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ADD LIB — Brace For (CHR) Impact (March 14, 2017)

Welcome to Add Lib, a new weekly report on POP! Goes The Charts that’s mad about CHR/Top 40 adds, based on station data provided by Mediabase 24/7 and Add Board. This week: it’s raining, it’s pouring, but Nicki Minaj and Stargate are scoring with pop panel breakouts, while the usual suspects keep things busy in the top ten. Time to get wet (no, not that Get Wet) and splash around with some station stats:

IN THE P!NK: They’ve been hitting as writers and producers on the CHR chart since the fall of 2000, but Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen weren’t content with just that. So, the guys from Norway, together as Stargate, are now on the verge of their first top 40 hit as artists. “Waterfall”, featuring pop superstars P!nk and Sia, has a good start with the (star)gatekeepers of the format this week, launching with a very healthy 41 adds — the Most Added song of the week. Coincidentally, this was the week in 2000 (the 3/17/00 issue of Radio & Records, to be exact) that P!nk’s debut hit, “There You Go”, first reached the top 40 at the format. So, here she goes again! Stations in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco are among the 41, so watch out for this song and its potential fast ascent up the survey.

Two of Stargate’s recent compositions are currently top 40 on the format: “Issues” (#14) by Julia Michaels, and “Run Up” (#35) by Major Lazer featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR and Nicki Minaj. The duo both co-wrote and co-produced the singles. (More on Minaj below!) No word on when any additional music by the two men will be coming out, regardless of whether it’s under their own name or a production for another act. Either way, we’ll be looking out for it.

Not many Norwegian acts are able to break the U.S. charts, though a-ha, M2M and Madcon are among them. Of course, a-ha is the most successful of the bunch, as “Take On Me” (driven by its iconic music video) spent three weeks at #1 on Radio & Records in October 1985. They can stick to drawing comic books; I’ll stick to drawing conclusions for the pop world.

“TEARS” FOR FEARS: Everybody wants to rule the adds report, but just one song can make it to the top. However, a top five placing on Tuesday is still worth shouting about. Rapper and singer Nicki Minaj sows some seeds and comes up with a winner, “Regret In Your Tears”. It’s new on 23 stations, good for the fourth Most Added song of the week. “Regret” is one of three songs that Minaj issued on Friday as a part of a surprise release; one of them, “No Frauds” (with Drake and Lil Wayne), is the Most Added record at Rhythmic and Urban radio this week. That song addresses two recent diss records by Remy Ma, who reached a peak of #45 at the CHR/Top 40 format last year with “All The Way Up”, a collaboration with Fat Joe. All three of Minaj’s tracks remain in the top 40 overall on iTunes.

Raised in Queens, she first hit the CHR/Top 40 chart as a main-credited act in June 2010 with “Your Love”, which got as high as #21 that August. She’s the only act with two songs in this week’s top ten Most Added tracks at the format, which also includes her feature on Jason Derulo‘s “Swalla”. Needless to say, radio is head over heels for her once again. (No, Tears For Fears isn’t making a CHR comeback… at least not yet. I’m looking at you, The Weeknd.)

MOST ADDED — THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
STARGATE featuring P!NK and SIA“Waterfall” (RCA)
THE CHAINSMOKERS & COLDPLAY“Something Just Like This” (Disruptor/Columbia)
LORDE, “Green Light” (Lava/Republic)
NICKI MINAJ, “Regret In Your Tears” (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic)
ZEDD & ALESSIA CARA, “Stay” (Def Jam-Interscope)
AXWELL & INGROSSO featuring KID INK, “I Love You” (Def Jam)
JASON DERULO featuring NICKI MINAJ and TY DOLLA $IGN, “Swalla” (Beluga Heights/Warner Bros.)
FLO RIDA & 99 PERCENT, “Cake” (APG/Atlantic)
CALVIN HARRIS featuring FRANK OCEAN & MIGOS, “Slide” (Columbia)
MARTIN GARRIX & DUA LIPA, “Scared To Be Lonely” (RCA)

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ADD LIB — Brace For (CHR) Impact (March 7, 2017)

Welcome to Add Lib, a new weekly report on POP! Goes The Charts that’s mad about CHR/Top 40 adds, based on station data provided by Mediabase 24/7 and Add Board. This week: Lorde hits the big board, “Swalla” gets added to the Top 40 Thesaurus and we dive into the usual trivia bag of tunes. So, take a break and grab some “Cake”, either song or pastry, and grab my hand as we go for miles on the FM dial:

OH MY, LORDE: “Green Light” means go, and Lorde certainly hits the gas, finishing the Record Race with the Most Added title at CHR/Top 40 radio this week. Her song receives 116 adds in its debut frame. That total crushes her prior highest one-week add total for “Team”, which scored 43 adds (MB 11/19/13) on impact.

That total also establishes “Green” as Lava’s biggest impact week of the Mediabase era, running from August 2006 onward, and it falls just short of the label’s biggest weeks in the PPW era: 134 adds (5/18/01 R&R) for Sugar Ray’s “When It’s Over” and 140 adds (4/21/00 R&R) for Matchbox Twenty’s “Bent”. (Both of those releases occurred during a time when Lava was distributed by Atlantic Records.)

Combining all reported stations across North America this week, “Green” picks up nearly 280 adds. Good Lorde. (No, I haven’t used up all my religious puns yet, just you wait…)

DERULO AND BEHOLD: When he’s not singing his name, Jason Derulo is popularizing words that may soon become top 40 hits on Merriam-Webster’s countdown. “Swalla”, a variation on the word “swallow”, or so I think, drinks down 25 more stations on the panel this week, good for fourth Most Added. The song features Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign. Derulo’s biggest impact week remains the 156 stations (3/17/15 MB) he achieved for “Want To Want Me”, which spent a week at the top that June. By the way, the only other song that comes to mind that got swallowed by the CHR charts was “Jupiter (Swallow The Moon)”, a #42 entry (7/30/99 R&R) for singer/songwriter Jewel.

Besides his current single, Derulo recently moved his Future History imprint from RCA to his current home, Warner Bros., after one unsuccessful single (“Chingalinga”) by Alyxx Dione in 2015. (I know what you’re saying, “Who?” or “Only Adam would remember that one…”) Let’s hope the actual future looks bright for the group.

ELECTRIC “SLIDE”: Ooh, it’s shocking… no, not you Marcia Griffiths, I’ll get to your bop later. I’m referring to Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean and Migos, who team up for “Slide”, grabbing another 24 new stations this week. It’s good for the fifth Most Added slot. Harris’s last top 40 single, “My Way”, made its way to #11 in October, and was pulled quickly afterwards when it didn’t test well. However, with a run of nine top ten singles at the format since 2011, as well as the usual sales and streaming power, I don’t think he’s hurting. Harris has yet to announce a new studio album, even with the handful of singles he’s issued since the summer of 2015.

Though this “Slide” is not a hot Goo Goo Dolls remake, I think we can appreciate both songs and chart eras. That song received 52 adds (10/2/98 R&R) on impact, eventually settling into the #1 spot for two weeks in early 1999. It’s electric!

THE LADY IS A CHAMP: For the first time in two months, Lady Gaga‘s “Million Reasons” has a very reasonable week in the Most Added column. The hit is new at 22 stations, which makes it the seventh Most Added song at the format this week. It continues to benefit from sale pricing across various online stores, though a number of outlets on the panel are still showing resistance when it comes to adding it or converting it to a higher rotation. C’mon, kids, it’s not that hard… she played the Super Bowl, for Pete’s sake. Actually, I don’t know any Petes who are struggling with a decision on the record. Eh, you know who you are.

Here’s something more positive to go gaga over: “Million” is the performer’s biggest single at the format since “Do What U Want” (featuring R. Kelly) spent three non-consecutive weeks at #7 in December 2013 and January 2014. It’s moving! Now, who stole my pink hat?

MOST ADDED — THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
LORDE, “Green Light” (Lava/Republic)
ZEDD & ALESSIA CARA, “Stay” (Def Jam-Interscope)
THE CHAINSMOKERS & COLDPLAY“Something Just Like This” (Disruptor/Columbia)
JASON DERULO featuring NICKI MINAJ and TY DOLLA $IGN, “Swalla” (Beluga Heights/Warner Bros.)
CALVIN HARRIS featuring FRANK OCEAN & MIGOS, “Slide” (Columbia)
LINKIN PARK featuring KIIARA, “Heavy” (Warner Bros.)
LADY GAGA, “Million Reasons” (Streamline/Interscope)
AXWELL & INGROSSO featuring KID INK, “I Love You” (Def Jam)
FLO RIDA & 99 PERCENT, “Cake” (APG/Atlantic)
BIG SEAN, “Bounce Back” (G.O.O.D./Def Jam)

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RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (March 5, 2017)

CHR/Top 40 Chart - March 5, 2017

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 CassidyShawn Mullins, Sean Carter (Jay-Z), Sean Combs (P. Diddy), Sean PaulJay 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).

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Everything’s Coming Up “Roses”: Flower Power In The Top Ten

Florists with a chorus.

Florists with a chorus.

The smell of sweet success on the pop radio survey smells a lot like “Roses”, and that is also the name of the current single by a DJ duo who call themselves The Chainsmokers and a singer who goes by ROZES. Currently in the top ten on the building chart, a pretty big achievement in itself, the single recently surpassed the peak of the duo’s “#Selfie”, a defining novelty hit from 2014. So, if you haven’t done so already, feel free to take them off the “one-hit wonder” list, but don’t rule out a “two-hit wonder” yet. We’ll see just how high the song goes in the new year. Of course, this isn’t the first “Rose” title to go this far at the CHR/Pop format.

Now, many “Rose” song titles pre-date the beginning of the Radio & Records airplay chart from the fall of 1973. In 1942 alone, six “rose” titles hit the top ten on Billboard’s sales chart, and another four ranked there in 1949. Needless to say, we can’t cover every single one, or you’d be reading this post for a while. In just the 15 or so years before R&R existed, we had these:

“Paper Roses”, Anita Bryant (#5, 1960)
“San Antonio Rose”, Floyd Cramer (#8, 1961)
“Roses Are Red (My Love)”, Bobby Vinton (#1, 1962)
“Ramblin’ Rose”, Nat “King” Cole (#2, 1962)
“Sally, Go ‘Round The Roses”, The Jaynetts (#2, 1963)
“18 Yellow Roses”, Bobby Darin (#10, 1963)
“Red Roses For A Blue Lady”, Vic Dana (#10, 1965)
“(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden”, Lynn Anderson (#3, 1971)
“Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose?”, Tony Orlando and Dawn (#3, 1973)
“Stop And Smell The Roses”, Mac Davis (#9, 1974)** (reached #15 on R&R)

There’s definitely a few classics in there. As far as the CHR/Pop radio archives are concerned, here are the tracks that “Roses” is a step away (#11 rolling chart, to date) from joining in the bouquet of beats of the R&R/Mediabase 24/7 era:

“Paper Roses”, Marie Osmond (#5, 1973)
Osmond’s remake of Bryant’s 1960 hit became her biggest solo entry on the pop survey, reaching #5. However, she did hit the top of the country survey three times in 1985 and 1986, two of those being duets. Her newest effort is due to be released on March 25.

“The Rose”, Bette Midler (#1 for one week, 1980)
Midler’s song missed the top of the Hot 100, but it did reach the summit of the pop radio chart, making it one of five songs from a film to make it to #1 in 1980. Midler would return to the top ten in 1989 with “Wind Beneath My Wings” from the movie Beaches.

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, Poison (#1 for two weeks, 1988)
Released as the third single from Open Up and Say… Ahh!, this ballad became hugely successful after the modest run of their last single, “Fallen Angel”. They last hit the pop radio list in 1993 with “Stand”. Leader Bret Michaels continues to perform solo today.

“Bed Of Roses”, Bon Jovi (#4, 1993)
After the title track from Keep The Faith barely missed the top ten in late 1992, this powerful ballad quickly found itself there and in the top five by late February. It’s also one of their longest singles to date; its radio edit runs about four minutes and 45 seconds.

“Kiss From A Rose”, Seal (#1 for eight weeks, 1995)
What a career single this was, a song that didn’t perform well overseas when it was initially released the year prior. Then, Batman Forever helped it fly to the top of the charts around the globe. The British performer’s latest album, 7, came out a few weeks ago.

“Roses”, Outkast (#5, 2004)
Though it landed a few spots away from the #1 heights of “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move”, the third release to be issued from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below still did some damage on several radio formats. It remains their last single to chart here as a duo.

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Gag Me With A Tune: Is “#Selfie” The New “Valley Girl”?

Rally from the Valley.

Rally from the Valley.

Music Video:

Does it cross your mind that the self-portrait picture you took on your phone isn’t colored correctly or that it’s not getting enough attention? You may relate to the issues in “#Selfie”, by New York dance duo The Chainsmokers. The hard-hitting track combined with a nasal vocal by an uncredited female performer is all the rage online and is swiftly crossing to pop radio. Take a selfie of the chart and you’ll see that it just entered the top 50 with some giant gains. It’s been drawing comparisons to a novelty hit that was released in 1982, “Valley Girl” by Frank and Moon Unit Zappa. So, is it worth all the camera time and will it perform similarly? Like, for sure. Totally.

“#Selfie”, as the title suggests, concerns itself with a teenage female perfecting a snapshot while dancing in the club, as well as judging other patrons and dealing with crazy friends. It features a number of funny one liners, like “It’s not even summer; why does the DJ keep on playing “Summertime Sadness”?” and “Can you guys help me pick a filter? I don’t know if I should go with XX-Pro or Valencia. I want to look tan.” Whether it’s meant to be a parody or not, it sure is hilarious, and for three minutes, you can lose it getting your groove on to the solid beat of the record while also strutting a pose for the world to see over Facebook and Twitter. #MovingOnNow

Solid Gold Performance:

While “Valley Girl” introduces a similar concept with that affected SoCal vocal as performed by 14-year-old Moon Unit Zappa, “Valley” is a rock song that splits the monologue with a sung bridge and chorus by her father, Frank Zappa. It, too, brings the quick quips like “Barf me out!” and “Gag me with a spoon!”, as well as the daily adventures of a teenager at the mall, criticizing her English teacher (“Mr. Bufu!”) and feeling embarrassed about her “grody” toe nails. There’s not so much a focus on a particular event or item as there is in “#Selfie”, but “Valley” helped Valspeak to expand to a wider audience. In addition, the film Valley Girl was released the next year.

Unlike “#Selfie”, “Valley” was out during a more conservative era for music; big ballads by acts like Air Supply and Chicago were still ranking high, and more progressive dance and R&B records weren’t crossing over easily. Taking a slow ride up the Hot 100 through the summer, it peaked at #32 for two weeks in September 1982. It was the second highest ranking novelty single of the year behind “Take Off” (#16) by Bob and Doug McKenzie. It would be the father and daughter pairing’s sole top 40 entry. The elder Zappa continued to make albums until his death in 1993, though he never charted on the Hot 100 again. The younger Zappa went into the occasional acting and writing role, and is probably best known as the ex-wife of Matchbox Twenty guitarist Paul Doucette.

I’m not saying the same fate is going to happen for The Chainsmokers; they’re still young and have a production career to fall back should this be their only song to receive the mainstream appeal. They’ve created remixes for acts like Cash Cash, Icona Pop and The Wanted, all of which have landed on digital EPs. CHR radio itself is in a far more diverse place than it was years ago, and thus, injecting a little fun into the mix can only help. The two are also quite active on social media, which certainly wasn’t around when “Valley” was out, nor was the accuracy of airplay, sales and streaming data (or jukebox rotations back in 1982.) It could’ve been much bigger under today’s technology and formula changes. We’ll never know, but we do know that novelty hits sell and take off fast.

Stay tuned to see what kind of digital and airplay reaction “#Selfie” will experience over the next few weeks as more teens find out about it. Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have a hit on their hands, although it might take another radio department at a major label to increase their results. (The duo is currently on the independent Dim Mak Records.) Even if the “Valley Girl” comparison isn’t as noticeable to you, maybe “Let me take a selfie” will be equivalent to this decade’s version of “Shake it like a Polaroid picture” from OutKast‘s “Hey Ya!” Who knows?

This is only the beginning of what could be a larger phenomenon and a once-in-a-lifetime hit for the two performers. Don’t forget to take a selfie of where you were when you first heard it. (Or not.)

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