Taylor Swift’s ‘Willow’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

Taylor Swift’s “Willow” blooms with a No. 1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. The track is her seventh Hot 100 leader and second of 2020.

Concurrently, parent album Evermore launches at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as Swift is the first artist to debut atop both charts simultaneously twice. She became the first act to achieve the feat even once when her prior album Folklore and its single “Cardigan” opened atop the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts dated Aug. 8.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated Dec. 26) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 22). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s a deeper look at the coronation of “Willow,” released Dec. 11 on Republic Records, concurrent with Evermore. The song is the 1,115th No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 62-year history.

Streams, sales & airplay: “Willow” drew 30 million U.S. streams and sold 59,000 downloads in the week ending Dec. 17, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It also earned 12.3 million radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending Dec. 20.

The track debuts at No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart and No. 4 on Streaming Songs, while bubbling under the Radio Songs survey.

Breaking down the song’s first-week sales, seven purchase options were available in Swift’s webstore during the tracking week, with all discounted for the frame’s last 31 hours to between 48 cents and $1.03. Along with the song’s original version, its “dancing witch (Elvira remix),” “lonely witch” and “moonlight witch” versions were available individually. Plus, three versions were available as part of the song’s “Woodvale” collection: its “dancing witch,” “lonely witch” and “moonlight witch” iterations; for the collection, they were packaged with, respectively, an instrumental version of “Willow,” an original songwriting demo of “Willow” and a live version of her 2019 single “Christmas Tree Farm” (with each two-track “Woodvale” purchase counting as one sale for chart tabulation purposes).

First artist to debut atop Billboard 200 & Hot 100 simultaneously twice: As noted above, as “Willow” blossoms atop the Hot 100 and parent album Evermore soars in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Swift is the first artist to have debuted atop both charts simultaneously twice. She became the first act to achieve the feat even once, when Folklore and “Cardigan” roared in atop the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts dated Aug. 8. (The Billboard 200 began on March 24, 1956, and the Hot 100 originated on Aug. 4, 1958.)

One other act has made one such double debut: BTS, with Be and “Life Goes On” on the charts dated Dec. 5.

Swift’s seventh No. 1: Swift scores her seventh Hot 100 leader. Here’s a recap:

“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” three weeks at No. 1, beginning Sept. 1, 2012
“Shake It Off,” four weeks, beginning Sept. 6, 2014
“Blank Space,” seven weeks, beginning Nov. 29, 2014
“Bad Blood,” feat. Kendrick Lamar, one week, June 6, 2015
“Look What You Made Me Do,” three weeks, beginning Sept. 16, 2017
“Cardigan,” one week, Aug. 8, 2020
“Willow,” one week to-date, Dec. 26, 2020

Swift is the 21st artist in the Hot 100’s history with at least seven No. 1s, and the seventh solo woman. The Beatles lead all acts with 20 No. 1s, followed by Mariah Carey with 19.

Third No. 1 debut: “Willow” is Swift’s third song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100, following “Shake It Off” and “Cardigan.” Swift becomes one of six acts with at least that many entrances, joining Ariana Grande, the leader with five, and Justin Bieber, Carey, Drake and Travis Scott with three each.

12th No. 1 debut this year: “Cardigan” is the 47th song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It’s the 12th to do so in 2020 (all since April), triple the previous record for the most in a single year, as four songs entered at No. 1 in both 1995 and 2018.

20th No. 1 of 2020: “Willow” is the 20th song to score its first week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 2020. This year marks the highest total of songs earning their first weeks on top since Nielsen Music/MRC Data-based information began fueling the chart in November 1991 (and the most in a year since 27 songs ascended to No. 1 in all of 1991).

29 career top 10s: “Willow” is not only Swift’s seventh Hot 100 No. 1, but also her 29th top 10. She passes the totals of Carey and Stevie Wonder for a solo share of the sixth-best sum.

Here is a recap of the acts with the most Hot 100 top 10s, dating to the chart’s 1958 inception (two years after Elvis Presley’s commercial breakthrough):

Most Hot 100 Top 10s
42, Drake
38, Madonna
34, The Beatles
31, Rihanna
30, Michael Jackson
29, Taylor Swift
28, Mariah Carey
28, Stevie Wonder
27, Elton John
27, Janet Jackson
25, Lil Wayne
25, Elvis Presley

19 career top 10 debuts: Swift extends her record among women for the most debuts in the Hot 100’s top 10, as “Willow” lifts her total to 19. Among all acts, only Drake has more: 27.

21 Digital Song Sales No. 1s: Swift adds her record-furthering 21st Digital Song Sales No. 1 with “Willow.” Rihanna ranks second with 14, followed by Bieber and Drake, each with 12.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” dips from No. 1 to No. 2 on the Hot 100. The song, first released on Carey’s album Merry Christmas in 1994 and which first reigned for three weeks last holiday season, added its fourth total week atop the Hot 100 a week ago. The carol drew 40.5 million U.S. streams (up 29%) and 30.8 million airplay impressions (up 12%) and sold 10,000 downloads (up 31%) in the latest tracking week.

The track spends an eighth total week at No. 1 on Streaming Songs and rises 8-6 on Digital Song Sales and 22-17 on Radio Songs. It also crowns the multi-metric Holiday 100 chart for a 44th week, of the chart’s 49 total weeks since the list launched in 2011; it has topped the tally for 29 consecutive weeks, dating to the start of the 2015-16 holiday season.

Brenda Lee’s 1958 classic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” which reached No. 2 last holiday season, holds at No. 3 on the Hot 100, and the late Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” first released in 1957, rises 5-4, after ascending to a No. 3 best last holiday season.

24kGoldn’s “Mood,” featuring Iann Dior, drops 2-5 on the Hot 100 after six nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1, as it leads Radio Songs for an eighth week (83.6 million streams, down 2%). It tops the Hot Rap Songs chart, which uses the same methodology as the Hot 100, for a 10th week.

“A Holly Jolly Christmas” by the late Burl Ives bounds 14-6 on the Hot 100. The holiday staple, first released in 1964, reached No. 4 last holiday season. Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” from 1963, slips to No. 7, a week after hitting its No. 6 high.

Grande’s “Positions” retreats 4-8 on the Hot 100, after it led the Nov. 7-dated chart upon its debut.

BTS’ “Dynamite” resurges 24-9 on the Hot 100, up 7% to 8.5 million streams and 227% to 40,000 sold following the Dec. 11 release of its “holiday remix.” “Dynamite” debuted at No. 1 on the Sept. 5-dated Hot 100 and ruled for three total weeks.

Rounding out the Hot 100’s top 10, Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” holds at its No. 10 high, a week after hitting the top 10 for the first time, 50 years after its original 1970 release.

Notably, a record-breaking six holiday songs decorate the Hot 100’s top 10, by Carey, Lee, Helms, Ives, Williams and Feliciano. As many as five holiday hits populated the top 10 on the chart dated Jan. 4, 2020, while the same amount infused the region last week.

Again, for all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram and all charts (dated Dec. 26), including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh on Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 22).

Posted in: Music