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ON RECORDS: "AS IT WAS" AND AS IT SHALL BE

Harry Styles’ “As It Was” is, in a word, big. Really big. In fact, the Columbia superstar’s new single—which dropped on 3/31 ahead of his madly anticipated Harry’s House album, due 5/20—has already done 350m worldwide on Spotify alone. That’s an average, given its five weeks in the marketplace, of about 70m streams worldwide per week. On Spotify alone. This #1 cut is out-streaming the #2 song by a 2/1 margin on the DSP's global chart.

Like we said: big. But, and we’ve asked this before, how big is big?

“As It Was” will shortly hit #1 at Pop radio, concluding a Top 40 arc that it would be an understatement to call “meteoric.” The video has notched 100m+ views on YouTube. The track is already nearing ubiquity thanks to TV bumpers bumping its ’80s-style synthesizer riff, and it will soon be part of the audio fabric of, well, everything. And did we mention the streams?

So, yeah, big. Let’s do some comps to the biggest streaming songs ever.

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” remains the all-time champeen of streaming tracks, having racked up about 3.12b Spotify streams. It was released in January of 2017, also known as 277 weeks ago, and in that entire time has done less than 10 times what “As It Was” has garnered in five weeks.

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” which dropped in November of 2019 (a mere 127 weeks ago), has stockpiled north of 2.93b streams. “Dance Monkey,” by Tones and I, arrived in May of 2019 and has amassed 2.55b. We think Harry will get there and then some.

We don’t see much slowing down the chiseled Brit’s momentum, which was goosed by Coachella and should spike decisively when his album lands and his tour goes into overdrive. But we can imagine some things that might lubricate it further, including a big movie he’s starring in (Don’t Worry Darling, out 9/23).

The Grammys, which stupidly shut out The Weeknd and previously relegated Harry to Pop categories, will be challenged once again to do the right thing and recognize him as the major star he has become. They could properly decorate him with top-tier noms this fall, which would likely put even more wind in his sails. Or they could fail to do so and double down on irrelevance. Their call.

But this is a modern superstar in full stride with an apparently unstoppable song that, like “Blinding Lights,” has precisely the tempo, velocity and vibe to dominate every pop-cultural touchpoint.

You getting the picture? Harry’s a freakin’ steamroller and he’s coming for the biggest streaming songs of all time. How long before he starts knocking these other giants down a peg? We’re thinking it’ll take fewer than 277 weeks.

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