Just a few days ago, The Weeknd released his new single “Take My Breath,” which follows in the throwback electro-pop sound he capitalized on with his most recent album After Hours. Of all the songs featured on that set that went on to become huge hits on the charts, one stands out among the rest as not only a fan favorite, but as one of the most successful tracks of all time, and this week it reaches perhaps the most important milestone possible on the Hot 100.
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” advances just one spot on this week’s ranking of the most-consumed songs in the U.S., landing at No. 16. By holding on once more, the cut has tied one of the greatest records in the half-century-long history of the Hot 100. The super smash has now lived on the tally for an incredible 87 weeks, and it is now tied as the longest-running hit in the chart’s tenure. At present, it’s on the same level as Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” which also racked up 87 turns on the tally less than a decade ago.
“Blinding Lights” was released as the second official single from After Hours, though it appeared just two days after the first was unleashed. Initial smash “Heartless” bolted to the Hot 100’s summit, and then quickly fell back down, and it didn’t end up becoming a longstanding win. “Blinding Lights” would take its time climbing to the peak position on the chart, and it didn’t reach the No. 1 rung until April of 2020, more than four months after it was first released in November of 2019. While the tune only managed four nonconsecutive turns atop the roster, it went on to break many previous best showings on the Billboard charts. So far, it has already rewritten the records for the most weeks inside the top five, top 10, top 20 and top 40 on the Hot 100, and now it’s tied as the tune with the most spins anywhere on the ranking.
Seeing as the song is still charting inside the top 20, chances are that when Billboard refreshes the Hot 100 again in a week, “Blinding Lights” will still be somewhere on the tally, and if that does end up being the case, it will break the all-time record and become the longest-charting tune ever.
What makes The Weeknd’s performance with “Blinding Lights” even more impressive than it may originally seem is the existence of what’s called the recurrent rule. Billboard has a stipulation in place that singles are automatically removed from the Hot 100 if they dip below No. 50 after 20 weeks on the tally. After 52 frames somewhere on the list, or an entire year, another tier of that rule comes into play. Now, if “Blinding Lights” slips below No. 25 at any point, it will be taken off the chart, and it will likely never return again.
The Weeknd has managed to make history on the Hot 100 with “Blinding Lights,” despite the fact that it has come very close to falling off the chart several times. The tune could disappear at any point in the coming frames, or it could find a way to hold on and rewrite the chart annals over and over again.