The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights dethrones the Twist as all-time No.1 Billboard single

<span>Photograph: Chris O’Meara/AP</span>
Photograph: Chris O’Meara/AP

Blinding Lights was 2020’s biggest song both in terms of sales and size, cementing the Canadian singer’s status as global pop megastar

The Weeknd’s hit single Blinding Lights has officially been crowned the all-time No 1 song on the Billboard single charts, ousting Chubby Checker’s 1960s hit the Twist.

The song, an instant synth-pop classic, debuted in late November 2019 and topped the weekly Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in April and May 2020, going on to spend a record-shattering 90 consecutive weeks on the chart.

That stint has now earned Blinding Lights the title of No 1 song on its Greatest Songs of All Time Hot 100 Chart, Billboard announced on Tuesday.

From the After Hours album, the single dethrones Checker’s classic the Twist, which was awarded the title in 2008 after separate chart runs in 1960 and 1962.

Related: The Weeknd scores longest-running hit in US chart history

“I don’t think [it] has hit me yet,” Abel Tesfaye, 31, otherwise known as The Weeknd, told Billboard upon learning of the song’s new status. “I try not to dwell on it too much. I just count my blessings, and I’m just grateful.”

Blinding Lights was 2020’s biggest song both in terms of sales and size, cementing the Canadian singer’s status as a global pop star a decade after first surfacing with introspective R&B and moody ballads.

“By the time Blinding Lights happened, I was 10 years into my career and established as a music figure in the industry,” Tesfaye said. “So I’m glad Blinding Lights happened when it happened as opposed to it being the first single I’ve ever dropped. That’d be scary for me.”

Billboard’s rankings are based on total weeks on the chart as well as exact chart positions, with adjustments made to account for chart turnover rates during various periods.

American pop favourite the Twist was written and originally released in 1958 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side to Teardrops on Your Letter. It was a moderate hit but did not receive cult success until Chubby Checker released a cover version in July 1960.

The song went on to become the only single to top the Billboard Hot 100 twice, in two separate chart runs. The singer, now 80, still performs around the US.

Meanwhile, the Beatles continue to defend their No 1 ranking on Billboard‘s Greatest of All-Time Hot 100 Artists chart with a record 20 No 1 singles on the weekly Hot 100, among their 34 top 10s. Madonna ranks second with 38 Hot 100 top 10s.