Ed Sheeran & Beyonce’s ‘Perfect’ Tops Billboard Hot 100
“Perfect,” released on Atlantic Records (and the 1,069th No. 1 in the Hot 100’s history, which dates to its Aug. 4, 1958, launch), was first released as a solo song by Sheeran on his album ÷ (Divide), which debuted atop the Billboard 200 dated March 25. On Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. ET, the new duet version was released, hours before the end of the sales and streaming tracking week. In its first full tracking week, ending Dec. 7, the song sold 181,000 downloads, up 202 percent, according to Nielsen Music, as it spends a second week at No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart.
Plus, as the duet version accounts for 63 percent of the song’s total sales for the week, Beyoncé has been added on the Hot 100 (and related charts) as a co-lead artist on “Perfect.” (For chart purposes, both versions of “Perfect” contribute to the song’s singular listing on the Hot 100.)
“Perfect” flies 11-3 on the Streaming Songs chart with 34.9 million U.S. streams, up 87 percent, in the tracking week ending Dec. 7, while, on Radio Songs, it pushes 4-3 (102 million in audience, up 14 percent, in the week ending Dec. 10).
Sheeran scores his second Hot 100 No. 1, after Divide lead single “Shape of You” debuted atop the chart dated Jan. 28 and ruled for 12 weeks. Beyoncé earns her sixth Hot 100 No. 1 as a soloist (in addition to four as a member of Destiny’s Child) and her first in nine years, since “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” reigned for four weeks beginning Dec. 13, 2008.
“Perfect” topping the Hot 100 following the addition of Beyoncé marks the second instance this year of a high-profile star joining a song that had already charted in its original version and then hit No. 1. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” reached an initial No. 44 high in April; once Justin Bieber was added as a featured artist, the song soared 48-9 on the May 6-dated chart before spending a record-tying 16 weeks at No. 1.
While “Despacito” topped the Hot 100 in its fourth week after the arrival of the Bieber version, “Perfect” is the first song to hit No. 1 following a first full tracking week after the addition of a guest since Kendrick Lamar joined Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” which blasted 53-1 on the Hot 100 dated June 6, 2015, after the collab’s release (including its all-star video, which premiered to kick off the 2015 Billboard Music Awards).
One more note related to Sheeran and Beyoncé’s “Perfect” harmony: the pair combines for the first Hot 100 No. 1 of the 2010s credited equally to a solo male and female. No such song had led since, coincidentally, Beyoncé’s husband, JAY-Z, and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind,” which ruled for five weeks beginning Nov. 28, 2009.
Additionally, Sheeran is the only artist with two Hot 100 No. 1s as a lead artist in 2017; Justin Bieber boasts two in featured roles. In 2016, Bieber earned two No. 1s both as a lead, which followed a pair each for The Weeknd in 2015; Taylor Swift in 2014; and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in 2013.
After eight weeks atop the Hot 100, Post Malone’s “Rockstar,” featuring 21 Savage, dips to No. 2. Still, it leads Streaming Songs for an 11th week (49.8 million, down 1 percent). “Rockstar” concurrently leads the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts for a ninth week each.
Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” featuring Young Thug, slips to No. 3 on the Hot 100 after five weeks at its No. 2 peak. Despite its Hot 100 drop, it achieves top airplay honors, as it becomes Cabello’s (and Young Thug’s) first No. 1 on the Radio Songs chart, where it rises 2-1 (122 million, up 8 percent).
The songs at Nos. 4-6 on the Hot 100 all hold in place: Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang,” at No. 4 after reaching No. 3; Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” (No. 5), which peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 and leads Hot Rock Songs for a sixth week; and Sam Smith’s “Too Good at Goodbyes,” at No. 6 after hitting a No. 4 high.
G-Eazy’s second Hot 100 top 10, “No Limit,” featuring A$AP Rocky and Cardi B, rises 8-7. Fueled most heavily by streaming, the track gains by 2 percent to 22.4 million U.S. clicks.
Halsey notches her first Hot 100 top 10 as a lead artist, as “Bad at Love” lifts 11-8. The song bumps 7-6 on Digital Song Sales (28,000, down 6 percent); 9-8 on Radio Songs (78 million, up 11 percent); and 28-26 on Streaming Songs (15.8 million, up 11 percent).
The track is Halsey’s second total Hot 100 top 10; she spent 12 weeks at No. 1 as featured on The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” beginning in September 2016. Speaking of G-Eazy and Halsey, the couple debuts at No. 21 on the Hot 100 with duet “Him & I,” led by its No. 3 launch on Digital Song Sales (44,000) and No. 28 bow on Streaming Songs (13.4 million).
Closing out the Hot 100’s top 10, Cardi B’s former three-week No. 1 “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” slides 7-9 and Maroon 5’s “What Lovers Do,” featuring SZA, drops from its No. 9 peak to No. 10.
Just outside the Hot 100’s top 10, Mariah Carey’s 1994 carol “All I Want for Christmas Is You” returns to its No. 11 peak first reached two holiday seasons ago, surging from No. 21. (Older songs are eligible to return to the Hot 100 if ranking in the top 50 and are gaining in multiple metrics with a significant reason for their resurgences; a few holiday chestnuts re-enter each year.) Carey’s modern holiday classic, which leads the Holiday 100 chart, jingles 16-7 on Streaming Songs (24.2 million, up 47 percent); 19-13 on Digital Song Sales (21,000, up 33 percent); and 47-42 on Radio Songs (27 million, up 4 percent).
Find out more Hot 100 news in the weekly “Hot 100 Chart Moves” column and by listening (and subscribing) to Billboard‘s Chart Beat Podcast and Pop Shop Podcast, all posting this week. And again, be sure to visit Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 12), when all charts, including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh. The next issue of Billboard magazine is on sale Friday (Dec. 15).