Perhaps Abel Tesfaye should change his name to The Year and a Hlf. The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” has now been pulsing along the Billboard Hot 100 for 88 consecutive weeks, which means it’s officially broken the record for longest run on that venerable chart.
The Hot 100 has been around since August 4th, 1958. Previously, this title was held by Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” a taste-free mashup of rock and dubstep that thumped its way to 87 consecutive weeks between 2012 and 2014. We deserved a better record holder, and now we’ve got one.
“Blinding Lights” was released as the second single off The Weeknd’s most recent album After Hours, and it premiered at No. 11 on the Hot 100 on December 14th, 2019. It dropped all the way to No. 52 in its second week, but like so many songs co-written by Max Martin, people couldn’t get it out of their head.
Since then, “Blinding Lights” has become about as common as electricity. It became the first song to sit in the Hot 100’s top 10 for a whole year, eventually establishing a record for 57 weeks, and along the way set other benchmarks for the top five (43 weeks), the top 20 (79 weeks), and the top 40 (84 weeks). Sure, the Grammy Awards didn’t get it, but we named it the best song of last year, and just about every other American with a radio and a pulse has been humming along to that irresistible “Ooh,” for the last year and a half. And it shows no signs of slowing down. In its 88th week, “Blinding Lights” sits at No. 18, and week 89 on the Hot 100 feels all but assured.
“Blinding Lights” has been around so long, it now has to compete with The Weeknd’s next album. Earlier this month he announced The Dawn, and subsequently shared the lead single, “Take My Breath,” another Max Martin jam that we named our Song of the Week.Last week, he dropped “Take My Breath (Extended Version).”