Entertainment‘Break My Soul’ Becomes Beyoncé’s First Solo No. 1...

‘Break My Soul’ Becomes Beyoncé’s First Solo No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 14 Years

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Beyoncé has been no stranger to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, but in recent years, that’s been via  featured appearances on songs co-fronted by Megan Thee Stallion and Ed Sheeran. But she’s returned to reign over the chart as a solo artist with “Break My Soul,” which ascends to the No. 1 position after having first hit the Hot 100 six weeks ago. It reaches that pinnacle in the same chart week that sees her “Renaissance” album debuting on the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1.

The last time Beyoncé stood atop the songs chart by herself was back in 2008, when “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” dominated the Hot 100 for four weeks.

Since then, she’d shared the No. 1 spot with Sheeran for five weeks with their 2017 duet on “Perfect,” and took hold of it again with a single week in 2020 when she and Megan went to the top with a remix of the latter artist’s “Savage.”

Prior to these collaborations, she’d had five No. 1s on her own between 2003-2008. Figuring in the more recent collabs, the artist now has her eight No. 1s to her name, following the four she’d had in 1999-2001 as a member of Destiny’s Child. It’s now been 23 years and three weeks since her first No. 1, DC’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.”

The July 29 release of “Renaissance” was obviously a big factor in upping consumption for “Break My Soul” and pushing it to No. 1. Billboard reported that Luminate’s data for the week showed streams up 114%, to 18.9 million for the latest frame, and downloads up 113%, landing at 13,000. But another significant factor is just how the song’s radio play has been on a gradual incline over the last six weeks and was up another 8% this week, to 61.7 million airplay impressions.

Even with the continuing airplay increase, the song holds at No. 4 on the overall Radio Songs chart, but “Break My Soul” makes a big leap on the Streaming Songs chart, from No. 25 to No. 3.

It’s possible the song could see another increase in consumption next week, as the current chart period does not include the release of “The Queens Remix,” which saw vintage Madonna material, including snippets of “Vogue,” being integrated into “Break My Soul.” The remix garnered plenty of attention from the Black women artists whom Beyoncé calls out as influences or heroes in freshly added verses.

News of Beyoncé returning to the top of the Hot 100 follows close on the heels of her triumph atop the Billboard 200, where “Renaissance” debuted at No. 1 with 332,000 album equivalent units, her first time in that spot since her last solo studio album, “Lemonade,” came out in 2016.

Altogether, between her group and solo efforts, Billboard reports that Beyonce has spent 60 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart, indicative of the kind of multi-week runs some of those 12 songs had at the top.

Beyoncé’s ascent means that Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” had to vacate the top spot after landing there for two weeks. Prior to that, Harry Styles’ “As It Was” had appeared indomitable, with a 10-week reign.

This week, Lizzo got bumped to No. 2, which bumped Styles to No. 3. But one crowning position that Lizzo has not vacated is the No. 1 spot on the Radio Songs chart. With a slight 3% airplay increase, “About Damn Time” maintained its dominance of radio with 93.9 million audience airplay impressions, still well ahead of the 61.7 million for “Break My Soul.”

Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” was pushed down a spot on the Hot 10, as well, slipping to No. 4 from its No. 3 peak to date. The “Stranger Things”-driven oldie still stands at No. 1 on three Billboard airplay charts: hot rock & alternative songs, hot rock songs and hot alternative songs.

Three songs crashed the top 10 of the Hot 100 for the first time. Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” jumped five spots to No. 7. Lacy has been a fixture of both the rock/alternative and R&B/hip-hop album charts. And Nicky Youre and Dazy’s collaboration, “Sunroof,” moved up three positions to No. 9.

Other holdovers in the top 10 include tracks by Future with Drake and Tems, Jack Harlow, the pairing of Bad Bunny and Chencho Corleone, and a second hit from Styles (“Late Night Talking”).

Beyoncé had more to celebrate in Hot 100 news this week: All 16 of the tracks from “Renaissance” made the chart. After “Break My Soul,” the two other songs to land in the top 20 were “Cuff It” at No. 13 and “Alien Superstar” at No. 19. With these included, she has now had 81 songs appear in the Hot 100 in her post-Destiny’s Child career.

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