The song, released Sept. 29 on DreamWorks/RCA Records from the Trolls Band Together soundtrack, due Oct. 20 (ahead of the movie’s expected Nov. 17 premiere), starts at No. 12 on Adult Pop Airplay, No. 13 on Adult Contemporary and No. 16 on Pop Airplay, encompassing airplay Sept. 29-Oct. 5.
(The charts reflect plays on reporting adult pop, adult contemporary and pop-formatted stations, respectively. Airplay is monitored by Mediabase and provided to Billboard by Luminate.)
On both Adult Pop Airplay, which began in Billboard’s pages in March 1996, and Pop Airplay, which originated in October 1992, the entrances are the highest ever for a song by a group. On Adult Contemporary, the arrival is the highest for a group, excluding holiday fare, since Luminate data began powering the chart in July 1993.
Notably, participating pop and adult pop iHeartMedia and Audacy stations played “Better Place” every other hour during the song’s release day, while Cumulus reporters spun it hourly over eight hours that day.
Upon the chart start of “Better Place,” the song is *NSYNC’s highest charting career hit on Adult Top 40, its No. 12 opening rank surpassing the group’s prior No. 19 best with “Bye Bye Bye” in 2000.
On Adult Contemporary, the act has tallied three top 10s, including the Richard Marx-penned 13-week No. 1 “This I Promise You” in 2000-01.
On Pop Airplay, *NSYNC logged has nine top 10s, from “I Want You Back” in 1998 through “Gone” in 2002. Two songs hit No. 1: “Bye Bye Bye” (for 10 weeks) and “It’s Gonna Be Me” (five), both in 2000.
Meanwhile, the group’s Justin Timberlake bullets with two songs in the current Pop Airplay top 20, as “Keep Going Up!” with Timbaland and Nelly Furtado rises to No. 20. Timberlake notches his first top 20 entry on the chart in three-and-a-half years; as a soloist, he boasts 18 career Pop Airplay top 10s, including eight No. 1s.
Beyond the debut of “Better Place” on individual-format airplay charts, the song is in line to debut on other rankings (dated Oct. 14), including the all-genre multimetric Billboard Hot 100, highlights of which will be announced Monday, Oct. 9.
Ahead of the track’s release, Timberlake shared on Instagram a behind-the-scenes look at the quintet back in the studio. “So many stars aligned and that’s why I hit y’all and was like, ‘Hey, something came up,’” he is heard telling the act. “If we do this song, it’s a love letter to our fans. I would be honored to have the group on this song.”
All charts dated Oct. 14 will update on Billboard.com Tuesday, Oct. 10.
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