The Chainsmokers Somehow Now Have The Longest-Running Chart-Topping Single Of 2016
When our children and our children’s children confront us and ask us the important, difficult question we’ll all be loathe to hear — “Where were you and what were you doing in 2016?” — a hefty chunk of the population will have to answer, “Probably either making out or getting high or driving around suburbia to the dulcet tones of synth chintz hit ‘Closer’ by The Chainsmokers.”
Indeed, with the onset of this week, “Closer” now gives Big Apple bro duo (and featured vocalist Halsey) the distinction of having the longest-running #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016. The song has been perched at the top for 11 consecutive weeks, a stretch that’s now surpassed the nine- and 10-week runs of Rihanna‘s “Work” and Drake‘s “One Dance,” respectively.
Even Adele‘s “Hello,” which topped the Hot 100 for the final seven chart weeks of 2015 and extended its run a further three weeks into 2016, has been passed up by “Closer.” Think about that: The Chainsmokers have one-upped Adele at something.
That said, let’s look at the actual figures, because music consumers aren’t exactly plunking down cash to buy “Closer” the way they did with “Hello.” According to Billboard, the former has only sold 1.7 million digital downloads. The bulk of the tune’s stamina comes down to streaming. On the flip side, “Hello” has been certified seven times Platinum, with 4.6 million in digital single sales. So there are the receipts.
Another fact we must deal with: Of all the duos that have topped the main US singles chart throughout pop and rock history — folks like The Everly Brothers, Sonny & Cher, The Righteous Brothers, Simon And Garfunkel, The Carpenters, Captain & Tenille, Hall & Oates, Tears For Fears, Wham!, Pet Shop Boys, Kriss Kross, Los Del Rio, Outkast, LMFAO, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — it’s The Chainsmokers who have put a song at #1 the longest. (Runner-ups Outkast spent nine weeks atop the Hot 100 with “Hey Ya!” between late 2003 and early 2004.)
It’s the type of enormous success that might have eclipsed the future output of the pair, were “Closer” their first hit single. (Think Carly Rae Jepsen with “Call Me Maybe” or MAGIC! with “Rude.”) But as luck would have it, The Chainsmokers have been steadily padding the airwaves with playlist favorites, from “#Selfie” to “Roses” to “Don’t Let Me Down,” in the buildup to this runaway smash.
Alas, what goes up, must come down. And as every one of those other famous pairs listed above has shown, commercial viability, whether it’s flash-in-the-pan or a decade long, has a sell-by date. There will always be a duo member who ultimately bolts for a solo career. Or a massive album followed by one that lands with a resounding thud. Or in-fighting will set in followed by implosion.
Curiously, the continued achievements of “Closer” have given Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers the balls to tell Rolling Stone that Lady Gaga‘s most recent single “sucks” and to admit after the MTV Video Music Awards that, yes, singing live is hard. A tweet sent from Taggart’s Twitter account in the midst of the Gaga debacle even strangely referred to “Closer” vocalist Halsey as a “bald bitch.” For the record, Lady Gaga has released five studio albums, done five world tours and won six Grammys. The Chainsmokers have released zero, done zero and won zero.
So, bold words, guys, but lighten up — at the end of the day, you’re not curing cancer. It’s the year of Donald Trump The Presidential Nominee and you’re soundtracking it with your cheap, disposable crap track. Have fun with it. Be nice about it. And enjoy that glory, humbly if possible, while it lasts.