Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up newsletter, 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: Zach Bryan puts up undeniable star numbers with his new album release, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus square off with their simultaneous single releases, G-Eazy helps fans flash back to a different time in social media and more.
Zach Bryan Scores a Self-Titled Streaming Takeover
It’s fitting that, on the Billboard charts, the summer will end with a male country artist once again reaching new commercial heights. Capping off a season of such success stories for Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Jason Aldean and Oliver Anthony, Zach Bryan is poised to debut big with his self-titled new album following its release last Friday (Aug. 25), if early streaming numbers — particularly those for the Kacey Musgraves duet “I Remember Everything” — are any indication.
The 16-song Zach Bryan earned a whopping 54.4 million U.S. on-demand streams on its release date, according to Luminate – and while its daily streams dropped a bit over the next few days, the follow-up to last year’s American Heartbreak had cleared nine-digit total streams by the end of Sunday, and had earned nearly 147 million streams by the end of Monday. Meanwhile, “I Remember Everything,” in which Bryan and Musgraves narrate a romance that has slipped away long ago, has been the album’s breakout track on streaming services, earning 18.1 million on-demand plays over its first four days of release.
How high can “I Remember Everything” climb? On the Hot 100, Bryan has made it to No. 10 with “Something in the Orange,” and Musgraves has peaked at No. 60 with “Follow Your Arrow,” so both artists could earn new career highs with the same song. And after American Heartbreak peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 last year, Bryan, who announced a slew of stadium and arena dates for 2024 earlier this week, has his sights set on a potential first No. 1 on that chart. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
Miley Leading Selena in Disney Star Single Showdown
When pop heads noticed that pop stars Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus – once known for their respective starring roles on the ‘00s Disney teen shows Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana – were both releasing new singles on Friday (Aug. 25), it naturally brought out the spirit of competition between the longtime fans. The artists leaned into themselves on social media, with Cyrus reposting a video shared by one fan of her and Gomez trading barbs in an old episode of Hannah Montana where the latter guest starred, along with the message “@selenagomez and I are both dropping our new SINGLEs SOON…. I SAY WE #USEDTOBEYOUNG.” (“Single Soon” and “Used to Be Young” being the names of Gomez’s and Cyrus’ new releases, respectively.)
Well, the early returns are in, and so far it appears that Cyrus’ “Young” has the lead on Gomez’s “Single” in both sales and streams. Through its first four days of release, “Young” has racked up over 10.4 million official on-demand U.S. streams and over 15,000 digital song sales, according to Luminate, while “Single” has amassed over 8.1 million streams and nearly 6,400 in sales – leads of 28% and 144%, respectively. (Both should be due for debuts in the top half of the Hot 100 next week, though they will probably be overshadowed somewhat by Bryan and Musgraves’ even more resounding bow.)
And they’re not the only two kids-TV-to-adult-pop crossover stars with likely chart triumphs for next week. Ariana Grande, former Nickelodeon Victorious and Sam & Cat actress, has also seen huge spikes for her 2013 debut album Yours Truly upon its 10th anniversary, which she commemorated with a deluxe reissue and a series of commemorative festivities. The album skyrocketed to nearly 3.4 million official on-demand U.S. streams on Friday, up a resounding 946% from the previous Friday (323,000). – ANDREW UNTERBERGER
G-Eazy’s “Tumblr Girls” Rides the TikTok Nostalgia Wave
“pov: it’s 2014, ur 8 years old and see all the teenage girls with their Starbucks, PINK and striped crop tops and u wish u were a teenager!” Two weeks ago, a TikTok user posted this caption to a clip of themselves grooving out in their bedroom and earned 770,000 likes and 5,000 comments; the soundtrack to that adolescent memory was G-Eazy’s 2014 track “Tumblr Girls,” featuring Christoph Andersson, which has become a sort of nostalgia anthem in recent weeks as TikTok users look back on their mid-2010s memories.
G-Eazy actually isn’t featured in the trending part of the song; instead, it’s the song’s outro – crooned by the rapper’s frequent studio collaborator Andersson, with the lines “Never knew her name, they’re looking all the same to me/ They only chase the fame, there’s no one left to blame but me” – being highlighted in TikTok clips. As more videos of 2014 flashbacks accumulate, “Tumblr Girls” has shot up in overall listens, with weekly streams basically quadrupling from 552,000 the week ending Aug. 10 to 2.25 million two weeks later, according to Luminate.
“Tumblr Girls” never charted upon its debut, but it’s become a fan favorite — so much so that two years ago, G-Eazy released a sequel, “Running Wild (Tumblr Girls 2),” although TikTok has yet to scoop that one up in the same way. – JL
Beyoncé’s “XO” Gets Streams ‘Turned’ Up by Teen TV Sensation
We’ve written plenty on Billboard about the extensive artistic partnership Amazon Prime’s hit coming-of-age drama The Summer I Turned Pretty has developed with Taylor Swift, having featured over a dozen of Swift’s songs across its two seasons. But the show’s second season proved that it can also deploy the music of another pop icon currently on a globe-conquering world tour: Beyoncé, whose 2014 classic “XO” is featured in the finale’s climactic scene, resolving the long-building love triangle between the characters Belly (Lola Tung) and brothers Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) and and Conrad (Christopher Briney).
The scene had an unsurprising impact on viewers, who then proceeded to stream the Beyoncé self-titled ballad en masse. The song jumped from 388,000 official on-demand streams for the tracking week ending Aug. 17 (the day before the finale was released to streaming) to nearly 990,000 streams for the following week – a jump of 155%, according to Luminate. With Summer already having been renewed for a third season, you can bet that pop stars of all shapes and sizes will be angling to get a prime sync on the Prime smash. – AU
Q&A: Christine Rogerson, SVP of Business Operations at Vibee, on What’s Trending Up in Her World
A very hectic season in the live industry is coming to a close. What was Vibee’s focus over the summer?
Vibee spent the summer hosting and engaging with our fans at several festival integrations like Lollapalooza in Chicago, Day Trip in Long Beach, TidalWave in Atlantic City, and BeachIt! in Virginia Beach. We were also in the thick of our planning processes for the monumental U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere run of shows in Las Vegas, Lionel Richie’s Dancing on the Sand in the Bahamas, the inaugural EDSea cruise, and Tiesto’s Chasing Sunsets in Cabo San Lucas.
Can you speak a little bit about the newly announced immersive U2 fan portal and what attendees can expect?
Fans are in for a real treat with the Zoo Station fan portal. The portal was developed by Vibee in collaboration with Gavin Friday, who is U2’s longtime creative director, and with insight and input from the band. Fans will move throughout 12,000 square feet of immersive exhibits over two floors. Key attractions include the incredible Anton Corbijn Gallery featuring photos and videos from the famed photographer as well as the Zoo Station Cinema which is curated by The Edge himself! For those fans who love memorabilia, the U2 Pop-Up Shop will be a must visit with a variety of collectibles, including a capsule collection of limited edition exclusive U2:UV items. It’s truly a special experience for newer or those dedicated fans of U2.
What industry-wide trends did you notice this summer in terms of the evolution of immersive fan experiences?
Right now, fans are still prioritizing entertainment and travel in their personal budgets but, as discretionary dollars become more precious, we have to ensure that we are presenting people with standout experiences that meet or exceed their needs and expectations on multiple levels. People are looking for memory-making opportunities and bucket list moments. As a destination experience company, Vibee is seeking out those ways that we can engage with fans, curate an experience, weave in a story, and connect great music with amazing destinations. The feedback that we received from fans is that they were searching out those unique experiences and shared moments at the events that they were able to attend. We aim to deliver on that.
Fill in the blank: in the next few years, concertgoers will be surprised by ______.
…the ways in which immersive experiences continue to enhance live music events, which is exactly what Vibee is committed to accomplishing through our artist partnerships, thoughtful curation, destination selection, and bespoke inclusions. – JL
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