Tag Archives: James Arthur

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of October 18, 2019

Good vibes, very good release week.

Real friends know that New Music Friday is a special day of the week… and with a really packed schedule, there’s something for everyone. Here are all the notable albums and singles hitting stores this Friday:

CHRIS JANSON – Real Friends (iTunes)
Features: “Good Vibes”, the new #1 song at Country radio this week

Notable albums out this week: Alice Merton‘s Mint + 4 (iTunes), Caroline Polachek‘s Pang (iTunes), Chris Ayer‘s Endless Wonder (iTunes), Cody Jinks‘s The Wanting (iTunes), Electric Guest‘s Kin (iTunes), Florida Georgia Line‘s The Acoustic Sessions (iTunes), Foals‘s Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 2) (iTunes), Gavin Haley‘s Long Game (iTunes), Idina Menzel‘s Christmas: A Season Of Love (iTunes), James Arthur‘s You (iTunes), Japanese Wallpaper‘s Glow (iTunes), Jessica Mauboy‘s Hilda (iTunes), Jimmy Eat World‘s Surviving (iTunes), Kash Doll‘s Stacked (iTunes), Måns Zelmerlöw‘s Time (iTunes), Matt Maeson‘s Bank On The Funeral (Stripped) (iTunes), Nicole Bus‘s Kairos (iTunes), Third Eye Blind‘s Screamer (iTunes)

Notable EPs out this week: Beabadoobee‘s Space Cadet (iTunes), Hero The Band‘s Back To Myself (iTunes), HoodCelebrityy‘s You Know The Vibez (iTunes), Julie Bergan‘s HARD FEELINGS: Ventricle 1 (iTunes), Maddie & Tae‘s Everywhere I’m Goin’ (iTunes), Neffex‘s Q203 (iTunes), Saint Motel‘s The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Pt. 1 (iTunes), Sasha Sloan‘s Self Portrait (iTunes), Skylar Grey‘s Angel With Tattoos (iTunes), Thandi Phoenix‘s Thandi Phoenix (iTunes), The Greeting Committee‘s I’m Afraid I’m Not Angry (iTunes), Yungblud‘s The Underrated Youth (iTunes)

New digital singles that you can buy this week include:
“About You”, Camden Welles (iTunes)
“All Day”, Havana Brown (iTunes)
“All My Friends Are Fake”, Tate McRae (iTunes)
“Be Fine”, Madeon (iTunes)
“Best On Earth”, Russ featuring BIA (iTunes)
“Beyond The Pale”, Cold War Kids (iTunes)
“Body Back”, Gryffin featuring Maia Wright (iTunes)
“Bounce”, Samantha Jade featuring City Girls (iTunes)
“Boys Ain’t Sh*t”, SAYGRACE. (iTunes)
“Champion”, Bishop Briggs featuring Tom Morello (iTunes)
“Clean”, Hey Violet (iTunes)
“Cravin”, DaniLeigh featuring G-Eazy (iTunes)
“Dance Monkey (Stripped Back)”, Tones And I (iTunes)
“Die Young”, Sheppard (iTunes)
“Don’t Leave Me Lonely (Acoustic)”, Mark Ronson featuring YEBBA & James Francies (iTunes)
“Ease Your Mind”, Joan (iTunes)
“Easy”, Frawley (iTunes)
“Easy Breezy”, Kiana Ledé (iTunes)
“Empty” and “Make It Right”, Quinn Lewis (iTunes)
“Figure It Out”, Anthony Ramos (iTunes)
“Fired Up”, Grace Carter (iTunes)
“First Class”, Blueface x Gunna (iTunes)
“Gameboy”, Bahari (iTunes)
“Ghost”, Au/Ra & Alan Walker (iTunes)
“Ghost”, Confetti (iTunes)
“Go Somewhere (VIP Remix)”, KREAM featuring RANI (iTunes)
“Golden Thing”, Cody Simpson (iTunes)
“Grim”, Jacquie Lee featuring bLAck pARty (iTunes)
“Haloes (Acoustic)”, Ina Wroldsen (iTunes)
“Happiness”, Sugar & The Hi-Lows (iTunes)
“Harleys In Hawaii”, Katy Perry (iTunes)
“Heavy”, Hux (iTunes)
“Homesick”, Declan J Donovan (iTunes)
“How Many”, Shoffy (iTunes)
“Human”, Sam Tinnesz (iTunes)
“I Don’t Like You”, Grace VanderWaal (iTunes)
“I Wanna Rock”, G-Eazy featuring Gunna (iTunes)
“I’ve Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life”, Cub Sport featuring Darren Hayes (iTunes)
“If The World Was Ending”, JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels (iTunes)
“Jesus Got A Tight Grip”, Blake Shelton (iTunes)
“Just Okay”, JXN (iTunes)
“Let Go”, Richard Marx (iTunes)
“Like Strangers Do”, AJ Mitchell (iTunes)
“Make It Right”, BTS featuring Lauv (iTunes)
“Midnight Flight”, Conor Matthews (iTunes)
“Money”, Matt And Kim (iTunes)
“Monsters”, James Blunt (iTunes)
“Music With Your Dad”, Nasty Cherry (iTunes)
“Nervous”, Oliver Riot (iTunes)
“Nice To Meet Ya! (Lounge Version)”, The Griswolds (iTunes)
“Novocaine”, Twin Atlantic (iTunes)
“One Night”, Picture This (iTunes)
“Open Open”, Rainsford (iTunes)
“Over”, Mayer Hawthorne (iTunes)
“Ozone”, New Politics (iTunes)
“Peachy Keen”, L Devine (iTunes)
“Pluto Projector”, Rex Orange County (iTunes)
“Pop Song”, Perfume Genius (iTunes)
“Pressure”, James Vickery & SG Lewis (iTunes)
“Rearrange Us”, Mt. Joy (iTunes)
“Replace It, Forget It”, The WLDLFE (iTunes)
“Rings A Bell”, Allie X (iTunes)
“Say To You”, Ali Gatie (iTunes)
“Sex Money Feelings Die (Slowed Version)”, Lykke Li (iTunes)
“Slop”, BBNO$ (iTunes)
“Somebody Out There”, Lost Kings featuring Marc E. Bassy (iTunes)
“Stack It Up (Acoustic)”, Liam Payne (iTunes)
“Stay The Way I Left You”, Josie Dunne featuring Dahl (iTunes)
“Sundays”, Emotional Oranges (iTunes)
“The Hype (Berlin)”, Twenty One Pilots (iTunes)
“The Sound (Live)”, Carly Rae Jepsen (iTunes)
“Think Of Me”, VÉRITÉ (iTunes)
“Thought Of Me”, Elle Winter (iTunes)
“This Time Last Year”, Kyd The Band (iTunes)
“Too Close”, Ria Mae & Dan Talevski (iTunes)
“Tutu (Remix)”, Camilo, Shakira & Pedro Capó (iTunes)
“Underdog”, FRANKIE (iTunes)
“Uneventful Days”, Beck (iTunes)
“Unlove You”, Armin Van Buuren featuring Ne-Yo (iTunes)
“What Am I (Cash Cash Remix)”, Why Don’t We (iTunes)
“What Do I Do? (Benny Benassi Remix)”, Georgia Ku (iTunes)
“You & I”, Harrison Storm (iTunes)
“You And Me As One”, Sigma & Jack Savoretti (iTunes)

Next week, look out for new albums from artists like Grace Potter, King Princess, Old Dominion and more. For Adam’s personal picks of the week, listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: May 26, 2019

Don’t panic, they made it!

DEBUTS
40. Christian Paul – Strong
39. James Arthur – Falling Like The Stars | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
27. Lizzo – Truth Hurts (36) | BIGGEST MOVER (tie)
26. Ingrid Michaelson – Missing You (35) | BIGGEST MOVER (tie)
24. Ben Platt – Grow As We Go (29)
22. Daya – Insomnia (27)
15. Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care (20)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. Noah Kahan – Mess (11) | PEAK: #10
09. Shawn Mendes – If I Can’t Have You (12) | PEAK: #09
08. Kacey Musgraves – Rainbow (06) | PEAK: #01 for six weeks
07. Carly Rae Jepsen – Now That I Found You (07) | PEAK: #07
06. Andy Grammer – Don’t Give Up On Me (08) | PEAK: #06
05. P!nk – Walk Me Home (05) | PEAK: #01 for one week
04. Rob Thomas – One Less Day (Dying Young) (03) | PEAK: #03
03. Lizzo – Juice (01) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks
02. Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie – ME! (04) | PEAK: #02
01. Panic! At The Disco – Hey Look Ma, I Made It (02) | PEAK: #01 for one week | NEW #1

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. James TW – Incredible (2)
2. Fitz & The Tantrums – Don’t Ever Let Em (3)
3. Kelsea Ballerini – Miss Me More (7)
4. Lewis Capaldi – Hold Me While You Wait (6)
5. P!nk featuring Chris Stapleton – Love Me Anyway (-)
6. Blink-182 – Blame It On My Youth (10)
7. Mike Posner – Move On (5)
8. Zara Larsson – WOW (-)
9. Madonna featuring Swae Lee – Crave (-)
10. BBMak – Bullet Train (-)

In The Mix:
Christina Perri – Tiny Victories
Collective Soul – Right As Rain
Ellie Goulding – Sixteen
James Morrison featuring Joss Stone – My Love Goes On
Lady Antebellum – What If I Never Get Over You
New Politics – Comeback Kid
OneRepublic – Rescue Me

Chart Notes:

  • After staying at #2, Panic! At The Disco‘s “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” finally sneaks into the #1 spot this week, with leader Brendon Urie also appearing as a featured performer on the runner-up title, Taylor Swift‘s “ME!”, climbing from #4. Urie joins singers such as Jamie Scott and Nate Ruess in having simultaneous top three entries as both a soloist and with a duo or group: in 2014, the former’s “My Hurricane” ranked in the region alongside Graffiti6‘s “The Bridge”, and a year prior, the latter’s featured spot on P!nk‘s “Just Give Me A Reason” joined fun.‘s track “Carry On” at the top. James Arthur‘s “Falling Like The Stars” earns this week’s Highest Debut at #39, his fifth top 40 single to date. The song recently replaced “From The Grave” as Arthur’s current single at Hot AC radio, which stalled out at the bottom of the top 50 a few weeks back. A newcomer named Christian Paul also climbs into the top 40 at #40 with “Strong”. It’s closing in on the top 50 at Top 40 radio, which will also mark his first chart appearance there.

(See my full chart on Crownnote)

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ADD LIB — Brace For (CHR) Impact (May 15, 2018)

Welcome to Add Lib, your Tuesday report on POP! Goes The Charts that’s mad about CHR/Top 40 adds, based on the station data provided by Mediabase 24/7 and Add Board. This week: we can think of at least 13 reasons why Selena Gomez‘s newest single is performing well at the format, though other impacting songs are also in the mix. Let’s add ’em up:

TAKING THE “BACK” WAY: Selena Gomez has yet to release her third solo album following a handful of mid-charting titles (and a couple of top five singles), but she’s one step closer to it with a tune that also doubles as the first single off the soundtrack to the second season of 13 Reasons Why. “Back To You” comes in at 114 stations during its first full week, more than enough to give it the title of the Most Added song at the Top 40 format on this Tuesday’s report. The soundtrack hits stores on Friday and features a number of top acts, from Gomez to OneRepublic to Years & Years, mixed with some classic songs by New Order, Tears For Fears and others.

Additional new tunes in the top five include “You Can Cry” (#3) by MarshmelloJuicy J featuring James Arthur and “Jump” (#4) by Julia Michaels featuring Trippie Redd. The former title starts with 33 stations, and the latter begins at 25. Expect both songs to reach the top 50 in the next couple of weeks. Neither Marshmello nor Michaels have announced a forthcoming album.

MOST ADDED — THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
1. SELENA GOMEZ, “Back To You” (Interscope)
2. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS featuring PITBULL, “Move To Miami” (RCA)
3. MARSHMELLO x JUICY J featuring JAMES ARTHUR, “You Can Cry” (Columbia)
4. JULIA MICHAELS featuring TRIPPIE REDD, “Jump” (Republic)
5. DRAKE, “Nice For What” (YMCMB/Republic)
6. BRYCE VINE, “Drew Barrymore” (Warner Bros.)
7. LIAM PAYNE & J BALVIN, “Familiar” (Republic)
8. LOGIC & MARSHMELLO, “Everyday” (Def Jam)
9-T. KYGO featuring MIGUEL, “Remind Me To Forget” (Ultra/RCA)
9-T. THE WEEKND, “Call Out My Name” (XO/Republic)
9-T. ZAYN, “Let Me” (RCA)

Check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for more adds coverage and commentary.

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RADIO REPORT: What’s Popping At Top 40 Radio This Week (May 14-15, 2018)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist this week. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are three new hits impacting this week at the Top 40 format:

JULIA MICHAELS featuring TRIPPIE REDD – “Jump” (Republic)
Album: TBA (2018)
Past T40 History: Michaels broke out in 2017 with “Issues”, which got as high as #4. Redd has never ranked at this format before.

MARSHMELLO x JUICY J featuring JAMES ARTHUR – “You Can Cry” (Columbia)
Album: TBA (2018)
Past T40 History: All three acts have charted before, but Juicy J has the history at #1 with a feature on Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”.

SELENA GOMEZ – “Back To You” (Interscope)
Album: 13 Reasons Why (Season Two) – Soundtrack (2018)
Past T40 History: Gomez returned to the top ten with “Wolves”, which reached #5 earlier this year. How will this new single fare?

Next week: Israeli newcomer Dennis Lloyd searches for summer magic with his Spotify-led single “Nevermind”. Will the Top 40 panel mind? Stay tuned.

Which of these new songs would you like to see top the charts? Let me know!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: December 24, 2017

A six-pack for Christmas.

DEBUTS
39. Tom Walker – Leave A Light On
36. U2 – Get Out Of Your Own Way | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
34. Maroon 5 – Wait (40)
27. Kesha featuring The Dap-Kings Horns – Woman (38) | BIGGEST MOVER
24. Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes (29)
21. James Arthur – Naked (28)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft (07) | PEAK: #02
09. Scott Helman – PDA (09) | PEAK: #09
08. Liam Payne – Bedroom Floor (08) | PEAK: #08
07. Dua Lipa – New Rules (06) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks
06. P!nk – Beautiful Trauma (10) | PEAK: #06
05. Noah Kahan – Hurt Somebody (05) | PEAK: #05
04. The Script – Arms Open (04) | PEAK: #04
03. U2 – You’re The Best Thing About Me (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Niall Horan – Too Much To Ask (02) | PEAK: #02
01. Walk The Moon – One Foot (01) | PEAK: #01 for six weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Shawn Hook – Never Let Me Let You Go (2)
2. Serena Ryder – Ice Age (5)
3. Rag’N’Bone Man – Grace (We All Try) (3)
4. Flagship – Midnight (8)
5. Mat Kearney featuring AFSHeeN – Better Than I Used To Be (7)
6. Why Don’t We – These Girls (6)
7. River Matthews – Sunshine (-)
8. John Splithoff – Sing To You (-)
9. Jamie Scott featuring Carpet Boy – Feels So Good (-)
10. Sugarland – Still The Same (-)

In The Mix:
Brandi Carlile – The Joke
Cody Simpson & The Tide – Waiting On The Tide (new)
Dashboard Confessional – We Fight
New Politics – Color Green
Olivia Holt – Generous

Chart Notes:

  • Have a Merry Christmas from PGTC! See you next Sunday for the last chart for 2017.

(See my full chart on Crownnote)

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RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (July 9, 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. It sure is humid out there, and that heat has a way of sizzling on the charts as well. Can you feel it? Lock into some Latin flair and powerful pop power, as we take the Top 40 trip through the route on our musical map. Onward!

FRIENDS IN SLOW PLACES: After a very respectable six weeks at #1 on the Top 40 chart, Zedd and Alessia Cara‘s “Stay” can stay at other locations on the chart, as it drops from 1-2. Of course, this means that the remix of “Despacito” has officially hit the top, giving two of performers, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, their first #1 on the pop chart. This also marks the sixth #1 single for its featured artist, Justin Bieber, who has accumulated that total since October of 2015. It’s all about consistency, people. “Despacito” is the first predominantly Spanish version of a top 40 song to top the format’s chart since “La Bamba” (#1, 8/21-28/87 R&R) by Los Lobos. Additionally, San Juan’s Fonsi and Yankee are the first Puerto Rican-born artists to score a #1 single in a main-credited role since Ricky Martin and “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (#1, 5/21-7/2/99 R&R) off his 1999 self-titled album.

So, what’s going to be the next “Despacito” to hit the crossover marketplace? You may want to keep your eye on “Mi Gente”, a recent release from J Balvin and Willy William. Balvin is a Colombian singer, originally from Medellín, while French performer William was born in the town of Champagné. The song’s already hit the top five in several countries, and Republic (the label that also worked “Despacito”) is already starting to build some traction in several markets. Will it perform just as well? Yo no sé, but stay tuned…

BACK TO BELIEVING: Well, a little belief can get you into the top ten, but a lot of belief? You can’t hold that back. Blasting into a new peak position #6, up from #12, is “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes. The Canadian singer and songwriter has a total of five top ten singles at the format, his biggest being the two-week #1 “Stitches” (11/8-15/15 MB). “Back” is the follow-up to “Mercy”, which also was a fan of the #6 spot (3/12/17 MB) at this format. Mendes’s hit also ranks in the top ten on the Hot AC list and the top 20 on the AC tally. With a such a bold move into the top ten, expect him to easily make the top five next week.

Pop and rock quartet Imagine Dragons now has their first top ten hit since the beginning of 2014 with “Believer”, moving up from 11-10 this week. It leads their album ƎVOLVE, which recently debuted in the runner-up spot on the Billboard 200. The Las Vegas act had a solid streak of three top ten tracks, “It’s Time” (#10, 3/17 + 3/31/13 MB), “Radioactive” (7/28-8/11/13 MB) and “Demons” (#1, 12/8/13 MB), before it began to see some resistance from the format. Luckily, they made it through the big logjam in the top 20. The song spent twelve weeks at #1 on the Alternative chart earlier this year, the longest run of 2017 by far.

ONE SMOKIN’ MACHINE: With three top 40 tracks so far this year, including two-week #1 “Bad Things” with Camila Cabello, I’m sure Machine Gun Kelly is making a little more money than he was in past years. It just so happens that his new collaboration is called “Go For Broke”, and it debuts at #47 on this week’s Top 40 radio chart. The song features James Arthur, who has another reason to celebrate this week, as “Can I Be Him” climbs into the top 40 on the Hot AC chart at #39. Kelly’s Bloom entered the album tally at #8 earlier this year.

Also reaching the top 50 this week is the latest entry by EDM duo The Chainsmokers, who puff some pop magic into the #48 spot with “Honest”. The song officially impacts at Top 40 radio this Tuesday. This is the third top 40 single from their Memories…Do Not Open set, following “Paris” (#3, 4/9-23/17 MB) and the Coldplay-assisted “Something Just Like This” (#1, 5/21/17 MB), which is at #1 on the Hot AC chart currently. (It’s down 7-11 here.) With so many of their big hits remaining strong recurrents at the format, can the duo land another in an already crowded market, or will this song come up short? Honestly, it could go either way with “Honest”.

Check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for more chart coverage and commentary.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: January 29, 2017

He's the Man.

No Bone to pick with him, Man.

DEBUTS
40. Keith Urban – Blue Ain’t Your Color
38. The Head And The Heart – All We Ever Knew | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
30. Bon Jovi – Roller Coaster (35)
24. Grouplove – Good Morning (32)
22. Julia Michaels – Issues (31) | BIGGEST MOVER — two weeks

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go (13) | PEAK: #10
09. MUNA – I Know A Place (11) | PEAK: #09
08. Julia Brennan – Inner Demons (10) | PEAK: #08
07. Train – Play That Song (04) | PEAK: #02
06. Kelly Clarkson – It’s Quiet Uptown (07) | PEAK: #06
05. ZAYN & Taylor Swift – I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (06) | PEAK: #05
04. LP – Lost On You (05) | PEAK: #04
03. John Mayer – Love On The Weekend (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Adele – Water Under The Bridge (02) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks
01. Rag’n’Bone Man – Human (01) | PEAK: #01 for four weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Alice Merton – No Roots (1)
2. The Shins – Name For You (7)
3. Grace VanderWaal – I Don’t Know My Name (3)
4. Ryan Corn – The Pressure (4)
5. Sigma featuring Birdy – Find Me (6)
6. Sting – One Fine Day (8)
7. Walk Off The Earth – Fire In My Soul (10)
8. Jonathan Roy – Good Things (-)
9. The Strumbellas – Young & Wild (-)
10. Tavish Crowe – Fire (-)

In The Mix:
A R I Z O N A – Oceans Away
Causes – Where Does Love Go
James Blunt – Love Me Better (new)
Lady Antebellum – You Look Good
LeAnn Rimes – Long Live Love
Michael Bublé – I Believe In You (new)
Pat Benatar – Shine
Rag’N’Bone Man – Skin (new)
The Heydaze – Hurt Like Hell

Chart Notes:

  • For the second week in a row, singer and songwriter Julia Michaels has the week’s Biggest Mover with “Issues”. On my last chart, she tied for the title, moving 37-31. Now, she holds it by herself, jumping from 31-22. Michaels, born in Davenport, IA before moving west, also enters the top 40 on the CHR/Top 40 chart this week, joining a list of Iowa-born musicians to rank on the national pop list that includes Andy Williams, C.W. McCall, Glenn MillerNate Ruess and Tracie Spencer.
  • Two recent crossovers to the Hot AC format break into the top 40 this week: at #38, “All We Ever Knew” marks the debut of Seattle’s The Head And The Heart on my chart. The song topped the Alternative radio chart for a week in November. At #40 is the recent chart-topping Country hit by Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”. His song got some key adds recently, and it looks like it’s bound to see some more action in the coming weeks.
  • New singles from Sting and The Shins seem like the most likely candidates to debut in my top 40 next week, at least at the current time. Remember, anything can change. Check back next Sunday to see what happens!

(See my full chart on Crownnote)

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of October 28, 2016

A Cosmic chart debut.

A Cosmic chart debut.

It’s an early Christmas on the schedule this week, as this year’s big seasonal titles look to cheer up the chart with holiday hits. It’s time to deck the halls with ditties, because here are the notable albums and singles:

KENNY CHESNEY — Cosmic Hallelujah (iTunes)
He’s been a presence on the Country chart for decades now, and his recent #1 with P!nk, “Setting The World On Fire”, could set a few other formats on fire, including a current run inside the top 25 on the Hot AC listing. To date, he’s had seven #1 albums on the Billboard 200, and it looks like an eighth may be on its way.

EMPIRE OF THE SUN — Two Vines (iTunes)
Sydney’s dynamic duo of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore scored a surprise Alternative radio smash in 2016 with “Walking On A Dream”, a single that was originally released in 2008. Remember the Honda commercial? Their current radio single, “High And Low”, is top 15 at the format.

TOVE LO — Lady Wood (iTunes)
The Swedish singer is back with her second album, but the sophomore slump could be real with this set. “Cool Girl” barely made the top 40 at pop radio, and its international peaks are pretty low too. Can she turn things around?

Christmas albums out this week: Brett Eldredge‘s Glow (iTunes), Jackie Evancho‘s Someday At Christmas (iTunes), Jennifer Nettles‘s To Celebrate Christmas (iTunes), Jimmy Buffett‘s ‘Tis The SeaSon (iTunes), Jordan Smith‘s ‘Tis The Season (iTunes), Kacey Musgraves‘s A Very Kacey Christmas (iTunes), Neil Diamond‘s Acoustic Christmas (iTunes), She & Him‘s Christmas Party (iTunes), Straight No Chaser‘s I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album (iTunes)

More albums out this week: Cerrone‘s Red Lips (iTunes), CRX‘s New Skin (iTunes), James Arthur‘s Back From The Edge (iTunes), Jeezy‘s Trap Or Die (iTunes), Kate Voegele‘s Canyonlands (iTunes), Memphis May Fire‘s This Light I Hold (iTunes), The Piano Guys‘s Uncharted (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Cole Swindell’s Down Home Sessions III (iTunes), Kip Moore‘s Underground (iTunes), Maty Noyes‘s Noyes Complaint (iTunes), Tigertown‘s Papernote (iTunes), Young Summer‘s You Would Have Loved It Here (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“After The Afterparty”, Charli XCX featuring Lil Yachty (iTunes)
“Blown”, DNCE featuring Kent Jones (iTunes)
“Breathing Underwater”, Emeli Sandé (iTunes)
“By Your Side”, Jonas Blue featuring RAYE (iTunes)
“Holy War”, Alicia Keys (iTunes)
“I Got You”, Bebe Rexha (iTunes)
“Room For 2”, Dua Lipa (iTunes)
“Scared Of America”, Jesse Ruben (iTunes)
“So Good”, Louisa Johnson (iTunes)
“You Gotta Not”, Little Mix (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new releases from Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, The Chainsmokers and more.

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PROFILE: James Arthur’s Nearly “Impossible” Trek To America

He's got the hit Factor.

He’s got the hit Factor.

James Arthur‘s life has changed significantly in the past few months. The 25-year-old born in Middlesbrough, England was in and out of bands and projects for most of his teens before deciding to tryout for the U.K. version of The X Factor. He was picked up by mentor Nicole Scherzinger, formerly of Eden’s Crush and the Pussycat Dolls, and he won the competition, beating another member of Scherzinger’s team, Jahméne Douglas. This was back on December 9 of last year. It was only just the beginning.

As in any singing competition, Arthur had a winning single to record, which for that season of the show was a remake of Shontelle‘s “Impossible”, which made her a hit in the U.S. for a hot minute before disappearing off the radar. It just missed the top ten on the Hot 100, though it crept in there on the Singles Chart in the United Kingdom, so it was already recognizable to most people before this new cover came out. Arthur’s version of the song was made for download almost immediately after his win on the show. No surprise there. It shot straight to #1 in countries like Ireland and Scotland, and spent three non-consecutive weeks at #1 in the United Kingdom with first week sales of 490,000 copies. It has since become the largest-selling winner’s single in the history of the show, with download sales over 1.3 million copies in that country alone. “Impossible” is also currently a Platinum-certified hit in Australia, where it recently peaked at #2 on the ARIA Singles Chart. (It’s top 5 on iTunes there currently.) It’s been great for the franchise, but it’s also been great for the singer himself. He’ll be putting out a followup single in Europe in May, no title determined yet. However, he’s not quite done with his first smash… yet.

There are now signs that James Arthur‘s hit overseas may be impacting North America this summer. The song is already being pushed to adult contemporary radio in Canada. It’s been added to four stations in Montreal and one in Ottawa in the past few weeks. Weekly detections currently put it just below the top 50 on Canada’s AC format chart with about 40 spins in the past seven days. This is small compared to the dozens of other current songs that are played on radio there every week. However, it’s a start, and an important one at that. A lot of Canadian releases that originate from overseas tend to make their way into the United States at some point or another. What I’m saying is, prepare yourselves. We may have another round of “Impossible” playing on our airwaves here in the next few months.

Should he successfully make it over here, he would only be the third X Factor winner to break the American market. We had Leona Lewis several years ago of “Bleeding Love” fame, a number-one hit back in 2008, but she’s been long gone from our shores after her second album was a dud. We now have Little Mix‘s “Wings” at our CHR format and it’s picking up a bit of steam, so perhaps they’ll be able to go ever higher. These two are, of course, in addition to the many finalists from that show who have come the United States. Some became big, like Cher Lloyd, Olly Murs and One Direction. Others faltered, like JLS and Rebecca Ferguson. Point is, it can go either way with these kinds of artists, but with the hype he currently has from the U.K., I’m guessing his label thinks that he could do pretty well here. I agree.

While it’s odd to hear an already popular and commercial song switch perspectives from female to male, Arthur has a good take on the song. His raspy and rough vocal make it an emotional experience, which is dramatized just enough without being too sappy. The arrangement itself is also augmented into a pop/rock feel, which does well against Arthur’s more soulful tone. It’s not dated in any particular way, it’s just pleasant. There will likely better songs on his album, but Arthur does all he can with his version of the song to turn it into a full-fledged power ballad that is honest and pure to the core. With slower songs doing well at the moment, it’s best to strike when the iron’s hot, and James Arthur is still boiling at the moment. Hopefully that’s the one thing that will make this trip to America a little less “impossible” and a lot more plausible.

Buy the music video for “Impossible”. (U.S. only – only the video is available here.)

Who will be the next X Factor finalist or winner from the United Kingdom to make it across the pond? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Going For Gold: The Justice Collective Bring In “Heavy” Sales

A #1 single isn't "impossible."

A #1 single isn’t “impossible.”

Once again, the year flew by and the end of it is here again, which means there’s a massive competition brewing for the #1 single in the United Kingdom this week, traditionally dubbed The Christmas Chart as it falls just before the national holiday on Tuesday. Of course, that country’s Singles Chart is fully determined by sales, whereas our Billboard Hot 100 takes in multiple aspects (airplay, sales, streaming), so a digital release won’t always rise to the top; thus, artists lead big campaigns in order to secure the title. This year, however, isn’t looking as crazy overall as in many past years. Last week, X Factor winner James Arthur sold nearly 500,000 copies of his debut single, a cover of Shontelle‘s “Impossible”, which easily gave him the #1 spot. It is now the fastest selling single of the year. Proceeds from Arthur’s single are going to Together For Short Lives, a U.K.-based children’s charity for young ones with life-threatening conditions. However, another charity single has emerged with a slight lead over Arthur and may just deny him of a second week at the top of the charts.

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” is a remake of the old The Hollies tune which became a top ten hit here in the States back in 1970. It was also a #3 hit on the other side of the pond. This version is done by The Justice Collective, benefitting charities associated with the Hillsborough Disaster, a 1989 tragedy in which 96 people were killed in a giant stampede in order to gain entrance to Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Back in September, an independent panel reviewing the incident stated that nearly half of the victims that lost their lives on that day could have been saved had the police presence not neglected to calm the crowd, who toppled over one another when a barrier broke loose. This charity effort was intended to help cover the legal costs of those families who wanted justice from losing a family member or members during the event. Quite a few musicians were recruited for the effort, including a few we know here in the U.S., like Melanie C of the Spice Girls, Paloma Faith, Paul McCartney (who also plays electric guitar), Rebecca Ferguson, Robbie Williams and several members of The Hollies themselves. It was recorded in October and a music video featuring the recording sessions was premiered two weeks ago. Instrumentally, it stays pretty faithful to the original sound of it; it’s even in the same key. However, the addition of a full orchestra definitely opens things up and combined with the soulful vocals provided by the participants, makes it a very emotional song. It truly is a great rendition of it all going towards a good cause.

Here’s the situation: both songs have sold over 100,000 copies a piece since the tracking week began on Sunday. Both are available as digital and physical CD singles, which complicates estimations a bit seeing as iTunes freely displays a chart on their front page while brick-and-mortar retailers don’t. As of now, The Justice Crew are ahead by about 3,000 copies combined, and anything could happen in what could be one of the closest Christmas Chart races in history. (As of Thursday, there’s now a 13,000 copy separation.) Both support worthwhile organizations, but there’s a certain glory in achieving that coveted #1 spot on such a notable week. Though the X Factor contestants traditionally released their winning single on the Week for several years, it was changed last year when winners Little Mix debuted at #1 on the chart before the Christmas Week, giving the Military Wives and Gareth Malone a huge sales week and the #1 Christmas Chart record of last year, “Wherever You Are”, which spent just one week there. I would say that gives a group charity single like “Brother” the advantage in this race, but you never know what Arthur has up his sleeve. With book and CD signings, he may just be able to come back and take the top spot by a few thousand or even hundred copies. Plus, he was just on one of most watched television shows over here. Everything is up in the air.

So, it’s up to you over in the United Kingdom to buy up what you think is worthy enough to grab the #1 spot of the week. We’ll be able to view the final result on Sunday. Arthur has already had his turn at the peak of the pop survey. If there’s any justice out there, take a minute to download The Justice Collective to help them provide a sense of justice to the 96 lives lost on that spring day back in 1989.

Buy “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” on AmazonMP3.

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