Tag Archives: Jennifer Hudson

RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (December 27, 2020)

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. For all the top pop positions you want, here is a look at what’s popping at the format this week:

FROZEN POSITIONS: As we hit the midway point of the holiday freeze, superstar Ariana Grande is frozen at #1 on the Top 40 chart for a second week with the title cut from her album Positions. The follow-up single, “34+35”, advances from 15-13.

Ed Sheeran has this week’s only new entry in the top 40 with “Afterglow”, which debuts way up at #25. It’s his 21st top 40 hit. The song is also doing very well at the Hot AC format in its first week, where it enters at #19 and marks his 17th top 40 hit.

Three seasonal songs scored enough airplay to enter the top 50 this week, but will be gone by the next update: the Jonas Brothers return to the chart at #45 with “Like It’s Christmas”, Mariah Carey‘s new version of “Oh Santa!” (with the aforementioned Grande and Jennifer Hudson) lands at #47 and Taylor Swift‘s “Christmas Tree Farm” starts at #49. The original version of Carey’s tune dates back to 2010, while the other two entries were released last year.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (September 23)

Two Cheeks, one week.

Two Cheeks, one week.

It’s a snazzy and jazzy update this week, with two unlikely superstars paired together for a collection of covers, along with one of Country’s leading men and one of England’s hottest indie trios. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of September 23:

  • After a week which will see Barbra Streisand top the Billboard 200, who’s to say that Tony Bennett will not be the next to top the survey? His long-delayed duets album with Lady Gaga, titled Cheek To Cheek, is now in stores. Several digital cuts from it have made the Jazz charts in the last few weeks. Reviews have been generally solid for it and the effort should have enough strength to enter at #1 next week. (iTunes)
  • Just off another #1 single at Country radio with “American Kids”, still selling well in the top 40 on iTunes, hitmaker Kenny Chesney is back with The Big Revival, which also features the followup “Til It’s Gone”. Last time around, Chesney’s Life On A Rock debuted north of six figures last year and could hit that same amount this year as a strong #2. We’ll see. (iTunes)
  • Currently riding up the Alternative survey with their biggest hit to date, “Left Hand Free”, the band known as alt-J (or ) is back with This Is All Yours, the act’s first studio album since 2012’s An Awesome Wave. Pre-release tracks from it have already ranked highly on iTunes stores across the globe. It will likely debut in the top ten. (iTunes)
  • In our former reality show contestants roundup, and there are quite a few this week, look out for new releases from America’s Got Talent‘s Jackie Evancho and her latest, Awakening (iTunes), American Idol‘s Jennifer Hudson with JHUD (iTunes) and The Sing-Off‘s Pentatonix with PTX, Vol. III (iTunes). Hudson’s “It’s Your World”, with R. Kelly, is now a top 20 hit at Urban AC radio.
  • Other releases out this week include: Aphex Twin‘s Syro (iTunes), Chad Lawson‘s The Chopin Variations (iTunesGary Clark Jr.‘s Gary Clark Jr. Live (iTunes), George Harrison‘s The Apple Years 1968-75 (iTunes), Joe Bonamossa‘s Different Shades Of Blue (iTunes), John Mellencamp‘s Plain Spoken (iTunes), Lee Ann Womack‘s The Way I’m Livin’ (iTunes), Lenny Kravitz‘s Strut (iTunes), Leonard Cohen‘s Popular Problems (iTunes), Luke James‘s Luke James (iTunes) and Tweedy‘s Sukierae (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week (and there’s a whole lot of them) include:

  • “Burnin’ Up”, new from singer Jessie J and rapper 2 Chainz. (iTunes)
  • “Carry You Home”, a digital single from Jamie Scott. (iTunes)
  • “Maps (Rumba Whoa Mix)”, the Maroon 5 hit with a new feature by Latin star J Balvin. (iTunes)
  • “Something Blue”, a digital single from the forthcoming album by Neil Diamond. (iTunes)
  • “When You Were Mine”, a collaboration from Night Terrors of 1927 and Tegan & Sara. (iTunes)

It’s a crazy week as the labels prepare for their final shot at a GRAMMY nomination for acts with new albums like Blake Shelton, Colbie Caillat, Lady Antebellum, Prince and more. So many releases, so little time, but a full preview is coming in seven!

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American Idle: Who’s Next On The Chopping Block?

Whataya want from them?

Whataya want from them?

2012 was another rough year from American Idol finalists, many of whom were dropped from their major record label deals due to underperforming releases. The list includes (but isn’t limited to) blues singer Haley Reinhart, country cutie Kellie Pickler, as well as lite rockin’ Season 8 champ Kris Allen. This now means five of the eleven winners from the show have now been dumped; some have signed to independent labels, but that’s resulted in very little. Since the past few years have been especially volatile for singers being dropped, 2013 won’t likely be any different, and so, I present to you a prediction post of who might get the boot from their labels in 2013. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will be; it’s more of just the reasoning behind why one would be considered for a cancellation of their contract.

Now, some Idol contestants are obviously safe: Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, both winners of their respective seasons, have plenty of more big singles to go. Jennifer Hudson is obviously still in the spotlight because of her Weight Watchers success, and I think that will translate into at least another album or two, maybe another big movie. In short, she’s not going anywhere. Phillip Phillips, the reigning winner, is all over the radio with “Home”. He’ll continue to enjoy some hits… for now. However, I’m not sure about the rest of this crew. Let’s take a look at them by season.

The only season 2 contestant of note that’s still on a major label is Clay Aiken, who has recorded a pair of albums for Decca Records after his drop from RCA. Tried And True made the top ten on the album chart, but barely passed 20,000 copies sold in its first week. Steadfast was released last year to capitalize on Aiken’s appearance on The Apprentice, but it faded away fast. He can’t get any sort of adult contemporary airplay anymore (unless it’s his 2003 hit, “Invisible”) and even though he still has a big fan base, they’re not buying his releases. He’ll likely get dropped and return to the theater. I would think that’s a more natural home for him at this point.

Fantasia Barrino recently released a new single entitled “Lose To Win”, which samples “Nightshift” by the Commodores, and it’s really underwhelming, getting mixed fan reaction online. Plus, the whole scandal’s she been going through right now concerning an Instagram photo and a statement about the gay community isn’t exactly going down well. You know what’ll be going down well? Her sales. I bet you saw that one coming. Her album will do OK in the short-term, but I think this will probably be the last one for her, at least on RCA. She may try to sign to an independent label afterwards, but I don’t see anything coming of it.

This is probably one of the more unlikely ones, but keep an eye out for a potential drop of Daughtry. Their last album, Break The Spell, was indeed certified Gold for shipments of 500,000 copies, but “Crawling Back To You” wasn’t a major hit (at least not to the effect that “It’s Not Over” and “Home” were) and the followup singles did even worse, becoming the band’s first mainstream releases to not crack the Hot 100. None of the three made the top 40 at CHR radio, which is a really bad sign as well. They may have one album left in them, or RCA could cut the cord after their tour with 3 Doors Down is over. It’s all up to them.

Let’s be honest, Sparkle wasn’t the big hit a lot of people were expecting given the unfortunate passing of Whitney Houston. As it turns out, the name Jordin Sparks wasn’t selling tickets either. Sparks still has a recording contract with RCA, but her last release, “I Am Woman”, was a big failure despite a new sound for the singer. I think she’ll release an album this year with perhaps one mid-charting single and another that doesn’t do well at all, then, get the cut. I don’t think it’s worth keeping her around; the dance genre doesn’t fit her voice, and if that’s what is going to continue to be big on the charts, she’ll get lost in the shuffle.

Alright, Glamberts, hold your horses for one second. I like both of Adam Lambert‘s albums. The singles, for the most part, did pretty well on my personal chart. However, radio doesn’t want him, and the general public, for the most part, can’t be fussed with him. Second album Trespassing debuted at #1 on the album chart. Impressive, fair enough. However, his first week sales were south of 80,000 copies and the album hasn’t been certified. Not great. “Better Than I Know Myself” was a minor Hot AC hit; “Never Close Our Eyes” did even less; the title track didn’t chart at any radio format. Boys and girls, it’s just not going to work out. Since the album’s promotion has ended, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an announcement from him early on in 2013. I can see him going to an exclusively dance label, but his success will be limited to the Dance/Club Play charts.

Casey James has seen a few minor entries on the Country chart, but nothing really notable. Second single “Crying On A Suitcase” has been in the top 50 for nearly thirty weeks, so it’s likely to get pulled soon. He’s just no match for Carrie Underwood. He has a second album in the works at this point. He may get signed again to a smaller label and try getting ranked on the Music Row charts. Something might work out for him there.

Alright, this is where it’s going to hurt. I see three additional people getting cut from last season. James Durbin is an obvious drop from Wind-up Records after his next album; “Love Me Bad” and “Stand Up” got some minor airplay, but nothing substantial. Nobody’s really interested in the Hinder/Nickelback-lite material at this point. Lauren Alaina still has a deal with 19/Mercury/Interscope and is in the process of finishing a second album, but considering how badly the three singles from her first album did on the Country survey, there’s no way she’ll make it to a third with the label. Lastly, Stefano Langone is still set to release a debut album with Hollywood Records in 2013, but does anyone even care about him anymore? “I’m On A Roll” dented the CHR top 50, but that was months ago. Next.

You may not necessarily agree with all of this, but just keep an open mind if one of these performers is a favorite of yours. Some things just weren’t meant to be, and this isn’t meant to be cruel. It’s just the music business nowadays. Too many music competition shows, not enough long-term superstars.


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