Can we please now call Britney Spears’ comeback complete? With “3,” her fluffy little, auto-tuned ode to a menege a trios, Spears becomes the first artist in more than 3 years to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100.
In the chart released Oct. 15, Spears comes in at the pinnacle based largely on download sales, as "3" sells 255,000 downloads, according to Billboard. Not surprisingly, that means it leads the Digital Songs chart as well. The song debuts at No. 49 on the Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay chart, which, as the name would indicate, is based solely on airplay. The Hot 100 combines both sales and airplay.
"3" appears on Spears’ forthcoming greatest hits set, "The Singles Collection,"which is out Nov. 24.
You’ll never guess who was the last artist to debut at the summit: Taylor Hicks. That’s right, “3” is the first No. 1 since Hicks’ “Do I Make You Proud” bowed at No. 1 in July 2006. Interestingly, and this speaks to the “American Idol” phenomenon—and its somewhat slighting fading luster— all four previous tunes to debut at No. 1 were from “American Idol” contestants. Carrie Underwood, Fantasia and Clay Underwood all had tunes come in at No. 1 from their “Idol” days, all based primarily on download sales and not airplay.
In a nice bit of symmetry, “3” is Spears’ third No. 1, following “…Baby One More Time” in 1999 and last year’s “Womanizer.”