The Weeknd Eclipses Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” on the Charts

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The Weeknd has dethroned Chubby Checker‘s 1960 hit “The Twist” as Billboard’s No. 1 Greatest Hot 100 Song of all time with the 2019 release “Blinding Light.” The song spent 90 weeks on the Hot 100 chart, surpassing “The Twist.”

“Blinding Light”, off The Weeknd’s fourth album After Hours,” initially hit the top of the charts where it remained for four weeks, marking the fifth No. 1 hit for the artist and the first song to retain a spot in the Top 10 for an entire year; the song spent 43 weeks in the Top 5 and 57 weeks in the Top 10.

“Blinding Light” knocked Checker, who dubbed his hit “Billboard’s First No.1 Song of All Time until 2065” on his website, off the “Hot 100” pedestal but hasn’t tarnished the legacy of the ’60s dance and pop hit.

Originally released and written by Hank Ballard and performed with his “Midnighters” in 1958, Checker’s bouncier cover transformed the song into a dance sensation and what Billboard dubbed the biggest hit of the 1960s inspiring songs that would follow like The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout,” “Peppermint Twist” by Joey Dee & the Starlighters, and Sam Cooke’s “Twistin’ the Night Away.”

Checker’s “The Twist”, which launched a new dance craze in its time, was awarded the title in 2008 after separate chart runs in 1960 and again in 1962. The decision is reached by factoring in total weeks on the chart as well as exact chart positions.

Now 80, Checker, who still performs today, has re-recorded “The Twist” numerous time throughout the years, including a more memorable rendition with The Fat Boys in 1988.

In November 2021, The Weeknd revealed two new collaborations—”One Right Now” with Post Malone, and “La Fama,” a bachata duet with Rosalia—the video featuring The Weeknd singing in Spanish and a cameo by Mexican actor Danny Trejo.

The Weeknd recently cast Troye Sivan and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe in his upcoming HBO series The Idol. Also starring The Weekend, Anne Heche, Suzanna Son, Abel Tesfaye, and Lily-Rose Depp, the drama, which was created by Sam Levinson (Euphoria) and the Weeknd’s production partner Reza Fahim, follows the career of a female pop star who becomes romantically involved with a cult leader and self-help guru.

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