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Look where Taylor Swift is headed: to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” should soar to No. 1 on next week’s Hot 100 (dated Sept. 16); highlights of the chart will post on Billboard.com on Tuesday (a day after the Labor Day holiday).
Following a first chart week of sales and streaming data tracking (Aug. 25-31), after its Aug. 25 arrival, and a first full week of airplay tracking (Aug. 28-Sept. 3), the song should storm to No. 1. On the new Sept. 9-dated Hot 100, the track debuts at No. 77 powered by its first three days of airplay. It enters at No. 23 on the all-genre Radio Songs chart with 46 million in airplay audience, according to Nielsen Music. Driving its overall radio exposure, “Look” launches at No. 16 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart and No. 21 on Pop Songs, marking the highest bow on each chart in 2017, as well as No. 22 on Adult Contemporary.
(The Hot 100 measures airplay on a Monday-Sunday schedule, while streams and sales cover a Friday-Thursday period; thus, “Look” debuts on the Sept. 9-dated chart from its first three days of airplay.)
According to industry projections, “Look,” the first single from Swift’s album Reputation, due Nov. 10, could sell between 400,000 and 500,000 downloads in its first week. That could mark the highest weekly total since Adele’s “Hello” sold 480,000 downloads in its third week (ending Nov. 12, 2015). (It was previously reported Saturday, based on initial projections, that “Look” was aiming for a start of 500,000 downloads sold following its explosive retail debut on Aug. 25.)
Along with first-week streaming totals, powered by its lyric video released Aug. 25 and its official clip, which premiered Sunday (Aug. 27) during the MTV Video Music Awards, as well as a full first week of airplay, “Look” should vault to No. 1 on the Hot 100.
If “Look” leaps to the top, it would prevent, or delay, further history from being made by the current leader, Luis Fonsi’s and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, which this week (on the Sept. 9-dated Hot 100) logs its record-tying 16th week at No. 1. It matches Mariah Carey’s and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day,” which reigned for a record-establishing 16 weeks in 1995-96.
Thus, if “Look” dethrones “Despacito,” the latter would, at least as of next week, remain tied for the longest command in the Hot 100’s 59-year archives.
Still, high-profile debuts often fall in their second frames (following strong streaming and sales starts in their premiere weeks before dipping and then building back up as familiarity, helped by radio airplay, takes hold). So, “Despacito” could give way to “Look” for a week but then rebound the following week for a record-setting 17th frame at No. 1 after all.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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