On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart dated July 27, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus finally did it. “Old Town Road” spent its 16th week at number-one, tying the all-time record shared by “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men and “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber. Now the song is heading into uncharted territory. Could it now set a new record by spending 17 weeks on top?
The battle for the top spot this week was a duel of remixes. Billie Eilish tried to give her number-two hit “Bad Guy” a bump by releasing a new version with Justin Bieber, and Lil Nas X followed suit by releasing another “Old Town Road” with Young Thug and Mason Ramsey. “Bad Guy” got the bigger boost from its collaboration, up 39% in streaming and 64% in sales, but it wasn’t quite enough to drive Lil Nas X off the road.
So what now? “Old Town Road” doesn’t have quite the stranglehold on the top spot it did earlier in its run when it was breaking streaming records, so the door is open for a song to overtake it, but it doesn’t look like there’s anyone in a position to make that leap. Two years ago it took the debut of Taylor Swift‘s “Look What You Made Me Do” to knock “Despacito” off its perch, but there’s nothing like that on the horizon, at least not this week.
It’s possible that “Bad Guy” could finally leap ahead since it narrowed the gap with “Old Town Road” this week, but it would not only have to retain its sales and streaming gains, it would have to add to them, which may be a tall order. So if there’s no song positioned to move up, Lil Nas X might just ride that horse into a record-breaking 17th week at number-one almost a quarter century after “One Sweet Day” set that standard. Do you think we’ll see history made?
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