Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Billboard are fighting back against Tekashi 6ix9ine’s claims that the artists bought their No. 1 spot atop this week’s Hot 100 Chart.
Both Grande and Bieber have denied the rapper’s accusations that their song “Stuck With U” fraudulently beat out his first post-prison-release single “GOOBA,” which only rose to No. 3.
It all started on Monday, when 6ix9ine posted a video to Instagram in which he accuses Billboard of “cheating” by allowing artists to “buy” their No. 1 hits atop the Hot 100 Chart.
“YOU’RE A LIE AND CORRUPT. YOU GOT CAUGHT CHEATING AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW,” the rapper wrote in the caption of the video.
His main claim is that “six credit cards” were used to buy “30,000 units” of Grande and Bieber’s song “Stuck With U” just before the close of this week’s chart consideration. He also accuses Billboard of discounting some 20 million streams of his song, “GOOBA,” which went to No. 3.
Later on Monday, Grande, who rarely posts personal responses to what she refers to as “drama,” denied that she or Bieber’s teams had bought their chart placement.
“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,” she wrote in a post.
The pop singer also pointed out that “sales count for more than streams” when it comes to chart placement.
“u can not discredit this as hard as u try,” she continued. “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.”
Bieber poked further holes in 6ix9ine’s accusations, although the rapper never mentioned Bieber by name in any of his rants.
“He is counting his global streams and this is a domestic chart,” Bieber wrote in his Instagram story Monday.
“60,000 units came because we don’t disclose our numbers until end of week. That’s called strategy. He said 30k was bought with 6 credit cards but that is a lie. The rules are clear one credit card can buy max 4 copies.”
Bieber also defended Grande.
“This is my song with Ariana Grande and I’m honored to work with her to help raise money for a great cause. If you gonna say her name make sure you say mine because it’s our song,” he concluded.
Billboard themselves also entered the fray on Monday night, publishing a story that explains exactly how they calculated the week’s chart numbers. In short, they backed up Grande and Bieber’s points that although “GOOBA” had more global streams by far than “Stuck With U,” the chart only counts streams from within the U.S. Billboard also refuted claims that only six credit cards bought 30,000 units, and maintained that Billboard and Nielsen Music/MRC Data check to make sure bulk-purchases aren’t inflating sales numbers. The spike 6ix9ine refers to just before the close of the week is likely due to signed CDs that went on sale in Bieber and Grande’s web stores on Thursday.
“Overall, ‘Stuck With U’ drew 28.1 million U.S. streams, 26.3 million in radio airplay audience and 108,000 sold in the tracking week. ‘Gooba’ had 55.3 million U.S. streams, 172,000 in radio airplay audience and 24,000 sold,” Billboard wrote. “Those sums resulted in the songs’ respective rankings on this week’s Hot 100.”