Taylor Swift’s ‘Cruel Summer’ Hits No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, Becoming Her 10th Leader

The song reigns four years after its release on her album Lover.

Taylor Swift joins the elite club of artists with 10 or more No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, as “Cruel Summer” ascends to the summit, from No. 9, becoming her 10th leader. The song, which previously peaked at No. 3, was originally released on Swift’s 2019 Republic Records album Lover before being promoted as a single and gaining new prominence as the superstar has performed it on her The Eras Tour this year.

Helping spark the song’s Hot 100 coronation, new mixes were released during the latest tracking week, which also began with the Oct. 13 wide release of the concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.

Elsewhere, Drake’s “IDGAF,” featuring Yeat, at No. 4 on the Hot 100 a week after it debuted at No. 2, becomes the most streamed-song in the U.S., rising to the top of the Streaming Songs chart, where it’s Drake’s record-extending 20th leader.

Plus, Bad Bunny adds his 12th Hot 100 top 10 with the No. 5 debut of “Monaco.” The song is from his new LP, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, which launches as his third leader on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data, the lattermost metric reflecting purchases of physical singles and digital tracks from full-service digital music retailers; digital singles sales from direct-to-consumer (D2C) sites are excluded from chart calculations. All charts (dated Oct. 28, 2023) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Oct. 24). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

Here’s a deeper dive as “Cruel Summer” becomes the 1,158th single to top the Hot 100 over the chart’s 65-year history.

Airplay, streams & sales: “Cruel Summer” drew 77.8 million radio airplay audience impressions (up 2%) and 18.6 million streams (up 35%) and sold 41,000 downloads (up 1,482%) in the Oct. 13-19 tracking week, according to Luminate, as it wins the Hot 100’s top Streaming and Sales Gainer awards.

The single bounds to No. 1, from No. 13, on the Digital Song Sales chart, becoming Swift’s record-extending 27th leader; holds at No. 2 on Radio Songs, following a week on top three weeks earlier, having become her eighth No. 1; and returns to its No. 5 high, from No. 32, on Streaming Songs – where, as on the Hot 100, multiple songs vault a week after Drake charted all 23 tracks from his album For All the Dogs, which began atop the Billboard 200 a week earlier.

Helping spur the latest surges for “Cruel Summer,” new mixes arrived Oct. 18: a live version, recorded in Los Angeles during The Eras Tour, and an LP Giobbi remix. They followed the Oct. 13 wide premiere of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, which has already become the highest-grossing music concert film ever.

“Cruel Summer” was released on Swift’s 2019 album Lover and since June has been promoted as a proper single. It gained momentum as Swift has performed it on The Eras Tour (which began in March), her first in which she’s been able to spotlight songs from Lover, which was released shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taylor’s 10th: Swift joins 10 other acts since the Hot 100 began on Aug. 4, 1958, with 10 or more No. 1s each.

Most Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s:

  • 20, The Beatles
  • 19, Mariah Carey
  • 14, Rihanna
  • 13, Drake
  • 13, Michael Jackson
  • 12, Madonna
  • 12, The Supremes
  • 11, Whitney Houston
  • 10, Janet Jackson
  • 10, Taylor Swift
  • 10, Stevie Wonder

Here’s a recap of Swift’s 10 Hot 100 No. 1s:

  • “Cruel Summer,” one week at No. 1 to-date, Oct. 28, 2023
  • “Anti-Hero,” eight weeks, beginning Nov. 5, 2022
  • “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” one week, Nov. 27, 2021
  • “Willow,” one week, Dec. 26, 2020
  • “Cardigan,” one week, Aug. 8, 2020
  • “Look What You Made Me Do,” three weeks, beginning Sept. 16, 2017
  • “Bad Blood,” feat. Kendrick Lamar, one week, June 6, 2015
  • “Blank Space,” seven weeks, beginning Nov. 29, 2014
  • “Shake It Off,” four weeks, beginning Sept. 6, 2014
  • “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” three weeks, beginning Sept. 1, 2012

Over four summers later …: “Cruel Summer” debuted, at No. 29, on the Hot 100 dated Sept. 7, 2019, as parent album Lover launched atop the Billboard 200. The song fell to No. 71 on the Hot 100 the following week before re-entering, at No. 49, this June; in July, it hit the top 10 and stands as one of Swift’s 42 career top 10s, the most among women.

The song completes the fifth-longest trip to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in terms of time from a debut to scaling the summit. Of those five enduring songs, two have reigned this year (both on Republic), as “Cruel Summer” follows The Weeknd’s likewise revived “Die for You,” which reigned for a week in March following the release of its remix with Ariana Grande.

Most Time to No. 1 on Hot 100, from Chart Debut:

  • 19 years, 11 months, 2 weeks, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Mariah Carey (2000-19; originally released in 1994, the carol ultimately first led 25 years after its release)
  • 6 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, “Die for You,” The Weeknd & Ariana Grande (2016-23)
  • 5 years, 8 months, 2 weeks, “When I’m With You,” Sheriff (1983-89)
  • 4 years, 8 months, 2 weeks, “Red Red Wine,” UB40 (1984-88; the pop/reggae classic and Sheriff’s love song above were renewed, in part, by adventurous radio exec Guy Zapoleon)
  • 4 years, 1 month, 3 weeks, “Cruel Summer,” Taylor Swift (2019-23)

First No. 1 from Lover: Over four years after Lover’s release, “Cruel Summer” becomes the set’s first Hot 100 No. 1. The first two singles each hit No. 2: “Me!,” featuring Brendon Urie, and “You Need To Calm Down.” The LP has yielded four top 10s, with the title track having hit No. 10. The first three top 10s peaked in May, June and September 2019, respectively.

A not-‘Cruel’ twist for ‘Summer’: Chart-watcher Jesper Tan, of Subang Jaya, Malaysia, wrote in last week, noting: “If ‘Cruel Summer’ tops the Hot 100, it would be the first No. 1 with ‘cruel’ in its title. It would also become only the third song with ‘summer’ in its title, and the first in over 57 years.” Here are the three, with only one having led during summertime:

  • “Cruel Summer,” Taylor Swift, one week at No. 1 to-date, Oct. 28, 2023
  • “Summer in the City,” The Lovin’ Spoonful, three weeks, beginning Aug. 13, 1966
  • “The Theme From A Summer Place,” Percy Faith and His Orchestra, nine weeks, beginning Feb. 22, 1960

Notably, Elvis Presley’s classic “Don’t Be Cruel” topped multiple charts in 1956, prior to the Hot 100’s inception. Until this week, Swift’s new leader had tied James Darren’s “Goodbye Cruel World,” a No. 3 hit in 1961, for the top-charting Hot 100 hit with “cruel” in its title. Next up: Cheap Trick’s cover of Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel” (No. 4, 1988). Meanwhile, Bananarama’s own “Cruel Summer” reached No. 9 in 1984.

Doja Cat’s “Paint the Town Red” rebounds 4-2 on the Hot 100, following three nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 beginning in September. It adds a seventh and eighth week, respectively, atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts, which use the same multi-metric methodology as the Hot 100.

SZA’s “Snooze” jumps 7-3 on the Hot 100, after reaching No. 2. It rules Radio Songs for a third week (80 million in audience, up 3%) and notches a 12th week at No. 1 on the multi-metric Hot R&B Songs chart.

Drake’s “IDGAF,” featuring Yeat, falls to No. 4 on the Hot 100, a week after it debuted at No. 2. It ascends 2-1 on Streaming Songs, despite a 36% decline to 26 million streams, becoming Drake’s record-padding 20th leader on the list, and Yeat’s first; Drake collected his 19th Streaming Songs No. 1, “First Person Shooter,” featuring J. Cole, a week earlier.

Bad Bunny’s “Monaco” debuts at No. 5 on the Hot 100, driven by 25.7 million first-week streams.

The song is the star’s 12th Hot 100 top 10. It’s from his new album, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, which bounds in as his third No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The track also begins as his 14th No. 1 on the multi-metric Hot Latin Songs chart.

Zach Bryan’s “I Remember Everything,” featuring Kacey Musgraves, advances 14-6 on the Hot 100, after it led for a week upon its debut in September. It tops the multi-metric Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Hot Rock Songs charts for an eighth week each and Hot Country Songs for a fourth frame.

Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” revs 13-7 on the Hot 100, following eight weeks at its No. 2 high; Drake’s “First Person Shooter,” featuring J. Cole, falls to No. 8 a week after it entered as Drake’s 13th No. 1 and J. Cole’s first; and Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” rebounds 19-9, following 16 weeks at No. 1 starting in March, the most ever for a non-collaboration.

Rounding out the Hot 100’s top 10, Wallen’s “Thinkin’ Bout Me” returns to the tier, soaring 25-10. The track, like “Last Night” from his album One Thing at a Time, debuted at its No. 9 high in March concurrent with the LP’s debut atop the Billboard 200. As previously reported, “Thinkin’ Bout Me” becomes Wallen’s 10th No. 1 on the Oct. 28-dated Country Airplay chart; it drew 36.2 million in all-format radio audience, up 7%, in the tracking week.

Again, for all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram and all charts (dated Oct. 28), including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh on Billboard.com tomorrow (Oct. 24).

Source: billboard.com