Step aside, Stairway to Heaven – the song the world has yearned to hear was a summer hit released only eight months ago
What might you think would be Spotify’s most popular track ever? Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, often claimed to be the greatest rock song of all time, and one of the most played on the radio? Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the title track of the biggest-selling album ever? Or Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, the most popular single of all time?
Answer: none of the above. In fact it’s a song released earlier this year, that didn’t top the charts in either the US or the UK, and which was released independently.
Lean On, by Major Lazer & DJ Snake (with MØ) has now received 526m plays worldwide, according to Spotify, overtaking the previous record holder, Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran.
The song – released on Mad Decent in the US and Because Music in Europe – reached No 4 in the US and No 2 in the UK after its release in March, though it topped the charts in several other countries.
“We wrote this song with MØ very early from an instrumental Jr Blender created in some sessions in Trinidad. It was a strong hook.” Major Lazer’s Diplo explained earlier this year. “Very big to me but the production was lacking an attitude we needed. A year later I remixed the song at a completely different tempo and asked Dj Snake for a signature post chorus. After he did his thing me, MØ and Blender rewrote the song at the new tempo in Las Vegas and made something very unique that became our album’s lead-off single. We’re super proud of this song.”
The song was recorded by Major Lazer only after it was turned down by both Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, something Diplo came to regard as a blessing in disguise.
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