Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.
This week: Miley Cyrus’ runaway 2023 hit leads to gains not only for her whole discography but for a fellow ’10s superstar’s own 2013 smash, Sabrina Carpenter takes the next step towards crossover pop success, and Baby Tate has a TikTok breakout with an old song that interpolates a much older song.
“Flowers” Success Pollenates Miley Cyrus‘ Whole Back Catalog (And One Bruno Mars Hit)
Miley Cyrus‘ “Flowers” is in bloom on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, becoming just the second single in her storied pop career to top the chart, and her first to debut on top. It does so with some of the most spectacular first-full-week numbers of the decade so far: 52.6 million streams, 70,000 digital song sales and 33.5 million radio airplay audience impressions, according to Luminate.
But it’s not just the Columbia-released “Flowers” that’s blossoming this week — Cyrus’ entire back catalog is growing in the sunlight of her new release. Even without accounting for “Flowers,” Cyrus’ discography is up from 20.7 weekly million official on-demand U.S. streams in the tracking week ending Jan. 12 to 34.2 million the following week (ending Jan. 19), a 65% gain.
Read more in our full article on Miley’s streaming boom (and its Bruno Mars spillover) here.
Sabrina Carpenter Nails Down a Breakout Hot 100 Hit
Six months after releasing her Island Records debut Emails I Can’t Send, Sabrina Carpenter has her biggest hit from the pop project. “Nonsense” debuts at No. 75 on this week’s Hot 100 after making a pronounced impact on streaming charts since the beginning of 2023, and its weekly streaming totals are quickly rising.
“Nonsense,” on which Carpenter sings about feeling so flustered around a significant other that she gets tongue-tied, started going viral on TikTok over the past month. Credit goes to a combination of a sped-up version of the rhythmic pop-rock track and a cheeky dance routine set to its second verse (“I’m talkin’ all around the clock / I’m talkin’ hope nobody knocks / I’m talkin’ opposite of soft / I’m talkin’ wild, wild thoughts,” Carpenter sings). The song’s momentum was also helped by a well-choreographed live performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that was widely shared by pop fans around social media.
TikTok Cheers Along Baby Tate’s “Mickey” Reinvention
Choreographer-turned-accidental pop star Toni Basil topped the Hot 100 back in 1983 with “Mickey,” a gender-flipped cover of ’70s U.K. glam-rockers Racer’s “Kitty” turned into a cheerleading stomp-along (with help from an unforgettable music video, an early MTV staple). Atlanta rapper-singer Baby Tate introduced another step in the song’s evolution in 2016 with “Hey Mickey,” a bouncy trap banger keyed around a sultrier rendition of the classic “Mickey” hook.
“Hey Mickey” had limited commercial impact upon its release, but is making waves in 2023 thanks to — what else? — the song going viral on TikTok, with hundreds of thousands of videos of users miming along to its refrain, or posting it over various clip montages, with some videos receiving likes in the millions. It’s led to the song also detonating on streaming, with its weekly official on-demand U.S. streams growing from barely over 2,000 in mid-December to over 2.3 million for the week ending Jan. 19. And it’s still climbing — meaning Tate might be coming for Basil’s head “Mickey” cheerleader status soon enough. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
PartyNextDoor Finds a PartyNineYearsAgo With Viral ‘Her Way’
Earlier this month, PartyNextDoor returned with “Her Old Friends,” a new single that followed the R&B star’s 2022 singles “No Fuss” and “Sex in the Porsche.” Yet none of those recent tracks are burning up streaming services quite like “Her Way,” the slinky cut from his 2014 project PartyNextDoor Two, which has gotten the sped-up TikTok treatment and soared back into the public consciousness.
Over the past month, “Her Way” has increased its weekly U.S. on-demand streaming total by nearly tenfold — 498,000 streams during the week ending Dec. 22, up to 4.93 million streams during the week ending Jan. 19, according to Luminate. PND himself is playing into the revival: days after releasing “Her Old Friends,” the singer-songwriter released an official “Her Way [Sped Up]” version of the track. With more music expected from PartyNextDoor this year, “Her Way” could serve as an unexpected lead-in to a potential new project. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
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