Pharrell's happy chart-buster

Fifteen weeks at top of New Zealand singles chart breaks Boney M's 1978 record.

Pharrell Williams performing at the Coachella festival in California. Photo / AP
Pharrell Williams performing at the Coachella festival in California. Photo / AP

Pharrell Williams' song Happy has broken a long-standing NZ Music Chart record, taking out a spot which has been held until now by Boney M.

As of this week, Happy has held the number one spot on the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart for 15 consecutive weeks.

The feat sees Williams break a record set more than 35 years ago by Boney M for their 1978 double-sided single Rivers Of Babylon/Brown Girl In The Ring.

The Caribbean foursome held the number one spot for 14 weeks in 1978.

The chart is compiled based on both physical and digital singles sales from music retailers throughout the country.

Happy has now been on the charts for 19 weeks and is also four times Platinum status, having achieved more than 60,000 sales.

The neo soul and funk single has also peaked at number one on charts in the US, UK, Australia, Ireland and 19 other countries, and was nominated for best original song at the Academy Awards last month.

Recorded Music NZ chief executive Damian Vaughan said records were made to be broken, but the Boney M single has had astonishing longevity.

"This certainly does mark a new era for the charts after the previous record held strong for so many years.

"The singles chart has always been a fantastic venue for pop culture," Mr Vaughan said.

"And the digital era and the internet certainly seem to have contributed to an explosive output of music which is probably contributing to the growing quality of productions."

The longest running number one album in New Zealand is Adele's 21 which sat at the top of the NZ Top 40 Albums Chart for 37 weeks.

Top 5 longest-running number one singles in NZ

1. Pharrell Williams - Happy - 15 weeks (2014)
2. Boney M - Rivers Of Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring - 14 weeks (1978)
3. Scribe - Stand Up/Not Many - 12 weeks (2003)
4. Freddy Fender - Wasted Days and Wasted Nights - 12 weeks (1975)
5. Equal at 11 weeks: Katy Perry - Roar - (2013);
Robin Thicke feat. TI and Pharrell - Blurred Lines (2013);
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem - (2011);
Smashproof feat. Gin - Brother - (2009);
Crazy Frog - Axel - (2005);
UB40 - (I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You - (1993);
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You - (1992).

- NZ Herald

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