On this week’s Billboard charts, Billie Eilish scores another No. 1, even though she’s not working too hard to promote anything at the moment. The singer-songwriter’s current single “Therefore I Am” rises to No. 1 on the company’s Pop Airplay list, which tracks the tunes that reach the largest audiences on mainstream top 40 radio.
But wait, isn’t Eilish the biggest name in the alternative rock space these days? Yes, and she’s scored massive hits that have straddled the worlds of alt rock and mainstream pop more than once, with this latest win cementing her status as the rare success story that can attract an audience and rule radio in both fields.
“Therefore I Am” is Eilish’s second No. 1 on the Pop Airplay chart and her first since “Bad Guy,” which helped turn her from a rising talent to a household name. That cut went all the way to the peak spot on the Hot 100, and it stood out as one of the biggest hits of 2019.
This week, “Therefore I Am” somewhat surprisingly replaces Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” atop the Pop Airplay chart, where it kept every other track at bay for a month. Interestingly, the teen sensation’s breakout single is steady at No. 1 on the all-format Radio Songs chart, meaning it reached more people tuning into radio in the U.S. than any other title…but somehow not on pop stations, where it has historically performed the best.
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If top 40 players are ready to move on from the No. 1 radio song in the country in favor of an alternative rock hit, clearly Eilish is on to something special.
Both “Bad Guy” and “Therefore I Am” have also reached the throne on the Alternative Airplay chart, which serves the same purpose as the Pop Airplay ranking, only in the alt rock space, and they’re not her only wins. In addition to that pair of champions, her other singles “Everything I Wanted” and “Bury A Friend” also ruled, giving her four controllers on that specific tally.
It’s incredibly rare for one artist to score a No. 1 hit on both pop and alternative rock radio, as the two don’t often correlate, but somehow Eilish has made it work…and more than once. In fact, most acts can’t do what the teenager already has, let alone with the same singles. She’s not only innovated on the alternative airwaves, she’s completely changed the sound of top 40 in this country, and it seems to only be getting easier for her as she goes along.