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: Beyoncé’s new tour (and new remix) gives her catalog a big boost, while Lana Del Rey becomes the latest artist to score with a new old-song, an American Idol winner shows early commercial promise, and much more.
A Streaming Renaissance: Beyoncé Scores Gains With New Tour & Remix
The launch of Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour — the superstar’s first headlining run in seven years — has understandably caused plenty of social media chatter about set list inclusions, outfit choices and choreography highlights as viewed through fan videos. Since kicking off on May 10 in Stockholm and continuing across the U.K. and Europe over the past two weeks, the tour has also resulted in a healthy uptick in streams for Queen Bey’s catalog.
Weekly U.S. on-demand streams for Beyoncé’s solo music totaled 52.1 million for the week ending May 11, a 9.2% increase from the prior week (47.7 million), according to Luminate. During the first full week of the Renaissance tour, that number jumped to 58.1 million streams for the week ending May 18 — and on the current Billboard 200 albums chart, last year’s Renaissance album benefited from those streams, jumping up 16 spots to No. 29. Considering that these millions of plays are exclusively coming from U.S. listeners, expect those streaming totals to stay healthy when the Renaissance tour touches down in North America on July 8.
To provide the BeyHive with even more excitement, Beyoncé unveiled a new remix of Renaissance highlight “America Has a Problem,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, last Friday night (May 19). We’ll see next week exactly how much the remix impacts her overall streaming total — and how high the song, which originally peaked at No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100, can climb in its new form — but early streaming returns are promising: “Problem” jumped from 564,000 daily streams on Friday to 1.77 million in its first full day of release on Saturday, a bump of 213%. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
Fans “Say Yes” to New-Old Lana Del Rey Song
Lana Del Rey has one of the year’s most acclaimed albums thus far with Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, which hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. But one achievement she doesn’t have from that project is a Hot 100 hit – in fact, the last one of those the alt-pop star scored as a solo lead artist was four albums ago, with her No. 59-peaking cover of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time,” from 2019’s Norman F—king Rockwell.
That might change next week, thanks to the release of her new one-off “Say Yes to Heaven.” The song, which Del Rey wrote with frequent collaborator Rick Nowels in 2012, had become a fan favorite in the decade since as an unreleased leak, with sped-up versions of it also helping it go viral more recently on TikTok. Fan excitement over its official release helped it land nearly 1.9 million on-demand U.S. streams in its first full day of release last Friday (May 22), along with nearly 900 in digital song sales, according to Luminate.
Those numbers slipped a little the next couple days, but have still remained fairly strong, as the song is still hanging in the Spotify Daily Top Songs USA chart’s top 50 five days after its release. If they stay near that level, “Say Yes” will likely crack the Hot 100 last week – just the latest example of an artist’s newer work being no match for a newly celebrated older song of theirs on the Billboard charts in 2023. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Bad Bunny’s ‘Goes’ Gets Going With Strong Streaming Start
Does Bad Bunny have another summer hit on his hands? After ruling last year’s dog days thanks to the May release of his Un Verano Sin Ti album, he unveiled a club-ready single, “Where She Goes,” late last week, and initial streaming numbers suggest more ubiquity on the way for the record-setting star. The track earned 5.1 million U.S. on-demand streams on Friday (May 19) after hitting streaming services the previous day, and scored another 6.4 million combined streams over the course of the weekend. While “Where She Goes” may not be an immediate threat to top the Hot 100, Bad Bunny has yet to score a No. 1 single on the chart as a solo artist — and could very well try to check that feat off his professional list in the coming weeks. – JL
Will We Finally “Be Seeing” This Year’s Idol Winner on the Charts?
Two decades on from the show’s debut, the commercial impact of American Idol in 2023 is fairly muted compared to what it once was – with Nick Fradiani in 2015 being the last season winner to even notch a hit on the Hot 100. Time will tell if 18-year-old Iam Tongi, announced on Sunday (May 21) as Season 21’s winner, is going to be the one to break that trend. But based on the early returns, he’s off to a pretty good start.
“I’ll Be Seeing You,” dedicated to Tongi’s late father and released as his first single last Friday, got off to a decently impressive start – with official on-demand U.S. streams around 50,000 and sales around 1,500 in its first day of release, according to Luminate. But those numbers have gone way up following his emotional performance of the song on Sunday’s finale, with daily streams rising to over 100,000 and sales now over 3,000, as the song topped the daily U.S. iTunes chart.
And right below it on that chart? James Blunt’s “Monsters,” a 2019 single that also moved over 3,000 copies on Monday, with daily streams over 200,000, following a similarly powerful duet the two singers performed of the ballad on Sunday’s show (with country star Jelly Roll calling it “one of the most emotional things ever” in its YouTube comments). If Tongi can help get James Blunt back onto the Billboard charts, big things may indeed lie ahead for him. — AU
Q&A: Harvey Cohen, President of Vibee, on What’s Trending Up in His World
Why is now the right time for an immersive music trip organization like Vibee?
During the pandemic, travel and in-person experiences – including live music & entertainment – came to a halt. When the world opened back up, we witnessed a renewed appreciation for community, exploration, and real-life music experiences, especially at a more boutique level. As a result, Vibee recognized there was an incredible opportunity to build out-of-this-world trips for music fans that intersect passions for travel, connection, and exceptional live entertainment, while bringing fans closer than they’ve ever been to their favorite artists. And here we are.
Vibee has thus far offered both destination experiences, like “Lionel Richie’s Dancing on the Sand” in the Bahamas, and music festival integrations with fests, like Lollapalooza and ACL. How have these events been selected and curated to fit the Vibee brand?
At Vibee we make it a point to offer elevated experiences for all types of music fans. We find the right locations and produce events in conjunction with, and which align with the lifestyles of, our partner artists. For example, Tiësto’s “Chasing Sunsets” is taking place in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this November where attendees can enjoy boat parties, tequila tastings, and watersport excursions in addition to multiple incredible performances by Tiësto and some of his favorite artists. The “Honky-Tonk Homecoming” weekend in Nashville will include performances from ‘90s country legends, a special songwriters brunch, tours of renowned venues like the Grand Ole Opry, and more. This will be an all-encompassing Nashville weekend, where we will bring fans back to that amazing era in country music with theme parties, honky tonk crawls, coupled with concerts by the likes of Trace Adkins, Jo Dee Messina, Lonestar, and Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry. These are just a couple examples of what we have in the works.
Can you describe Vibee’s partnership with Live Nation, and how you expect it to evolve in the near future?
Vibee was founded by Live Nation to tap into the desire from fans to have experiences more deeply rooted in a love of music and travel. Vibee focuses on three main verticals: curated experiences, festival integrations and Las Vegas residencies. Through our Live Nation partnership we’re able to work with the industry’s most respected festival producers including C3 Presents, Country Nation, Founders Entertainment, and other Live Nation festival properties. Vibee is also proud to have signed an exclusive global partnership with Insomniac, to bring premium hospitality experiences to their events around the world. These include the recent Hotel EDC takeover at Resorts World in Las Vegas, and the sold out inaugural EDSea cruise this fall. Fans can find more of what we’re working on at Vibee.com or by following us at @VibeePresents on social media. There are a lot of incredible things to come this year.
What’s one goal that you’d like to see Vibee — and, to some extent, the immersive sector of the live industry — achieve in the next few years?
We truly want to surpass fans’ expectations by creating the most memorable immersive music destination experiences, all over the world. We want people to find love and life-long friends at Vibee events. And in years to come when asked how they met, say, “We met while dancing to our favorite artist on an unbelievable trip that was curated by Vibee.” – J.L.
Season’s Gainings: Streamers Show Their Mother’s Day Appreciation
If you forgot to send your mom a card or give her a phone call two Sundays ago (May 14), it’s probably a little late now – but hopefully you were at least one of the many listeners who showed your gratitude by streaming some Mother’s Day classics on DSPs. 2Pac’s “Dear Mama,” likely also boosted recently by the Hulu doc series named after the 1995 classic about the rapper’s relationship with mother Afeni Shakur, was up 48% to over weekly 2.6 million official on-demand U.S. streams for the week ending May 18, while The Intruders’ Philly Soul perennial “I’ll Always Love My Mama” was up 335% to 154,000 streams, according to Luminate. Another more recent entry in the canon also benefitted: Meghan Trainor’s 2016 bonus cut “Mom,” which kicked off Spotify’s official Mother’s Day playlist and climbed 147% to 382,000 weekly streams. — AU