RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (September 24, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a Sunday evening 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. There’s only one direction that this analysis is headed, and that’s toward the top of the chart! Check out this week’s #1 song and notable debuts in the top 50:

AND “SLOW” IT GOES: 20 weeks in the top 40 to finally hit #1 on the CHR/Top 40 chart… it’s not a record, but the “slow” crawl up the charts for Niall Horan‘s “Slow Hands” took a whole lot of work. Climbing from 2-1, this single marks the second member of One Direction to hit the top as a solo artist, following ZAYN. “Slow” is also Capitol’s first chart-topper here in over three years; in August 2014, Sam Smith spent two weeks at #1 with “Stay With Me”. Horan’s big hit stands at #4 on the Hot AC chart, and it’s top 20 on the AC list. (It also squeaks into the top 50 on the Rhythmic chart, but don’t expect it to go much further without a remix with Gucci Mane or Quavo or the most random rapper around.)

Horan’s “Too Much To Ask”, the third single from his upcoming Flicker album, has some small momentum at both Hot AC and Top 40 radio, which should pick up as a result of “Slow” reaching its final destination. “Too” quickly climbed to #1 on iTunes a little over a week ago, but has since dropped off dramatically. All five original members of One Direction have solo releases on the airwaves, though they’ll just miss appearing on the survey together, with Louis Tomlinson‘s single crashing and ZAYN‘s collaboration with Sia still under the top 50. It was a good effort, kids. Maybe next time!

IN THE NICK OF TIME: Nick Jonas returns to the CHR/Top 40 airwaves and the format’s top 50 this week with “Find You”. It debuts at #46, one of four new entries to the 41-50 portion of the chart. Jonas last entered the top 40 here with the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Bacon”, which spent two weeks at #37 in September 2016, effectively ending his Last Year Was Complicated era. His only #1 hit to date is “Jealous”, which spent a week at the top in January 2015. It was one of the more puzzling choices for iHeartMedia’s artist integration program, On The Verge, which gives an airplay boost to new or up-and-coming acts. (The Jonas Brothers had a total of six top 40 singles prior to Jonas’s selection in September 2014, the last of which, “First Time”, was a part of a campaign with the company under its previous name, Clear Channel. It peaked at #36 for three weeks in July and August 2013.)

Jonas’s older brother, Joe Jonas, lead singer of DNCE, found himself on the chart earlier this year with the Nicki Minaj-assisted “Kissing Strangers”, which got as high as #26 in May. Kevin Jonas hasn’t had any solo top 40 tunes, though I imagine that if the trio ever came back together for a new album, he’d probably on-board with it. What about the “Bonus Jonus”, younger brother Frankie? Does he have Top 40 aspirations? Ooh, the Jonas empire continues its pop presence, so stay tuned…

WHAT LAUV’S GOT TO DO WITH IT: After recent notable adds at WHTZ/New York City and WHYI/Miami, the first chart hit by Lauv is in at #50 this week, titled “I Like Me Better”. He’s 23-year-old Ari Leff, currently based in Los Angeles, though he was in New York City during his college years. (You’ve probably seen him on PGTC before. Remember this piece from the end of 2005?) At the current time, Leff is continuing to keep his operations independent, with distribution of the release handled by Kobalt and radio promotion via in2une. It’s certainly not the first time this has happened, but the numbers are quite impressive so far. Look for them to continue to increase, as the song approaches the top 300 on iTunes and 165 million streams (in just its main version) on Spotify.

“Better” isn’t Leff’s only contribution to the format as of late. He’s also a co-writer/producer on “No Promises” by Cheat Codes, up from 8-6 this week. Of course, that hit features Demi Lovato. He’s also the vocalist on “A Different Way” by DJ Snake, impacting next week. That single, which was released on Thursday, is already starting to pick up significant airplay at a number of stations. He certainly has a lot on his plate, so look out for more pop bops from the young performer soon!

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