Music Observer

Taylor Swift Sets a New Record for Longest Reign on Pop Airplay Chart with “Cruel Summer”

An Eighth Week at No. 1 Surpasses Previous Record Set by “I Knew You Were Trouble”

Taylor Swift’s track “Cruel Summer” has now become her longest-running No. 1 song on the Billboard Pop Airplay chart. The song has been at the top for eight weeks, as of the chart dated October 7, 2023. This achievement surpasses her previous record of a seven-week reign with the song “I Knew You Were Trouble” back in 2013.

Here’s an updated list of Taylor Swift’s 12 songs that have reached No. 1 on the Pop Airplay chart, sorted by the number of weeks they stayed at the top:

  • “Cruel Summer” – Eight weeks (ongoing), 2023
  • “I Knew You Were Trouble” – Seven weeks, 2013
  • “Blank Space” – Six weeks, 2014-2015
  • “Bad Blood” (featuring Kendrick Lamar) – Five weeks, 2015
  • “Anti-Hero” – Three weeks, 2022-2023
  • “Style” – Three weeks, 2015
  • “Wildest Dreams” – Two weeks, 2015
  • “Shake It Off” – Two weeks, 2014
  • “Karma” – One week, 2023
  • “Delicate” – One week, 2018
  • “Look What You Made Me Do” – One week, 2017
  • “Love Story” – One week, 2009

“Cruel Summer” initially reached the No. 1 spot on the Pop Airplay chart dated August 5, 2023. This accomplishment gave Taylor Swift the record for the most No. 1 songs in the history of the Pop Airplay chart, surpassing Maroon 5, Katy Perry, and Rihanna, who each had 11 No. 1 songs. The Pop Airplay chart, which started in 1992, calculates the weekly plays of songs on over 150 mainstream top 40 radio stations in the U.S., as tabulated by Mediabase and provided to Billboard by Luminate.

The song “Cruel Summer” was originally part of Taylor Swift’s 2019 album, “Lover.” Republic Records began promoting it as a single in June 2023. Taylor Swift has been performing the song on her “The Eras Tour,” which is her first tour where she has been able to feature songs from the “Lover” album, released just before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In addition to its success on the Pop Airplay chart, “Cruel Summer” also became Taylor Swift’s 11th No. 1 song on the Adult Pop Airplay chart. This pushed her past P!nk to become the solo artist with the most No. 1 songs on that chart. The song also reached No. 3 on the all-genre, multimetric Billboard Hot 100 chart, extending Taylor Swift’s record for the most top 10 songs among women to a total of 42.

The charts dated October 7, 2023, will be updated on on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

Beyoncé Shatters Records: A Comprehensive Analysis of Her Unprecedented Earnings in the Touring Industry

Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour has not only set new records but also redefined the metrics of success in the live music industry. According to Billboard Boxscore, the tour has become the highest-grossing tour by a female artist in the history of the Boxscore archives. This article delves into the specifics of Beyoncé’s groundbreaking achievements, providing a detailed analysis of her earnings, attendance, and the broader implications for the music industry.

In July, Beyoncé had already set a new standard by achieving the highest one-month gross in the history of Billboard Boxscore, with earnings amounting to $127.6 million. This figure surpassed the previous record held by Bad Bunny, who had earned $123.7 million in September of the preceding year. However, Beyoncé didn’t stop there. In August, she further solidified her position by earning an astounding $179.3 million from 14 shows. This represents a 40% increase over her previous record, distancing her from other artists who have achieved $100 million months since the charts were introduced in February 2019.

Beyoncé’s consistent performance has led her to secure the top position in Billboard’s Top Tours for the third month, tying her with other industry giants like Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Her 14 shows in August alone sold 697,000 tickets, marking the highest attendance for the month and surpassing previous competitors like Coldplay and The Weeknd.

Among her August performances, three shows at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium stood out, grossing $39.8 million and selling 156,000 tickets. These figures place the engagement among the top 10 highest-grossing headline shows ever and the third highest in North America. Other significant earnings came from shows at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which collectively added another $55.2 million to her monthly total.

The Renaissance World Tour has set multiple records, including becoming the highest-grossing tour by an R&B artist, surpassing Beyoncé’s own Formation World Tour from 2016. With total earnings now at $461.3 million, the tour has overtaken Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour to become the highest-grossing tour by a female artist in Boxscore history.

As the Renaissance World Tour approaches its conclusion on October 1, it is projected to surpass the $500 million mark, potentially reaching up to $560 million. This would place it among the top 10 highest-grossing tours ever recorded by Boxscore, making Beyoncé the only female, Black artist, and American solo act to achieve this feat.

In terms of ticket sales, the tour has sold 2.247 million tickets, narrowly beating the Formation World Tour’s 2.242 million, making it her best-selling tour to date.

It’s worth noting that Beyoncé’s dominance also has broader implications for gender representation in the music industry. She became the first woman to lead Billboard’s charts in nearly four years, and her continued success has aligned with another female artist, P!nk, taking the second spot.

Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour has set new benchmarks in the live music industry, both in terms of earnings and cultural impact. Her record-breaking achievements underscore her unparalleled influence and set a new standard for what artists can achieve in the modern touring landscape.

Bruce Springsteen Delays 2023 Concert Series Due to Peptic Ulcer Disease

Bruce Springsteen, along with his E Street Band, has announced the postponement of the remaining concerts for the year 2023. The decision comes as Springsteen continues his recovery from peptic ulcer disease. The affected dates include a series of performances in Canada scheduled for November and two specific concerts on December 4 and 6 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.

The deferred concerts are slated to be rescheduled in the year 2024, with the new dates expected to be made public in the upcoming week. An official statement released on September 27, 2023, elaborated that Bruce Springsteen has been making steady progress in his recovery from peptic ulcer disease. On the advice of medical professionals, he will continue his treatment for the remainder of the current year. The statement emphasized that the decision to postpone was made out of an abundance of caution.

This development is not the first hiccup in Springsteen’s touring schedule. On September 6, he had previously announced the delay of nine concerts in September due to the same medical condition. Additionally, his concerts on August 16 and 18 in Philadelphia had also been postponed and are now rescheduled for August 2024. Furthermore, three concerts in March were delayed due to an unspecified illness.

Originally, there were 14 concerts remaining in the E Street Band’s 2023 itinerary, with the final performance planned for December 12 at San Francisco’s Chase Center. The 2023 tour had commenced at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, covering a 28-show U.S. leg. This was followed by a 31-show European leg that kicked off at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in Barcelona. The most recent segment of the 2023 tour had started on August 9 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The rescheduled concerts will be held at the venues originally planned. For ticket holders who are unable to attend the new dates, a 30-day window has been provided to request a refund.

Bruce Springsteen expressed his gratitude towards his fan base and friends for their ongoing support and well wishes. He assured that he is on the path to recovery and is looking forward to resuming performances next year.

The postponement of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s 2023 concerts is a significant development in the music industry, especially considering the artist’s long-standing career and the high expectations surrounding the tour. The decision, guided by medical advice and caution, underscores the importance of prioritizing health and well-being. With rescheduled dates on the horizon and a commitment to recovery, both the artist and his fans look forward to a robust 2024 concert series.

The “Swift Effect” on Travis Kelce’s Merchandise Sales

Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end, has recently experienced a significant surge in his merchandise sales, a phenomenon attributed to pop star Taylor Swift. This article aims to provide a detailed examination of the factors contributing to this surge, the role of Taylor Swift in amplifying Kelce’s brand, and the broader implications for sports merchandise marketing.

The Swift-Kelce Connection

On September 24, 2023, Taylor Swift was seen cheering for Travis Kelce during a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears. Swift’s presence was not merely a casual appearance; she was seated in a box at Arrowhead Stadium alongside Kelce’s mother. This event has been termed the “Swift Effect,” a phenomenon that has led to a nearly 400% increase in Kelce’s merchandise sales across the Fanatics network, including, according to a statement from Fanatics, the NFL’s official e-commerce partner.

While the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory was noteworthy, media coverage was overwhelmingly focused on Taylor Swift’s attendance. Color commentators repeatedly mentioned her presence, and camera shots frequently captured her reactions. This media attention has fueled speculation about a possible romantic relationship between Swift and Kelce, although neither has confirmed these rumors.

Jason Kelce, Travis Kelce’s brother and fellow NFL player, has been teasing the rumored relationship in various interviews. Travis Kelce himself has not been averse to the idea of dating Swift. He even attempted to give Swift his phone number via a friendship bracelet during her Eras Tour at Arrowhead Stadium, although the attempt was unsuccessful.

According to Fanatics, Travis Kelce was among the top five selling NFL players following the game, experiencing a nearly 400% spike in sales. This dramatic increase is a testament to the power of celebrity endorsement and its potential to significantly impact merchandise sales.

After completing the first leg of her record-setting Eras Tour, Taylor Swift is scheduled to resume touring on October 18 with a three-night stand at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Travis Kelce will be back in action on October 1, when his team faces the 1-2 New York Jets.

The “Swift Effect” on Travis Kelce’s merchandise sales serves as a compelling case study on the influence of celebrity endorsement in sports marketing. The nearly 400% increase in sales demonstrates the potential for significant financial gains through strategic celebrity partnerships. As both Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce continue their respective careers, their association serves as a model for the symbiotic relationship that can exist between the worlds of sports and entertainment.

Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” Reaches Its Conclusion

The protracted legal dispute involving Ed Sheeran’s 2014 hit single “Thinking Out Loud” and Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On” has officially concluded. The heirs of Ed Townsend, the co-writer of Gaye’s song, have formally withdrawn their appeal, thereby bringing an end to the years-long litigation. This development has significant implications for the music industry, particularly in the realm of copyright law and intellectual property rights.

The legal battle commenced in 2016 when the Townsend heirs filed a lawsuit against Sheeran, alleging that “Thinking Out Loud” infringed upon “Let’s Get It On,” a song co-written by Townsend and Marvin Gaye. The lawsuit claimed that Sheeran had “knowingly and intentionally infringed” upon the 1973 hit, effectively stealing the “heart” of one of the most recognizable songs in R&B history.

One pivotal piece of evidence presented during the trial was a video from a 2014 concert where Sheeran toggled between the two songs, implicitly acknowledging their similarity. However, Sheeran’s legal team argued that the songs merely shared common musical elements that could not be “monopolized” under copyright law. They contended that these were basic musical building blocks, not unique intellectual property.

In May 2023, the jury sided with Sheeran, concluding that he and his co-writer, Amy Wadge, had independently written “Thinking Out Loud.” This verdict came nearly five months after the initial ruling in Sheeran’s favor and almost four months after the Townsend heirs launched their appeal. Had the Townsend heirs won, Sheeran would have faced potentially millions of dollars in damages, and the case would have set a precedent that could make music creators more cautious about creating songs similar to older music.

The appeal was withdrawn “with prejudice,” meaning the Townsend heirs cannot refile the case at a later date. The court documents did not specify the reasons for this decision, leaving it open to speculation.

The case’s conclusion has broader ramifications for the music industry. It underscores the complexities surrounding copyright infringement in music, particularly when dealing with songs that share common musical elements. The case could have set a precedent that would make artists and producers more cautious in their creative processes, potentially stifling innovation.

The legal battle over Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” has officially concluded, with the Townsend heirs withdrawing their appeal. This case serves as a significant milestone in the ongoing discourse surrounding intellectual property rights in the music industry. It highlights the intricate balance between protecting original compositions and fostering creative freedom.

Kylie Minogue Can’t Wait for You to Dress Up as Kylie Minogue at Her Las Vegas Residency

Kylie Minogue, the Australian pop sensation, continues to defy the norms of the music industry by achieving new milestones even after decades in the business. Last year, she introduced her branded rosé wine to the U.S. market, following its success in the U.K. This year, she is set to headline her first Las Vegas residency at the Venetian’s Voltaire, a newly inaugurated venue. Moreover, her latest single “Padam Padam” has become a viral sensation, captivating a new generation of fans who were not even born when her hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” topped the charts in 2002.

The single “Padam Padam,” named after the sound mimicking a heartbeat, has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring a myriad of memes, dances, and lip-sync performances. The song has received attention from celebrities like Ariana Grande and even Vice President Harris. Minogue acknowledges that the song’s success felt different and more instantaneous compared to her previous singles. This viral hit also prompted her to become active on TikTok, a platform she now appreciates for its organic reach and creative freedom.

Minogue’s latest album, “Tension,” does not adhere to a specific theme, unlike her previous albums. Initially, the team explored an ’80s vibe but later decided to focus on what felt right for each song. The album aims to offer a cohesive sonic experience while referencing various musical eras. One of the tracks, “Story,” required meticulous crafting and is deeply personal to Minogue. Another track, “10 Out of 10,” is a collaboration with Oliver Heldens, and despite never meeting in person, their email exchanges facilitated the song’s development.

During a preview listening session in New York, Minogue received instant feedback from the audience, which helped inform the selection of singles for the album. Her A&R, Jamie Nelson, played a crucial role in the album’s creation, encouraging her to focus on making the songs engaging. Minogue’s upcoming Las Vegas residency, titled “More Than Just a Residency,” promises to offer more than just a musical performance. The venue is designed as a blend of a ’30s cabaret club and Studio 54, providing a unique entertainment experience.

Minogue attributes her enthusiasm for creating new music to her collaborations with songwriters like Biff Stannard, Duck Blackwell, and Jon Green. She enjoys the process of starting with a blank slate and crafting a song by the end of the day. Minogue also values her newfound independence in self-recording, as she often travels with her studio setup.

Kylie Minogue’s career is a testament to her ability to adapt and innovate. Her latest album “Tension” and the upcoming Las Vegas residency are just the latest in a series of firsts for this pop icon. Whether it’s embracing new social media platforms or experimenting with different musical styles, Minogue continues to captivate audiences and redefine her legacy in the ever-evolving music industry.

Shakira’s Personal Turmoil Transforms Into Professional Triumphs

Colombian superstar Shakira opens up about the challenges she faced in her personal life and how she channeled her pain into creating some of her biggest hits in years. The article begins by describing Shakira’s appearance at the Villa Casa Casuarina in Miami, where she appears reflective and shares that she is still in the process of exorcising her demons.

The tumultuous split between Shakira and Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué, her partner of over a decade and the father of her two children. The separation, which was covered extensively by Spanish tabloids, was accompanied by allegations of infidelity on Piqué’s part. Shakira’s response to the breakup was captured in her song “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” with Argentine DJ Bizarrap, where she proclaimed the feminist mantra “Women don’t cry; we make money.” The song achieved global success, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Global 200 chart.

Amidst the tabloid coverage and the record-breaking success of “Sessions,” the article emphasizes that Shakira had not experienced this level of success in nearly a decade. Her last No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart was in 2016 with the song “Chantaje” featuring Maluma. However, in the past year, she has achieved two No. 1 hits on the chart with “Sessions” and “TQG” featuring Karol G, both of which also reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The article suggests that the emotions stemming from her separation fueled the success of these songs, as they conveyed intense rage, deep sorrow, and faint hope.

Despite the difficult process of translating her emotions into music, the article highlights that Shakira is now experiencing a mid-career renaissance. She is preparing to release a new album and embark on a global tour, her first since 2017. Shakira acknowledges the irony of her personal turmoil leading to professional triumphs, expressing her resilience and her ability to bounce back in the face of adversity.

Shakira’s meticulous approach to her music. She is known for being a perfectionist and is deeply involved in the creative process. The proximity of her new base in Miami to Sony’s recording studios has allowed her to collaborate more freely and accelerate her output. Shakira’s attention to detail and her commitment to her artistic vision are recognized by those who have worked closely with her.

Shakira also shares her perspective on being a single mother and a pop star. She describes the challenges of juggling her professional commitments with her role as a mother and acknowledges that being a working mom requires constant juggling. Despite the difficulties, she remains dedicated to being present for her children and making the most of her time with them.

Shakira’s upcoming collaborations with various Latin artists and her excitement about her forthcoming singles. She mentions a collaboration with Fuerza Regida, a Mexican ska band, and describes the song as fresh, original, and punk-influenced. She also discusses her collaboration with Karol G on “TQG,” which was inspired by their shared experiences of going through public breakups. Shakira emphasizes her deep involvement in the creative process of her music videos, co-directing and co-writing them to ensure they align with her artistic vision.

Shakira’s plans for her upcoming tour, which is set to span nearly two dozen countries across Latin America, North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East. It highlights Shakira’s history of delivering captivating performances and her desire to make her tickets affordable for her fans.

Shakira reflecting on her current state of happiness. While acknowledging the pain of her family’s breakup, she expresses gratitude for the success of her music and her ability to overcome challenges. She reveals that she has discovered her own strength and has learned to value the good moments while not dwelling on the bad ones. Shakira’s resilience and commitment to her artistry shine through as she looks forward to the next chapter of her career.

BTS Members Extend Contracts With Big Hit Music, Setting the Stage for Future Collaborations

Big Hit Music to continue supporting BTS and their individual endeavors until 2025

In an exciting development for BTS fans worldwide, Big Hit Music, the long-standing label home of the beloved K-pop group, has announced the renewal of exclusive agreements with all seven members. Not only that, but the label also plans to continue working with BTS on their future releases starting from 2025.

This decision comes as the members of BTS have been actively pursuing their individual careers during the group’s hiatus, showcasing their immense talent and commercial success. In January, Jimin’s collaboration with TAEYANG, titled “Vibe,” made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 76, making each BTS member a charting artist in their own right.

Following this milestone, Jimin achieved his first No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts with “Like Crazy” in April, further solidifying the individual accomplishments of the BTS members. Jungkook also joined the ranks of chart-topping success in July with his collaboration with Latto, titled “Seven.” Both songs, however, slipped from the No. 1 spot after their debut weeks. In September, BTS member V released his solo debut album “Layover,” which debuted at an impressive No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, right behind Olivia Rodrigo.

While the members continue to make waves as solo artists, it’s important to note that South Korea has mandatory military service, and Suga recently became the third BTS member to begin this process. Big Hit announced that Suga would be starting his required service on September 22, and requested fans to refrain from visiting him during this period. The label also mentioned that by the start of the renewed exclusive contract period in 2025, the BTS members currently serving in the military would have completed their military duty.

With the announcement of the renewed contracts, Big Hit Music expressed its anticipation for supporting BTS’ group activities in the future. HYBE, the parent company of Big Hit Music, stated that they would provide all the necessary support to further expand and elevate BTS’ presence in the music industry.

This significant decision ensures that the longstanding partnership between BTS and Big Hit Music will continue, allowing the group and its members to collaborate on new projects and captivate audiences for years to come. Fans can look forward to witnessing the continued success and growth of BTS as they navigate their individual endeavors while remaining an influential force as a collective unit.

LA3C 2023 Lineup: Erykah Badu & Herbie Hancock to Headline

Questlove, Robert Glasper, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin, Marc Rebillet, Sudan Archives & more to Perform at the 3-day LA Festival Nov. 10-12

In an exciting announcement on Tuesday, LA3C revealed the lineup for its second year, featuring a star-studded roster of musicians and a delectable selection of food. The three-day, all-ages festival will take place in downtown Los Angeles from November 10th to 12th.

Headlining the festival will be the legendary Erykah Badu and Herbie Hancock, who will each perform intimate shows at the Orpheum Theatre and the Theatre at the Ace Hotel, respectively. Joining them at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel will be Flying Lotus, as well as LA jazz icons Robert Glasper and Terrace Martin. The Palace Theatre will showcase performances by Nick Hakim, Julie Byrne, and John Carroll Kirby.

The lineup also includes other notable performers such as Kamasi Washington, Marc Rebillet, Sudan Archives, Fred Armisen, Lonnie Holley, Aja Monet, Pauli the PSM, Novena Carmel, Shabazz Palaces, Yrsa Daley-Ward with The Josh Craig, Acyde, Siobhan Bell, Kilo Kish, Salami Rose Joe Louis, and Def Rain. Additionally, pop-up performances by Feels Like Floating will add an element of surprise and spontaneity to the festival.

The festival will not be limited to just the Orpheum, Ace, and Palace Theatres, as performances will also be held at the surrounding lots and the historic Los Angeles Theatre.

For more information about the festival, including details about additional music, food, and film events, attendees can visit the official LA3C website at Tickets will go on sale starting Friday, September 22nd at 9 a.m. PT.

The LA3C festival made its debut in December last year at the LA State Historic Park, featuring performances by artists such as Maluma, Lil Baby, Snoop Dogg, and Seventeen. The festival is presented by Penske Media Corporation, the parent company of Billboard.

With its impressive lineup and diverse range of musical talent, LA3C 2023 is set to be a must-attend event for music lovers and festival-goers alike.

Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire” Reclaims Top Spot on Billboard Hot 100: A Comprehensive Analysis

“Vampire” and Its Impact on the Charts

Olivia Rodrigo’s track “Vampire” has once again ascended to the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking a significant comeback from its previous position at No. 9. This resurgence is accompanied by another of Rodrigo’s songs, “Bad Idea Right?”, which has also made a notable leap to No. 7 from its earlier standing at No. 26. Both tracks are part of Rodrigo’s second studio album, “Guts,” which has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The reemergence of “Vampire” at the top of the Hot 100 is particularly noteworthy because it initially led the chart in July and has now returned after a nine-week hiatus. This ties it for the longest gap between No. 1 stays for a single song in a single release cycle in the chart’s 65-year history. The only other song to achieve this feat was Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” which also returned to the No. 1 spot after a similar gap.

The Hot 100 chart is a composite of various metrics, including U.S. streaming data, radio airplay, and sales data. For the week of September 8-14, “Vampire” saw an 82% increase in streams, reaching 22.8 million, while “Bad Idea Right?” experienced a 121% surge, accumulating 22.1 million streams. These impressive numbers have also influenced their standings on the Streaming Songs chart, where “Vampire” and “Bad Idea Right?” have moved to positions 12-3 and 26-4, respectively.

On the Radio Songs chart, “Vampire” maintained its No. 6 position with 55.8 million impressions, albeit with a 7% decline. In contrast, “Bad Idea Right?” climbed from No. 43 to No. 39, with a 15% increase in impressions, totaling 16.2 million. Sales data further corroborates their success; “Vampire” sold 4,000 copies (an 89% increase), and “Bad Idea Right?” sold 2,000 copies (a 42% increase).

The album “Guts” has also made a significant impact, entering the Billboard 200 chart with 302,000 equivalent album units sold in its first week. This marks Rodrigo’s second No. 1 album, following her debut album “Sour,” which also premiered at the top spot with 295,000 units sold. With “Vampire” serving as the lead single for “Guts,” Rodrigo has become the first artist to debut lead singles from two career-opening albums at No. 1 on the Hot 100.

In the broader context, Doja Cat’s “Paint the Town Red” has moved to No. 2 on the Hot 100, after previously hitting the No. 1 spot. Zach Bryan’s “I Remember Everything,” featuring Kacey Musgraves, has slipped to No. 3, and other notable tracks have also shifted positions.

The data for the Billboard charts is rigorously reviewed and authenticated by Luminate, an independent data provider. Any data that is deemed suspicious or unverifiable is excluded from the final chart calculations.