After a decade of breaking into mainstream music, Harry Styles has scored his first No. 1 on the coveted Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The former One Direction member and current pop sensation achieved the feat with “Watermelon Sugar,” a track from his second studio album Fine Line (2019).
This makes Styles the second member of the former boy-band to score a No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart. The first was Zayn Malik, who bagged a solo chart-topper with “Pillowtalk” in 2016.
Watermelon Sugar Built Its Momentum Overtime
The top-ten list on the 2020 Hot 100 chart has been a mix of overnight successes and slow runners.
Songs such as BTS’ “On,” Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber’s “Stuck with U,” and Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” were quick to enter and exit the top-ten.
In comparison, tracks such as Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” and Drake’s “Toosie Slide” took their time before peaking at various positions on the chart.
Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” certainly belongs to the latter category.
Originally released as a surprise promotional single from Fine Line on November 16, 2019, the track debuted on the Hot 100 at the 60th position two weeks later. It then dropped on and off the charts until finally breaking into the top-ten on July 11, 2020.
The track officially snagged the top spot on the Hot 100 chart for the week ending August 6, 2020.
The Song Recently Gained a Massive Boost in Sales
“Watermelon Sugar” was released all the way back in 2019, but its official music video debuted on May 18, 2020. While well-received by critics and audiences alike, the music video did not give the song much boost despite its visual summer vibes and refreshingly sweet melodies.
However, Styles and his team kept showing their faith in the single, which was displayed through promotional behind-the-scenes videos shared between July and August.
The real boost in momentum came after National Watermelon Day on August 3, when Styles’ fans took it upon themselves to make the track Twitter-famous again. The activities included sharing various promotional clips as well as a previous performance from Saturday Night Live to show appreciation to the track.
As a result, “Watermelon Sugar” made its way back to the limelight. The single gained a staggering 614 percent boost in digital sales in the week ending August 6. It also became available in various physical and digital combinations on Styles’ official site, including cassette and vinyl singles paired with digital downloads of the song.
It’s Styles’ First Top Charter Since 2017
The last time a solo Styles track came close to the commercial success of “Watermelon Sugar” was in 2017, when the singer’s single “Sign of the Times” debuted at the 4th spot on Hot 100.
Since then, Styles has enjoyed various commercial successes with different tracks, including “Adore You,” another single from Fine Line that entered the top-ten and peaked at the 6th position on April 11, 2020. The track currently holds the distinction of scoring 35 weeks on the chart.
With “Watermelon Sugar,” Styles officially has 3 top-ten hits on the Hot 100, with a total of 9 songs on the chart. However, despite spending a staggering 20 weeks on the Hot 100, “Watermelon Sugar” may not hold its top spot for long.
Most of it is due to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s collaboration “WAP”, which was released on August 7 and immediately became a massive point of discussion throughout various media outlets. But the return of chart-topper Billie Eilish to the top-ten with her song “my future” also brings significant competition, since the song debuted at the 6th spot on Hot 100 the same week that “Watermelon Sugar” finally got its high.
Whichever way the chart trends next week, one thing is for certain: “Watermelon Sugar” is now a certified hit, and signifies that we have much more to see from the former boy-band wonder in terms of critical and commercial success.