Donald Glover’s musical alter ego has pulled off a neat trick: Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart after he performed it on Saturday Night Live on May 5.
RCA Records said the video for the track has been viewed more than 110 million times in its first nine days — and was YouTube’s most-watch clip on each of those. Watch the video below; it’s directed by Glover’s Atlanta director Hiro Murai.
Internationally, the track holds at No. 1 on Spotify’s Global Chart and U.S. Chart and also topped iTunes in 45 markets — and was Top 5 in 63 markets.
Only 30 other songs have bowed atop the chart in its 60-year history, from Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” in 1995 to a pair of Drake singles this year.
The No. 1 is Glover/Gambino’s first on the U.S. album or singles chart. He’s had two top 10 albums since his 2011 debut Camp peaked at No. 11: 2013’s Because the Internet and 2016’s Awaken My Love. The latter’s track “Redbone” hit No. 12 en route to three Grammy noms including Record of the Year and a win for Best Traditional R&B performance.
Glover was the host and musical guest on SNL last week. Many others have done double duty on the NBC late-nighter, but he was the first to do so under a musical alter ego.
Here is the eye-opening video for “This Is America”: