Chart Watch: DJ Khaled's #1 is One of Several Over-40 Success Stories

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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13:  DJ Khaled attends UrbanDaddy Presents Grey Goose Le Melon Fruit Of Kings - New York City  on August 13, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for UrbanDaddy)
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 13: DJ Khaled attends UrbanDaddy Presents Grey Goose Le Melon Fruit Of Kings – New York City on August 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for UrbanDaddy)

DJ Khaled’s Major Key enters the Billboard 200 at #1. DJ Khaled is 40. The artists who have this week’s #1 hit on the Hot 100 — Sia, and Sean Paul — have also recently celebrated their 40th birthdays. (Sia is 40. Paul is 43.) This marks the first time in nearly three years that that the artists heading both of Billboard‘s flagship charts have been older than 40. This last happened in December 2013, when Garth Brooks, then 51, had the #1 album, Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences, while Eminem, then 41, had the #1 single, “The Monster,” a collabo with Rihanna.

Major Key is one of the most star-studded albums ever to top theBillboard 200 chart. And that’s no exaggeration. The album features guest appearances by no fewer than 19 artists who have had #1 albums of their own: Future, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Jay Z, Drake, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Wale, and Meghan Trainor. (Trainor is definitely the pop outlier in this hip-hop-leaning bunch.)


Major Key bumps Drake’s Views out of the #1 spot after 12 non-consecutive weeks on top. Ironically, Drake is featured on “For Free,” the lead single from Khaled’s album. The song inches up from #14 to #13 in its ninth week on the Hot 100. It’s vying to become DJ Khaled’s second top 10 hit. The first was “I’m on One,” which also featured Drake, along with Rick Ross and Lil Wayne. The song reached #10 in 2011.

Two other singles from Khaled’s album are listed on this week’s Hot 100. “I Got the Keys” (featuring Future and Jay Z) inches up from #31 to #30 in its sixth week. “Holy Key” (featuring Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, and Betty Wright) is the week’s third-highest new entry at #84.

Major Key is Khaled’s sixth top 10 album; his first to reach #1. His previous highest-charting album was Kiss the Ring, which reached #4 in 2012.

DJ Khaled is the first artist whose name begins with the phrase “DJ” to land a #1 album. Three other artists whose names begin with that phrase have reached the top 10. DJ Clue? climbed as high as #3 (with The Professional 2 in 2001). D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince reached #4 (with He’s the D.J., I’m the Rapper in 1988). DJ Quik climbed as high as #10 (with Way 2 Fonky in 1992).

Top Songs

The Chainsmokers land their third Hot 100 hit of 2016 as “Closer” (featuring Halsey) debuts at #9. The duo reached #6 with “Roses” (featuring ROZES) and #3 with “Don’t Let Me Down” (featuring Daya). The Chainsmokers are just the third artist to have three top 10 hits (all as the lead artist) in 2016. They follow Justin Bieber and Drake.

If you were to add in featured credits, Bieber and Drake would advance to four top 10 hits so far in 2016, while Rihanna would move up to three, matching the Chainsmokers.

Those other acts, of course, are superstars, while the Chainsmokers are fairly new. With this flurry of success, the duo has a good chance of landing a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Other leading contenders include Chance the Rapper, Lukas Graham, Alessia Cara, and Bryson Tiller. Longer shots include Margo Price, Maren Morris, Charlie Puth, Rachel Platten, and Troye Sivan.

“Closer” is the first top 10 hit for Halsey (real name: Ashley Nicolette Frangipane). The 21-year-old previously climbed as high as #31 as the featured artist on Bieber’s “The Feeling.”

This is the second song titled “Closer” to crack the top 10. Ne-Yo took a different song with that title to #7 in 2008.

“Closer” enters the Top Digital Songs chart at #1. This is the third consecutive week that a new song has entered that chart in the top spot. Two weeks ago, Katy Perry’s “Rise” debuted at #1 on that chart. Last week, Major Lazer’s “Cold Water” (featuring Justin Bieber and MØ) did the same. This is the first time that new songs have entered that chart at #1 in three consecutive weeks since the fall of 2012, when Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again,” One Direction’s Live While We’re Young, and Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” opened at #1 in successive weeks.

Desiigner’s “Panda” drops out of the top 10 this week (to #12). The song spent two weeks at #1.

Three singles from the movie Suicide Squad are listed on the Hot 100. twenty one pilots’ “Heathens” jumps from #15 to #11 in its seventh week; Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Imagine Dragons’ “Sucker for Pain” (with Logic, Ty Dolla $ign, and X Ambassadors) vaults from #64 to #38 in its sixth week; and Skrillex and Rick Ross’s “Purple Lamborghini” drops from #67 to #90 in its second week.

Suicide Squad, which stars Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie, was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. The soundtrack, Suicide Squad: The Album, is expected to enter the Billboard 200 at #1 next week.

Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.” drops from #19 to #23 in its 14th week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

Kenny Chesney’s “Setting the World on Fire” (featuring P!nk) is the week’s second-highest new entry at #29. It’s Chesney’s 14th top 30 hit. It looks like it will become his third single to crack the top 20, following “Out Last Night” (#16 in 2009) and “The Boys of Fall” (#18 in 2010). The song is from Chesney’s 17th studio album, Cosmic Hallelujah, which is due in October.

Both Chesney and P!nk are masters at the art of collaboration. Chesney has also reached the top 40 with collaborations with Uncle Kracker, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, and Tim McGraw. P!nk has reached #1 with two collabos, “Lady Marmalade” (with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, and Mýa) and “Just Give Me a Reason” (with Nate Ruess).

Top Albums

twenty one pilots’ Blurryface holds at #3 in its 64th week. The album debuted at #1 in May 2015. The duo’s 2013 album Vessel holds at #30 in its 103rd chart week. The album has climbed as high as #21. Vessel is #1 on the Top Catalog Albums chart for the fourth week.

Jake Owen’s American Love debuts at #4. It’s Owen’s highest-charting album to date; his second to crack the top 10. Barefoot Blue Jean Night reached #6 in 2011. American Love enters Top Country Albums at #1, displacing Chris Stapleton’s Traveller (which has amassed 23 weeks on top).

Fantasia’s The Definition Of… debuts at #6. It’s her fourth top 10 album. Fantasia, of course, was the Season 3 champ on American Idol. Of the 15 performers who walked off with that title, only three others have amassed four or more top 10 albums. Kelly Clarkson leads the pack of Idol winners, with seven top 10 albums. Carrie Underwood has had six. Scotty McCreery has had four (counting one EP).

Hillary Scott & The Scott Family’s Love Remains debuts at #7. This is Scott’s first top 10 album under her own name, following six top 10 albums as a member of Lady Antebellum. Love Remains debuts considerably higher than The Driver, the first solo album by Scott’s Lady A colleague Charles Kelley. That album debuted and peaked at #35 earlier this year. Scott is the second artist with that surname to land a top 10 album. R&B star Jill Scott has reached the top 10 with her last four studio albums.

Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Gucci Mane’s Everybody Looking dives from #2 to #11 in its second week. The Various Artists sampler Epic AF plummets from #5 to #32 in its seventh week. Sia’s This Is Acting drops from #6 to #14 in its 27th week. Beyoncé’s Lemonade drops from #9 to #13 in its 15th week.

As noted above, the soundtrack to Suicide Squad is expected to debut at #1 next week. Also look for big debuts from Skillet’s Unleashed and Now 59.

One final note: In checking out weeks where both the #1 album and the #1 single were by artists over 40, I found one case where both were by artists over — gasp — 50. (How were they even able to make their way to a recording studio?!) In November 1997, Barbra Streisand, then 55, had the #1 album with Higher Ground, while Elton John, then 50, had the #1 single, “Candle in the Wind 1997″/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight.”