XXXTentacion Becomes First Lead Artist to Earn Posthumous No. 1 Single Since Notorious B.I.G.
XXXTentacion posthumously tops the Billboard Hot 100, as his single “Sad!” jumps from No. 52 to No. 1 for its first week atop the chart. The song, which had first peaked at No. 7 on March 31, reaches the summit after the rapper/singer died June 18 at age 20 after being shot in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
He is the first artist to top the Hot 100 posthumously in a lead role since The Notorious B.I.G., with “Mo Money Mo Problems,” in 1997.
“Sad!,” released on the Bad Vibes Forever label, and the 1,075th #1 in the Hot 100’s 59-year history (and XXXTentacion’s first), likewise leads the Streaming Songs chart for the first time, surging from #34 (besting its prior #2 high), up 264 percent to 48.9 million US streams in the week ending June 21, according to Nielsen Music (a higher sum than projected last week before all streaming data was compiled).
“Sad!” re-enters Digital Song Sales at #5 (surpassing its previous #26 peak), up 659 percent to 26,000 downloads sold in the week ending June 21 (as it makes the Hot 100’s greatest gains in streaming and sales). While the track has not reached the Radio Songs chart, it nearly doubled its airplay audience to 2.9 million in the week ending June 24.
The song is from XXXTentacion’s album ?, which debuted at #1 on the March 31-dated Billboard 200 and bounds 24-3 as the June 30 chart’s Greatest Gainer (94,000 equivalent album units, up 397 percent, in the week ending June 21).
“Sad!” concurrently takes over atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts (where it had previously reached #4 and #3, respectively), becoming XXXTentacion’s first #1 on each ranking.
XXXTentacion becomes the eighth soloist to have topped the Hot 100 posthumously, and the first in a lead role in over 20 years.
Static Major had become the last act to reach #1 following his death, as featured on Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” which began a five-week reign on May 3, 2008; Static Major died unexpectedly from internal bleeding Feb. 25 that year. Before Static Major, Soulja Slim led the Hot 100 posthumously as featured on Juvenile’s “Slow Motion,” for two weeks starting Aug. 7, 2004; Soulja Slim was shot and killed Nov. 26, 2003.
XXXTentacion is the first artist to appear atop the Hot 100 posthumously in a lead role since the Notorious B.I.G., who earned two #1s following his March 9, 1997, shooting death: “Mo Money Mo Problems” (featuring Puff Daddy and Mase), which led for two weeks (Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, 1997), and “Hypnotize” (three weeks, beginning May 3, 1997).
The other solo artists to crown the Hot 100 after they had died: John Lennon, with “(Just Like) Starting Over” (five weeks, 1980-81); Jim Croce, with “Time In A Bottle” (two, 1973-74); Janis Joplin, with “Me And Bobby McGee” (two, 1971); and Otis Redding, with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” (four, 1968).
(Before his death, the chart success of XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Onfroy, was concurrent with numerous controversies and legal troubles. When he died, he was awaiting trial on over a dozen felony charges and allegations of domestic violence against his then-pregnant girlfriend.)
A version of this post originally appeared on Billboard.