Bit of cool significance to the Billboard charts this week. (For those who don’t know, Billboard has kept track of the popular music rankings in the US since the advent of jukeboxes in the 1930s. In 1958, they began using the current format, known as the Hot 100, which is calculated weekly. When you see references to the Top 40 it’s still based on Billboard, but it relates to radio stations who tend to keep to a strict playlist of only the top sellers. It’s somewhat arbitrary as a cut-off point, but if a song falls outside of the Top 40 it’s not really considered a hit although it might be a hit on a smaller, genre-specific chart like R&B or Modern Rock, for example. Anyway…) For the third week in a row, the top five spots are occupied solely by women. In the past 56 years, since the beginning of the Hot 100 chart, only seven other weeks have had this distinction (it occurred for one week in 1979 and four weeks in 1999).
Meghan Trainor (whose song I posted a couple of weeks ago) sits at #1, followed by Taylor Swift, the trio of Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and then Minaj solo, and at #5 is Iggy Azalea featuring Rita Ora.
But let’s take a moment to look at the pop charts in other parts of the world. The ladies are taking care of business thousands of miles away, too. As I’ve written elsewhere, these charts are still comprised largely of American songs but also contain a number of songs from closer to home which will never reach these shores (or they’ll show up much later).
So, since I’m always fascinated by what’s popular across the oceans but not here, let’s take a listen to “Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Remix)” by French-Israeli alternative pop and folk duo Lilly Wood and the Prick, which has topped the charts in 21 countries over the last couple of months and currently sits around #122 on the US charts.
And here’s the #1 song in Sweden. It’s not even close to a hit anywhere else. But it kind of grows on you. (contains a few instances of language not suitable for children or work, depending on your children and your work)