Music

Could It Finally Be Shaboozey’s Week Atop the Hot 100?

The Contenders is a midweek column that looks at artists aiming for the top of the Billboard charts, and the strategies behind their efforts. Next week (for the upcoming Billboard Hot 100 dated July 13), one of the biggest breakout artists of the year hopes to take a post-4th of July victory lap with his first crossover hit.  

Shaboozey, “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” (American Dogwood/EMPIRE/Magnolia Music): For the last two and a half months, as established superstars like Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar and rising phenoms like Sabrina Carpenter and Tommy Richman have all made their big bows on the Hot 100, one artist has consistently been lurking just offscreen, slowly gathering steam: Shaboozey. The country singer-songwriter, who made his Hot 100 debut earlier this year via a pair of feature appearances on Beyoncé’s acclaimed Cowboy Carter album, bowed on the chart with “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” in April, and shot to No. 3 in May, before receding a bit as the crowded chart fielded new runaway smashes seemingly every week.  

But now, the breakout hit is closer than it’s ever been: “Bar Song” reaches a new peak of No. 2 on the chart this week, with the song continuing to stream and sell very well – particularly the latter, as it reigns for a seventh week on Digital Song Sales. And it still has room to grow on radio, where it’s been climbing the Radio Songs tally (8-7 this week) and is still gaining momentum across formats – including on country radio, climbing 17-12 on Country Airplay. (If it goes top 10 on that chart next week, it will become the first song to ever reach that tier on each of Billboard’s Country Airplay, Pop Airplay, Adult Pop Airplay and Rhythmic Airplay charts.)  

Helping with the song’s momentum: a big showcase at Sunday’s (June 30) BET Awards, with Shaboozey becoming the very rare country act to get a full-song performance on Culture’s Biggest Night – and seizing the opportunity with a party-starting rendition of the song, including late guest appearance from St. Louis rapper J-Kwon, whose 2004 classic “Tipsy” it heavily interpolates. With the race already looking to be a close one, any amount of streaming or sales bump from that performance might be enough to put “A Bar Song” over the top on next week’s Hot 100.  

Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen, “I Had Some Help” (Mercury/Big Loud/Republic): Post Malone may finally be on the way to moving on from the wildly successful first taste of his long-promised country pivot, with the release two Fridays ago (June 21) of his second single from his upcoming F-1 Trillion set, the Blake Shelton collab “Pour Me a Drink.” That song is also off to a strong start on the Hot 100, debuting at No. 12, tying Shelton’s best-ever peak on the listing (with 2013’s “Boys ‘Round Here,” featuring Pistol Annies & Friends). 

However, predecessor “I Had Some Help” is far from done, as it returns to the Hot 100’s apex this week for a sixth total frame on top – while also topping Radio Songs for the first time. Its streams are finally starting to slip a little, however, as the song descends 2-4 on Streaming Songs this week. So it will likely either need to continue building on radio — it hits the top five this week on both Pop Airplay and Adult Pop Airplay — or get a bit of a 4th of July barbecue bump to hold off Shaboozey and secure a seventh week atop the chart next week. 

IN THE MIX 

Sabrina Carpenter, “Espresso” & “Please Please Please” (Island): She may be done at No. 1 for the time being, after “Please Please Please” netted her first Hot 100-topper a week ago, but both that song and “Espresso” remain stable smashes for Sabrina Carpenter, ranking at Nos. 4 and 5 respectively on the Hot 100 this week, with major streaming profiles. “Espresso” has also long established its bonafides on radio, moving into the Radio Songs top five this week, but it may have to make room for “Please” soon as well, as that song is the Hot 100’s top Airplay Gainer this week, debuting at No. 24 on Pop Airplay (with help from radio edits replacing the end of its signature “don’t embarrass me, motherf—ker” lyric with “mother trucker” and/or “little sucker”).  

Chappell Roan, “Good Luck, Babe!” (KRA/Amusement/Island): Chappell Roan has been diversifying her Hot 100 takeover over the past month: She now has five different songs currently climbing the chart, with “Casual” (No. 82) joining “Pink Pony Club” (No. 66), “Red Wine Supernova” (No. 46), “Hot To Go!” (No. 38) and “Good Luck Babe” (No. 11) at the party this week. She still hasn’t reached the chart’s top 10 – but that may change next week, as “Babe” continues to grow both on the DSPs (hitting the Streaming Songs top 10 this week) and the airwaves (moving 19-17 on Pop Airplay).  

GloRilla, “TGIF” (CMG/Interscope/ICLG): Rihanna isn’t recording and releasing songs at the frequency she used to, but that doesn’t mean she’s lost her touch as a hitmaker – now it’s just other artists’ songs she’s blowing up. GloRilla’s latest single “TGIF” exploded on social media and streaming over the past weekend after RiRi posted a video of her rapping along with the song to a stern-looking A$AP Rocky – and now it looks well on its way to being her third major hit of the year, following “Yeah Glo!” and the Megan Thee Stallion collab “Wanna Be.” It’s not likely to hit the top 10 next week, but if its momentum continues it could be in the hunt soon enough – especially if Rihanna were ever to grace a remix of the song.  

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