The long, strange, delightful story of Lil Nas X’s run at #1 has finally ended. Three weeks ago, Lil Nas X and Billie Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road” blew past all possible precedents, breaking the record for most weeks at #1. And after 19 weeks, we finally have a new #1 single: Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” Duh.
As Billboard reports, “Bad Guy” ascends to #1 after nine weeks at #2. If “Bad Guy” had been stuck at #2 again, this week, it would’ve tied the all-time record for the most weeks peaking at #2. (It would’ve tied two other songs: Foreigner’s “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” from 1981, and Missy Elliott’s “Work It,” from 2002.) Instead, “Bad Guy” sets a new record. No song has ever gotten to #1 after this many weeks at #2. The Weeknd’s “Starboy,” Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” and OutKast’s “The Way You Move” had all been at #2 for eight weeks each before each of those songs made it to #1.
Also: Billie Eilish, who is 17, is the first person born in this century to have a #1 single. (The day she was born, Usher’s “U Got It Bad” was the #1 single in America.) Eilish is also the youngest artist to hit #1 since Lorde, who was 16 when “Royals” hit #1.
There are a couple of reasons for the sudden surge of “Bad Guy.” The song has a new vertical video, which raised its YouTube numbers. And there’s also a new cassette-single version of the song being sold on Eilish’s website. But mostly, “Bad Guy” is a great song that has not gotten old since it came out back in March. It’s an outsider triumph just as pure and beautiful as the success of “Old Town Road.” And now it’s a giant-killer, too.
congratulations to billie eilish!! u deserve this!!
— nope (@LilNasX) August 19, 2019
“Old Town Road” isn’t even at #2. Instead, Lil Nas X’s song is now the #3 single in America, while Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Señorita” has climbed back to #2, its previous peak. “Old Town Road” had its ride, and now it can’t no more.