The duo debuted "Stuck with U" at number one on Monday, May 18 - two spots ahead of the rap star's "Gooba" - and he made it clear he had a problem with the placements in a video posted online, in which he claimed record label bosses had ensured Ariana and Justin would rocket to the top by purchasing multiple copies of their track.
Ariana, Justin and their manager, Scooter Braun, all responded to Tekashi, insisting fans alone were responsible for getting their record to number one, and now Billboard executives have made it clear there was no foul play.
"'Stuck with U' was available to purchase through the week as a digital download, as well as in various physical format/digital download combinations through Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber's webstores," a statement reads. "The sales spike is likely referring to sales on Thursday, May 14 - the final day of the tracking week - when signed 'Stuck with U' singles were put up for sale in Grande and Bieber's webstores. A signed single or album is an accepted form of sales available to any artist and has been noted repeatedly within Billboard chart stories when such items have impacted the Hot 100."
"6ix9ine, meanwhile, released a non-signed CD single/digital download on the last day of the tracking week via his webstore."
"As noted in this week’s story announcing the results on the latest Hot 100, 'Stuck with U' sold 108,000 in the tracking week ending May 14 and Gooba sold 24,000, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data."
The statement continues: "The Hot 100 has a locked-in methodology, updated at least once a year, with each metric divided by a certain number, which results in an average chart ratio, whereby streams are the most heavily weighted factor, followed next by radio airplay and then sales. Each song has its own ratio breakdown based on its specific activity, which contributes to the overall chart average each week."
"Overall, 'Stuck with U' drew 28.1 million U.S. streams, 26.3 million in radio airplay audience and 108,000 sold in the tracking week. 'Gooba' had 55.3 million U.S. streams, 172,000 in radio airplay audience and 24,000 sold."