RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 30, 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. Every Sunday night, I treat you to shade and statistics like I said I would two months ago; in other words, promises made, promises kept. That being said, no pop rallies in Pennsylvania are being planned at the current time. You know, I do actual work… anyways, jump aboard Airplay Force One with me, as we watch those pop songs fly across the sky, higher than one’s approval rating:

MARS LANDING: What a lovely Sunday it is… the sun is shining, the birds are singing and Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape Of You” is down a notch to #2 on the pop radio chart. (Yes, it’s still #1 on the AC and Hot AC charts; don’t try it with me.) Climbing into the top spot is Bruno Mars‘s eighth #1 song at the format, “That’s What I Like”, up 2-1. It’s the second radio single from his 24K Magic album. It’ll be interesting to see how long this song can hold at the top; Mars has maxed out at six weeks at #1 with both “Locked Out Of Heaven” (12/16/12-1/20/13) and “Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson featuring Mars, 1/25-3/1/15). I mean, you don’t really want me to highlight another #1 tune by The Chainsmokers too early, right? Anyways, regardless of what happens, Mars continues to shine, and he can sip on however much strawberry champagne he wants over his latest achievement.

Mars’s label, Atlantic, is responsible for another “That’s What I Like” that didn’t quite make the top 40 in early 1990. That single, one of the many medleys assembled by English act Jive Bunny And The Mastermixers, was a huge hit in the U.K., holding at the top for three weeks in the fall of 1989. In fact, the act had three chart-toppers in that country, making them one of 1989’s top newcomers across the pond. With fewer larger markets playing it, and slower sales, the song wasn’t able to repeat the Stateside success of “Swing The Mood” (#26, 12/22/89 R&R) and they faded from the pop airwaves.

JUSTIN CASE YOU MISSED HIM: Hey, throwing the pop audience for a loop is better than throwing eggs at people’s homes. It just so happens that Justin Bieber has done both. Luckily, he’s done with the latter, and focusing on the former. Bieber is featured on two songs that enter the top 40 this week on the CHR/Top 40 chart, simultaneously giving him his 20th and 21st top 40 hits. The higher of the two is “I’m The One” by professional screamer and sometime producer DJ Khaled, an entry that also features Quavo, Chance The Rapper and Lil Wayne. It’s new at #34. “I’m The One” is not to be confused with “I’m On One” (#32, 9/18/11), which gave the screamer/producer/DJ his first top 40 song at the format. (Feel free to insert your best “UH-nuh-thuh one” here.)

The other Bieber-affiliated single in this week’s top 40 debuted in the top 50 last week. Soaring from 47-37, the remix of “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee that features him is growing into a big hit across the spectrum of digital platforms. The original version of the song recently crossed one billion views on YouTube, and the remix reached the top tier of Spotify’s Global Viral list. It sure looks like the Canadian performer is headed for another “Cold Water” vs. “Let Me Love You” battle, though this one is still in its early stages. I’ll keep you updated as the spring and summer go on.

A DAMN. GOOD DEBUT: After a massive debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. is unavoidable. In the pop world, this means that programmers are once again playing catch-up, with first single “HUMBLE.” entering this week at #49. The hot track, which already topped the Billboard Hot 100, is also in the top ten at both Rhythmic and Urban radio. Despite his huge sales and streaming presence over the last few years, Lamar has just one main-credited top 40 single at the format: “i”, which peaked at #30 in November 2014 and was later featured on the Grammy-winning set To Pimp A Butterfly. However, his featured slots on #1 songs like Taylor Swift‘s “Bad Blood” (6/21-7/26/15) and Maroon 5‘s “Don’t Wanna Know” (1/15/17) kept his name on the chart.

As far as hits about humility, there aren’t many to talk about. Mac Davis, who had both pop and country success, just missed the top 40 on the pop chart in 1980 with crossover single “It’s Hard To Be Humble”. The English group Humble Pie never made the top 40 in the United States, even though several of their members did outside of the band. Stay tuned for more moments in modest musical movements, as “HUMBLE.” takes a slice of the chart pie. (Just save the cherry pie for Katy Perry. Bon appétit, K-Dot.)

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