'Old Town Road' Is About To Become The First Song In History To Live At No. 1 For 20 Weeks

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 25: Lil Nas X performs on stage during Internet Live By BuzzFeed at Webster Hall on July 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for BuzzFeed)

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Three weeks ago, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road” made history when it tied two other tracks—Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” and Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber’s “Despacito”—as one of the longest-running No. 1 hits on the Hot 100, as all three lived at the top for 16 weeks. In the frames since then, the country-trap tune has rewritten the history books over and over again, tacking on more turns in charge and raising the bar several times.

Now, it looks like it’s about to do so once more, and it will likely become the first song in U.S. history to manage a nearly unthinkable feat.

When the Hot 100 refreshes again in a few days, it’s highly likely that “Old Town Road” will hold at No. 1 once again, earning its twentieth stay in the penthouse. When it does, it will be the first song to live at the top for 20 weeks, and it will have put about a month in between it and the previous record holders.

This week, “Old Town Road” ranks as the bestselling song in the country (with over 33,000 sales—about two thousand above the No. 2 arrival, Ariana Grande and Social House’s “Boyfriend”) and the most-streamed in the U.S. (almost 59 million—over 20 million more than the runner-up, Chris Brown and Drake’s “No Guidance”). On the Hot 100, its closest two competitors at the moment are Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Senorita,” but since those two tracks didn’t rack up anywhere near as many streams or sales as “Old Town Road,” it’s a stretch to suggest they’ll push past the giant. 

The Hot 100 is ranked by a methodology that combines sales, streams and radio play, and that last category is where “Old Town Road” is truly lacking (it’s down below No. 20 this frame), but that doesn't mean that factor will be its downfall. The top radio tune in the country, Khalid’s “Talk,” isn’t performing well enough in other fields to give the current ruler a run for its money.

At this point, it seems like “Old Town Road” will continue to dominate the Hot 100 until something that’s immediately a smash comes along and stops it in its tracks, but there’s no telling when that may be.

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Three weeks ago, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road” made history when it tied two other tracks—Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” and Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber’s “Despacito”—as one of the longest-running No. 1 hits on the Hot 100, as all three lived at the top for 16 weeks. In the frames since then, the country-trap tune has rewritten the history books over and over again, tacking on more turns in charge and raising the bar several times.

Now, it looks like it’s about to do so once more, and it will likely become the first song in U.S. history to manage a nearly unthinkable feat.

When the Hot 100 refreshes again in a few days, it’s highly likely that “Old Town Road” will hold at No. 1 once again, earning its twentieth stay in the penthouse. When it does, it will be the first song to live at the top for 20 weeks, and it will have put about a month in between it and the previous record holders.

This week, “Old Town Road” ranks as the bestselling song in the country (with over 33,000 sales—about two thousand above the No. 2 arrival, Ariana Grande and Social House’s “Boyfriend”) and the most-streamed in the U.S. (almost 59 million—over 20 million more than the runner-up, Chris Brown and Drake’s “No Guidance”). On the Hot 100, its closest two competitors at the moment are Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Senorita,” but since those two tracks didn’t rack up anywhere near as many streams or sales as “Old Town Road,” it’s a stretch to suggest they’ll push past the giant. 

The Hot 100 is ranked by a methodology that combines sales, streams and radio play, and that last category is where “Old Town Road” is truly lacking (it’s down below No. 20 this frame), but that doesn't mean that factor will be its downfall. The top radio tune in the country, Khalid’s “Talk,” isn’t performing well enough in other fields to give the current ruler a run for its money.

At this point, it seems like “Old Town Road” will continue to dominate the Hot 100 until something that’s immediately a smash comes along and stops it in its tracks, but there’s no telling when that may be.

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I am a freelance music journalist based in New York City. My byline has appeared in The Huffington Post, Billboard, Mashable, Noisey, The Hollywood Reporter, MTV, Fuse, ...