Nicki Minaj’s ship is flying pretty high these days. (Sorry for that.)
In its 20th week on the Billboard Hot 100, Minaj’s “Starships” remains a top 10 hit (#8 this week), tying the record set by the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” in 2009 for the most uninterrupted weeks in the top 10 for a song that debuted there.
“Starships” arrived on the countdown the week of March 3 at #9 and has been in the top ten ever since, peaking at #5 for a week in early April and returning to the spot for a three-week run in June. Should the song stay in the top ten another week, which seems likely given its current position and on-going reign at radio, it will best the Peas next week for the longest-running top ten hit that debuted in the chart’s upper frame.
Trailing “Starships” and “Feeling” are a string of very recognizable hits to keep Nicki company. Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s duet “One Sweet Day” spent 19 weeks in the top ten – 16 of those at #1! – in 1995-96, Candian pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” enjoyed 18 weeks in the charts top tier after debuting there, and both Katy Perry (“California Gurls”) and Puff Daddy and Faith Evans (“I’ll Be Missing You”) had 17-week runs in the top ten.
Notably, “Starships” is the only song on the list, which also includes hits from Eminem, Pink, Whitney Houston and two more songs from Carey, that has not made it to #1, a fact Billboard says has more to do with a glut of high-ranking hits, including Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s current No. 1 “Call Me Maybe” and hits from boy bands The Wanted (“Glad You Came”) and One Direction (“What Makes You Beautiful”) during the song’s chart life than its own huge success.
Nicki simply has a slow-burning smash on her hands rather than a hit that burns bright and fast and is gone before you know it. So we should probably expect to hear “Starships” on repeat for the rest of the summer. That sounds about right.