.
Elton John and Britney Spears’ “Hold Me Closer” roars in at No. 6 on the Hot 100. The mash-up of three John hits, released Aug. 26, on Interscope, opens with 20.9 million in radio airplay audience, 11.1 million streams and 48,000 sold. It debuts at No. 1 on Digital Song Sales (marking Spears’ eighth leader and John’s second), No. 17 on Streaming Songs and No. 31 on Radio Songs.
John’s 29th Hot 100 top 10
John banks his 29th Hot 100 top 10, and his second this year. He notched his first top 10 since 1998 when his previous multi-song re-imagination of his own work, “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” with Dua Lipa, reached No. 7 in January.
John has logged the seventh-most Hot 100 top 10s. Among solo males, he has earned the third-most, after Drake and Michael Jackson, as he breaks out of a tie with (his good friend) Stevie Wonder.
John sports his highest Hot 100 rank since the chart dated Jan. 24, 1998, when his “Candle in the Wind 1997″/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight” placed at No. 5 after 14 weeks at No. 1.
John also expands his span of Hot 100 top 10s to 51 years, seven months and three weeks, dating to his first frame in the top 10 with “Your Song” (Jan. 23, 1971) – the longest such span among all acts not involving holiday titles.
Spears’ 14th Hot 100 top 10
Spears achieves her 14th Hot 100 top 10 and her first since “Scream & Shout,” with will.i.am, hit No. 3 in 2013. She first appeared in the top 10 on the chart dated Dec. 12, 1998, when her debut smash “…Baby One More Time” surged 18-9 (before becoming her first of five No. 1s). Overall, Spears places on the Hot 100 for the first time since the chart dated Dec. 10, 2016.
Spears also joins John and 10 other stars with Hot 100 top 10s in at least four decades, padding her résumé to include top 10s in the 1990s, 2000s, ’10s and now ’20s. The other acts in the exclusive (and eclectic) club: Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, Cher, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Barbra Streisand and Andy Williams.
‘Tiny Dancer’ & ‘The One’ hit new heights
Just as “Cold Heart” brought newfound chart success for four John classics, “Hold Me Closer” does the same for three more songs from his iconic catalog. The new mash-up blends the chorus of his 50-year-old “Tiny Dancer” and the verses of his 30-year-old “The One.” It also includes elements of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” his four-week 1976 Hot 100 No. 1 with Kiki Dee. (Says Erik Bradley, assistant program director/music director at WBBM-FM Chicago, citing the latest among numerous current hit reboots, “Familiarity always is a bonus.”)
While not outranking “Breaking,” “Hold Me Closer,” upon its No. 6 start, marks new Hot 100 highs for the songs that make up the bulk of the mash-up: “Tiny Dancer” fell a spot shy of the top 40, reaching No. 41 in April 1972, and “The One” rose to No. 9 in September 1992. Despite its relatively modest Hot 100 history, “Tiny Dancer” previously received renewed attention thanks to the composition’s prominent sync in the acclaimed 2000 film Almost Famous. Plus, Tim McGraw’s cover spent 15 weeks on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2002-03 (with he and John having performed it on the 30th American Music Awards in 2003, and McGraw having served up an impromptu version this February on CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert).
“The One,” meanwhile, marks John’s impressive fifth song to have hit the Hot 100’s top 10 via two interpretations each.
(“Breaking” previously returned to the Hot 100 thanks to John and RuPaul’s update, which hit No. 92 in 1994, and the Glee Cast’s cover, which spent a week on the chart at No. 50 in 2010.)
John charts his fourth top 10 duet, and his fifth top 10 collaboration, on the Hot 100, as “Hold Me Closer” follows “Cold Heart”; “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” with George Michael (No. 1 for one week, 1992); and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” He also led for four weeks in 1986 with “That’s What Friends Are For,” credited to Dionne & Friends, the foursome of Dionne Warwick, John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder.
Spears scores her fourth accompanied Hot 100 top 10, after “Scream & Shout”; “Till the World Ends,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Kesha (No. 3, 2011); and her featured turn on Rihanna’s “S&M” (No. 1, one week, 2011).
No. 1 Dance/Electronic
“Hold Me Closer” additionally arrives at No. 1 on the multi-metric Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. John and Spears each claim their second leader on the list, after “Cold Heart” and “Scream & Shout,” respectively.
Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” holds at No. 7 on the Hot 100, two weeks after it premiered at No. 1, as it wins the chart’s top Airplay Gainer award (13.9 million, up 51%). It leads the multi-metric Hot Rap Songs chart for a third week.
Rounding out the Hot 100’s top 10, Post Malone’s “I Like You (A Happier Song),” featuring Doja Cat, pushes 10-8 for a new high; Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” slides 5-9, after two weeks on top in August; and Future’s “Wait for U,” featuring Drake and Tems, slips 8-10, following a week at No. 1 beginning in its debut week in May.
Again, for all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram and all charts (dated Sept. 10), including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh on Billboard.com tomorrow (Sept. 7).