Just yesterday we got official confirmation that “Despacito,” the summer smash by Puerto Rican stars Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee partially buoyed by a Justin-Bieber-infused remix, had become only the second song in the history of Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart to spend 16 weeks at #1, tying the record Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s record set 21 years ago with “One Sweet Day.” It’s a massive achievement and, for chart nerds, a really big deal.
Spending a 17th week atop the chart and thereby setting a new record would be an even bigger deal, but alas, that’s not going to happen — at least not next week. Billboard reports that Taylor Swift’s divisive new single “Look What You Made Me Do,” which debuted at #77 based on early radio airplay, will rise to #1 on next week’s chart. Swift’s song already set new records for most streams in a day on both Spotify (more than 8 million) and YouTube (more than 19 million) last Friday, its music video set another YouTube record with 39 million views in the first 24 hours, and Billboard projects it will sell between 400,000 and 500,000 copies this week, the highest one-week track sales since Adele’s “Hello” moved 480,000 copies in its first week. It will become Swift’s fifth #1 following “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and “Bad Blood.”
The “Despacito” drama is not over just yet, though. Fonsi’s hit still has a shot at a record 17th week at #1 depending on whether Swift’s big numbers hold up after the initial rush of interest. It’s too early to predict right now, but we could be looking at a close race with historic implications next week. Exciting times to be a statistical geek!