The Imagine Dragons’ mega-hit “Radioactive” has just claimed the distinction of being the all-time, longest running single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in history. This week, “Radioactive” checks in at number 26, and is on the chart for an unprecedented 77th week. Imagine Dragons and “Radioactive” knocked off Jason Mraz and his 2008 hit, “I’m Yours,” out of the record books, as Mraz was “only” on the Hot 100 chart for 76 weeks.
“Night Visions,” released in September 2012, is the debut album for the Las Vegas based rockers. Imagine Dragons’ line up includes lead singer Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne “Wing” Sermon, bassist Ben McKee and drummer Daniel Platzman. Reynolds was asked by Billboard what the success of “Radioactive” means to him:
“It’s unbelievable. There are few things more satisfying as an artist than seeing your music have longevity. But, we could never have expected to see one of our songs have legs like this. People seem to be connecting to it in personal ways, which is exactly what we hoped for. We’ve been out on the road and focused on touring for a long time. Somewhere along the way, we started to realize the song was taking on a life of its own.”
The Dragons are considered an alternative rock band, but the success of their album, and specifically “Radioactive,” comes from its appeal to a broad array of genres and fans. It has appeared on the charts in various categories including US Adult Contemporary, Pop Songs, Alternative Songs, and Rock Songs in addition to the more mainstream Hot 100. Imagine Dragons seem to agree:
“It helps that the song blurs genre lines. It crept its way into more and more radio formats and kept sneaking up on people. That slow growth meant more time on the charts.”
This past year has really been a breakthrough for the band. After the immense success of “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons released two more songs that have made and are climbing the rock/pop charts. “Demons” currently ranks number 19 on the Hot 100, after reaching No. 6 in December, while new single “On Top of the World” jumped in at number 94, in only its third week. The lead single from “Night Visions,” “It’s Time” reached number 15 on the Hot 100 chart at its peak. Imagine Dragons have sold over 2 million copies of the album already, and the numbers are only climbing.
A final factor that has helped Imagine Dragons build their wide ranging appeal was their spectacular performance with Kendrick Lamar at this year’s Grammys. That performance gave “Radioactive” another boost and kept it at the forefront of the music scene. The performance was so well received that Imagine Dragons and Lamar were reunited on SNL as the musical guests.
No one knows whether Imagine Dragons will more closely resemble the Rolling Stones or the Jonas Brothers. But in 2014, there is no band out there that is hotter than Imagine Dragons. Best of luck boys!