A titanic amount of anticipation and a change in the way Billboard calculates chart success have put the every single track from the new Weeknd album on the trade magazine’s Hot Hip Hop/R&B chart. All 14 tracks from “Beauty Behind the Madness,” the new album from solo artist the Weeknd, appeared on the most recent Hot Hip Hop/R&B Songs Chart, Billboard reported. Two songs, “Often” and “Earned It (50 Shades of Grey),” which were released before the album dropped on August 28, had already hit the chart, but the album’s remaining 12 songs have all swooped on since then, giving the Weeknd the distinction of being the first non-rapper to have this many songs on the Hot Hip Hop/R&B Chart.
On a separate chart, the Hot 100, “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills” hold the chart’s top two spots, making the Weeknd the first male artist since T.I. to have two of the top three spots at the same time. The remaining ten songs are spread further down, with “As You Are,” an ethereal love song, coming in at No. 42.
Prior to the arrival of on-demand streaming services like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, a feat like the Weeknd’s was practically unthinkable. Before those kinds of services emerged, Billboard used a mix of sales and radio airplay to determine who would make its charts; it changed its formula for calculating chart position three years ago, incorporating YouTube video views, as well as streams on services like Spotify and Pandora.
In the days when radio plays were paramount, a record label like Republic, which represents the Weeknd, would typically focus its resources on maximizing the popularity of one or two songs at a time, rather than trying to promote every single song at once. As a result, only six artists in the 57-year history of the Billboard charts have had more than 10 songs in the Hot Charts at the same time, and all but one -- the Beatles -- achieved that feat after the launch of YouTube.
According to Nielsen Music, streaming played a major role in the Weeknd success too -- the 12 songs on the chart this week have been streamed a combined 77 million times. This year, the Weeknd has been one of the strongest artists on streaming platforms, having piled up more than 600 million streams on Spotify alone.
Earlier this year, the Weeknd also became the first artist in Billboard history to hold all three top spots on the trade’s Hot R&B Songs Chart.