Zayn Debuts at No. 1 on Hot 100, Something One Direction Never Managed
“Pillowtalk” has officially debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, further cementing Zayn Malik’s status a musical entity entirely removed from his boy band past.
Although Zayn has appeared on the Hot 100 before as a member of One Direction, the UK group never actually earned a No. 1 single in their five years together, only charting as high as No. 2 with their 2013 song “Best Song Ever.”
The chart success of “Pillowtalk” makes Zayn the first U.K. artist to debut at No. 1 with a first charted single. He’s also the first artist in 28 years to initially land the No. 2 spot with a group before nabbing the top spot as a solo act. The last to do this was Belinda Carlisle — The Go-Go’s earned No. 2 with their 1982 song “We Got the Beat,” and Carlisle went on to get the No. 1 spot as a solo act in 1987 with her song “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.”
This next bit of impressive news depends on whether or not you categorize The Beatles as a boyband -- and, considering the similarities between The Beatles and the boybands to come after them (at least in terms of hysteria), you might as well. Zayn's No. 1 debut makes him the first former member of a boyband to earn the Hot 100 top spot since George Harrison’s debut single “My Sweet Lord"/"Isn’t It a Pity” earned the No. 1 spot for four weeks back in 1970.
Last month, the former One Direction member pulled out of a scheduled appearance on the Graham Norton Show as well as an interview on Greg James’ Radio 1 show. Zayn's now slated to make his official TV debut as a solo artist (and likely perform "Pillowtalk" live for the first time) during a February 17 appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.
See Zayn's Best Live Vocals