Chart Watch: DJ Khaled, a Classic Late-Bloomer

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INDIO, CA – APRIL 16: DJ Khaled performs on the Sahara stage during day 3 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 16, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)
INDIO, CA – APRIL 16: DJ Khaled performs on the Sahara stage during day 3 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 16, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)

Many recording artists’ careers start to sputter around the time they hit 40. That’s when DJ Khaled‘s career went into overdrive. The rapper and producer, 41, has two songs in the top five on this week’s Hot 100. “I’m the One” (featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne) holds at No. 2 this week. It debuted at No. 1 seven weeks ago. “Wild Thoughts” (featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller) is this week’s top new entry at No. 4. Both songs are from Khaled’s new album, the aptly-titled Grateful, which is expected to enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1 next week. That would make it his second No. 1 album in a row, following last year’s Major Key.

DJ Khaled’s first nine albums all made the top 15 on The Billboard 200. It helps that he is able to attract some of the biggest stars in pop music to sing on this tracks. Beyoncé and Jay Z were featured on “Shining,” the first single from Grateful. Drake was featured on “To the Max,” the third single from the album.

“Wild Thoughts” is Rihanna’s 31st top 10 hit, which puts her in third place among all artists since the inception of the Hot 100 in 1958. She trails Madonna (38) and The Beatles (34). If you scroll back to 1955, the start of the “rock era,” Elvis Presley joins this elite group with 38 top 10 hits.

This week marks the first time that a woman has appeared in the top five on the Hot 100 (as a lead or featured artist) since Taylor Swift’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” (a collabo with Zayn) ended a nine-week run in the top five in April. That’s a 12-week period in which women were completely shut out of the top five. Billboard‘s Gary Trust reports that that’s the longest period in which no women made the top five (either as solo artists or group members) since 1972, when there was a 13-week shutout. That drought was ended, appropriately, by Helen Reddy’s feminist battle cry’ “I Am Woman.”

“Wild Thoughts” samples Santana’s “Maria Maria” (featuring the Product G&B), which topped the Hot 100 for 10 weeks in the spring of 2000.

Top Songs

Justin Bieber is featured on the top two hits on the Hot 100 for the second week in a row. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” logs its seventh week at No. 1. DJ Khaled’s aforementioned “I’m the One” holds at No. 2. This is the second time that Bieber has had the top two songs for two straight weeks. He first achieved the feat in February 2016 with his own hits “Sorry” and “Love Yourself.”

“Despacito” sold 138K digital copies this week, which puts it on top of the digital sales chart for the eighth week.

Bruno Mars’s “That’s What I Like” holds at No. 3 in its 23rd week. The song hit No. 1.

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” dips from No. 4 to No. 5 in its 24rd week. The song logged 12 weeks at No. 1. It’s the first song in Hot 100 history to spend its first 24 weeks in the top five.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” dips from No. 5 to No. 6 in its 12th week. The song reached No. 1.

Future’s “Mask Off” dips from No. 6 to No. 7 in its 18th week. The song peaked at No. 5.

Post Malone’s “Congratulations” (featuring Quavo) jumps from No. 9 to No. 8 in its 26th week.

“Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay drops from No. 7 to No. 9 in its 18th week. The song peaked at No. 3. This is the 60th consecutive week that The Chainsmokers have had one or more songs in the top 10. Only Katy Perry has had more continuous weeks in the top 10—69 in 2010-11.

“Stay” by Zedd & Alessia Cara drops from No. 8 to No. 10 in its 17th week. The song peaked at No. 7.

Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” drops out of the top 10 this week.

Selena Gomez lands her ninth top 20 hit as “Bad Liar” jumps from No. 23 to No. 20 in its sixth week. Gomez’s old group, Selena Gomez and the Scene, never quite landed a top 20 hit. The group peaked in the 20s on the Hot 100 four times.

Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” tops Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart for the 20th week. That’s the longest run at No. 1 by a solo artist in more than 60 years—since Ray Price’s “Crazy Arms” topped the Most Played C&W By Jockeys chart (a forerunner to Hot Country Songs) for 20 weeks in 1956.

Among all hits from the past 60 years, “Body Like a Back Road” is second only to Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” which spent 24 weeks on top in 2012-13. Both “Body…” and “Cruise” became crossover smashes. “Body…” has climbed as high as No. 6 on the Hot 100. A remix of “Cruise” featuring Nelly reached No. 4 in July 2013.

James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” and Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” each top the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Arthur’s song reached No. 11 on the Hot 100. Gaga’s song reached No. 4. Both ballads have an excellent chance of receiving Grammy nominations for Song of the Year.

Top Albums

Lorde‘s Melodrama enters The Billboard 200 at No. 1. This is the third consecutive week that a female solo artist has opened in the top spot. Halsey debuted at No. 1 two weeks ago with hopeless fountain kingdom. Katy Perry opened at No. 1 last week with Witness. This marks the first time that female solo artists have debuted at No. 1 in three consecutive weeks since September 2009, when Reba McEntire’s Keep on Loving You, Colbie Caillat’s Breakthrough and Whitney Houston’s I Look to You achieved the feat.

Melodrama is Lorde’s sophomore album. Her debut album, Pure Heroine, debuted and peaked at No. 3 in October 2013.

For the record, three female solo artists appeared at No. 1 in successive weeks in December 2013, but not all of those albums were debuts. Rihanna’s Unapologetic and Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire debuted at No. 1. They were followed by Taylor Swift’s Red, which returned to No. 1 in its seventh week.

Alas, a fast start doesn’t guarantee a long run in the top 10. Witness tumbles from No. 1 to No. 13 in its second week. It’s Perry’s first album to fall out of the top 10 after a single week since her 2008 debut, One of the Boys.

2 Chainz lands his fourth consecutive top five album as Pretty Girls Like Trap Music debuts at No. 2. This is his highest-charting album since his debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, opened at No. 1 in September 2012.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. dips from No. 2 to No. 3 in its 10th week. The album spent its first three weeks at No. 1.

Jason Isbell lands his second top 10 album in a row as The Nashville Sound opens at No. 4. The album also credits his band, The 400 Unit. The album enters Top Country Albums at No. 1, displacing Lady Antebellum’s Heart Break. It’s Isbell’s second No. 1 country album in a row.

Nickelback lands its seventh consecutive top 10 album as Feed the Machine debuts at No. 5. The title is one of the most knowing lines about the pop music industry since Joni Mitchell’s “stokin’ the star-making machinery behind the popular song” (from 1974’s “Free Man in Paris”).

Drake’s More Life dips from No. 5 to No. 6 in its 14th week. It spent its first three weeks on top.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ dips from No. 6 to No. 7 in its 16th week. It spent its first two weeks at No. 1.

Young Thug’s first full-length album, Beautiful Thugger Girls, debuts at No. 8. The rapper previously made the top 10 with a pair of mixtapes.

Fleet Foxes land their second top 10 album as Crack-Up debuts at No. 9. The group’s previous album, Helplessness Blues, opened at No. 4 in May 2011.

Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic drops from No. 8 to No. 10 in its 31st week. The album has yet to fall out of the top 10. It logged four weeks at No. 2.

Six albums drop out of the top 10 this week. As noted above, Katy Perry’s Witness tumbles from No. 1 to No. 13. SZA’s Ctrl drops from No. 3 to No. 11. Lady Antebellum’s Heart Break drops from No. 4 to No. 24. Halsey’s hopeless fountain kingdom drops from No. 7 to No. 14. Rise Against’s Wolves plummets from No. 9 to No. 174. Post Malone’s Stoney drops from No. 10 to No. 12.

The Moana soundtrack inches up from No. 16 to No. 15 in its 31st week. The album peaked at No. 2. Moana logs its 12th week at No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart. That’s the longest run by any soundtrack since Suicide Squad: The Album had 13 weeks on top last year. It’s the longest run by a Disney soundtrack since Frozen had 44 weeks on top in 2013-14.

The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band drops from No. 11 to No. 21 in its 198th chart week. The album is No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums for the fifth non-consecutive week.

Royal Blood’s How Did We Get So Dark? debuts at No. 25. The album enters The Official U.K. Albums Chart at No. 1.

Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album, To Pimp a Butterfly, tops the 1 million mark in traditional album sales this week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1 and wound up with a Grammy nom for Album of the Year. It was Lamar’s follow-up to his 2012 breakthrough, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, which is up to 1,651,000 in traditional sales. Lamar’s current album, DAMN., is up to 665K in trad sales.

Coming Attractions: Look for DJ Khaled’s Grateful and Imagine Dragons’ Evolve to take the top two spots on next week’s chart, in that order.