Four years ago, Taylor Swift included the song “Cruel Summer” on her album “Lover.” It became a fan favorite, and had been in line to be released as a single in 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic changed all plans. “That is something that happened that stopped ‘Cruel Summer’ from ever being a single,” the singer said a few months ago.
But this year, Swift played the song on her record-breaking Eras Tour, and it was belatedly given the proper promotional push. After breaking into the Top 10 in July, “Cruel Summer” has finally made it to No. 1, becoming Swift’s 10th track to top Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
Over the last week, Swift went all out to promote it. She discounted the track for digital sales and released an EP containing a remix and a live version, “so we can all shriek it in the comfort of our homes and cars,” as she announced on social media.
Over the last week, “Cruel Summer” had nearly 19 million streams in the United States, sold 41,000 downloads — up from around 2,500 the week before — and had 78 million “airplay audience impressions,” a measurement of a song’s popularity at radio, according to the tracking service Luminate.
On this week’s album chart, Bad Bunny sailed to the top with his latest album, “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana” (“Nobody Knows What Will Happen Tomorrow”), which the Puerto Rican superstar released on Oct. 13 with just a few days’ notice. The album, his third to reach No. 1, opened with the equivalent of 184,000 sales in the United States, including 240 million streams and 7,500 download sales, according to Luminate.
Bad Bunny, who was the host and musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, released “Un Verano Sin Ti” last year — a surprise, like “Nadie Sabe” — and it went on to top the Billboard album chart 13 times; he was also the world’s top touring artist in 2022.
Bad Bunny’s success bumps Drake to second place after one week at No. 1 with “For All the Dogs.” Also this week, the K-pop quintet Tomorrow X Together opens at No. 3 with “The Name Chapter: Freefall,” which sold 106,000 copies as a complete package and drew about 12 million clicks on streaming services.
Zach Bryan’s self-titled LP is No. 4, and “Set It Off” by Offset, of the Atlanta rap trio Migos, opens in fifth place.