Britney Spears' Risque "3 " to Debut Atop Hot 100

October 14, 2009 2:02 PM ET

Britney Spears' "3" quickly silenced any concerns that the song was too controversial to be a hit, becoming the first track since 2006 to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100. An ode to threesomes off Spears' November 24th The Singles Collection, "3" becomes the first song since Taylor Hicks' American Idol coronation song "Do I Make You Proud" in 2006 to debut at Number One on the Hot 100. In addition to topping the Hot 100, "3" was also Number One on the Digital Songs chart, selling 255,000 downloads in one week according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Look back at Britney Spears' rise, fall and comeback in photos.

After a near-decade of no Hot 100-topping hits since her debut single "...Baby One More Time," Spears now has two Number Ones in the span of 52 weeks, as Circus' "Womanizer" also topped the Hot 100 exactly a year ago. But whereas "Womanizer" broke records leaping from a debut Number 96 to Number One in one week, "3" went straight to the top, a feat that's only been done in the past decade by a quartet of Idol alumni: Hicks in 2006, Carrie Underwood's "Inside Your Heaven" in '05, Fantasia's "I Believe" in '04 and Clay Aiken's "This is the Night" in '03. In fact, the last non-Idol winner to go straight to Number One on the Hot 100 was Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" way back in November 1998.

Watch all of Britney Spears' videos.

Making the achievement even more impressive is the fact that Spears didn't even need a "3" video to accomplish her honor, even though Brit did Twitter last week that she was shooting a video for the track with director Diane Martel in Los Angeles. The question that remains now is whether "3" can enjoy a Black Eyed Peas-esque dominance atop the Hot 100, or whether it'll be one-and-out like "Womanizer" a year ago.

Related Stories:
Britney Spears Courts Controversy as Sexy New Single "3" Hits Radio
Britney Spears Reveals Art for New Single "3," Hitting Radio Tomorrow
Spears' "Womanizer" Catapults Atop Hot 100, Breaks Records

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »