Beyoncé has an uncanny ability to completely flood the pop culture landscape with content whenever she sees fit, so it’s a little mind-blowing that the last time she had a Number 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 was nine years ago—until this week.
That’s right, Beyoncé has made her way back to the top of the charts for the first time since “Single Ladies” was up there in December of 2008. Yay! That’s good. But there’s a horrible catch: her return to No. 1 is a remix/duet situation with Ed Sheeran. That’s bad.
On November 30, Sheehan and Beyoncé dropped a duet version of his ballad “Perfect,” which appears on his album ÷ (also known as “divide”). Every so often Beyoncé does something extremely basic and everyone’s like “what?” This is one of those times. The song itself is clearly built to be the first dance at a wedding and is otherwise meh. It sold 181,000 downloads its first week.
To be fair, Beyoncé has transcended the Hot 100 rat race, which takes sales, airplay, and streaming into account. 2016’s Lemonade is still only available for streaming on Tidal, which is detrimental to its Billboard performance, but presumably more profitable for her as an artist. So as much as I want to congratulate her on her return to No. 1, she’s clearly beyond such concepts as “Billboard” and “top.” So congrats to Ed Sheehan I guess?