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Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” reunites with the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, rebounding 2-1 for a third total week at the summit. The move gives “Never” the longest rule atop the Hot 100 for a country song in more than three decades.
The three weeks in charge for “Never” represents the longest Hot 100 reign for a country title since Kenny Rogers’ “Lady” led for six weeks in 1980. That smoldering ballad already had worked its way into chart headlines this year: The song was written by Lionel Richie, who topped Billboard’s country albums chart for four weeks in the spring with Tuskegee, a duets set of covers of his classic R&B hits featuring country acts. The album includes an update of “Lady,” featuring Rogers.
“Never” also boasts the longest Hot 100 domination for any country song by a woman since Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which dominated the Hot 100 for 10 weeks in 1977, becoming the biggest single of the 1970s.
Between “Lady” and “Never,” only four country songs led the Hot 100: Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” (two weeks in 1981); the Rogers-Parton duet “Islands in the Stream,” (two, 1983); Lonestar’s “Amazed” (two, 2000); and, Carrie Underwood’s “Inside Your Heaven” (one, 2005).
“Never,” which Swift performed during the MTV Video Music Awards last week, returns to the apex thanks to 284,000 downloads sold, up 12 percent from the previous week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and 77 million audience impressions, up 8 percent, according to Nielsen BDS.
Meanwhile, Swift also posts the chart’s highest debut, as charity single “Ronan” – written about a 3-year-old who died of cancer — soars in at No. 16. Its proceeds will go toward the Taylor Swift Charitable Fund.
“Ronan” sold 211,000 downloads during the week, the most of any songs other than “Never Ever.” Swift is the first artist to monopolize the top two spots on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs chart since Ke$ha in 2010. In the chart’s history, only three other artists had ranked at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously: The Black Eyed Peas (for two weeks in 2009), Beyonce (Dec. 6, 2008) and Mariah Carey (Dec. 31, 2005).
While “Never Ever” serves as the lead single from Swift’s fourth studio album, Red, due Oct. 22, “Ronan” is not scheduled to be included on the set, according to her label, Big Machine.
Elsewhere in the pop Top 10: Maroon 5’s “One More Night” lifts 3-2, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” falls from the top spot to No. 3 and Fun.’s “Some Nights” (5-4) flip-flops with Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” (4-5). P!nk’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” jumps five spots to a new peak at No. 6, Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me,” featuring Big Sean, rises 9-7, followed by Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks” (6-8), Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Good Time” (8-9) and Alex Clare’s “Too Close” (15-10).
Watch Swift’s video for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” below.
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