Rihanna has scored her 32nd top 10 single — and her first in five years — with “Lift Me Up,” the first track to emerge from Marvel’s blockbuster sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The song debuts at No. 2 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100.
Taylor Swift did not relinquish the top spot, as “Anti-Hero” held on at No. 1 for a second consecutive week. She did let go of her grip on the entire top 10, however. Last week, Swift set a record by claiming all 10 of the Hot 100’s top 10 songs, with tunes from her “Midnights” album; this week, she is down to a mere four in the top 10.
The last time Rihanna occupied a place in the charts top 10 was in 2017, when a song she and Bryson Tiller had featured appearances on, DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts,” sat at No. 2 for seven weeks. The last time the artist had a top 10 solo hit was 2016’s “Love on the Brain” — a gap that doesn’t have to do with any drop-off in popularity, just the act that she hasn’t been releasing material in the interval.
Following its Oct. 28 premiere, “Lift Me Up” tallied 26.2 million streams and sold 23,000 downloads; more impressively, it made its mark on radio, garnering 48.1 million audience impressions in its first week.
The song has been described as a tribute to the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman; it was written by Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems, film composer Ludwig Göransson, and director Ryan Coogler along with Rihanna.
The superstar has made few musical appearances in the years since her last album, 2016’s “Anti” — most notably features on N.E.R.D.’s “Lemon,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty” and Future’s “Selfish” — yet in February she will be the halftime performer on the world’s largest stage for a musician, the Super Bowl.
Standing in the way of “Lift Me Up” becoming Rihanna’s 15th No. 1 single was Swift’s “Anti-Hero,” which stood well ahead of “Lift Me Up” in streaming numbers, although Rihanna took the lead in a radio play.
The second week for “Anti-Hero” had Swift landing 35.6 million streams (down 40%), 37.6 million radio airplay audience impressions (up 17%), and 17,000 downloads (up 28%, led by the Nov. 3 sale of an instrumental version). The other three songs Swift has remained in the top 10 this week: “Lavender Haze” (No. 6), “Midnight Rain” (No. 7), and “Bejeweled” (No. 9).
As previously reported, “Midnights” also tops the albums chart again in its second week, coming in with 342,000 album-equivalent units — the best numbers for an album in its sophomore frame in seven years (the last one to do better being Adele’s “25” in 2015).
The top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart included mostly the same albums as the week before. The only debut was Kodak Black, entering at No. 8 with “Kutthroat Bill: Vol. 1,” coming in with 37,000 units earned.
There was also an unexpected rebound moving back up into those upper ranks. Baby Keem’s “The Melodic Blue,” a September 2021 release, jumps from No. 105 to No. 7 (37,000 units) following its Oct. 28 deluxe reissue and debut on vinyl. Ten additional tracks were added to the album, although the vinyl LP does not include those bonus tracks.
As for the holdover albums in the top 10: Lil Baby’s “It’s Only Me” sits at No. 2, with 81,000 equivalent album units (down 26%), while Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti” is also stationary at No. 3 (62,000 units; down 7%). The Beatles’ “Revolver” re-enters the chart at No. 4, fueled by the Oct. 28 release of its deluxe special edition which notched 54,000 units. A majority of those units (46,000 to be exact) come from sales.
Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” slips a spot to No. 5 (41,000 units); the Weeknd’s “The Highlights” also falls a slot, to No. 6 (41,000); Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” moves down one position to No. 9 (31,000 units), and Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” stays in place at No. 10 (with 26,000 units).
Back on the songs chart, where Swift relinquished six of the top 10 spots she held last week: Styles’ “As It Was” claims its 30th week in the top 10, jumping 16-5; Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habits” moves back up to No. 4, after having spent the last week at No. 12; while Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” gets a lift from No. 11 to No. 3. Just two weeks ago, “Unholy” made a triumphant climb to No. 1, logging an impressive increase in radio airplay (up 40%) and sales (60%, led by 69-cent sale-pricing). This week it logs 40.8 million in airplay audience (up 53%), 25.1 million streams (up 3%), and 12,000 sold (up 3%).
Capping the survey: Post Malone’s “I Like You (A Happier Song),” featuring Doja Cat, at No. 8, and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” at No. 10.