Tag Archives: CHR

RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 23, 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. Yesterday was Record Store Day, and I certainly got a lot of great singles from artists like Deee-Lite, Madonna and Prince. Hey, it’s always best to have more wax in your hands than in your ears, even with a Q-Tip in my RSD collection. So, listen up as we rewind the week, then hit play and slay through the latest stats from the pop radio survey:

CAN’T GET IT OUT OF MY ED: …and here we are again, folks. For the tenth week in a row, Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape Of You” stays at that top spot on the CHR/Top 40 chart. It’s the third ten-week #1 so far this decade, and the only one that isn’t a collaboration. (In 2008, Leona Lewis‘s “Bleeding Love” was the last double-digit leader by a sole performer, also spending ten weeks at the top.) The song in second place for the fourth week, Bruno Mars‘s “That’s What I Like”, should finally get its first frame at #1 next week. Will I be rejoicing? No tea, no shade, but that’s an affirmative. Sheeran’s “Castle On The Hill” makes a notable jump from 30-22 on the list, while also rising 22-18 at the Hot AC format. At this rate, I’d expect that “Castle” will likely be in the top ten by the end of May, due to a number of summer single premieres (you know they’re all coming!) over the next few weeks.

“Shape” is still in the top five on at least four radio formats this week (beyond the aforementioned charts, AC and Rhythmic), while it also maintains a top 20 placing on, believe it or not, the Spanish chart. How’s it doing so well there? Well, thanks to a remix featuring reggae duo Zion & Lennox, the mass appeal hit continues to be, well, even more mass appeal. Will it ever stop? Ay, Dios mío…

EVEN “STRANGERS” NEED A “CURE”: Two of the most talked about tracks on the pop radio chart this week really know how to make an entrance, shooting straight into the top 40. The higher of the twosome is “Kissing Strangers” by DNCE, bowing in at #36 on the chart. It’s the group’s fifth top 40 hit since 2015, while featured artist Nicki Minaj scores her 34th top 40 entry at the format since 2010. Needless to say, neither act is a stranger to the top 40, though DNCE is a stranger when it comes to #1 songs, as “Cake By The Ocean” (#2, 4/10-17/16 MB) could only nibble at the pop pastry supreme at the top of the bakery… erm, could only knock on the door to the top of the chart, but were turned away by a pair of performers who only cared about themselves.

Lady Gaga‘s surprise single “The Cure” enters one spot below “Kissing”, rushing into the top 40 at #37. This means that the Joanne era is likely over after two radio singles, but we’ll always remember that pink hat in our hearts, though probably not in our closets. At 18 top 40 singles since 2008, including seven chart-toppers, the Lady continues to get her fill of pop success. Her next project? A new spin on the classic film A Star Is Born. No, I’m not expecting her to take on “Evergreen” anytime soon; let’s save that in 1977, please.

WHO’S YOUR DADDY?: Fathering a new top 50 song this week is a collaboration featuring 40-year-old rapper Daddy Yankee, a bilingual performer from Puerto Rico who last appeared on the chart with “Rompe” (#19, 5/19-26/06 R&R) off his Barrio Fino En Directo album. This week, he and fellow Puerto Rican Luis Fonsi take a Spanglish mix of their international hit “Despacito” into the top 50 at #47. Of course, Canadian singer Justin Bieber is also on that version, singing in both English and Spanish. By the way, for all of you chart buffs out there, the first bilingual rapper to ever reach the pop chart was Cuba-born Mellow Man Ace, who charted with “Mentirosa” (#34, 7/6/90 R&R) in his only top 40 appearance.

Though “Despacito” is the first chart entry to use that word in its title, it’s not the first to use it in the lyrics of a top 40 song. In fact, it was just a few months ago that “Bailar” (#35, 11/13/16 MB) by DJ Deorro and featured artist Elvis Crespo opened on that word. A remix featuring Pitbull aided its performance at the pop format, because I’m sure he had zero other hits to ruin at that time. I mean, who else could have done it? Gerardo?

SHAWN’S GOT YOUR “BACK”: After “Mercy” peaked at #6 six weeks ago, 18-year-old singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes gets off to a good start with his latest single, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”. It enters at #49 on this week’s CHR chart, ranking after a little over three days of airplay. Now, in anticipation of this song dropping a few days ago, yours truly dipped into the archives of pop perfection and through the undervalued “holding back” category, stopping at huge songs like “Holding Back The Years” (#3, 6/27/86 R&R) by Simply Red, “I Can’t Hold Back” (#10, 11/30/84 R&R) by Survivor and “I Won’t Hold You Back” (#4, 4/22-5/6/83 R&R) by Toto. So, if you weren’t holding back something in the 80’s, I’m not sure what you were doing. Hey, where’d my Jane Fonda tapes go?

Mendes first entered the top 50 in November 2014 with “Something Big”, which peaked at #44 by the second week of January. It was the follow-up to “Life Of The Party”, which couldn’t break the top 50 in either of its two radio runs, along with a reissue of “Big”, with a slightly altered mix, in the spring of 2015. Of course, with four consecutive top ten releases since those days, it’s safe to say that he’s doing alright for himself now and not looking “back”. Can he make it five? I sure hope so.

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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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RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 9, 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. So, call me Addie The Caddie, as we tee up a few tunes and putt down the usual pop course. That being said, let’s avoid those crowds at Mar-A-Lago. It sure is something when an owner has more holes in his stories than at his courses. Golf clubs, dance clubs… gotta cover them all here. So, let’s get shady with some musical ladies (mostly gentlemen this week, really) in the latest report:

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Please, radio gods, can we please find another song to overplay? You know, one other than “Shape Of You”? Ed Sheeran‘s international hit is at #1 for an eighth week on the CHR/Top 40 chart, and someone (me) is really feeling the burn. At least it doesn’t set another record this week, but it also isn’t dropping like a rock yet. So, you know, let’s change that! Thank you. New single “Castle On The Hill” becomes Sheeran’s 13th top 40 entry on the pop chart, and second hit from ÷, as it climbs 43-36. “Galway Girl” and “Perfect” are two of the cuts that continue to perform well internationally. I’ll keep you updated if either song breaks at the format before an established impact date. For now, I think there’s plenty of him on the air.

Just below Sheeran, Bruno Mars holds at #2 for the second week with “That’s What I Like”, which looks set to hit #1 next week (or, at least I hope it’s able to seven days from now.) The last time an act recording for the Atlantic label (main roster or imprint) replaced another one at the top was about a year ago, when Flo Rida‘s “My House” knocked “Stressed Out” by twenty out pilots out on the March 13 chart. The duo returned to #1 later in the year with “Ride” (8/28/16 MB).

WHO’LL STOP THE CHAIN: Well, no one, at least for now. Duo The Chainsmokers continues to dominate on the pop survey this week, with two top ten songs from next week’s expected #1 album, Memories…Do Not Open. “Paris” is up 5-3, moving closer to a third #1 on the format for the guys, while “Something Just Like This” (with Coldplay) is up from 13-9. You probably caught them on Saturday Night Live last night, where they performed the former (featuring uncredited vocalist Emily Warren) and “Break Up Every Night”, a new cut from the album. Though “Something” is making the larger gains at this point, don’t be surprised if “Paris” stays in a holding pattern (while still gaining some) over the next few weeks.

Since their chart debut in 2001 with “Yellow” (#20, 4/27/01 R&R), Coldplay has scored with twelve top 40 songs on the CHR chart… but this is their first top ten hit. Yes, the four guys have never reached the top ten at the format until now. Previously, “Viva La Vida” (#11, 9/7/08 MB) and “A Sky Full Of Stars” (#12, 10/12/14 MB) came the closest to the region. Feel free to endlessly drag all of those lazy programmers at the format for allowing The Chainsmokers to be the reason Coldplay has one top ten song in 16 years. Honestly, kids, what are you doing?

DIRECTIONS AND CONNECTIONS: Harry Styles and ZAYN have gone in several directions musically, but the two singers in question, both bandmates in One Direction, are headed in an upward direction this week on the CHR chart. The latter singer’s new hit, “Still Got Time” (featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR), leaps from 34-26 in its third week on the chart, while the former singer grabs his first solo top 40 hit at #29 with “Sign Of The Times”. It’s the highest debut on the listing. Meanwhile, ZAYN’s former #2 single, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (with Taylor Swift), slips from 3-5. “Sign” initially debuted in a version that ran 5:40, and had that held as the single version, it could’ve had the longest radio edit run time of a top 40 hit since Queen‘s reissue of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1992. That #3 hit (5/1/92 R&R) from Wayne’s World clocked in at 5:55. (A 4:07 edit has since been serviced to several formats.) Just a couple of months ago, ZAYN appeared on the chart at the same time as two other One Direction members, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.

Of course, One Direction is not the first boyband to launch two of its members into the top 40 at the same time. In 2003, JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake of *NSYNC appeared on the pop chart simultaneously, the former with “Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love)” (#13, 2/21/03 R&R) and the latter with “Cry Me A River” (#3, 1/24-2/14/03 R&R) and “Rock Your Body” (#1, 5/9-6/6/03 R&R). In 1999, two members of New Kids On The Block, Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight, landed in the top 40 together. McIntyre’s “Stay The Same” (#16, 4/9/99 R&R) and “I Love You Came Too Late” (#28, 8/6/99 R&R) charted, as Knight’s “Give It To You” (#14, 5/21-6/11/99 R&R) was headed up and down the CHR survey. (The latter singer’s “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man” (#31, 9/24/99 R&R) could’ve appeared with “Late” in the top 40, but it was late… by a week.)

DOES A “BODY” GOOD: 49-year-old David Guetta has six top ten pop hits to his credit, and he’s looking for his seventh with an interesting collaboration that features Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, both of whom have appeared on prior Guetta tunes. “Light My Body Up”, which actually sounds pretty painful, lights up the survey at #50 this week. “Body” was one of the top ten Most Added hits at the format last week, and it could be there again this Tuesday, so stay tuned! Minaj is currently featured on another top 40 song at the moment, “Swalla” by Jason Derulo, which rises from 29-27.

It’s hard to believe that Guetta has been charting for nearly a decade now, first hitting in the spring of 2008 with “Love Is Gone”. The single (#41, 5/11/08 MB) featured vocalist Chris Willis, who also appeared on the DJ/producer’s “Gettin’ Over You” (#19, 7/18/10 MB) before disappearing from the pop chart. I do hope that he, and his body, are okay. (Don’t try lighting up anything at home, you’ll regret it quickly.)

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RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 2, 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. April Fools’ Day may be done now, but this roadblock in the top 20 on the CHR chart is no joke. Get it together, kids. Meanwhile, it’s time for me to turn onto that golden Top 40 thruway, a lovely drive through pop pastimes and into the bops and bullets of now:

NEVER GONNA LEAVE THIS ED: If you think the beginning of my weekly report is starting to sound like a broken record, well, it is. No, really, Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape Of You” is at #1 for the seventh week on the CHR/Top 40 chart, and it breaks another record. Once again, it accumulates the largest number of spins for a song in a given week: 19,724, besting the total of 19,603 it received three weeks ago. For our viewers at home, this means that the average spin-per-station total for it is just over 108 plays, or just over 15 per day, or your local Top 40 outlet spinning it once every 93 minutes. In short, it’s a monster. Second single “Castle On The Hill” takes a small move upward from 45-43, while “Galway Girl” is losing ground at the few stations that were leading on it. I guess the only thing we’ll be kissing is the radio brand, not the Blarney Stone, at least for now.

However, there is now another competitor looking to take on Mr. Sheeran for that top spot, one who just so happens to share a label with him. Bruno Mars advances from 5-2 this week with “That’s What I Like”, the second single off his 24K Magic album. Sheeran’s hit is too far away for Mars’s single to dethrone it next week, but I expect that it’ll happen later on in the month. Sadly, I’m afraid that we’re unable to ship the English singer/songwriter to Mars at this point, but after his era is over, that might sound like a great idea.

DOING WHAT’S “BEST”: The new hit from Machine Gun Kelly and Hailee Steinfeld has been the second Most Added song at the format for two weeks in a row, and before you start with the whole “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” spiel, it seems like the panel is falling for it, while the two performers are climbing on up. “At My Best” soars from 42-30, giving Kelly his second top 40 hit, while Steinfeld has her fourth. Of course, as much as you readers appreciate me at my best when it comes to chart analysis, you’ll find me at my worst at 4:35 on some idle Sunday, yelling at my browser to refresh with the published update for the umpteenth time. (Yes, I need help. Just kidding. No, maybe I do.)

In Radio & Records history, four songs with “best” in either their main or subtitles hit the best spot on the pop chart, with two sitting at the top for four weeks: “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (9/25-10/16/81) from Christopher Cross, and “Save The Best For Last” (3/20-4/10/92) by Vanessa Williams. It’s never happened in the Mediabase era, so we’ll see if Kelly and Steinfeld climb towards that goal in the coming weeks.

THREE’S COMPANY: No Chrissy, Jack and Janet here, but I’m sure Aubrey, Dua and Rory would make for an interesting show as well. Much like the upper rungs of the chart, the lower part is also slower this week. However, Drake leads a pack of three debuts on the survey, jumping in at #39 with “Passionfruit”. Counting main-credited, featured and group (I’m looking at you, Young Money‘s “BedRock”) appearances, the Canadian performer has 22 top 40 hits thus far, which also sounds like the number of incarnations that Degrassi‘s gone through over the decades. Of course, his first hit at the format, “Best I Ever Had”, reached a #9 peak in August 2009. “Passionfruit” is the second charting song from More Life; the first, “Fake Love”, not to be confused with “fake news”, drops to #35.

In the top 50, there are two additional new entries this week: “Human” (#45) by Rag’N’Bone Man and “Be The One” (#48) by Dua Lipa. Both are recent hits from Europe, with “Human” dominating the top of the charts in countries like Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, just to name a few. Lipa’s song, a recent top ten single in the United Kingdom, was one of three tracks (two featured appearances) to chart in the top 15 at the same time, a pretty impressive feat for a relative newcomer. How high will they go later this year? Stay tuned, and grab the popcorn already. The suspense is killing me…

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The Big Picture: A Snapshot Of Timeless Titles

Taking a survey selfie.

Taking a survey selfie.

Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has been burning up the pop radio chart in the last year with three top ten hits in a row, like his recent #1 titled “Thinking Out Loud”, which spent a week at the top back in March. His latest single, “Photograph”, is now firmly in the top 20 on the CHR chart, which will likely become official on Sunday night. Interestingly enough, this means that this title has now placed in the top 20 at the format in four decades, a pretty impressive feat given all the titles that enter at any time. It’s not the only one to have accomplished this rare occurrence, however; there are, at least, two others from the data that I’ve been able to sift through. So, grab your camera and look at this through the chart lens, starting with the latest combination:

(Statistics are based on the combined archives of Radio & Records and Mediabase.)

“Photograph”, Ringo Starr (#1 for three weeks, November 1973)
Though not Starr’s first solo hit, it was his first of six (and the biggest of them) to reach R&R’s airplay survey during the 1970’s.

“Photograph”, Def Leppard (#16, April-May 1983)
This group from Sheffield debuted during what was dubbed the Rock 40 era. Their final CHR hit was “Promises” (#33) in 1999.

“Photograph”, Nickelback (#3, November 2005)
Love them or hate them, the four rockers from Alberta had many big singles, including this leadoff from All The Right Reasons.

“Photograph”, Ed Sheeran (#20 +, June 2015)
Of course, Sheeran’s fourth single from X is still bulleted and bound to go further up the CHR listing. It is also top 15 at Hot AC.

So, what other titles were able to land four top 20 entries in four decades? For starters, these two…

“HOLD ON”
70’s: “Hold On” by Ian Gomm (#16, October 1979)
80’s: “Hold On” by Santana (#8, October 1982)
90’s: “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips (#3, June 1990) /  “Hold On” by En Vogue (#11, July 1990) / “Hold On” by Jamie Walters (#4, April 1995)
00’s: “Hold On” by Good Charlotte (#16, February 2004)

“LET’S GO”
70’s: “Let’s Go” by The Cars (#8, August 1979)
80’s: “Let’s Go!” by Wang Chung (#5, March 1987)
00’s: “Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy featuring Twista and Lil Jon (#11, December 2004)
10’s: “Let’s Go” by Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo (#6, August 2012)

There are a few other titles that have landed four top 40 entries in four decades or four top 20 entries with the aid of a Hot 100 peak, like “Angel”, “Dreams”, “Happy”, “Hey Baby”, “Love Song”, “Stay”, “Without You”, etc. With that said, one of these could come back when we least expect it and alter the list above. We’ll see. In the meantime, if I’ve missed a song title or you just want to chat about the charts, comment below or click on the “Get Social!” tab above to find PGTC on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (June 2014)

If you follow the radio charts like I do, you’ll want to be on top of only the freshest music being serviced across the nation. So, I’m bringing back an early PGTC feature with a bit of a revamp. With this monthly series, I’ll be highlighting some great tracks at a few different radio formats I enjoy that will be fighting for airspace over the next few months. So, what are we waiting for? Let the battles begin.

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Avicii
AVICII featuring AUDRA MAE – “Addicted To You” (June 3) (*)
Label: PRMD/Island/Republic
Sweden’s Tim Bergling has been having a massive era on the U.S. charts with two hits in a row: “Wake Me Up!”, with a vocal from Aloe Blacc, and “Hey Brother”, featuring Dan Tyminski. Now, he’s out with his third single from True, though “Addicted” hasn’t been nearly as big on the worldwide charts. Still, it should receive some proper airtime here.

Glenn Morrison
GLENN MORRISON featuring ISLOVE – “Goodbye” (June 3) (*)
Label: Robbins
I first discovered “Goodbye” last summer when it was picked up by SiriusXM’s two pop channels before it slowly rose up the radio charts in Morrison’s native Canada, where it has since been certified Platinum. Now, the record is getting a push to multiple U.S. formats. Will radio says “hello” to the 28-year-old or wave him away before the song takes off?

Janelle Monáe
JANELLE MONÁE – “Heroes” (June 3) (**)
Label: Caroline/Capitol
Two years ago, Monáe scored a #1 song at the Hot AC format as a featured act on fun.‘s “We Are Young”, but hasn’t seen any significant action on these airwaves since it. 2013’s The Electric Lady gave her biggest debut thus far on the Billboard 200, and you’ll find this oft-covered David Bowie cut on Pepsi’s Beats Of The Beautiful Game soundtrack.

Jesse McCartney
JESSE MCCARTNEY – “Superbad” (June 10) (*)
Label: Eight0Eight/INgrooves
Previously covered in a post I wrote three weeks ago about former boy band members going the solo route, the single finally goes to radio this month. It follows “Back Together”, which unfortunately didn’t do much last year. Though he is firmly committed to going the independent way, this kind of song would do better on a major. It’s a really hot track.

Jacquie Lee
JACQUIE LEE – “Broken Ones” (June 17) (**)
Label: 300/Atlantic
You may remember Lee from Christina Aguilera‘s team during the fall 2013 season of The Voice. She placed as the runner-up behind Tessanne Chin, but Lee is already making her move with 300 Entertainment, Lyor Cohen’s label. They previously charted with Eric Bellinger at Rhythmic, and have a few dozen spins on Alternative with Panama.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

American Authors
AMERICAN AUTHORS – “Believer” (June 10) (*)
Label: Mercury/Republic
It barely went top 50 on the Alternative chart last year, but thanks to the enormous numbers put up by “Best Day Of My Life” over the last few months, “Believer” is getting a second chance on the airwaves. It’s already top 40 at Hot AC and should go top 50 here rather soon. You can catch them on tour with OneRepublic and The Script this summer.

Jamie Scott
JAMIE SCOTT – “My Hurricane” (June 10) (**)
Label: Virgin/Capitol
With both a Graffiti6 album and a Scott solo album in 2014, it may just be the best year ever. No lies detected. This first single from effort, due September 9, is going to AAA radio, the same format where “Free” reached the top ten and “Stare Into The Sun” bounced up into the top 20. This storm’s a-brewing and the weather report is calling for a smash.

Stu Larsen
STU LARSEN – “Thirteen Sad Farewells” (June 17) (**)
Label: Nettwerk
If you’re a fan of the musician named Passenger, then you probably know who Larsen is. He and Mr. Rosenberg have been good friends for a while and often perform together. After a few self-released EPs, his debut album for Nettwerk, titled Vagabond, lands in stores on July 15. The performer is currently wrapping up a small U.S. tour in Los Angeles.

The Griswolds
THE GRISWOLDS – “Beware The Dog” (June 17) (*)
Label: Wind-Up
I saw these guys at CMJ back in October along with the band Sheppard, and although “Heart Of A Lion” failed to take off at Alternative, the Australian four piece is trying again with this single. The blog coverage of the song is off to a fast start and it’s easily their most accessible release to date for the U.S. market. This puppy is barking away for your love.

Twin Atlantic
TWIN ATLANTIC – “Heart And Soul” (June 24) (*)
Label: Red Bull
About to break the top 20 on the Singles Chart in the United Kingdom, “Heart” is already the group’s highest charting single across the pond. With Red Bull’s multi-year campaign for AWOLNATION‘s “Sail”, launching it at Alternative  in the fall of 2011 and then at CHR in the summer/fall of 2013, this could be the label’s next enduring hit. Stay tuned!

Which track(s) would you like to see do well from the list above? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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A “Horse” With No Shame: Katy Perry Gallops For Gains

Does pop radio really love her "Unconditionally"?

Does pop radio really love her “Unconditionally”?

She came in with a “Roar” and topped the Hot 100 earlier this year; now, Katy Perry has another hot tune to challenge all the neigh-sayers out there. “Dark Horse”, featuring rapper Juicy J, was released as a digital single a little over two months ago after winning a poll sponsored by Pepsi to reveal a track from her album, PRISM. The urban-sounding song, which feels inspired by “Moments In Love” by Art Of Noise from 1985is piquing the interest of many people as a result of continued strong sales and a growing number of program directors adding the song into moderate-to-high rotation across multiple formats. So, what gives? How can this happen when she already has an active ballad, “Unconditionally”, all over the place?

As Perry’s proper second single continues to gain in the CHR radio top ten, the callout scores for it have not been particularly impressive, ranking it lower among many singles that haven’t actually gone top ten yet. In turn, the numbers are used by those directors in their research to determine rotations. Sales of the song have improved since it was first released, ranking just below the top ten, but even that seems lackluster. Meanwhile, “Dark” has broken free from the pack and landed a triple-digit bullet from unsolicited airplay on about twenty stations, mostly in the Midwest and the South along with a handful of major markets on the West Coast. (Callout isn’t available for it.) It’s currently #44 at the format and in the same region on the Rhythmic panel, gearing up for a run in the top 40. So far, it’s achieved a #17 peak on the Hot 100, a spot below “Unconditionally”. With steaming and sales on the rise, we could be hearing about this one for a while yet.

This isn’t the first time this sort of situation has happened; promotional singles have made it to the air before thanks to programmers at more liberal radio companies. In fact, over on the Hot AC chart, “Lucky Strike” by Maroon 5 is around the top 40, never declared as the fifth single from Overexposed but still picking up airtime. One notable CHR example of a few years ago is “Rockstar” by Nickelback, which went as high as #42 in December 2006 on the chart on solely unsolicited airplay until “If Everyone Cared” was announced as a single. Once it ran its course, “Rockstar” was officially released and went top ten during the summer of 2007. It may be that Perry falls into the situation if the label decides to release something like “Birthday” or “This Is How We Do”, but I would think they’d like to strike while the iron is hot.

Though it appears the buying public and radio will be leading the way on what could be the third single from PRISM, a full release of whatever the label is going to choose has yet to be locked in. It’s almost certain that “Dark” will continue to grow into next year even if it’s not the followup to “Unconditionally”. Question is, how quickly will Capitol react? After all, the song hasn’t been serviced to radio and they’re stuck in a bind considering that the second single still has life left in it (unless they no longer promote it, but that likely won’t happen.) In the meantime, it makes for an interesting chart story. Not just anyone can pull off three songs making the CHR chart simultaneously, so kudos to Perry and team for making it happen.

“Dark” isn’t personally one of my favorites on the album, but I guess I’m in the minority on this one. There’s a clear desire for it from several angles. If this is truly meant to be this era’s “E.T.”, the fourth radio single from the Teenage Dream era and largely played in remixed form with Kanye West, it will eventually see the light as a full-on single with an optional rap-free version for the Hot Adult Contemporary format. “E.T.” was a spring single three years ago; let’s see if history repeats itself with “Dark”, a song title that definitely lives up to its name. Time to pony up.

Audio:

Download “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J on iTunes.

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