Welcome to Radio Active, a new weekly report on POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Resarch. The kids say it’s lit. I say, “Yeah, but “My Own Worst Enemy” only reached #29 at the format in 1999.” Anyways, enough with the dad jokes; let’s see who’s fathering new top 40 hits and achievements this week:
THE GREAT DIVIDE: If you haven’t heard Ed Sheeran’s latest album, ÷ (Divide), it might be time to Ed-ucate yourself. You’ll be sure to see it at the top on the albums listing next week. Meanwhile, Sheeran schools the competition as far as this week’s CHR/Top 40 chart goes, holding at #1 for the third straight week with “Shape Of You” (Atlantic). It’s already eclipsed the one frame that “Thinking Out Loud” spent at the top, which occurred this week in 2015. This week’s #2 song, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” (RCA-Republic) by ZAYN & Taylor Swift, is still about 2,100 spins away from “Shape”, which is quite the gap. A fourth week at #1 should easily be achievable, unless the state of spins drastically changes in the next few days.
Ten songs from ÷ are currently in the top 100 on iTunes in the U.S., and fifteen are in the top 50 on Spotify. Needless to say, that’s a whole lot of Ed. Is it too early to start the Grammy buzz? The two-time winner is due for a few more awards, which sounds like a real possibility.
BIG GETS BIGGER: When it comes to taking L’s, I’m pretty sure I heard The Motels singing about it first. Rapper Big Sean was a few years away from being born when that song became a minor hit on the U.S. charts, but he’s had plenty of success (and, likely, plenty of motel stays) in the last few years. His latest CHR hit, “Bounce Back” (GOOD/Def Jam), advances 28-24 this week. It’s his highest-charting main-credited single at the format, besting the #27 peaks of 2012’s “Dance (A$$)”, featuring Nicki Minaj, and 2015’s “I Don’t F**k With You”, featuring E-40.
Wondering about the biggest Seans, Shauns and Shawns in pop chart history? Artists (in chronological order) like Shaun Cassidy, Shawn Mullins, Sean Carter (Jay-Z), Sean Combs (P. Diddy), Sean Paul, Jay Sean and Shawn Mendes have all spent time at the top. Moral of the story: Big Sean isn’t the biggest Sean, but he’s not the smallest Sean, so perhaps he’s actually Average Sean? I’ll report back with more details as they come. (For the record, it took 28 L’s to complete this part of the report.)
HOW GREAT THOU CHART: Joy to the world, the Lorde is coming back to smash the charts with her latest single, “Green Light” (Lava/Republic). It zooms into the countdown at #25, while also instantly impacting at the Alternative (#29) and Hot AC (#31) formats. In a rush hour full of records, that’s pretty good. This is the New Zealand performer’s fourth top 40 hit on the CHR/Top 40 chart. Check back on Tuesday for the radio adds recap to see if Lava’s current high-water mark for impact weeks is “bent” out of shape. Either way, it has the potential to be the Most Added song at the format.
“Green Light” has unexpectedly become a popular top 40 title in the last decade: John Legend and Andre 3000 took their entry (GOOD/Columbia) to #20 in March 2009, while a Pitbull song (credited as “Greenlight”, Mr. 305/Polo Grounds/RCA) from last year, featuring Flo Rida and LunchMoney Lewis, peaked at #23 in November.
“SOMETHING” TO TALK ABOUT: Forgive me, Queen Bonnie Raitt, your song is far more iconic than what I’m about to speak of. (ahem) There have been a number of collaborations hitting CHR playlists recently, and one of the most unexpected comes from EDM duo and selfie aficionados The Chainsmokers and rockers Coldplay. Their musical moment together, “Something Just Like This” (Disruptor/Columbia), leaps from 42-26, while the duo’s “Paris” lifts 7-6. Those would be the fifth and sixth hits for the two American guys. This is also the British group’s twelfth top 40 hit at the format since 2001’s “Yellow”. Their biggest single to date, “Viva La Vida”, peaked at #11 in September 2008.
Though I haven’t yet decided on The Coldsmokers or Chainplay as their portmanteau, I am open to opinions and other name suggestions. Is broldplay a genre yet? Oh, I should stop? Alright, moving on…
FROM MY ZEDD TO MY CHART: Hey, someone has to remember that Evan & Jaron had top 40 singles beyond “Crazy For This Girl”. The two brothers had a short stay on the pop chart between 2000 and 2002. However, as far as the new single called “Stay” (Def Jam-Interscope), Zedd and Alessia Cara go “The Distance” (see what I did there?) and soar from 46-27 this week. Expect the song to reach the top 20 soon. This is the first collaboration from the Russian-German DJ/producer and the Canadian singer, and something tells me that it won’t be their last.
This is the ninth top 40 hit in Radio & Records/Mediabase history called “Stay”, which includes titles by Jackson Browne (#19, Aug. 1978), Shakespear’s Sister (#5, Sep. 1992), Eternal (#6, Feb. 1994), Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories (#1, Aug. 1994) and Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko (#1, Apr. 2013).
NEW IN THE MIX: After “Shout Out To My Ex” was pulled prematurely from the pop airwaves, to the shock and horror of Mixers around the Twitterverse, pop quartet Little Mix is back on the CHR airwaves with “Touch” (SYCO/Columbia). It, well, touches down at #49 this week. The group continues to struggle at U.S. radio, even as they score their fifth top 50 entry since 2013. (By comparison, they’ve had 15 singles reach the top 20 in the U.K. since their debut in 2011, plus additional charting album cuts and collaborations.) Let’s hope that their latest excursion in pop paradise yields larger than Little results.
Feeling our way through some touchy tunes, we’ve had six top 40 songs using the word (or a variant of it) in their titles since 2000, including two #7 hits: “Everytime We Touch” (Robbins Ent.) by Cascada (Apr. 2006) and “Touch My Body” (Island/IDJMG) by Mariah Carey (Apr. 2008). Of course, we’ve also heard a touch of The Bloodhound Gang (#22, Mar./Apr. 2000), Fall Out Boy (#32, June 2006), The Veronicas (#12, Feb. 2009) and Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj (#37, Nov. 2014).