- 19 May 20
Billboard responded with hard fact, and Grande responded with her characteristic humour and humility.
Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande released their quarantine collaboration 'Stuck With U' two weeks ago, and it ended up hitting number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. It marks Grande's 3rd No. 1 single and Bieber's 6th. The charity single saw its proceeds go to funding grants and scholarships for children of first responders who had been drastically affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
And of course, any time a good thing comes along, there's always somebody who wants to squash it. Tekashi 6ix 9ine, who also charted at No. 3 this week for his first post-prison release 'GOOBA', took to Instagram to accuse Billboard of chart manipulation, writing: “@Billboard caught cheating. You’re a lie and corrupt. You got caught cheating and the world will know.”
Billboard has weighed in, publishing an article on their website called 'How Billboard Came to Its Calculations in This Week's Race For the Hot 100 No. 1': “In the interest of transparency," they write, "Billboard wanted to clear up the Hot 100’s chart rules and tabulation process, the calculations that go into the determinations of its final rankings, and the stats accumulated by the two singles that marked this week’s highest debuts.” They continued by addressing every claim 6ix 9ine made in his Instagram post, culminating with the statement that "overall, 'Stuck With U' drew 28.1 million U.S. streams, 26.3 million in radio airplay audience and 108,000 sold in the tracking week. 'Gooba' had 55.3 million U.S. streams, 172,000 in radio airplay audience and 24,000 sold. Those sums resulted in the songs’ respective rankings on this week’s Hot 100."
Grande and Justin Bieber have also joined the conversation, with Grande writing in an Instagram post of her own: “My fans bought the song. JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE).” She added, “To anybody that is displeased with their placement on the chart this week or who is spending their time racking their brain thinking of as many ways as they can to discredit hardworking women (and only the women for some reason …), i ask u to take a moment to humble yourself.” Concluding the post, she wrote, “Congratulations to all my talented ass peers in the top ten this week. even number 3.”