Music

Ariana Grande’s ‘Eternal Sunshine’ Keeps Shimmering on Streaming, While Reheating a ’90s R&B Classic

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: Ariana Grande’s
Eternal Sunshine rises on streaming, the Oscars give new life to a pair of Barbie hits, a Masego favorite gets the TikTok fancam treatment and more.

Ariana Grande’s ‘Eternal Sunshine’ Is Brightening Up on Streaming — And Helping Another ‘Boy Is Mine’

Ariana Grande is in for a big upcoming week on the Billboard charts, as the pop superstar is aiming for her sixth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with Eternal Sunshine, as well as a splashy Billboard Hot 100 debut for the album’s second single, “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait for Your Love).” 

Eternal Sunshine rebounded on streaming platforms on Monday (Mar. 11) following its release on the previous Friday and a slight dip over the weekend: the full-length earned 29.32 million official U.S. on-demand streams on Monday, up 17% from the previous day’s total, according to Luminate. And “We Can’t Be Friends” — which Grande is trying to guide to the top of the Hot 100, after lead single “Yes, And?” debuted there in January — is a big part of that streaming uptick, with 4.93 million streams on Monday (up 23% from Sunday).

Speaking of Hot 100 chart-toppers, Brandy and Monica’s iconic 1998 R&B smash “The Boy Is Mine” is benefitting from Grande’s song of the same name, which references the original, on Eternal Sunshine. Grande has talked about how she has “always wanted to re-imagine” the Brandy-Monica back-and-forth, and now, the song that inspired her own “The Boy Is Mine” is enjoying a little streaming revival of its own.

From Mar. 8-10, Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” earned 587,000 streams — up 18% from the previous week’s Friday-to-Sunday tracking period, according to Luminate. Of course, Grande’s new “The Boy Is Mine” is collecting far more plays (8.3 million from Mar. 8-10), but for a new generation of rhythmic pop fans, it’s not hard to see that “The Boy” is still fine. – JASON LIPSHUTZ


‘Barbie’ Hits Are “Made For” Oscar Bumps 

It’s been a long awards season for Billie Eilish and brother Finneas, with the O’Connell duo picking up trophies at the Golden Globes (best original song), the Grammys (song of the year and best song written for visual media) and now also the Oscars (best original song) for their hit Barbie ballad “What Was I Made For?” The song, which Billie and Finneas also performed at the Sunday ceremonies – and which was also featured in a Saturday Night Live sketch the night before the Academy Awards – got one final victory lap bump from its big Sunday win. It notched 2.2 million official on-demand U.S. streams and over 5,300 digital song sales across Sunday and Monday (Mar. 10-11), according to Luminate – gains of 27% and 704%, respectively, over the equivalent periods the previous week. 

It wasn’t the only Barbie song to get some post-Oscars love. “I’m Just Ken,” which brought film co-star Ryan Gosling to the Hot 100 for the first time last summer, was also nominated at the awards, and received an elaborately staged, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes-referencing live performance that was very well received by viewers. Streams and sales of the song unsurprisingly exploded afterwards, with “Ken” scoring over nearly 417,000 streams and over 900 digital song sales over Mar. 10-11, gains of 176% and over 2,000%, respectively. 

The other three songs nominated for best original song and performed at the Academy Awards also saw bumps over the same periods – although to still relatively modest totals. Becky G’s “The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot earned 23,000 streams (up 491% from the previous week), while Jon Batiste’s “It Never Went Away” from American Symphony earned 28,000 (up 213%) and the Osage Tribal Singers’ “Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon earned 14,000 (up 702%). – ANDREW UNTERBERGER


Fancam Phenomenon Lifts Masego’s “Tadow” to New Streaming Heights 

In the same way Jacob Elordi fancams – video montages made in appreciation of a given subject – helped give Flume and Kai’s “Never Be Like You” a streaming bump, an even wider selection of fancams is doing the same for Masego and FJK’s “Tadow.” 

Originally released in 2017 as the lead single to his debut studio album, Lady Lady, “Tadow” collected 1.75 million official on-demand U.S. streams during the week of Feb. 23-29, according to Luminate. That marked a 93.6% increase from just over 900,000 srteams during the week of Feb. 16-22. In the first week of March, streaming activity for “Tadow” jumped a further 35% from the week prior to a total of 2.37 million streams. 

Despite the standoff between UMG and TikTok, users are still finding ways to circulate their favorite songs on the platform. Several individual fan-uploaded sounds that contain the first verse of “Tadow” soundtrack viral clips on the platform. A “Tadow”-backed fancam of Tom Holland earned seven million views, one for Rodrick from Diary of a Wimpy Kid pulled over two million, one dedicated to Scarlett Johansson pulled 12.2 million views, and one inspired by Jujutsu Kaisen character Satoru Goju received a whopping 25.5 million views. 

Although it’s been out for over half a decade, “Tadow” has appeared on just one Billboard chart: In 2020, the track peaked at No. 19 on Adult R&B Airplay (chart dated Nov. 14, 2020). Should these fancams continue to spur streaming gains, “Tadow” could experience a renaissance on the charts. – KD


Twitch Streamer Sketch Boosts King Hendrick$ Breakout Hit 

From Kai Cenat to Adin Ross, Twitch streamers have been having a slow-burning but considerable impact on the music scene in recent years. Twitch streamer Sketch (aka user @thesketchreal) — who boasts 368,000 followers on the platform – is the latest example of this trend. 

After playing (and turning up to) Houston rapper King Hendrick$’s “Leaving the Lot” on a Feb. 14 stream, the swaggering trap-indebted single pulled just under 500,000 official on-demand U.S. streams during the week of Feb. 16-22, its first week on streaming platforms. The following week (Feb. 23-29), stream activity for “Leaving the Lot” ballooned by 175% to 1.37 million streams. For the first week of March, the track continued to rise, growing a further 32% to over 1.8 million streams. 

Since that initial stream, Sketch – who specializes in streaming himself chatting and playing video games like Madden and Fortnite – has continued to bump “Leaving the Lot,” resulting in more viral clips featuring the track across other social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter. Hendrick$ even shared a clip of Sketch playing the track to his official YouTube page. That clip has already amassed over 43,000 views in three weeks, eclipsing the view count of four of Hendrick$’s five most recent music videos. 

With just one month of availability under its belt, King Hendrick$ just might have a serious hit on his hands – and its success might legitimize Sketch as a tastemaker in the process. In the meantime, Hendrick$ has already put out a new song, “Special Teams Anthem,” that shouts out Sketch: “Yeah, I could probably play for the Texans, but I still’d be on jets/ Catch a plane and never take my jersey off, I feel like Sketch,” he spits. – KD


Q&A: Emily Cohen Belote, Principal Music Programmer at Amazon Music, on What’s Trending Up In Her World

The past 12 months have been gigantic for country music’s growth. What do you think is the leading cause for this boom?

The 2023 end-of-year Luminate study said it — and I totally agree. Younger fans are helping country to grow at streaming, and artists like Morgan Wallen, Amazon Music 2023 Breakthrough artist Bailey Zimmerman, and Zach Bryan are leading this streaming charge. Gen Z country listeners are 48% more likely to discover music via music and video streaming than the average Gen Z listener. That just shows the true power in country music fandom, and why having that direct-to-fan connection for artists is so powerful and meaningful for our business.

Which in country music is most interesting to you?

I am enjoying this really raw and authentic era in country music. Artists like Sam Barber, Mae Estes, Dylan Gossett and Wyatt Flores are creating music that is emotional and emotive, and speaks to real-life experiences that fans want to hear and devour right now. These artists are not beholden to being a specific kind of country musician or making a specific kind of country music that fits into a box. They’re inspired by different sounds and artists, and that inspiration creates a unique country sound all their own.

As more non-country artists like Beyoncé and Post Malone dabble with country projects and collaborations, how is curation of Amazon Music’s country properties affected?

Beyoncé and Post Malone have a history of expressing their love for country music, so it’s totally understandable that they would be creating country projects. My job is to find and play the best in country music, and if Beyoncé and Post Malone are creating country music our customers love, then they’ll make it into the programming that I oversee.

Which country song or artist will have surprising growth over the next six months?

I really feel that Dylan Gossett is going to make a major mark on 2024. There’s a big reason why he’s one of our 2024 Breakthrough Artists to Watch. He’s got the songs, the musicianship, and he’s done a pretty incredible job of connecting with his fans in a truly organic way. I also think he has a unique and fresh lyrical perspective. I mean, the line, “pressure makes diamonds, how the hell am I still coal?” is pretty unforgettable. I am genuinely excited to hear any and all new music from Dylan, and can’t wait to see him on the road this year.


Season’s Gainings: The Notorious B.I.G. Up 100,000s in Streams on Death Anniversary

The date of March 9 is burned into the brain of most longtime hip-hop fans, as the date in 1997 when Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., was tragically murdered in Los Angeles. While tributes pour in annually to the all-time great on the day every year since, so too do fans head to streaming services for their own personal remembrances: Biggie’s catalog was up nearly 300,000 official on-demand U.S. streams from the previous Saturday to over 2.8 million on March 9, according to Luminate – an 11% gain in total. – AU

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