Lady Gaga Sets Another Record on a Chart That's Not the Hot 100

Pop star Lady Gaga set a record last week for most weekly plays for a song in the 17-year history of Billboard's Pop Songs Airplay tally with "Bad Romance".

The song managed to receive 10,859 plays the week of Jan. 11-17, an average of being played once every two hours.  "Romance" bested the previous record holder, Leona Lewis whose "Bleeding Love" received  10,665 plays in a single week in May 2008.

No doubt this fact will be promoted by her record label, fans, and Gaga herself, but what does it really mean?  Is "Bad Romance" one of the most successful pop songs of all time?

For the uneducated masses, Lady Gaga seems to be breaking chart records left and right.  She became the first artist to score four No. 1s from her debut album.  When "Bad Romance" continued the streak, she was blazing a trail with her five consecutive chart toppers.  Now it turns out "Bad Romance" is the top pop song of all time!

Expect her label, fans, and Gaga herself to spout off these facts.  They can parade them around all they want because they're true.  But there's a catch.

Lady Gaga might have scored five consecutive pop No. 1s with "Just Dance", "Poker Face", "Lovegame", "Paparazzi", and "Bad Romance", but that was on the pop chart, not the big one, the Hot 100.  On the Hot 100 (the only chart that really matters), our heroine has managed only two No. 1s.  Those were her first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face".  The other three were top ten hits, a mighty feat for an artist in this day and age, but again, she's only had two No. 1s.  Two real No. 1s.

And what about "Bad Romance" breaking the record for the most radio plays in a single week?  Well, to start out, the song has peaked at No. 2 behind the dirge that is Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" and last week ranked as both the third most played song on the radio and third most downloaded song.  Surely the most played song in a single week would be a No. 1 hit (don't be surprised if Gaga finally gets her third No. 1 next week though.  With digital sales of Ke$ha's brand new songs cooling and no real competitors on the horizon, Gaga's radio airplay just might be enough to push her over the top).

Another thing to consider, this Pop Songs Airplay tally hasn't been around all that long, only 17 years.  A look at the top songs reveals how newers songs have done well on the tally.  The top five songs are all less than four years old:

10,859, "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga (2010)
10,665, "Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis (2008)
10,495, "So What," Pink (2008)
10,394, "Apologize," Timbaland featuring OneRepublic (2007)
10,379, "Poker Face," Lady Gaga (2009)

While Lady Gaga's chart achievements aren't all that her promoters hope to convince America they are, they are amazing nonetheless.  As the record industry crumbles around her, Lady Gaga is proving to be the last great pop star on Earth, capable of not only getting radio to play her music, but getting consumers to buy it, and redefining pop the way no artist has done in nearly thirty years.


Chioma said...

i loooooooooooooove her. Remember when I told you she was amazing? Well now you are singing her praises!

hun*ter said...

Believe me, I've been singing her praises long before most people knew who she was. I bought The Fame the day it came out, and both that album and "Just Dance" were ranked No. 7 on the Top Albums and Top Songs of 2008 for this site. Lady Gaga is really the last great pop star.

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