Kanye West Brings Paul McCartney Back to the Top 40

Paul McCartney is back in the top 40 on Billboard's Hot 100 for the first time in more than 25 years as Kanye West's “Only One,” on which he is featured, debuts at #35. It is, by far, the week's highest new entry. It's McCartney's highest-charting hit since “My Brave Face” (which he co-wrote with Elvis Costello) reached #25 in July 1989.

West and McCartney co-wrote and co-produced “Only One,” which is a ballad for West’s daughter North, sung from the perspective of West’s late mother Dr. Donda West. (West’s mother died in November 2007 at age 58 of heart disease while experiencing adverse complications from plastic surgery.)

This is the first single from West’s forthcoming seventh solo studio album. West’s first four studio albums each spawned one or two 10 hits on the Hot 100, but his last two solo studio albums, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus, did not. (They did each yield one or more top 20 hits.)

"Only One" is McCartney’s fifth collaboration to crack the top 40. The first was "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," a collabo with his wife, Linda McCartney, which hit #1 in 1971. The second was “Ebony and Ivory,” a collabo with Stevie Wonder. It logged seven weeks at #1 in 1982 and received Grammy nominations for Record and Song of the Year. The next two were collabos with Michael Jackson: “The Girl Is Mine” (#2 for three weeks in 1983) and “Say Say Say” (#1 for six weeks in 1983-‘84.)

McCartney came close to the top 40 with a 2005 collabo with U2, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which peaked at #48. The titans recorded it in July 2005 at London’s Hyde Park as part of the Live8 charity concerts.

West, of course, has had far more charted collabos over the years, in part because they are far more prevalent than they used to be. West’s previous partners include more pop and rock artists than you may have remembered. West was featured on Katy Perry's “E.T.,” a #1 smash in the spring of 2011. Adam Levine was featured on West’s 2005 hit “Heard ‘Em Say.” Chris Martin was featured on his 2008 hit “Homecoming.” Bon Iver was featured (along with numerous other artists) on his 2010 hits “Monster” and “Dark Fantasy.”

"Only One" is the only new entry that made much noise this week. The next highest new entry is "Throw Sum Mo" by Rae Sremmurd featuring Nicki Minaj and Young Thug, which opened at #92. It was followed by Sam Hunt's “Take Your Time” at #93, Jake Owen's “What We Ain't Got” at #95, Tyler Farr's “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” at #97, Chase Bryant's “Take It on Back” at #98, Cole Swindell's “Ain't Worth the Whiskey” at #99, and “I Mean It” by G-Eazy featuring Remo at #100.

In addition, two songs re-enter the chart this week. “Outside” by Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding re-enters at #90 (it has climbed as high as #68). Sheppard's “Geronimo” re-enters at #96 (it has climbed as high as #90).