It’s a bad time to release a new hit song, at least if you want to hit number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” has had a stranglehold on the top spot for 12 weeks as of this writing, and in that time he has prevented big names like Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Billie Eilish from reaching the pinnacle. Now he has done it to Taylor Swift twice!
Swift released her LGBT Pride themed “You Need to Calm Down” single on June 14, followed by a star-studded music video on July 17. But it only managed a number-two debut on the Billboard Hot 100 as “Old Town Road” continues its domination largely on the strength of its massive streaming performance. It currently boasts 9 of the 11 biggest streaming weeks of all time for a song, including the top three.
This comes a few weeks after Swift got “Road”-blocked with her last single, “Me!” featuring Brendon Urie of the band Panic! at the Disco. It was released on April 26 as the lead single from her upcoming album “Lover,” and it also peaked at number-two on the Hot 100. That was the first time a lead single from Swift hasn’t hit number-one since “Mine” from her 2010 album “Speak Now,” which topped out at number-three.
But as I mentioned before, Swift has had a lot of company as a runner-up. “I Don’t Care” by Sheeran and Bieber was also held at bay at number-two. So were “Bad Guy” by Eilish, “If I Can’t Have You” by Mendes and “Wow” by Post Malone. How many more artists will get rail-“Road”-ed before all is said and done?
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