Hot 100 First-Timers: Ghost Debuts With Viral Hit ‘Mary on a Cross’

, , Comments Off on Hot 100 First-Timers: Ghost Debuts With Viral Hit ‘Mary on a Cross’

Grammy Award-winning Swedish rock group Ghost scores its first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Sept. 24) with its viral hit “Mary on a Cross.”

The song, released as a two-track single in 2019 via Loma Vista/Concord (alongside “Kiss the Go-Goat”), debuts at No. 90 with 6 million U.S. streams (up 7%) and 1,000 downloads sold in the Sept. 9-15 tracking week, according to Luminate. It also crowns the multi-metric Hot Hard Rock Songs chart.

The song has been steadily gaining in recent weeks due to a TikTok trend incorporating both the original and an altered version. One of the videos that kicked off the trend, posted on the band’s profile July 13, has drawn nearly 75 million views.

While “Mary” is Ghost’s first entry on the Hot 100, the group has maintained a consistent chart presence for nearly a decade. The band first appeared on a Billboard ranking in May 2013 with its sophomore studio album, and major-label debut, Infestissumam. The set (whose title is a Latin phrase translating to “the most hostile”) debuted at No. 1 on Top Hard Rock Albums and hit No. 5 on Vinyl Albums, No. 10 on Top Rock & Alternative Albums and No. 28 on the Billboard 200.

Ghost has charted six albums on the Billboard 200: Infestissumam; EP If You Have Ghost (No. 87, 2013); Meliora (No. 8, 2015); EP Popestar (No. 16, 2016); Prequelle (No. 3, 2018); and its latest, Impera (No. 2, this March). Four of those sets led the Top Hard Rock Albums chart: Infestissumam, Popestar, Prequelle and ImperaImpera also earned the group its first No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart.

Among Billboard‘s song rankings, Ghost has charted nine entries on Mainstream Rock Airplay, with five reaching No. 1: “Square Hammer” in 2017, “Rats” in 2018, “Dance Macabre” in 2019 and “Hunter’s Moon” and “Call Me Little Sunshine” this year. The act has also placed eight tracks on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and 10 on Hot Hard Rock Songs (nine this year alone).

Ghost comprises eight members, who are largely unknown as the group performs in identical masked costumes and conceals each member’s identity. The band members are referred to as “A Group of Nameless Ghouls,” save for frontman Tobias Forge, who uses new monikers with each new release. Since 2020, Forge has performed as a Pope-like figure under the name Papa Emeritus IV.

Ghost has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and took home a trophy for best metal performance in 2016 for “Cirice.” In Sweden, the group has been nominated for six Grammis Awards, winning three for best hard rock/metal album in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The band is currently on the road on its North American and European Imperatour tour, which wraps Sept. 23 in Green Bay, Wisc. The final leg of the tour features support from Mastodon and Spiritbox.

soul, classic soul, motown,