Music

LISA’s ‘Rockstar’ Rises Above All International Hits on Global Excl. U.S. Chart So Far in 2024

LISA debuts at No. 1 on the July 13-dated Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart with “Rockstar,” notably making BLACKPINK the first group with three members that have led the list as soloists.

The song’s flashy debut also breaks a long streak of geographical monotony on the international ranking.

The Global Excl. U.S. chart ranks the 200 biggest songs of each week, based on streaming and data from more than 200 international territories, with U.S. consumption removed, as compiled by data tracker Luminate. So, even more than the Billboard Global 200, and in further contrast to the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100, the Global Excl. U.S. chart has spotlighted artists from Africa, Asia, South America and elsewhere in its upper reaches since its 2020 launch.

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But while 2024 has minted new smash hits and ascendant stars, those breakthroughs have generally been by American acts, and performed entirely in English. LISA stands out not only as the first Thai artist to top the list in 2024, but also as the first artist not from primarily English-speaking countries the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. to reach the summit all year. (“Still, “Rockstar” is sung almost entirely in English, with one line in Japanese repeated.)

At 2024’s midyear point (reflecting charts dated Jan. 6-June 29), 47 songs reached the top 10 of Global Excl. U.S., up noticeably from 26 during the same period of 2023. But just 40% of 2024’s top 10s in that span were by artists from outside the mainland U.S., compared to 92% last year and 85% the year before. In terms of language, 34% of this year’s top 10s included non-English-language lyrics, down from 58% in 2023 and 64% in 2022.

Each of the last two years had major narratives, particularly in Latin music, driving representation in their first six months. In 2022, Bad Bunny released his culture-dominating album Un Verano Sin Ti, which spawned seven top 10s on Global Excl. U.S. Last year, Peso Pluma led a streaming explosion of regional Mexican music, expanding the pan-Latin footprint on the global stage. Plus, a growing wave of Nigerian artists including CKay, Rema and Tems have diversified the top of the chart.

More than that, those years featured Global Excl. U.S. top 10s from Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and beyond. Many of those territories have cracked the top 10 this year as well, but less frequently, and amid a much larger pool of hits.

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Declining international representation on Global Excl. U.S. still stands in stark contrast to the Hot 100, where all 45 top 10s in the first half of 2024 are sung or rapped entirely in English, and all but five are by American acts. The handful of non-U.S. artists include enormous superstars such as Canadians Drake and The Weeknd, and western European acts including Hozier and, via a feature on Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department, Florence + The Machine.

Two of those acts – Hozier and The Weeknd – also hit the top 10 of Global Excl. U.S., along with British divas Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Dua Lipa. Otherwise, a bevy of pan-Latin and Asian crossover acts – Creepy Nuts (Japan), Feid (Colombia), Zeynep Bastik (Turkey) and more – have mixed among chart-toppers by Americans Sabrina Carpenter, Ariana Grande and Swift.

It’s encouraging that there has been so much turnover near the top of the Global Excl. U.S. chart in 2024, and that the hits have surged in streaming – by the end of June, 18 songs logged 50 million non-U.S. weekly streams, up from 14 to the same point in 2023 and 10 in 2022. But non-U.S. artists make up just 28% of that pie, down from 85% from just one year ago.

It’s good timing then, for LISA’s No. 1 debut this week. With 94.2 million non-U.S. streams in its first week, “Rockstar” boasts the most weekly streams for a Global Excl. U.S. hit this year by a non-American artist. Plus, Jimin and Loco (both from South Korea) debut at No. 7 with “Smeraldo Garden Marching Band” and Karol G (Colombia) rises to the top 10, at No. 8, with “Si Antes Te Huibera Conocido.” Meanwhile, FloyyMenor and Cris Mj (Chile) spend their 15th consecutive week in the top 10 with “Gata Only.”

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