The crown passed from one Gen-Zer to another as “Bad Guy,” the fifth single from Eilish’s debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” dethroned Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” which had reigned for a record-breaking 19 weeks. The rapper was born in April 1999, less than two years before Eilish.
He took the news in stride, commending her on Twitter: “congratulations to billie eilish!! u deserve this!!” (See more friendliness below.)
Lil Nas X and Eilish’s feats put their youthful business savvy on display, as both “Old Town Road” and “Bad Guy,” their first respective No. 1s, benefited from remixes recorded after the fact. (In its calculations, Billboard considers remixes to be the same song.) Lil Nas X released multiple: The most famous in April with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, followed by others with electronic DJ Diplo, rapper Young Thug, tiny yodeler Mason Ramsey and Korean pop star RM. “Old Town Road” became the longest-running No. 1 last month, besting 1995′s “One Sweet Day,” a Mariah Carey-Boyz II Men collaboration, which had been tied with fellow 16-weeker “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s 2017 hit with a Justin Bieber remix.
Eilish released a single remix in July that also happened to feature Bieber, her longtime idol.
Though it may seem inconsequential given the grand scale of these other achievements, Billboard notes that “Bad Guy” had already beaten another record for the most weeks (nine) spent in the Hot 100′s runner-up spot.
Eilish wrote “Bad Guy” with her older brother, Finneas O’Connell, who also acted as the sole producer on “When We All Fall Asleep.” The siblings recorded the album in O’Connell’s childhood bedroom. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in March, also making Eilish the youngest-ever artist to do that.