Will Beyoncé’s ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ Turn a Hot 100 No. 1 Hit Next Week?

The Contenders is a midweek column that looks at artists aiming for the top of the Billboard charts, and the strategies behind their efforts. This week (for the upcoming Billboard Hot 100 dated March 2), Beyoncé’s country crossover leads the pack of challengers setting their sights on the Hot 100’s top spot. 

Beyoncé, “Texas Hold ‘Em” (Parkwood/Columbia/Columbia Nashville): With just four full days of tracking following its Sunday night debut during Super Bowl XVIII (Feb. 11), Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” still amassed enough consumption during its debut week to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart (dated Feb. 24), making Bey the first Black female artist to ever hit the listing’s apex. It also racked up enough sales, streams and airplay to bow at No. 2 on the Hot 100 this week, landing behind only the most dominant smash hit of early 2024: Jack Harlow’s six-week No. 1 “Lovin on Me.”  

In week two, it may have the hole cards to get all the way to the chart’s top. “Hold ‘Em” continues to sell well after debuting atop Digital Song Sales this week, with versions of the song occupying the No. 1 and No. 3 spots on the real-time iTunes chart. It also remains a top contender on streaming, ranking at No. 2 on the daily listings for both Spotify and Apple Music. With a full seven days to put up numbers this week, its consistently strong performance in sales and streams could be enough to push it past “Lovin.”  

Radio could be the deciding factor in the competition. “Lovin” spends its fifth week atop Radio Songs this week, with the song still growing in audience – numbers that have kept the song a weekly No. 1 contender, even as it continues to slide in its sales and streams. But “Hold ‘Em” is also off to a strong start on the airwaves: The song debuts at No. 38 on Pop Airplay and No. 54 on Country Airplay, while rising at both formats, and also advancing at rhythmic, mainstream R&B/hip-hop, adult R&B and adult pop formats as well. If it makes up ground there fast enough, “Hold ‘Em” may end up taking the whole pot next week.  

¥$: Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign, Carnival” (YZY): Bey’s new smash was the Hot 100’s biggest debut last week, but it wasn’t the only new entry in the top five: Landing just one spot lower was Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s new Vultures 1 focus cut “Carnival,” with (unbilled) appearances from Rich the Kid and Playboi Carti. “Carnival,” which also debuted with an incomplete first week after dropping two Saturdays ago (Feb. 10), hasn’t had the sales potency of “Hold ‘Em,” debuting at No. 18 on Digital Song Sales. But it has been a monster on streaming, bowing atop Streaming Songs, and relegating Bey to the runner-up spot on Spotify’s and Apple Music’s daily charts by continuing to lead at both.  

But while the recent backlash against Kanye’s latest controversies — including wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt and making repeat antisemitic comments (which he has since issued a public apology for in Hebrew) — don’t seem to have affected his streaming audience, it may continue to dampen his radio support. (“Carnival” is also part of Ye’s first album release as a totally independent artist, meaning he no longer has major label promotion to rely on.) The song has not yet received notable airplay at any major radio format, putting it in a pretty big hole when competing with a certified FM smash like “Lovin” and a growing multi-format hit like “Hold ‘Em.”  

Ariana Grande, “Yes, And?” (Republic): Grande’s Eternal Sunshine lead single has already spent one week atop the Hot 100 – though the song did not hang around the chart’s top tier very long, sliding out of the top 10 within just two weeks and currently ranking at No. 31 in its fifth frame. A new remix alongside pop&B predecessor Mariah Carey, which debuted last Friday (Feb. 16), may be just what the song needs to reverse its chart momentum – though it won’t be very likely to get it back in the mix for No. 1, as the new remix has already vacated most major daily streaming and sales charts.  

The bigger question (for the Lambily at least) may be about whether the new version racked up enough stats in its first few days to outperform the original for the week, potentially getting Carey added to the official chart listing for the song. We’ll have to see about that next week, though recent history is not particularly on her side: When Carey was added to the remix of Latto’s “Big Energy” (which even interpolated MC’s own “Fantasy”) in 2022, it helped shoot the song into the Hot 100’s top 10 for the first time, but with Latto remaining by her lonesome on the artist credit.  

IN THE MIX 

Teddy Swims, “Lose Control” (SWIMS Int./Warner): Teddy Swims’ breakthrough-hit-that-could got all the way to No. 2 on the Hot 100 last week before getting lapped by “Hold ‘Em” and “Carnival” this week. Don’t count it out just yet, though: It’s still in the top 10 on Streaming Songs, it’s returned to No. 2 on the iTunes chart, and it continues to grow on the airwaves, climbing 13-12 on Radio Songs this week. It may just be a big remix away from mounting a real charge for Swims’ first Hot 100 No. 1 – one featuring Fat Man Scoop, perhaps?  

Benson Boone, “Beautiful Things” (Night Street/Warner): Swims’ Warner labelmate Benson Boone also gets bumped from the Hot 100’s top three this week, but is still holding strong at No. 4, while hanging at No. 2 on Streaming Songs and climbing back into the top 10 on Digital Song Sales. And radio is really starting to kick in for “Beautiful Things”: It’s not on the 40-position Radio Songs chart yet, but it bounds 32-24 on Pop Airplay, and is climbing quickly at both pop and adult formats. If it continues to catch up there, the sky’s the limit for the soaring power ballad.  

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