If you’re a human being in America with functioning ears, you’ve heard “Blinding Lights” by the weekend. The song has had a strangehold on the Billboard Hot 100 since its release, and has been setting numerous new records in sales and streams. This week, “Blinding Lights” received the highest honor Billboard can reward.
This morning (Nov. 23), Billboard announced that the song is now the No. 1 Hot 100 song of all time. In their announcement, they explained how this title is determined: “A designation that factors in total weeks on the chart as well as exact chart positions, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least.”
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“Blinding Lights” jumps Chubby Checker’s dance hit “The Twist” from 1960, which had held that position since 2008. Other songs in the top five of this list include “Uptown Funk!” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars and “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas.
In terms of numbers, other accolades “Blinding Lights” has garnered are fastest song to reach 2.5 billion Spotify streams, longest charting Hot 100 song ever, longest-reigning No. 1 song on the Hot 100 and it spent an entire year in the top 10 of the Hot 100.
“Blinding Lights,” along with its entire accompanying studio album After Hours, saw The Weeknd explore and perfect a 1980’s sound that he had only dabbled in previously. He spoke about this in his interview with Billboard to celebrate his achievement: “I’ve always been tinkering with the [sounds of the] ’80s. It was much more subtle before, but I’ve always wanted to completely dive into it. And 10 years in, I think I’ve earned it.”
The Weeknd is essentially a pop veteran at this point, with several chart-topping hits. He said this prepared him for the overwhelming popularity of “Blinding Lights”: “[There were] songs that transcended into pop culture, like “The Hills.” But by the time “Blinding Lights” happened, I was 10 years into my career and established as a music figure in the industry already. So I’m glad “Blinding Lights” happened when it happened as opposed to it being the first single I’ve ever dropped. That’d be scary for me. I don’t think [the success of “Blinding Lights”] has hit me yet. I try not to dwell on it too much. I just count my blessings, and I’m just grateful.”
The two-year anniversary of “Blinding Lights” is in six days (Nov. 29), so it would have been hard to imagine it would have garnered so much success in such a short amount of time.