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: Streaming audiences are, like, in love with the breakout hit from the Mean Girls musical adaptation, while a new hit may break singer-songwriter Benson Boone to his widest audience yet, and internet personality Honestav is on his way to an unusual hybrid of a viral hit.
Reneé Rapp & Megan Thee Stallion Parlay ‘Mean Girls’ Success into Streaming Hit
It looks like Reneé Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion have made fetch happen. “Not My Fault” — a frothy pop-rap link-up between the movie musical Regina George and the self-proclaimed “Black Regina George” – is making major waves at streaming thanks to the box office success of the new Mean Girls musical and the duo’s pitch-perfect Saturday Night Live performance (Jan. 20).
According to Luminate, “Not My Fault” earned just over three million official on-demand streams during the week of Jan. 12-18, marking a whopping 96% increase from 1.5 million streams during the week of Dec. 29-Jan. 4. “Not My Fault” arrived on DSPs on Dec. 15, about a month before the movie hit theaters on Jan. 12, so the film’s premiere accounts for a significant chunk of that streaming bump.
That bump looks poised to continue growing, based on some of the most recent streaming tallies for the soundtrack single. Last Sunday (Jan. 14), “Not My Fault” garnered just over 380,000 streams. Following that SNL performance – which featured choreography from the music video and an introduction from the OG Regina George, Rachel McAdams – that figure jumped by 33% to over 510,000 streams on Sunday, Jan. 21.
The official music video for “Not My Fault” currently boasts over 6.5 million views on YouTube, and the official TikTok sound plays in over 22,700 posts on the platform. With a box office-topping film and a viral performance in its corner, “Not My Fault” could very well be the first Billboard Hot 100 entry of Reneé Rapp’s career. — KYLE DENIS
A “Beautiful” Breakthrough for Benson Boone
Washington singer-songwriter Benson Boone has flirted with crossover success a couple times already in his career, cameoing in the lower stretches of the Hot 100 with “Ghost Town” (No. 100) in 2021 and “In the Stars” (No. 82) in 2022. But this year, Boone looks to be well on his way to the fastest-starting hit of his still-young career, thanks to the power ballad “Beautiful Things.”
The yearning ballad was one that Boone teased extensively for a month and a half on his TikTok page before its release on Friday (Jan. 19), with snippets that previewed the song’s explosive climax. It built heavy anticipation for the song, which blew up almost immediately upon its debut, as the song bounded to the top of the iTunes chart and finished towards the top of both Spotify’s and Apple Music’s daily charts for its day of release.
In all, the song has amassed over 8.6 million official on-demand U.S. streams through its first four days (Jan. 19-22) of its release, according to early reports from Luminate, as well as nearly 4,800 digital song sales. Those are both phenomenal numbers for half a debut week — particularly for an artist without extensive commercial history behind them — and they suggest a Hot 100 debut that should pretty easily outpace Boone’s first two entries on the chart, and one with the potential to grow into one of the biggest breakout hits of the new year if it can keep up its early momentum. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Honestav Pulls On TikTok’s Heartstrings With Fast-Rising “I’d Rather Overdose”
Honestav & Z’s “I’d Rather Overdose” growing into a streaming hit by way of a TikTok trend – and there’s no dancing involved this time.
Known by many on the app for his portrayal of the “broke boyfriend” character, Honestav tapped into something a bit more serious for “I’d Rather Overdose.” Somewhere between Post Malone and Noah Kahan with a dash of The Kid LAROI, “I’d Rather Overdose” explores the complexities of being in a codependent relationship with an addict. “When you’re fucked up on them pills you can’t hear me cry/ Without them you’re sick and we both know why/ Pint after pint ‘till the well runs dry/ If only you loved me like you love gettin’ high,” Honestav sings. The song has quickly been embraced by TikTok users on their own sobriety journeys, those grieving loved ones they’ve lost to substance abuse and those who are children of parents who suffered from various addictions.
“I’d Rather Overdose” garnered 1.1 million official on-demand streams during the three-day period of Jan. 20-22, according to Luminate. That marks an eye-popping 345% increase from the period of Jan. 13-15, during which the song collected just over 248,000 streams. Honestav first previewed the song – which he wrote based on his own experiences living with his parents’ addictions — in a Jan. 9 TikTok and fans quickly launched onto the song’s raw lyrics and sound. Now, the song’s official TikTok sound boasts over 16,800 posts, and its official music video has garnered over 65,000 views in just five days. It may be early in the song’s journey, but its growth is already explosive. — KD
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