‘Friends’ Theme ‘I’ll Be There for You’ Nearly Triples in Streams Following Matthew Perry’s Death

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: A shocked fanbase pays homage to the late Matthew Perry by streaming the song most associated with him, the hit Five Nights at Freddy‘s film adaptation scores huge gains for a near-decade-old fan song and viral teen rapper Lil Mabu returns.

Listeners “There For” Late ‘Friends’ Star With Streams of Beloved ’90s Theme Song

The entire world was stunned by the news on Saturday night (Oct. 29) that comedic actor Matthew Perry had died at the age of 54. The TV and film star had become a pop culture icon in the ’90s and ’00s, with lead turns in hit movies like The Whole Nine Yards and 17 Again and TV comedies like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But of course, Perry will forever be best remembered for his role as Chandler Bing on the epochal sitcom Friends, which he appeared on for a full decade as one of the show’s six central characters, earning an Emmy nomination and global stardom.

So eternal is the connection between Perry and Friends that, following his death, fans flocked to streaming services to play the song they still most associated with him: The Rembrandts‘ “I’ll Be There for You,” which served as the credits song for all 10 years of Friends‘ NBC run and also became a crossover radio hit, topping Billboard‘s Pop Airplay chart for eight weeks in 1995. According to Luminate, the song garnered a combined 117,000 official on-demand U.S. streams over Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 — the two days following Perry’s death — up 184% from the previous Sunday and Monday. (It also sold nearly 500 copies over those two days, up from a negligible amount the week before.)

It’s one of many beautiful tributes that fans have played to the actor in the days following his passing — which should continue to reverberate for as long as viewers across generations need either comfort-streaming TV and/or mid-’90s pop-rock perfection. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER

Near-Decade-Old ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Theme Song Scares Up Millions of Streams

Last weekend, Five Nights at Freddy’s — the horror film based on the popular video game franchise, featuring family-restaurant animatronic mascots coming alive and wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting security guard — became a surprise box office behemoth, grossing nearly $90 million in North America over the pre-Halloween weekend. And along with the film’s success at the multiplex, its vocoder-heavy, go-for-broke electro-rock theme, also titled “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” is soaring on streaming services.

Actually, the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” song is nearly a decade old: The Living Tombstone, an Internet-beloved gaming band made up of Sam Haft and Yoav Landau, released the track in 2014, a few weeks after the first Five Nights at Freddy’s video game was released. As a nod toward longtime fans of the Freddy’s franchise, The Living Tombstone’s anthem was placed at the start of the end credits of the film adaptation, where it was revisited by video game enthusiasts and discovered by unfamiliar moviegoers.

As a result, The Living Tombstone’s track experienced a significant streaming uptick upon the film’s release: in the first five days (or five nights, if you will) of Five Nights at Freddy’s being in movie theaters (Oct. 27-31), the song scored 3.05 million U.S. on-demand streams, a 618% increase compared to the previous Friday-through-Tuesday tracking period (424,000 streams), according to Luminate. Will there be more nights at Freddy’s, considering how well the film has performed? With sequel possibilities, The Living Tombstone better get moving on some follow-up themes. – JASON LIPSHUTZ

Lil Mabu & Chriseanrock Spin Blueface Beef Into Streaming Gold With “Mr. Take Ya Bitch” 

Following in the footsteps of Lil Uzi Vert & Nicki Minaj’s Natalie Nunn-referencing “Endless Fashion” and JaidynAlexis’ viral hit “Barbie,” the Zeus Network industrial complex has spawned yet another streaming smash. “Mr. Take Ya Bitch,” a fiery duet between “Mathematical Disrespect” rapper Lil Mabu and Chriseanrock, a former partner of “Thotiana” rapper Blueface, is making eye-popping streaming gains with each passing week. 

According to Luminate, “Mr. Take Ya Bitch,” has earned just over 7.1 million official on-demand U.S. streams during the period of Oct. 20-26, a staggering 165.5% increase from 2.69 million streams during the period of Oct. 13-19. The new track is the result of a weeks-long marketing campaign that found Mabu inserting himself into the seemingly endless drama between Blueface and Chrisean. In short, Blueface and Chrisean – a former track star turned Internet personality — dated from 2020-2023, welcomed their first child together two months ago, and co-starred in a two-season reality TV series chronicling their turbulent relationship. The pair’s toxic behavior, in tandem with their commitment to livestreaming virtually every second of their lives, has captivated viewers across social media, and now, “Mr. Take Ya Bitch” has enraptured that same audience. 

Lil Mabu first teased his link-up with Chriseanrock in an Oct. 12 TikTok, set to the chorus of Pop Smoke and Lil Tjay’s “Mood Swings.” A TikTok announcing the track’s full release and showcasing the most viral parts of both rapper’s verses arrived on Oct. 16. “I’m Mr. Take Yo B—ch, take her on trip/ Fly her to New York, sign my name all on her t–s/ Yes, I took his lady/ I like blue faces, so I took his baby,” Mabu raps, throwing direct shots at Blueface. Chrisean then spits, “F—k Blueface, I had to find a new bae/ Yeah, aight, with Mabu, f—k what you say/ I might put it in his face cause he want a taste/ This that newborn p—y, make my water break.” 

Thanks to the social pull of both artists – as well as a burgeoning dance challenge set to Mabu’s chorus – the official TikTok sound for the initial snippet has garnered over 24,000 posts, while the official sound for the full song has collected over 608,300 posts. The song’s official music video has also amassed over 14 million views on YouTube in just two weeks, already surpassing the view count for the “Mathematical Disrespect” video – and that track hit No. 90 on the Billboard Hot 100

With “Mr. Take Ya Bitch” having reached the top of both the Bubbling Under Hot 100 and the TikTok Billboard Top 50, it looks like Lil Mabu’s second Hot 100 hit could be right around the corner. – KYLE DENIS

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