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.
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.
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.
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