Deep Ass Questions

How Did Beyoncé Not Have a US Number One Single in the Past 10 Years?

The pop icon is finally back atop the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart with her duet with Ed Sheeran.

by Noisey Staff
12 December 2017, 9:23am

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ten years is a long time in pop music. Actually it’s a long ass time in general, but on Monday (11 December) Beyoncé ended an unlikely, and frankly, unbelievable, drought of ten years without a number-one US song when her duet with Ed Sheeran – a remix of the English songwriter's “Perfect” – peaked atop the Billboard chart.

The last woman with a longer Number One drought on the Hot 100 was Christina Aguilera who waited ten years and two months between her 2001 hit "Lady Marmalade" and 2011's "Moves Like Jagger" (a duet with Maroon 5).

But why has it taken so long for Bey to obtain her tenth No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100? In that time the 36-year-old pop icon has released her 2013 self-titled album and last year's Lemonade. Considered two of her best records, between them they've won numerous album-of-the-year accolades.

"Drunk in Love," her duet with Jay-Z from her self-titled album, only reached number two on the Hot 100, and though Lemonade helped Beyonce become the first woman to chart 12 songs on the Hot 100 at once, surpassing Taylor Swift's 11, the album's more experimental nature didn't produce any number one bangers. The fact it was released as an exclusive on streaming service Tidal also impeded the chart performance of the album's tracks.

It seems that as Beyoncé has transformed from a chart-climbing pop musician into a cultural icon, she’s moved away from being a singles-oriented artist. Her 2008’s hits-packed I Am ... Sasha Fierce" included "Single Ladies", "If I Were A Boy", "Sweet Dreams" and "Halo". Her follow up album 4 had no Top Ten hits on Hot 100.

Glad to see she's back on top, even if it is with Ed Sheeran.