The Weeknd was the only artist standing between Mariah Carey and Number One on the latest Rolling Stone Top 100 Songs chart. The Weeknd launched “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights” to Numbers One and Two, respectively; the singles amassed more than 40 million streams between them. But Carey’s canonical holiday single “All I Want for Christmas Is You” proved to be a fierce competitor, earning 20 million streams and slotting in at Number Three.
“Heartless” and “Blinding Lights” mark the first new solo songs from the Weeknd since April 2018. “Heartless,” which is co-produced by the Atlanta super-producer Metro Boomin, finds the Weeknd intent on reestablishing his callous credentials: “I’m back to my ways ’cause I’m heartless/All this money and this pain got me heartless/Low life for life ’cause I’m heartless.” “Blinding Lights,” co-written and co-produced by Max Martin, reaches for a different reference point: 1980s pop. The clipped beat suggests Don Henley, while the chirpy synth riff could have come from General Public.
The Rolling Stone Top 100 chart tracks the most popular songs of the week in the United States. Songs are ranked by song units, a number that combines audio streams and song sales using a custom weighting system. The chart does not include passive listening like terrestrial radio or digital radio. The Rolling Stone Top 100 chart is updated daily, and each week Rolling Stone finalizes and publishes an official version of the chart, covering the seven-day period ending with the previous Thursday.
Carey was hardly an outlier on this week’s RS 100, which was buried under a deluge of seasonal tracks: Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” and Burl Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas” all cracked the Top Ten. Christmas-themed singles from Wham!, Dean Martin, and the Ronettes weren’t far behind.
Next week, new songs from Camilla Cabello and Roddy Ricch will fight Christmas singles for space on the chart.