Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber have fired back at Tekashi 6ix9ine after the rapper accused the pop stars of buying the Numer One spot on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart for their recent collab, ‘Stuck With U’.
For this week’s Hot 100 charts, ‘Stuck With U’ raked in 28.1million US streams, 26.3million in radio airplay audience and 108,000 sales in the tracking week. On the other hand, 6ix9ine’s new track, ‘Gooba’, garnered 55.3million US streams, 172,000 in radio airplay audience and 24,000 sales, earning the Number Three spot on the charts.
In an Instagram video posted yesterday (May 18), 6ix9ine claimed that “you can buy Number Ones on Billboard“. He referenced a large spike in units sold for ‘Stuck With U’ on Thursday May 14, claiming foul play was involved because allegedly half of the 60,000 units sold were purchased with “six credit cards”.
“Explain how you buy 30,000 [units] with six credit cards,” he said in the video.
Bieber later rebutted the rapper’s claims with a statement on his Instagram story. The pop star wrote, “60,000 units came at the end because we don’t disclose our numbers until the end of the week.”
“The rules are clear one credit card can buy max four copies. Anything over that, the entire amount gets thrown out.”
Justin Bieber addresses #6ix9ine and the cheating accusations he’s making toward Justin and Ariana Grande and Billboard.
“if you gonna say her name… make sure you say mine” pic.twitter.com/lWU14r1bVa
— The Cruz Show (@TheCruzShow) May 18, 2020
Grande has also weighed in on the argument. In a lengthy Instagram post, the singer said that both her fans and Bieber’s “bought [their] 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,” Grande wrote of their fans.
The singer added, “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 you to take a moment to humble yourself.”
Read her full statement below.
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thank u to everybody who supported this song, this cause and made this happen. we love uuuuu so much. 🤍 there’s so much to celebrate today. 🤍 however, i would like to say a few things. anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while knows that numbers aren’t the driving force in anything i do. i’m grateful to sing. grateful to have people who want to listen. grateful to even be here at all. i didn’t have a number one for the first five years of my career and it didn’t upset me at all because from the bottom of my heart, music is everything to me. my fans are everything to me. i promise i couldn’t ask for another fucking thing. so with this celebration today, i would like to address a few things which i don’t usually do (i don’t give my energy to drama or strange accusations normally but this has gone a little too far)…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. not just when they fight for us to win (even when i ask them not to as i did this week) but because they’re some of the greatest people i know. sales count for more than streams. u can not discredit this as hard as u try. 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. be grateful you’re even here. that people want to listen to u at all. it’s a blessed position to be in. i’ve had a lot of “almost number ones” in my career and i never said a goddamn thing because I FEEL GRATEFUL TO EVEN BE HERE. TO WANT TO BE HEARD AT ALL …. and you should feel that way too. congratulations to all my talented ass peers in the top ten this week. even number 3. 🥰 and thank u to @billboard for this honor. and thank u to everybody who helped us raise a lot of money for a very important cause this week. love u all a lot.
Billboard has doubled down on its decision to give Grande and Bieber the top spot, clarifying that all sales data have been audited before the singles were given their position on the charts.
“Billboard and Nielsen Music/MRC Data conducts audits on all sales reported with access to purchase-level detail, and works with data partners to recognise excessive bulk purchases and remove those units from the final sales total. All titles this week, as in every week, were put under the same scrutiny,” the article read.
The company also pointed out that Thursday, May 14 was the same day signed copies of the single were made available to purchase through Grande and Bieber’s online stores. These sales contributed to Billboard‘s charting data.
6ix9ine also showed unidentified forecast figures in the video to prove his case, which Billboard said were not provided by the publication.
“Those with access to sales, streaming and radio data from various sources often create their own chart models and update them at their own frequency. Billboard does not distribute any Hot 100 ranking forecast to labels, management or artists,” the publication’s article read.
When 6ix9ine claimed there were unaccounted play discrepancies between his data and the chart’s data, both Bieber and Billboard bring up the fact 6ix9ine was, in part, referencing publicly available figures from streaming platforms, which include global listeners. Billboard only includes US figures in its charts.
Snoop has since denied 6ix9ine’s claim.