Justin Bieber Broke a Record Elvis Held for Nearly 60 Years
Elvis Presley is one of the most important musicians of the 20th century. Among rock musicians, his influence is almost unparalleled. Even today, songs like “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Blue Christmas” receive regular airplay. How many other singers from the 1950s still receive that kind of attention?
Presley’s popularity is staggering. One of the few singers to enter his rank is Justin Bieber. Here’s how Bieber broke one of Presley’s longstanding records.
A staggering chart record
In 1961, Presley released one of the most popular albums of his career: the soundtrack to his film Blue Hawaii. According to Vulture, the album was the second most commercially successful record released during the 1960s. During that decade, it was outsold only by the soundtrack to another popular romantic musical film: West Side Story.
The BBC reports the Blue Hawaii soundtrack hit number-one on the Billboard charts when Presley was 26, making him the youngest artist ever to score seven number-one albums. This record stood for a staggering 59 years. Bieber garnered his seventh number-one record, the recently released trap/pop hybrid Changes, at the age of 25, breaking Presley’s record after nearly six decades.
Changes has sold 231,000 copies thus far. According to Portable Press, the Blue Hawaii soundtrack sold over 3 million copies. Comparisons between the sales of the two albums are perhaps unfair, as Changes has not been around as long as the soundtrack for Blue Hawaii. Also notable is how it’s so much easier to pirate music now than it was in Presley’s day, meaning many people may be listening to Changes without buying a copy of it or listening to it through a legal streaming service. Changes is likely somewhat more popular than it appears.
It remains to be seen whether Changes will be as popular and enduring as the Blue Hawaii soundtrack. Will people listen to “Yummy” in 60 years the way people still listen to “Can’t Help Fallin in Love”? Regardless if Changes endures or not, Bieber and his fans can take pride in the fact that Bieber’s career came this far, especially considering how many naysayers Bieber has faced since the beginning of his career.
Justin Bieber previously equaled an Elvis Presley record
Complex reports that, earlier in his career, Bieber matched one of Presley’s records. Thanks to his hit singles “Sorry” and “Love Yourself,” Bieber replaced himself at the top of the British charts back in 2015. Presley had accomplished the same feat ten years earlier. In 2005, his songs “Jailhouse Rock” was reissued, as was a double A-side single containing his songs “One Night/I Got Stung.” The major difference between Bieber’s consecutive number-one singles and Presley’s consecutive number-one singles is Presley’s were issued many years after his death.
Presley is regarded as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. No one can take that away from him. But for right now, Bieber is the king of the pop charts.