Ask Billboard: Hozier, Born on St. Patrick’s Day, Has the Luck of the Irish at No. 1

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Let’s open the latest mailbag.

Luck of the Irish

Hi Gary,

Trending on Billboard

The skilled Hozier is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Too Sweet.” I love that the Irish musician’s birthday is St. Patrick’s Day (which, as I understand it, is a bigger day in the U.S. than in his homeland).

Hozier is also a bit lucky, given the timing of Taylor Swift’s new material, which is set to storm the Hot 100 next week. Meanwhile, her new set’s lead single, “Fortnight,” features an artist with another notable birthday, as Post Malone was born on July 4.

Happy holidays!

Pablo Nelson
Oakland, Calif.

Hi Pablo,

Hozier finds a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as “Too Sweet” tops the Hot 100. What a fun coincidence that the Newcastle, County Wicklow, native, 34, was born on St. Patrick’s Day, making him the first Irish artist with that birthdate to have led the list.

It seems similar to Jimmy Buffett and Annie Lennox having both been born on Dec. 25 and both boasting seasonal songs in their catalogs, including the latter’s “Winter Wonderland,” recorded by Eurythmics. Late legend Buffett charted two titles on the Top Holiday Albums tally: 1996’s Christmas Island and 2016’s ‘Tis the Season.

Plus, Dido, also born on Dec. 25, aptly contributed to the Yuletide musical canon with her recording of “Christmas Day.”

As for Post Malone, he has joined fellow artists John Waite and Bill Withers with July 4 birthdays, and all three have hit No. 1 on the premier songs chart in the U.S. Withers just missed fireworks atop the Hot 100 on July 4, as his “Lean on Me” began a three-week rule on the chart dated July 8, 1972. The song is, however, the closing track on the 2001 Billboard 200 top 10 compilation album God Bless America.

Meanwhile, Dec. 13 is a noteworthy birthday for Billboard chart-topping acts. Along with Swift, candles that day are blown out each year by Randy Owen, the lead vocalist on Alabama’s 33 Hot Country Songs No. 1s, the most among groups in the survey’s history; Morris Day, of The Time; Tom DeLonge, of Blink-182; Jamie Foxx; and Amy Lee, of Evanescence.

‘Cruel Summer’ Hits 50 Weeks on Hot 100

The race for the Hot 100’s top song of the 2020s still has plenty of contenders ahead, but, for now, “Cruel Summer” contributes to more chart history for Swift. As it becomes her fourth hit to spend at least 50 weeks on the Hot 100, she is the only woman with that many songs that have stayed on the chart for at least that long.

Overall, Swift is tied with Imagine Dragons and her “Fortnight” partner Post Malone with four songs each that have spent at least 50 weeks on the Hot 100 (or 25 fortnights). Only Ed Sheeran and Morgan Wallen have more, with five apiece. Here’s a rundown of their such hits, through the chart dated April 27. (Of the more than 30,000 singles to reach the ranking in its history, only 126 have charted for at least 50 weeks.)

Ed Sheeran:

  • 59 weeks, “Shape of You,” No. 1 (12 weeks), beginning Jan. 28, 2017
  • 58, “Thinking Out Loud, No. 2 peak, Jan. 31, 2015
  • 57, “Perfect,” No. 1 (six weeks), Dec. 23, 2017
  • 56, “Bad Habits,” No. 2, Aug. 28, 2021
  • 52, “Shivers,” No. 4, Jan. 15, 2022

Morgan Wallen:

  • 62 weeks, “You Proof,” No. 5 peak, Oct. 22, 2022
  • 60, “Last Night,” No. 1 (16 weeks), beginning March 18, 2023
  • 57, “Wasted On You,” No. 9, Jan. 23, 2021
  • 55, “Thinkin’ Bout Me,” No. 7, Nov. 4, 2023
  • 52, “Thought You Should Know,” No. 7, March 18, 2023

Another reader, below, was thinking along similar lines.

The Most Weeks Peaking at Any Hot 100 Position

Hi Gary,

What are the most weeks that a song has peaked at any position on the Hot 100? No. 1 is pretty well known, thanks to the 19 weeks on top for Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, in 2019, but what about other ranks?


Senan Sheridan

Hi Senan,

We can highlight yet another record for “Old Town Road,” as its 19 weeks atop the Hot 100 mark not only the most at No. 1 but the most at any peak rank on the chart.

Here’s a look at the positions at which songs have spent the most time (seven weeks or more) peaking on the Hot 100:

  • 19 weeks, No. 1: “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus, 2019
  • 11 weeks, No. 3: “Another Night,” Real McCoy, 1994-95
  • 10 weeks, No. 2: “Work It,” Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, 2002-03; “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” Foreigner, 1981-82
  • 8 weeks, No. 6: “I Want It That Way,” Backstreet Boys, 1999
  • 7 weeks, No. 4: “My Place,” Nelly feat. Jaheim, 2004; “Hold Me,” Fleetwood Mac, 1982
  • 7 weeks, No. 5: “Bubbly,” Colbie Caillat, 2007
  • 7 weeks, No. 10: “When the Lights Go Out,” Five, 1998
  • 7 weeks, No. 86: “Hit the Freeway,” Toni Braxton feat. Loon, 2002

Clearly, Braxton’s single is the outlier among the songs listed above, as it’s the only title to have spent as many as seven weeks peaking at a position on the Hot 100 outside the top 10, or even the top 40. Notably, “Hit the Freeway” merged onto the chart at No. 86 and didn’t change lanes, holding at that rank, for its first seven weeks on the survey. That remained its peak, until it exited after 14 total weeks.

Still, the track is prominent in Braxton’s catalog, as it rode to a No. 32 high on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and has drawn 6.9 million official on-demand U.S. streams, according to Luminate, to date.