RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (October 22, 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. With all the Christmas albums making their way into the marketplace this week, you’d hardly know that Halloween hasn’t even happened yet. Seriously, calm down, folks. There are no seasonal songs on the pop chart just yet, thankfully, but we can still unwrap the gift that is my weekly commentary:

“SORRY” SEEMS TO BE THE HOTTEST WORD: Some call her Demigod Lovatican, because her musical catalog is a religious experience. Others, well… others just say they’re casual fans of her material, which is perfectly fine too. Demi Lovato soars from 6-1 on this week’s CHR/Top 40 list with “Sorry Not Sorry”, marking the largest climb to #1 since 2005, when Mariah Carey‘s “Shake It Off” bolted from 7-1 (9/16/05 R&R) to begin a five-week stay. “Sorry” is the singer’s second #1 track at the format, following “Give Your Heart A Break” (9/2-9/12 MB) from her Unbroken album. You’ll recall that “Give” took 25 weeks in the top 40 to reach the top spot, the second-longest run in the history of the format behind Alessia Cara‘s 26 weeks for “Here” in 2016, so “Sorry” claiming #1 in its 14th week isn’t too bad at all.

With Lovato’s song advancing to #1, “Sorry Not Sorry” swaps places with last week’s chart-topper, “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor Swift, which tumbles to #6 after just one frame at the top. That giant fall ties the record for the largest drop from #1 during the PPW (or plays-per-week) era, which also occurred in July 1997, when “Mmmbop” by Hanson fell from 1-6 (7/18/97 R&R) after nine weeks at the summit. You might ask, “Where’s the love?” I will come to you with a weird answer this time aroundif only I can remember it. (The trio’s “I Was Born” is accumulating airplay at the Hot AC format, but hasn’t charted yet.)

WHAT’S “NEW” THIS WEEK?: Plenty to celebrate on the pop chart this week, as four new songs break into the top 50. Leading the latest batch of debuts is “Faking It”, new at #44 for Calvin Harris and featured artists Kehlani and Lil Yachty. Harris’s prior top ten track, “Feels”, narrowly snuck back into the top 40 for the published update, but it will be removed next Sunday. It’s likely to become Kehlani’s second top 40 single and Lil Yachty’s third, all three of which have been in a featured role. Christian hip-hop artist NF follows at #46 with “Let You Down”. It’s taken from his former #1 album, Perception, and impacts at the format this week. We’ll see if the performer can break away from the faith-based world for a moment to score a big pop hit.

Entering at #49 is another single that’s headed for adds this Tuesday: a remix of “Reggaetón Lento” by CNCO and Little Mix. That song has already been a smash across Latin America, and it even hit #5 in the U.K., largely due to the inclusion of the female quartet and their streak of hits in that country. (Of course, they won The X Factor there in 2011.) Lastly, at #50, is a new single called “New” from teen singer Daya. Several months ago, she just missed the top 50 at the format with “Talk”, the fourth single from her Sit Still, Look Pretty album (though it was released after she had already departed her former label for a new home, Interscope Records.) It’s looking to become her fifth top 40 hit sometime next month.

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