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: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery reveals gains for its titular Beatles cut and other soundtrack favorites, Yellowstone‘s Luke Grimes takes a step toward stardom in a second medium and a decade-old Miguel hit may be gearing up for another chart run.
‘Glass Onion’ Hits Streaming, Boosts Music Streams for… “Glass Onion”
“Looking through the bent-backed tulips/ To see how the other half lives/ Looking through a glass onion,” Paul McCartney sings on The Beatles’ White Album classic “Glass Onion.” There are some subtle clues to the plot of Glass Onion – the latest Knives Out mystery, a Netflix smash since its Dec. 23 release – in the lyrics to “Glass Onion,” which plays over the end credits of the film.
Maybe listeners wanted to revisit “Glass Onion” after hearing it during the movie’s finale to parse its lyrics and try to further unlock the puzzle box of a plot, or maybe they were simply reminded of how much “Glass Onion” rules. Regardless, the 1968 song experienced a huge uptick in streams during the film’s first week of wide availability — as have some other ’60s and ’70s tracks used in director Rian Johnson’s crowd-pleasing mystery.
“Glass Onion” experienced a 167% increase in weekly U.S. on-demand streams during the week of Dec. 23-29, according to Luminate, jumping to over 160,000 streams after earning a little over 60,000 the previous week. Meanwhile, David Bowie’s “Star” — which is used to soundtrack a memorable dance sequence featuring Kate Hudson’s character (no spoilers here, we promise) — was up 60% during the same week, reaching 32,000 U.S. on-demand streams. And The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody,” featured in its original version in the film, scored a 37% bump, up to nearly 259,000 streams in the week ending Dec. 29.
A third Knives Out film has already been confirmed, although its title has yet to be announced. After the original Knives Out in 2019 was named after a Radiohead song, and Glass Onion was titled as a Beatles reference, we’ll see if the next installment also features a shared song title — but if it does, rest assured that that song will get a streaming boost of its own during its Netflix premiere week. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
The ‘Yellowstone’ Bump Continues Growing – Even for Its Own Cast
We’ve written before in Trending Up about how effective the Paramount+ smash Western melodrama Yellowstone has been in lending streaming and sales bumps to its more prominently featured synchs. Americana star Zach Bryan has been one of its biggest beneficiaries, with his songs included across multiple seasons – in December, Bryan’s “The Good I’ll Do” (from his Belting Bronco/Warner-released breakout album, American Heartbreak) debuted in the top five of Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart after inclusion in a season five episode.
That trend continues this week, with Bryan’s “Tishomingo” ballad showcased in the show’s midseason finale on Jan. 1 – resulting in a 90.4% rise in daily official on-demand U.S. streams to 115,000 for Jan. 2, according to Luminate. (The song also sold over 1,000 digital songs from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2, after selling a negligible number the two days before.)
More interesting, though, is another artist seeing gains whose name will undoubtedly already be familiar to Yellowstone fans: Luke Grimes, the actor who stars as Kayce Dutton on the show. Grimes recently launched a country music career with debut single “No Horse to Ride” (Range Media/Mercury Nashville) and the love song was similarly featured in the drama’s midseason finale – receiving a 67.7% bump to 109,000 daily official on-demand streams for Jan. 2, and also combining to sell over 1,000 digital songs for Jan. 1-2. (Perhaps for Stranger Things’ fifth and final season, its musically inclined cast should take from Grimes’ example and push for similar synch placement – anachronisms be damned.) – ANDREW UNTERBERGER
You Can Bet That: Miguel’s “Sure Thing” Gets Biggest Viral Boost Yet
A little over a decade ago, Miguel broke through as a crossover star thanks to his swoon-worthy R&B single “Adorn,” which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2012 and was nominated for song of the year at the 2013 Grammys. Yet one year earlier, the singer-songwriter’s neo-soul single “Sure Thing” became his first Hot 100 top 40 hit (off ByStorm/Jive debut release All I Want Is You) and his first chart-topper on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally. Now, “Sure Thing” is surging back into the public consciousness and introducing the R&B star, who hasn’t released an album in over five years, to the TikTok generation.
“Sure Thing” has bubbled up a few times over the past three years thanks to versions both slowed-down and sped-up. However, the song has experienced its biggest revival to date over the past month or so, thanks to a new wave of sped-up takes on the song that started in November, and is now climbing the daily charts on various streaming platforms — today (Jan. 5), No. 22 on Spotify’s Daily Top Songs USA listing and No. 55 on the Apple Music U.S. daily Top 100 tally.
During the week ending Dec. 1, “Sure Thing” earned 4.58 million U.S. on-demand streams, according to Luminate; that total grew to 6.80 million for the week ending Dec. 29, a 48% bump from that earlier number. Meanwhile, other songs from 2010’s All I Want Is You are taking off to a smaller degree, with the title track and “Girl With the Tattoo Enter.lewd” both climbing in streams over the past month.
How high can “Sure Thing” climb? The coming weeks should demonstrate just how prolonged the song’s revival will be — but for Miguel, who hasn’t scored a Hot 100 hit as a lead artist since 2017’s “Sky Walker” featuring Travis Scott, the possibility of a chart reentry for “Sure Thing” would make for a nice lead-in to a potential return to music in 2023. – JL
People Who Need “People”
Minneapolis singer-songwriter Libianca may be familiar to viewers of NBC’s The Voice as a Team Blake contestant from the show’s 21st season, but otherwise you might have heard her for the first time on TikTok the past month. That’s because her new Afrobeats-flavored song “People” is blowing up on the service, with thousands of users sharing videos of them relating to the song’s mentally wary lyrics (particularly its opening lines, “I’ve been drinking more alcohol for the past five days/ Did you check on me?”), and even R&B star Chris Brown posting that it “speaks volumes” to him.
“People” has since crossed over to other streaming platforms, rising 55.2% to 1.8 million on-demand U.S. streams for the chart tracking week ending Dec. 29, and hitting No. 5 on Billboard’s U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart dated Jan. 7 – indicating it may be a breakout hit to watch for over the first few months of 2023. – AU
Q&A: Taryn Lacroix, Spotify’s Associate Manager, Artist & Label Partnerships, on What’s Trending Up in Her World
What was your biggest takeaway from the 2022 Spotify Wrapped rollout compared with previous years?
Spotify Wrapped has existed in some form since 2015, and this was our biggest year yet from both the artist and fan perspectives. It’s become so highly anticipated that the chatter online starts to build well before its surprise launch. Artists also want to get in on the fun — we saw record-breaking artist involvement this year, and were able to activate with some artists for the first time in our campaign, like Beyoncé and Britney Spears. When you have Elton John sharing his Artist Wrapped or Drake organically sharing his personal listening stats on socials, you know you’ve tapped into the cultural zeitgeist, which is always the most significant challenge as a brand.
Which new feature of Wrapped did you think was most successful?
This year we scaled our short-form video initiative called “Your Artist Messages,” which are self-recorded videos from artists thanking their top fans on Spotify. With an ambitious goal in mind, we galvanized the music industry across the globe to record and upload videos via Spotify for Artists to reward top fans for streaming on Spotify. Artists from Taylor Swift to Måneskin to Dolly Parton to Lil Baby participated, reaching hundreds of millions of listeners on Spotify. When eligible listeners selected “Your Artist Messages” in their 2022 Wrapped hub on Spotify, they would see a personalized feed of videos from some of their favorite artists this year. This was a massive win, not only for the users’ experience, but for product development at large.
Looking at the top songs/artists/albums of 2022, which trend was the most personally interesting to you?
The longevity of Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” domination is unparalleled. A viral indie pop song from 2020 was the No. 2 song globally in 2022, surpassing some of the biggest household names. It’s a feat to not only achieve a viral hit, but also to transcend it and maintain sustained relevancy. It’s a testament to the power of social media, combined with the fact that the appetite for catalog is only growing, which is a trend evidenced across the board with many of the most popular titles being released prior to 2022.
Fill in the blank: when it comes to exploring their Spotify Wrapped, not enough listeners are talking about their _______.
Audio Day descriptors. I need to know who else is channeling “upbeat gothic angst!” – JL
Season’s Gainings: What Are You Streaming New Year’s Eve?
Though the Christmas music season comes to an end shortly after the last present is unwrapped on Dec. 25, there’s still always plenty of New Year’s holiday listening to be done as we turn the calendar over. Such themed songs saw a big streaming bump on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, including Death Cab for Cutie’s “The New Year” (up 345% from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1, to nearly 40,000 official on-demand U.S. streams, according to Luminate), U2’s “New Year’s Day” (up 215% to nearly 75,000) and Taylor Swift’s “New Year’s Day” (up 333% to to 361,000). Hope you got your share of seasonal listening in while you could these holidays, since Presidents Day and Groundhog Day don’t yet offer the same variety of soundtrack options. – AU
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: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery reveals gains for its titular Beatles cut and other soundtrack favorites, […]
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