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Justin Timberlake‘s return to music has already been a record-breaking one.
The pop singer’s new single “Suit & Tie,” which was released at midnight on Jan. 14, has already smashed radio play records, arriving at No. 14 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart, which measures mainstream top 40 radio airplay. The song had the highest first-week plays total in the chart’s 20-year history. It also marked the the highest bow for a song by a male artist.
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According to Billboard, “Suit & Tie” logged 6,045 plays in the Jan. 14-20 tracking week, surpassing Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way,” which opened (at No. 14) with 4,602 plays in February 2011 to nab the highest-debut week play sums in the chart’s history.
The song, which features Jay-Z, is Timberlake’s first single in six years and will be included on his album, The 20/20 Experience, which will be released this year.
Timberlake’s most-recent studio album — FutureSex/LoveSounds — was released in 2006 and certified four-times platinum. He spent the years after its release pursuing a film career, starring in such films as The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends With Benefits and In Time.
On Jan. 10, Timberlake posted a short video showing him returning to a recording studio to announce his return to music.
“I’ve only done two albums in 10 years, that’s the way I really look at it.,” he says in the clip. “What does the next decade mean for me? I’m the one who sits and is obsessive about it before you even get to hear it. As close as I get to it, I don’t know that I could physically torture myself that much year-in and year-out and expect it to fulfill me the way that it does and the way that it is right now. I don’t want to put anything out that I feel like is something I don’t love. You just don’t get that every day. You have to wait for it.” At the video’s conclusion, Timberlake steps into a recording booth and says, “I’m ready.”
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