Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road” is comfortable atop the Hot 100 for a sixth week, earning another history-making stream count and proving how well it can still sell after over a month at No. 1. When its time in the spotlight has come and gone, the crossover smash will be remembered for a number of incredible accomplishments, the most surprising of which may be its ability to hold off some of the most famous musicians in the world.
Several superstars have challenged newcomer Lil Nas X, but none have been able to beat him back yet. Here’s a look at who has made a play for the throne, only to come in second to the viral sensation.
Shawn Mendes – “If I Can’t Have You”
This week, Shawn Mendes blasts onto the Hot 100 with his just-released single “If I Can’t Have You,” which instantly becomes the highest-charting song of his career, as it starts its time on the tally at No. 2. In an alternate universe somewhere, “Old Town Road” isn’t ruling the chart, giving Mendes an opportunity to claim his first leader on the all-genre ranking.
Taylor Swift – “Me! (ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco)”
After initially debuting at No. 100 (due to some early radio play), many in the industry expected Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie to rocket straight to No. 1 on the Hot 100 with their single “Me!,” as the former country singer is used to sending the first track from a new album to the top…but that’s not what ended up happening. “Me!” made history when it rocketed to No. 2 from No. 100, but it wasn’t able to topple “Old Town Road,” and now that Mendes is in second, Swift and Urie have been pushed down to third place.
Post Malone – “Wow.”
Malone has already collected a trio of No. 1 hits in his career, but it looked for a while like he was on his way to grabbing a fourth with “Wow.,” though now it seems like his latest solo cut isn’t headed to the peak position. The song spent several frames in the runner-up spot, including two when “Old Town Road” was racking up its largest stream counts, all of which easily beat “Wow.”
Post Malone – “Sunflower (ft. Swae Lee)”
When “Old Town Road” first jumped from just outside the top 10 to No. 1, Post Malone and Swae Lee’s one-week chart champion rose back to No. 2, while the prior week’s leader, Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings,” slipped to third. That means that had Lil Nas X not come through and made history, Grande still would have stepped down, giving the two hip-hop musicians another chance to rule.
If “Old Town Road” had come along a few weeks later, it’s entirely possible that “Sunflower” would have relented to “Wow.,” making Post Malone one of the few artists to replace themselves at the top of the Hot 100.