Shawn Mendes will finally exit his teen years this August, but you can’t take his youth away. So sang the suburban Toronto native Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards, alongside Khalid — another young pop star born in ’98 — and survivors from the Parkland shooting. The song, “Youth,” from Mendes’ self-titled album out tomorrow, … More »
Kelly Clarkson is the host of the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, and she opened the show with an impassioned message about gun violence in the wake of this past week’s school shooting in Texas. After a performance by Ariana Grande, Clarkson returned to the stage to give the award’s opening salvo, which included a lot … More »
The co-writer of Earth, Wind & Fire’s iconic “September” poked fun at the furor surrounding Taylor Swift’s version of the song released last month — but is clearly no fan of the cover herself. Swift released her gentle, banjo-laced rendition of “September” on April 12, prompting a brutal storm of caustic reaction from … More »
I’m gunna let you finish, Kanye, but uh…
Female singers with upbeat dance songs are far more likely to top the music charts nowadays, according to new findings by researchers at the University of California, Irvine. The study also found a downward musical trend in happiness and an increase in sadness.
The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, examined 500,000 popular songs released in the UK over a three decade period, from 1985 and 2015, and categorized them each based on their mood.
“‘Happiness’ is going down, ‘brightness’ is going down, ‘sadness’ is going up, and at the same time, the songs are becoming more ‘danceable’ and more ‘party-like,’” co-author Natalia L. Komarova told The Associated Press.
Of course, researchers emphasize that a gradual decrease in the average “happiness” index does not mean that all successful songs in 1985 were “happy” and all successful songs in 2015 were “sad.” They were looking for average trends in the acoustic properties of music and the moods describing the sounds.
The overall mood shifts in the songs’ musical elements fall in line with past studies that have examined lyrical content changes over the years. They have found that positive emotions, on the whole, have declined; while indicators of loneliness and social isolation have increased.
“So it looks like, while the overall mood is becoming less happy, people seem to want to forget it all and dance,” says Komarova, a mathematician and evolutionary biologist who led the study. She added, “The public seems to prefer happier songs, even though more and more unhappy songs are being released each year.”
Some songs with a low happiness index in 2014 include “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, “Whispers” by Passenger and “Unmissable” by Gorgon City. Songs from 1985 with a high happiness index include “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen, “Would I Lie to You?” by the Eurythmics, and “Freedom” by Wham!
Additionally, researchers found the most successful musical genres of recent are dance and pop, with a “clear downward trend” in the success of rock, beginning in the early 2000s.
The researchers also found that the “maleness” of songs — or the frequency of male singers in popular music — has decreased over the last 30 years. “Interestingly, successful songs exhibit their own distinct behavior: They tend to be happier, more party-like, less relaxed and more likely to be sung by a woman than most.”
The same trends hold true for the US market, based on a preliminary review of data by researchers. A few 2014 hits that meet the study’s qualifications for successful pop music include Clean Bandit‘s “Rather Be,” Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off,” and Meghan Trainor‘s “All About That Bass.”
The findings arrive at a critical time when the music industry is grappling with issues of gender inequality, where men are overwhelmingly dominating the visible ranks of artists and songwriters, despite studies such as these, which show a strong cultural/consumer yearning for female dance/pop hits in the contemporary global music climate.
Read the fully study by UC Irvine here.
Last night, Taylor Swift kicked off the massive summer stadium tour behind her Reputation album at the University Of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona. We’ve already posted some videos of her performing, but the most newsworthy thing from the show might not have been anything directly music-related. It might be the moment when, … More »
Last night was the first night of Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour, which promises to be one of the summer’s big pop spectacles. Swift played at the University Of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and as previously announced, she brought along Charli XCX and Camila Cabello as openers. More »
Katy Perry is nothing if not literal. She sent Taylor Swift an olive branch, and no, this is not a drill. Before stepping on stage for the first concert of the Reputation World Tour at University of Phoenix Stadium in Ariz., Swift took to her Instagram Story on Tuesday to share a snap of the … More »
Sony/ATV Music Publishing just pulled off an especially difficult feat in the highly-competitive global music space — one that deserves a good old-fashioned tip of the hat and a pat on the back. As of yesterday, May 7th, the publishing house reached a milestone 52-week run of having published or co-published songs that reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S.
As the world’s leading music publisher, Sony/ATV’s uninterrupted chart-topping streak comes as artist/songwriter Drake enters his fourth week at No. 1 with “Nice For What,” in a sequence dating back to May 2017.
The year-long sequence began in record-breaking fashion when Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber‘s “Despacito” enjoyed 16 weeks ruling the chart from May to September of 2017. The span of time also equated to the longest stay at Billboard‘s No. 1 spot in the near six-decade history of the Hot 100.
The chart-topping run also involves some of Sony/ATV’s most popular and successful songwriters in Taylor Swift (“Look What You Made Me Do,” three weeks at No. 1), Ed Sheeran (“Perfect,” six weeks at No. 1), Post Malone (“Rockstar,” eight weeks at No. 1), and Cardi B, who had just then been signed to the company with her debut hit single, “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves).”
Drake then rounded out Sony/ATV’s monumental year dominating the Billboard Hot 100 as he achieved back-to-back chart-toppers with “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What,” which has placed the Canadian rapper at No.1 for the past 15 weeks and counting.
Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO, Martin Bandier, released a press statement upon the label’s accomplishment:
“This is an incredible accomplishment by our worldwide A&R team. At Sony/ATV we strive to be successful creatively on a global basis and the fruits of our labor are shown by the diversity of our songwriters who have been No. 1 on the Hot 100 over the past year.”
Sony/ATV Music & Publishing headquarters in New York City, NY.
Here is a week-by-week breakdown of Sony/ATV’s year-long stay at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100:
“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber (Sony/ATV writers Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Erika Ender) – 16 weeks at No. 1
“Look What You Made Me Do” – Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff) – 3 weeks at No. 1
“Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” – Cardi B (Cardi B, Jorden Thorpe) – 3 weeks at No. 1
“Rockstar” – Post Malone feat. 21 Savage (Louis Bell, Tank God) – 8 weeks at No. 1
“Perfect” – Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran) – 6 weeks at No. 1
“Havana” – Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug (Camila Cabello, Louis Bell, Frank Dukes, Pharrell Williams) – 1 week at No. 1
“God’s Plan” – Drake (Drake, Harmony Samuels) – 11 weeks at No. 1
“Nice For What” by Drake (Drake, Lauryn Hill, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Marvin Hamlisch) – 4 weeks at No. 1
A couple of weeks ago, a guy was arrested trying to scale the wall of Taylor Swift’s mansion in Beverly Hills while screaming the singer’s name. Earlier this week, another man wearing a mask and rubber gloves and carrying a knife, a rope, and live ammunition was arrested outside that same Beverly … More »