Music

Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande Defend Their Number One Hit amid Criticism

This week, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber achieved the feat of debuting a new song at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The track is their new collab, “Stuck with U,” which they released on May 8 to benefit the First Responders Children’s Foundation in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is Grande’s third number one hit, following “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings.” It’s the sixth for Bieber, joining “Despacito,” “Sorry,” “Love Yourself,” “What Do You Mean?” and “I’m the One.” Their latest also marks the third time both artists have had a song debut at number one, tying them with Mariah Carey and Drake.

Despite the cause for celebration, some have questioned the validity of their win, causing Bieber and Grande to speak out in defense of their chart-topping accomplishment last night on social media.

“So with this celebration today, I would like to address a few things which I don’t usually do (I don’t give my energy to drama or strange accusations normally but this has gone a little too far)…my fans bought the song,” Grande wrote in a lengthy message. “JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE). they are ride or die motherfuckers and I thank god every day that I have them in my life.”

Grande went on to acknowledge that in Billboard’s ranking, “sales count for more than streams.” She continued, “U can not discredit this as hard as u try. To anybody that is displeased with their placement on the chart this week or who is spending their time racking their brain thinking of as many ways as they can to discredit hardworking women (and only the women for some reason…..), I ask u to take a moment to humble yourself. be grateful you’re even here.”

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thank u to everybody who supported this song, this cause and made this happen. we love uuuuu so much. 🤍 there’s so much to celebrate today. 🤍 however, i would like to say a few things. anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while knows that numbers aren’t the driving force in anything i do. i’m grateful to sing. grateful to have people who want to listen. grateful to even be here at all. i didn’t have a number one for the first five years of my career and it didn’t upset me at all because from the bottom of my heart, music is everything to me. my fans are everything to me. i promise i couldn’t ask for another fucking thing. so with this celebration today, i would like to address a few things which i don’t usually do (i don’t give my energy to drama or strange accusations normally but this has gone a little too far)…my fans bought the song. JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE). they are ride or die motherfuckers and i thank god every day that i have them in my life. not just when they fight for us to win (even when i ask them not to as i did this week) but because they’re some of the greatest people i know. sales count for more than streams. u can not discredit this as hard as u try. to anybody that is displeased with their placement on the chart this week or who is spending their time racking their brain thinking of as many ways as they can to discredit hardworking women (and only the women for some reason…..), i ask u to take a moment to humble yourself. be grateful you’re even here. that people want to listen to u at all. it’s a blessed position to be in. i’ve had a lot of “almost number ones” in my career and i never said a goddamn thing because I FEEL GRATEFUL TO EVEN BE HERE. TO WANT TO BE HEARD AT ALL …. and you should feel that way too. congratulations to all my talented ass peers in the top ten this week. even number 3. 🥰 and thank u to @billboard for this honor. and thank u to everybody who helped us raise a lot of money for a very important cause this week. love u all a lot.

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Bieber also chimed in with a message on his Instagram Story, specifically directed at rapper 6ix9ine, who challenged their victory. Bieber pointed out specific streaming and sales data before defending his collaborator as well. “This is my song with Ariana Grande and I’m honored to work with her to raise money for a great cause,” he wrote. “If [you’re] gonna say her name, make sure you say mine because it’s our song.”

Last week, the “Say So” remix by Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj was at number one, followed by the “Savage” remix by Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé at number two. The achievement marked the first time in the chart’s history that the top two slots were occupied by Black female solo artists.

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