RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 16, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a weekly report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. Now, in my pursuit of cool deals, I will be roaming the shelves of CVS and Duane Reade for half-off peanut butter eggs and such tomorrow. You know how tired I am of matzah… However, just because the candy is half-off, doesn’t mean I’ll be giving you half the commentary this week. Oh no, every day is a holiday when a chart geek has that insatiable thirst to learn more. (Also, I can go on about “Insatiable” by Darren Hayes, but I’ll save it for another post.) Let’s hop with the hits on this week’s report:

BETTER OFF ED: If you said, “Oh no, it’s him again,” then you’re just as disappointed as I am that there’s no new #1 song. Yes, for a ninth week, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran leads this week’s CHR/Top 40 chart. Last week, I thought that Bruno Mars‘s “That’s What I Like” would be able to close the gap, but I guess it’ll have to wait for Sheeran’s song to (hopefully, please) tumble next week. A new impact date for the follow-up single, “Castle On The Hill”, is now established for this Tuesday, but it isn’t exactly needed; that hit is up 36-30 in its second week in the top 40. It also recently spent four weeks at #2 on my chart, while “Galway Girl” is about a month into its run.

Five other songs are bulleted in this week’s top ten, but they’re too far away to start pegging which ones have a chance at the #1 spot a few weeks from now. However, I should point out that all of them are collaborations (four of the five are properly credited), and that trend is likely to continue. If Sheeran starts popping up on radio releases by Calvin Harris, Kygo, The Chainsmokers and Zedd at the same time, I’ll have to get the claws out. You know, at least use DJ Sammy or Robert Miles… where did they go?

“NEVER” A GOOD “SIGN”: The two hottest songs at the format this week belong to that pair of artists whose names start with an H and end with a y. Did you say Haddaway and Hipsway? You’re right, “What Is Love” and “The Honeythief” are still my jams; you know me too well. Oh, I’m sorry, I mean, no, those two performers with the current happening hits are Halsey and Harry Styles. It shouldn’t be a surprise, considering how well they’ve performed at sales and streaming platforms so far. Styles’s first solo entry has a nice climb from 29-19 in its second week on the chart. He recently played that and an album cut, “Ever Since New York”, on Saturday Night Live, and I’m sure millions of girls around the world swooned. (Did I swoon as well? I’ll never tell.) A self-titled album is out on May 12, which will likely debut at the top of the charts globally.

Halsey’s “Now Or Never” lifts from 38-26 in its second week, making it the biggest mover within the top 40. Her fourth chart entry is one spot away from tying her biggest main-credited hit to date, “New Americana”, which reached #25 during the last week of 2015. It will definitely surpass that next week, as it charges quickly toward the top ten. Will it be a Song Of The Summer contender? I’ll have a few picks of my own in a post coming very soon, so watch out for it!

THE CHEAT IS ON: You know, I was a good kid and didn’t use any cheat codes on my old Nintendo 64 games, but maybe I was too young to start researching what they actually were. Luckily, I do use the new Cheat Codes single called “No Promises”, which enters at #46 on this week’s CHR chart. The song features Demi Lovato, who’s looking to score her 11th top 40 hit since “Skyscraper”, her #34 entry (9/25/11 MB) from the Unbroken album. The label behind this single, 300 Entertainment, has yet to go higher than #19 at the format, a peak they reached on two occasions in 2015 with singles by rapper Fetty Wap.

Both the dance trio and Lovato are coming off radio singles that reached the top 50, but failed to break the top 40. For the former, it was the streaming hit “Sex” (#48, 7/10/16 MB), which sampled “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#28, 11/18/91 R&R) by Salt-N-Pepa. “Body Say” (#43, 8/21/16 MB) by the latter artist also started out strong at streaming services, where it was available before a digital single was able to be purchased, but it ultimately didn’t translate at the format.

HOME MALONE: I don’t know if we’ll be seeing Post Malone and Macaulay Culkin together anytime soon, but Malone is back on the CHR chart, overcoming those burglars who wanted to steal his spot in the top 50. “Congratulations”, featuring Quavo, makes its debut at #50 this week, as it also advances 13-10 on the Rhythmic airplay chart. Of course, he’s best known for the viral single “White Iverson”, which peaked at #28 here in January of last year. The 21-year-old released an album called Stoney in December, which was certified Platinum late last month, thanks to strong streaming results.

For those of you wondering, and there are probably very few of you out there, this is not a hot Vesta remake; that “Congratulations” was a top five Urban hit during the summer of 1989, before making a minor pop crossover that fall. Sadly, she passed away in 2011. I think it’s too early to tell whether the latest “Congratulations” will surpass the earlier one, but all that radio growth and consumption action seems to indicate that there’s certainly some life left in it for the spring and summer.

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