Congratulations to Camila Cabello, whose track ‘Havana’ has just reached the milestone of one billion Spotify streams. A landmark in itself, but what surprised us was the claim that it’s the first time any woman has hit that number. “Havana is the first song by a female artist to reach a billion streams,” tweeted Cabello, in celebration.
And it’s true: from Cardi B (top track on Spotify: 486m streams for ‘I Like It’) to Taylor Swift (749m streams for ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ – the movie-soundtrack duet with Zayn that flouted her Spotify holdout) to Rihanna (815m streams for ‘Work’) to Beyoncé (492m streams of ‘Halo’) to Nicki Minaj (636m streams for ‘Swalla’) to Selena Gomez (756m streams of Kygo collab ‘It Ain’t Me’) to Ariana Grande (701m streams of ‘Side to Side’) and… Well, you get the picture.
Compare that to Ed Sheeran (1.9bn streams for ‘Shape of You’), Drake (1.5bn streams of ‘One Dance’), The Weeknd (1bn streams of ‘Starboy’), Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi (1.1bn streams of ‘Despacito’), Post Malone (1.2bn streams of ‘Rockstar’) and the Chainsmokers (1.4bn streams of ‘Closer’) and there is clearly something amiss – although opinions vary on the extent to which it’s down to listeners’ choices versus Spotify’s programming decisions.
‘Closer’ might actually be the track that dampens Camila Cabello’s celebrations, actually: Halsey’s prominent role on that track made her the first woman to break the billion-streams mark on Spotify, albeit not solo.