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. A very Happy Mother’s Day from PGTC to everybody celebrating out there, including my own Mom, my first blog fan and the best supporter out there! Now, it is time to let this baby into the world, give it some love and let it grow up to be a fantastic young pop chart report. (Someone pass the tissues!) Here is why CHR stands for can’t help reminiscing…
THE “LIKE” SPIKE: For the third week in a row, pop and R&B star Bruno Mars orbits around the #1 spot with his international smash “That’s What I Like”. The video for it will likely be closing in on 400 million views in the coming week, as it recently surpassed the 300 million stream mark on Spotify. (That’s a whole lot of millions, and they aren’t in my wallet. Can we change that?) The party is nearly over for Mars, as he’ll pass the baton next week to “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay. The song holds at #2 for the second week. By the way, the last time the top two tracks in the nation both had the word “like” in their titles was in October 2011, when “Moves Like Jagger” (#1) by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera and “Someone Like You” (#2) by Adele were ruling the radio. See, kids, liking is cool in any era.
Beyond those top two records, there isn’t much to “like” about the titles in this week’s chart. One of last week’s top 40 entries, “Body Like A Back Road” by Country crossover star Sam Hunt, is up 40-39 with a smaller gain in spins. At the present time, no additional titles with a likable sentiment are impacting at the format. However, the season is still young, and that’s certainly something to like.
NIALL AND ERROR: Three members of One Direction gone solo are bouncing around the Top 40 chart this week, but just one has a debut record, and it happens to be this week’s highest new entry. Niall Horan‘s “Slow Hands” jumps from outside the top 50, making a lofty entrance at #35. This is the Irish singer and songwriter’s second solo hit on the pop survey, with “This Town” reaching a #12 peak earlier this year. With 60% of the boy band in the top 40, we’re very close to achieving a week in which all of their original members find themselves somewhere in the top 40 with solo hits. This kind of occurrence has only happened once on the CHR list. I think you’re aware of which influential band pulled it off the last time. (Hint: it was an early Christmas/Hanukkah gift in 1974.) Look out for the debut of member Liam Payne‘s “Strip That Down”, featuring Quavo, on Friday. It’s sure to be a hot tune, so load up on those flame emojis.
Now, the only issue with this equation is that ZAYN‘s “Still Got Time”, which features PARTYNEXTDOOR, takes a nasty fall of 11 notches this week from its peak of #20. Needless to say, that single will likely be beneath the top 40 next week, and he would need to have a follow-up on the horizon in the next few weeks. Also, with Louis Tomlinson not announcing any singles as of late, though I presume he’s been working on material, he too would need to build up some buzz before properly launching some music here. It will take some teamwork, between the clients, their labels and the gatekeepers/programmers at the format, but I think it can be done. (It would be amazing if it happens!)
SWING OUT, SISTERS: Two breakouts on this week’s pop chart are by two sisters who found a way and said what they wanted to say, at least as far their current hits. The higher of the pair lands at #37: “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus, her ninth top 40 hit. No, it is not a hot Hole remake, but that “Malibu” hit #35 (2/12/99 R&R) and served as the rock group’s only successful crossover single. Well, I don’t think Cyrus was jamming to Courtney Love and company at age six, but who knows? In any case, that debut is bolstered by first day hourly airplay for the afternoon of its release. However, with a chart-topping bow on iTunes, and plenty of streaming during the last few days, this California confection is sure to strum up the charts and stick around for the summer.
Younger sister Noah Cyrus crawls into the countdown at #49 with “Stay Together”. You might recall that this entry was featured in the Add Lib report from about three weeks ago, and it continues to gain at the format, thanks in part to an upcoming appearance at a summer event sponsored by radio giant iHeartMedia. (In fact, both sisters will be there.) Previous single “Make Me (Cry)”, featuring Labrinth, reached #19 earlier this year. Two sisters debuting with separate solo chart entries in the same week is definitely a rarity. We’ll see if the panel can make room for both of them in the top tier of the chart very soon.