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Rolling Stones coronavirus lockdown single 'Living in a Ghost Town' hits No. 1 on iTunes

The song was originally written last year, but it was adjusted to reflect life during the pandemic, according to Mick Jagger.
Image: The Rolling Stones perform in London
The Rolling Stones perform in London on May 22, 2018.Dylan Martinez / Reuters file

The Rolling Stones' new single, "Living in a Ghost Town," has hit No. 1 on iTunes in more than 20 countries, the band announced Sunday, as the song becomes an anthem for life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mick Jagger, the group's frontman, told Apple Music in an interview Thursday that the song had been written last year, before lockdown measures were implemented during the pandemic, but that he adjusted some lyrics before the song's release.

"Keith Richards and I both had the idea that we should release it," Jagger told Apple Music. "But I said, 'Well, I've got to rewrite it.' Some of it is not going to work, and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark."

"Living in a Ghost Town" is a lament about life on pause, with lyrics that are relatable to those forced to practice social distancing around the globe.

"Life was so beautiful, then we all got locked down," the lyrics say. "Feeling like a ghost, living in a ghost town."

The song, a surprise release from the legendary rock band, is the Stones' first original track in years. They released a blues cover album in 2016 and have subsequently released a few albums of live recordings.

It's unclear whether the group, which had to postpone its coming No Filter tour, will record a new studio album.

Billboard's Hot 100, the music industry's most popular measure of success, has not yet been updated to include the new single. But the iTunes music chart is an early indicator of the song's triumph in the digital streaming era.