Metro Weekly

Are Sam Smith & Kim Petras About To Hit No. 1 In The U.S.?

Their single "Unholy" lifts from No. 3 to No. 2 on the Hot 100, inching as close as is possible to the throne without actually capturing it.

Sam Smith and Kim Petra - Photo: Michael Bailey Gates
Sam Smith and Kim Petra — Photo: Michael Bailey Gates

Last week, Sam Smith and Kim Petras broke barriers and made history when their collaborative single “Unholy” debuted at No. 3 on the Hot 100, Billboard’s weekly ranking of the most-consumed tracks in the U.S. Now, just one tracking period later, the tune is still performing incredibly well, and there’s a chance it could keep its incredible ascent going in the near future.

This time around, “Unholy” rises one spot, lifting from No. 3 to No. 2 on the Hot 100, inching as close as is possible to the throne without actually capturing it.

The No. 1 spot on the all-encompassing ranking is still held by Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit,” which bolted to the summit last frame, replacing Harry Styles’ “As It Was” its own historic run in first place.

In its second full frame of availability, “Unholy” increased in two of the three metrics of consumption that make up the Hot 100, which is a good sign for the tune. In week two, the electro cut’s streams and radio airplay both grew, while sales dropped off…though not enough to force it from the No. 1 spot on the Digital Song Sales chart.

According to Billboard, “Unholy” racked up 23.8 million streams and reached 10.2 million people on radio in the past week, while also selling another 11,000 copies.

Comparatively, “Bad Habit” was streamed 20.6 million times, reached 41.5 million people on radio stations across the U.S., and sold just 2,000 (which is still up from last period).

It’s clear to see that the gap between “Bad Habit” and “Unholy” is closing, though the two songs are still far enough apart from one another to ensure Lacy didn’t have to put up much of a fight to stay in charge of the Hot 100.

In order to leap into first place on the competitive tally, Smith and Petras’ collaboration will need to continue to stream and sell well, while also making big inroads at radio.

“Unholy” remains Petras’ only Hot 100 hit, so with each passing week she continues to improve her best placement. Smith, meanwhile, ties their career peak, as the smash that made them a household name, “Stay With Me,” topped out at No. 2 back in 2014. Since then, they have returned to the top 10 on the list with six additional wins, including this latest one.

Should “Unholy” continue to be streamed, played, and purchased in large enough quantities in the coming weeks, it could unseat “Bad Habit,” which would be an enormous milestone for the LGBTQ community. If the cut does manage to climb once more, Smith will become the first nonbinary musician to rule the Hot 100, and Petras will be the first openly transgender artist to do so.

With a new music video out now, radio focusing its attention on this somewhat surprising hit, and fans across the U.S. buying the cut in large numbers every day, “Unholy” surging to No. 1 on the Hot 100 is certainly not something that should be considered impossible.

In fact, it’s not even unlikely — however, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. For the moment, those who love both Smith and Petras will have to continue to consume the track as much as possible if they want to help it potentially make history once again.

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