TORONTO — The Weeknd's megahit "Blinding Lights" has smashed another record, this time as the longest charting song in Billboard Hot 100 history.
The Toronto singer's pop single racked up its 88th week on Billboard's marquee chart this week.
That pushes it ahead of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," which spent 87 weeks on the Hot 100 over a span of two years back in 2012 to 2014.
The Weeknd is the only Canadian among the exclusive group of Billboard's longest charters, which includes rock band AWOLNATION's "Sail" (79 weeks), Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" (76 weeks), LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" (69 weeks) and OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" (68 weeks).
"Forever grateful to be able to experiment with sounds, try new things with my voice and create music with the people I truly love and respect," the 31-year-old singer, born Abel Tesfaye, wrote in an Instagram post.
"For the last decade every song has been a journey and to be able to continue this journey has been nothing short of a blessing. It's the only gift I could ever ask for. I'll be doing it for as long as I can breathe."
"Blinding Lights," was released in November 2019 as part of a two-pack of songs teasing the singer's new era that would define the 2020 "After Hours" album. On the cover, he posed in what became his trademark black and red suit beneath the glare of Las Vegas lights.
At first, the single's performance fell behind "Heartless," the other song he released at the time, which rocketed to the top of the Hot 100 in its first week.
"Blinding Lights" savoured its journey to the top. The track debuted on the Hot 100 at No. 11 on Dec. 14, 2019, and took nearly four months before reaching the top position. When it got there, the song hung around for four weeks, keeping momentum throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, the song spent a record 57 weeks in the chart's Top 10, according to Billboard.
"Blinding Lights," which sits at No. 18 this week, also held its own against several other Hot 100 charting hits from the Weeknd, including his No. 1 single "Save Your Tears" and "In Your Eyes," which peaked at No. 16.
Shortly before "Blinding Lights" crossed its latest historic achievement, the Weeknd began laying the groundwork for the chapter that follows his "After Hours" album.
Earlier this month, he released the new single "Take My Breath," which debuted this week at No. 6 on the Hot 100, becoming his 13th Top 10 song on the chart.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2021.
David Friend, The Canadian Press