The Canadian artist now has more weeks at the top of the US pop chart than any other male solo artist in history.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on September 13, 2018

Drake’s latest chart-topper ‘In My Feelings’ has spent nine weeks in the top spot. It is his third from this year’s sprawling but often engrossing Scorpion.

Other singles to hit the apex of the Hot 100 this year were ‘Nice For What’ and ‘God’s Plan’, the latter of which was accompanied by a widely shared music video showing Drake distributing the entire US$1 million budget he was given for the video to unsuspecting fans and members of the public.

Drake: chameleon, pop culture icon, record-breaker

Drake’s persona, alternating as it does between sensitivity and swagger, remains intriguingly enigmatic and hard to pin down but he has proved a hit-maker of incredible consistency even as his work shows a stylistic restlessness.

Coming into the week, his singles had spent a cumulative 47 weeks in the number one position and he was tied with Usher for the all-time lead among solo male artists.

His latest feat comes on the heels of Billboard’s announcement in July that Drake’s seven simultaneous singles in its top 10 had broken a record previously held by The Beatles with five songs.

The Billboard Hot 100 has factored in streaming since 2007 and earlier this year finalised a new formula that gives more weight to plays on paid subscription services over ad-sponsored platforms such as YouTube and on-demand streams over programmed audio.

Interestingly, the number of different artists in the Billboard Hot 100 shows a strong downward trend from its high point in the late 1960s and the 1970s, with artists such as Drake, Rihanna, Ariana Grande and Travis Scott enjoying an outsized presence in the charts.

The #InMyFeelings challenge lit up social media

‘In My Feelings’, however, has been the biggest hit of the three and one of the year’s most enduring pop culture phenomena. Its popularity is inextricably linked to the viral dance craze it spawned when comedian Shiggy filmed himself dancing to the tune and posted it on Instagram.

Shiggy’s efforts inspired legions of imitators, including A-lister Will Smith, who filmed his own version of what was quickly termed the #InMyFeelings challenge atop a bridge in Budapest.

The challenge branched off to include social media users dancing while making exits from their still moving cars, prompting authorities to take to the airways cautioning against such shenanigans.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone gets sucked into the wheels of the car or dragged or the driver who is recording it with their phone, hits somebody crossing the street,” Joseph Solomon, a Massachusetts Police Chief told CBS Boston.

Drake among the biggest earners in hip-hop

Meanwhile, Drake came in fourth in Forbes‘ list of the world’s highest-paid hip-hop stars. He earned US$47 million over the last financial year and was the world’s most popular artist on streaming services with his songs played more than 5 billion times.

Jay-Z topped the list with US$76.5 million, ahead of Diddy (US$64 million), who made millions from endorsing Citron Vodka and DeLeón tequila and Kendrick Lamar, who earned US$58 million.

Kanye West fell to 10th place after his album Ye became the first in his career to fail to go platinum.

Drake’s position in Billboard Hot 100 history

Drake is now the all-time leader for most cumulative weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for a male solo artist, but there are still four other artists ahead of him.

A notable name missing from the list is Elvis Presley, as many of his number one singles came before the inception of the Hot 100 in August 1958. Presley is credited with 22 weeks on the list though if his pre-list singles were counted he would be equal on top with a staggering 79 weeks.

Most cumulative weeks at number one:

  1. Mariah Carey – 79 total weeks
  2. Rihanna – 60
  3. The Beatles – 59
  4. Boyz II Men – 50
  5. Drake – 48

Header image: The Come Up