Ariana Grande’s ‘Positions’ Debuts at No. 1 on Hot 100, Luke Combs’ ‘Forever After All’ Launches at No. 2

Ariana Grande’s “Positions” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, while Luke Combs’ “Forever After All” bounds in at No. 2.

Grande earns her fifth Hot 100 leader and extends her record for the most No. 1 debuts on the Hot 100, as all five of her No. 1s have blasted in at the summit.

Meanwhile, Combs makes the highest Hot 100 entrance ever for a core country male soloist.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming, radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated Nov. 7) will update on tomorrow (Nov. 3). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s a deeper look at the coronation of “Positions,” released Oct. 23 on Republic Records as the title track from Grande’s new album, released Oct. 30. The song is the 1,113th No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 62-year history.

Streams, sales & airplay: “Positions” drew 35.3 million U.S. streams and sold 34,000 in the week ending Oct. 29, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It also tallied 19.9 million radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending Nov. 1.

The track opens at No. 1 on the Streaming Songs chart, where it’s Grande’s third leader, No. 2 on Digital Song Sales and No. 41 on Radio Songs.

(Breaking down the song’s first-week sales, it sold 31,000 digital downloads and 3,000 CD singles that were available in Grande’s webstore for $5 each.)

Grande’s 5th No. 1 … & record 5th No. 1 debut: Here is a recap of Grande’s five Hot 100 No. 1s, all of which have debuted in the top spot.

Title, Weeks at No. 1, Date Debuted No. 1
“Thank U Next,” seven, Nov. 17, 2018
“7 Rings,” eight, Feb. 2, 2019
“Stuck With U,” with Justin Bieber, one, May 23, 2020
“Rain on Me,” with Lady Gaga, one (to date), June 6, 2020
“Positions,” one (to date), Nov. 7, 2020

Grande makes history as the first artist with five Hot 100 No. 1 debuts. She extends her lead over Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Drake and Travis Scott, each with three.

Grande also becomes the first artist with three No. 1 Hot 100 debuts in a single year, as “Positions” joins “Rain on Me” and “Stuck With U” as her three 2020 chart-topping entrants.

Earning the trio in a span of five months and two weeks, Grande bests Travis Scott (a week shy of a year in 2019-20) for the fastest accumulation of three No. 1 Hot 100 debuts.

Grande’s third No. 1 this year: Grande is the first artist to send three songs to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in a single year since Drake tripled up in 2018. She’s the first woman (and only act other than Drake) to achieve the feat since Rihanna ascended to No. 1 with four songs and Katy Perry did so with three, both in 2010.

The Beatles hold the one-year record via their first six Hot 100 No. 1s in 1964.

10th No. 1 debut of 2020: “Positions” is the 45th single to start at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It’s the 10th to do so in 2020 (all since April), more than doubling the previous record for the most in a single year, as four songs entered at No. 1 in both 1995 and 2018.

18th No. 1 of 2020: “Positions” is the 18th song to ascend to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the first time in 2020. This year marks the highest total of songs earning their first weeks on top since 18 also did in 2007 (and the most by the first chart week of November since Nielsen Music/MRC Data-based information began fueling the chart in November 1991).

Luke Combs’ “Forever After All” soars onto the Hot 100 at No. 2, marking his first top 10. He previously reached a No. 11 best with “Even Though I’m Leaving” in November 2019.

“Forever,” which Combs first previewed on TikTok in late August, is from his album What You See Is What You Get, which returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after the track was among those added to its Oct. 23 deluxe reissue (dubbed What You See Ain’t Always What You Get; “Leaving” has been a part of the LP since its original release in November 2019). “Forever” starts with 29.1 million U.S. streams, good for a No. 2 arrival on Streaming Songs, 873,000 airplay audience impressions and 52,000 sold, as it opens as Combs’ first No. 1 on Digital Song Sales.

“Forever” concurrently enters atop the Hot Country Songs chart (which uses the same methodology as the Hot 100), where it’s Combs’ third No. 1.

Digging (combing?) deeper:

Highest Hot 100 debut ever for a male country artist: “Forever After All” makes the highest Hot 100 debut ever for a song that has also appeared on Hot Country Songs by a solo male, surpassing the No. 5 debut of “Lost in You” by Garth Brooks’ alter ego Chris Gaines in September 1999.

Among all songs that have appeared on Hot Country Songs, only one has debuted higher on the Hot 100 than “Forever”: Carrie Underwood’s “Inside Your Heaven,” which premiered at No. 1 on the Hot 100 dated July 2, 2005, following her coronation as that year’s American Idol champion.

Debuts at Nos. 1 & 2: Thanks to Grande’s “Positions” and Combs’ “Forever After All,” the Hot 100 sports simultaneous debuts at Nos. 1 and 2 for just the third time ever. Such a twofer last occurred on the Nov. 14, 2015, chart, with Adele’s “Hello” at No. 1 and Bieber’s “Sorry” at No. 2.

Before that, on the June 28, 2003, Hot 100, Clay Aiken’s “This Is the Night” and Ruben Studdard’s “Flying Without Wings” entered at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, reversing their finishes that season on American Idol. (Underwood’s achievement cited above and Aiken’s and Studdard’s clearly reflect how Idol, at its peak, could help songs make big Hot 100 bows in the early- to mid-2000s.)

Two country hits in top 10: Meanwhile, two top 10 Hot Country Songs hits appear in the Hot 100’s top 10 together, as Combs’ “Forever After All,” at No. 2, is joined by Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope,” featuring Charlie Puth, which holds at its No. 6 high. (The latter ranks at No. 2 on Hot Country Songs after 14 weeks at No. 1.)

While it’s the first such double-up since only the chart dated Aug. 29, when Morgan Wallen’s “7 Summers” started at No. 6 on the Hot 100 and “I Hope” hit the top 10 at No. 10, the feat hadn’t previously occurred in over 20 years, since May 13, 2000, when Faith Hill’s “Breathe” and Lonestar’s “Amazed” placed at Nos. 3 and 10 on the Hot 100, respectively.

24kGoldn’s “Mood,” featuring iann dior, dips to No. 3 on the Hot 100 after two weeks at No. 1, with 79 million in radio reach, 19.2 million streams and 7,000 sold. The song takes over at No. 1 on Radio Songs, where it’s each act’s first leader. Completing an eight-week trip to the top of Radio Songs, it wraps the quickest rise to No. 1 this year, and the fastest since Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” also needed just eight weeks to reign in November 2019. “Mood” tops the multi-metric Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Hot Alternative Songs charts for a 10th week each and Hot Rap Songs for a third frame.

Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, drops 3-4 on the Hot 100, after debuting at its No. 2 peak. It concurrently hits No. 1 on the multi-metric Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where Drake achieves his 21st leader, breaking out of a tie with late legend Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder (20 each) for the most No. 1s in the chart’s history.

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” descends 4-5 on the Hot 100, after spending four weeks at No. 1. It ranks in the top five for a record-extending 31st week, while adding a 37th week in the top 10, the second-most ever, after Post Malone’s “Circles” (39 weeks, 2019-20). “Lights” leads the multi-metric Hot R&B Songs chart for a record-furthering 33rd week.

Rounding out the Hot 100’s top 10, Barrett’s “I Hope,” featuring Puth, as noted above, holds at No. 6; Cardi B’s “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, tumbles 2-7, after four weeks at No. 1; Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” retreats 5-8, after a week at No. 1, aided by BTS remixes; Internet Money and Gunna’s “Lemonade,” featuring Don Toliver and NAV, rises to a new No. 9 high from No. 10; and Justin Bieber’s “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper, recedes 9-10, after opening at No. 3.

Again, for all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram and all charts (dated Nov. 7), including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh on tomorrow (Nov. 3).

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