Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber have hit back over claims by Tekashi69 that they cheated to get their song Stuck With You to the top of the U.S. chart.
It all started on Friday when Tekashi 6ix9ine took to Instagram to accuse Grande and Bieber of buying their top spot on the Billboard chart.
He also claimed that some streams of his single Gooba were improperly discounted. Gooba is Tekashi’s first single since he released from prison last month.
Tekashi (real name Daniel Hernandez) stated that Grande and Bieber, and their music manager Scooter Braun, used six credit cards to purchase 60,000 copies of their charity single on Thursday night just moments before the deadline.
In a four-minute video posted to Instagram, he described how he believes Billboard is corrupt, and he explained how he thought Bieber and Grande went about manipulating the chart numbers.
He also wrote: “@billboard caught cheating… you’re a lie and corrupt. You got caught cheating and the world will know.”
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Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande hit back
In an Instagram story, Justin Bieber responded with a rebuttal to the rapper, arguing, “He says his streams don’t count. Yes, they do, but he is counting his global streams, and this is a domestic chart, so only domestic streams count.” He also added that the non-reported 60,000 copies were all part of a “strategy” to beat the competition.
Ariana Grande also took to Instagram with a lengthy post where she thanked her fans and Justin’s fans for getting them to number one. The pop star is known for her witty online banter, but she took a serious tone here.
She never mentioned Tekashi’s name, but she addressed his criticisms by writing, “my fans bought the song. JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE).”
She also stressed that numbers were never her “driving force” and that she’s just “grateful to [have the opportunity to] sing.”
Tekashi69 claims Ariana Grande had better opportunities than him
Tekashi then jumped back on Instagram with another video where he implored Grande to acknowledge the difficult circumstances that he grew up in. He also wrote: “I speak for the millions of kids who aren’t as fortunate as you. The millions who weren’t fortunate to be on T.V.”
He finished by writing of Grande, “YOU ARE VERY TALENTED AND BEAUTIFUL GOD BLESS YOU. But you will NEVER UNDERSTAND MY PAIN.”
The 23-year-old rapper posted again a few hours later, this time putting up a pic of himself holding six credit cards and wrote: “Don’t worry we going #1 next time.”
Let’s hope they all end their beef soon. As actress Natasha Yi wrote in Tekashi’s comments, “You and Ariana should do a collab at the end of all this! It would be amazing!” Something we can, perhaps, all agree on.