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MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
SPRING FORWARD

The post-Grammy period is always a time of renewal, an opportunity to assess where things stand and to highlight compelling new songs and new stars on the rise. Springtime, in other words, for the music biz.

On the Mediabase Top 40 front, Brenda Romano and team IGA are having a sensational run, with three smashes in the Top 10. Newcomer Olivia Rodrigo continues to dominate at #1, while formerly “out of format” Billie Eilishduh—is scoring again at #2 with “Therefore I Am.” But their most impressive recent accomplishment may just be advancing Machine Gun Kelly to a comfortable spot in the Top 10—and proving that loud guitars can still be heard at Pop. Brenda, Chris Lopes and the rest of the team at the house John Janick built have all earned a vacation. In the words of my first industry boss, Sid Parnes at Record World, they should take weekends off until it adds up. 

Also enjoying multiple hits atop the chart are Columbia—Big Red’s Peter Gray-piloted hot streak continues, with newcomer Ritt Momney leading the way at #4—and RCA, where newly crowned Pop promo poo-bah Keith Rothschild has guided Tate McRae into the Top 5. 

We should also acknowledge Team Republic’s Gary Spangler and Amanda Walk, who fought past radio resistance and took Glass Animals to a multi-week #1 at Alternative. Top 40 action is growing and should only continue to bloom this spring. 

Next up is the 627th Justin Bieber smash, “Peaches,” which is #1 worldwide in streaming. The only problem faced by Def Jam promo boss Nicki Farag? The 18 other Bieber songs currently scoring spins all over the place. “Peaches” sounds instantly, cozily familiar; it’s a sweet, stoney anthem for the new season.

And finally, my first pick for breakthrough artist of the year is Epic’s GIVĒON. Rick Sackheim’s talented squad has gone through a tough period, with some near misses, and this is the New Year’s present they so richly deserve. Radio is pushing back a bit on this multi-format sales and streaming winner, but my bet is that when the smoke clears, there will be success at all formats—Urban, Rhythm and Pop. When a quality record comes along, there can be pushback. But these are often the songs that become enormous.

GIVĒON is a brilliant vocalist, and “Heartbreak Anniversary” reminds me of Sam Smith’s best. I only hope he’ll be properly celebrated come next year’s Grammy season. For the time being, it’ll be fun to watch his career blossom.

Here’s to the growing season.

 

 

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