The Weeknd’s Streams Increase 41% After Super Bowl Halftime Show

Streams of The Weeknd’s songs surged 41% in the U.S. following the star’s Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 7, according to initial reports to MRC Data.

His collected songs across his entire catalog generated 48.9 million on-demand streams (audio and video) on Feb. 7-8 – up 42% compared to the 34.5 million they tallied on Feb. 5-6.

His most-streamed song on Feb. 7-8 was his long-running Billboard Hot 100 hit “Blinding Lights” (6.54 million; up 42%), which also served as his halftime-closer.

His second-most-streamed tune was “Save Your Tears” (6.19 million; up 23%), which is also his current radio single and most recent top 10 on the Hot 100. Combined, “Blinding” and “Save” accounted for 26% of his total streams on Feb. 7-8.

Here’s a look at the nine songs heard during The Weeknd’s halftime performance. They collectively earned 23.8 million streams on Feb. 7-8 – up 51% compared to their 15.77 million on Feb. 5-6.

The Weeknd’s Halftime Songs, Ranked by On-Demand Streams on Feb. 7-8
“Blinding Lights” (6.54 million; up 42% compared to Feb. 5-6)
“Save Your Tears” (6.19 million; up 23%)
“The Hills” (2.52 million; up 79%)
“Starboy” (2.16 million; up 70%)
“Can’t Feel My Face” (1.69 million; up 83%)
“I Feel It Coming” (1.55 million; up 87%)
“Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” (1.44 million; up 88%)
“Call Out My Name” (1.25 million; up 46%)
“House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls” (465,000; up 350%)

The latter two songs were heard during the show, but not properly performed.

Metallica Has Half of the Week’s Top 10 Best-Selling Albums

Metallica holds five of the top 10 best-selling albums of the week in the U.S., as reflected on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated Feb. 13). It’s the first time since 2016 that one act has five out of the top 10 on the tally.

Metallica jumps 67-3, while the group notches re-entries with Ride the Lightning (No. 4), …And Justice for All (No. 5), Master of Puppets (No. 7) and Kill ‘Em All (No. 8), respectively. The takeover is owed to the band’s release of six of its earlier albums on limited edition color vinyl via Walmart on Jan. 29.

Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now MRC Data. Pure album sales were the measurement solely utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s a look at Metallica’s five albums in the top 10 on Top Album Sales, along with a sixth that missed the region, but is at No. 15. Nearly all of the sales for each title are from their vinyl editions.

Title; Rank; Total Copies Sold on All Formats (Gain)
Metallica; No. 3; 10,000 (up 383%)
Ride the Lightning; No. 4; 9,700 (up 617%)
…And Justice for All; No. 5; 9,400 (up 776%)
Master of Puppets; No. 7; 8,100 (up 1,102%)Kill ‘Em All; No. 8; 8,000 (up 917%)
Hardwired… To Self-Destruct; re-entry at No. 15; 5,500 (up 2,433%)

The last act to have five of the top 10 on Top Album Sales was Prince, following his death in 2016, when he claimed half of the region on the list dated May 14, 2016.

Metallica also has six of the top 10 on the Feb. 13-dated Vinyl Albums chart – the third time an act has held six of the top 10. It previously happened on March 19, 2016 (David Bowie) and Dec. 1, 2012 (The Beatles). Back on the Top Album Sales chart, Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album is steady at No. 1 for a third nonconsecutive week, with 25,000 sold (up 102%).

Grateful Dead’s Dave’s Picks, Volume 37: College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA debuts at No. 2 (21,000). On the Billboard 200, the new Dead set starts at No. 19 – the group’s 105th entry and highest charting set since 2014’s Dave’s Picks Volume 10: Thelma, Los Angeles, CA: 12/12/69 debuted and peaked at No. 17 on the May 17, 2014-dated chart.

Weezer’s new album OK Human bows at No. 6 on Top Album Sales with 9,000 sold, marking the band’s 12th top 10 on the tally. Weezer’s first top 10 came with its second self-titled set (also known as the green album) nearly 20 years ago, on the June 2, 2001-dated list (where it debuted and peaked at No. 4).

The Now 77 hits compilation starts at No. 9 on Top Album Sales with 8,000 sold – the best opening sales week for a Now That’s What I Call Music album since Now 73 bowed with 11,000 (Feb. 8, 2020 chart).

Harry StylesFine Line closes out the top 10, falling 3-10 with 8,000 (down 1%).

Morgan Wallen Tells Supporters ‘Please Don’t’ Defend Me in New Apology Video

A week after a video emerged of Morgan Wallen using the N-word, Wallen has released a five-minute post via Instagram announcing that he has met with Black leaders and that he has been sober for nine days.

“The video you saw was me on hour 72 of 72 of a bender, and that’s not something I’m proud of,” he says. “I accepted some invitations from some amazing Black organizations, some executives and leaders, to engage in some very real and honest conversations.” Admitting he was nervous to accept the invitations because of his hurtful behavior, he added, “They had every right to step on my neck … to not show me any grace, but they did the exact opposite. They offered me grace and also paired that with an offer to learn and grow. … That kindness really inspired me to dig deeper on how to do something about this.”

Wallen says the meetings left him with an understanding of how deeply painful his words were: “This week I heard first-hand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me, and I know what I’m going through this week doesn’t compare to some of the trials I heard about from them. I came away … with a clearer understanding of the weight of my words.”

The ramifications for Wallen’s actions were swift: Within 36 hours, he had been pulled from most radio airplay, his label had “suspended” his contract, streaming services had yanked him from curated playlists, and WME had dropped him.

The Black Music Action Coalition issued a statement praising the moves, but  added, “we know that there are deep rooted racist practices and beliefs within the country music sphere, and the incident with Morgan Wallen is only one small example.  There is much more to be done to continue to raise anti-racist awareness, to demolish racism wherever it is encountered, to achieve racial equality, and to support Black country music artists and Black country music executives.”

Wallen stressed this is just the beginning of the process and told listeners, “There’s no reason to downplay what I did.”

He added that since the TMZ video was posted, he’s been sober for nine days, acknowledging many of his misdeeds have taken place under the influence of alcohol. “It’s not that long of a time,” he said of his newfound sobriety, “but it’s long enough to know that the man in the video is not the man that I’m trying to be.”

He closed the video by asking that those who have been defending him, “Please don’t. I was wrong. It’s on me to take ownership for this and I fully accept any penalties I’m facing. The time of my return is solely on me and the work I put in.”

Wallen’s final words were to quote Paul’s letter in 1 Corinthians 13:11, in which he writes, “’When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.’ That’s what I’m going to be doing for the next little while. God bless.”

Robin Thicke Talks Growing Out of ‘Bad Routines’ Following the Success of ‘Blurred Lines’ & What the Song Means Now

Robin Thicke is set to release his new album On Earth, and in Heaven this Friday (Feb. 12), and the singer sat down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music on Wednesday (Feb. 10) for a wide-ranging interview about the deaths of his father Alan Thicke and mentor Andre Harrell, and the toxic habits sparked by the success of his 2013 hit, “Blurred Lines.”

While he admitted that early in his career, “nobody believed in me but me,” the “Blurred Lines” era gave Thicke his “first taste of that kind of fame.”

“I started to chase it more and need it more and think that that was what was going to make me happy,” he said. “Ultimately, of course, it never does. It didn’t. I lost myself in the process chasing something that I never had and never needed, but then once I got some of it, I thought I needed it.”

“For me, it wasn’t until I actually went to Malibu, slowed down, focused on my son, and then my father passed and I focused on having more kids and more of a family and taking my time with the writing, because I was writing so much, but nothing was really saying anything that mattered to me as a whole, as a whole,” he continued. “Bits and pieces. Then I just kind of started to realize that I always wanted to be an artist’s artist, a singer-songwriter, and all I cared about was my catalog, was the songs. Then I got into all this other stuff that you just get caught up in, man. Then I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy. I had bad routines, and I lost myself. Then, even worse, I lost the music. I lost my trust and my confidence in my own music. So that didn’t come back totally until Andre passed.”

“Bad routines. Bad habits,” he added. “The parties, what happens is every night is a performance and a dinner and a party. Then you’re onto the next city, and it’s a performance and a dinner and a party. Then you get caught up in it. Then you end up with some personal struggles with your marriage or things like that. For me, it was like 20 great years, and then fame hit at the worst time and throw it all into a melting pot. I was the wrong guy for the job.”

However, through his personal growth, Thicke continues to have a healthy relationship with “Blurred Lines.” “Usually, the first piece, when it goes, ‘Bump, bump, bump, everybody get up.’ The crowd goes crazy,” he explained. “It’s one of their favorite songs of mine, no question. The people who aren’t big fans of mine, that’s the only one they know. It’s true. It’s like if I’m doing a casino show and they’re like, ‘Who is this guy?,” then all of a sudden, “Oh, okay. I know this one.'”

“I’ve realized that the reason I started all this is because I love music,” he added. “I love to make music. Then once I started performing, I love to perform. So I just go for that part of it. I’ve never added anything to it that was extra. I’ve never tried to put anything on it, but we’re just jamming, and let’s everybody get up and dance. That’s all that song meant to people.”

For his new album, Thicke says his “intentions are pure” once more. “I want to make great music that spreads love, that feels like a warm blanket, that brings people closer together, that helps heal wounds and bring bonds back, and that’s what I needed,” he continued. “And that’s what this music has done for me and that’s what I wanted to do for others.”

Watch the full interview here.




Dwight Yoakam Sues Warner Music Group to Reclaim Early Recordings

Country singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam is suing his label Warner Music Group (WMG) for not handing back the rights to his early recordings.

Yoakam says that his demands to reclaim his ownership rights to songs on his 1984 chart-topping debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., including “Honky Tonk Man,” “Guitars, Cadillacs” and “It Won’t Hurt” as well as their corresponding music videos from WMG have either been denied or ignored, according to a 25-page complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court. Yoakam’s team claims that the singer’s basic right of being allowed to recapture his copyrights granted by the Copyright Act of 1976 are are being obstructed by WMG, “a corporation that has already made millions of dollars off of the works of Mr. Yoakam.”

Yoakam is demanding the court affirmatively rule that the songs should automatically return to him at the end of the right’s period termination. He is also seeking an excess of $1 million in damages against WMG.

“Having profited and benefited off of Mr. Yoakam for 35 years, [WMG] do not want their gravy train to end, and have therefore refused to acknowledge and accept Mr. Yoakam’s valid Notices of Termination served properly under Section 203 of the United States Copyright of 1976 in blatant disregard of Mr. Yoakam’s rights,” states the complaint.

The Copyright Act permits authors to terminate the grant of their copyright during a five-year window beginning five years from the end of 35 years from the date of execution of the grant; or, if the grant covers the right of publication of the work, the period begins at the end of 35 years from the date of publication of the work under the grant or at the end of forty years from the date of execution of the grant, whichever term ends earlier. This “second bite at the apple” is extremely valuable to authors, the complaint states, as it allows them to finally own their creations as well as financially benefit from the works, states the court papers.

Yoakam’s attorney Richard Busch says in the complaint that the singer’s managers and transactional counsel have had numerous phone calls over the past two years with WMG about Yoakam’s plan to recapture his rights and sent formal termination notices. Instead of handing back the rights, however, the complaint states that WMG responded by taking down works by Yoakam and informing his legal team that “we have not yet made a decision as to how to proceed” with the works contained in the termination notices, according to Yoakam’s complaint.

Busch said his client is “being irreparably injured every day” that WMG fails to recognize the validity of the notices. He said his client’s work is essentially being held hostage “paralyzing Mr. Yoakam from financially benefiting from his statutory right to terminate the transfer of his copyrights to WMG.” Busch argues in the complaint that “Yoakam’s works return to him by virtue of his statutory right ingrained in the Copyright Act, regardless of what the defendants “decide.”

WMG has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Tinder Reveals Its Top Anthems Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day…and Singles Awareness Day. Time to get swiping!

As the day of love gets closer and closer, Tinder revealed on Wednesday (Feb. 10) its top anthems added to users’ profiles globally. According to the popular dating app, adding an anthem improves swiping experience, leading to more matches. Music is also the No. 1 “passion” members include on their profiles globally, so featuring your favorite song might be the best way to snag a V-Day virtual date.

The current top Tinder Anthems include SZA’s breezy “Good Days,” and Olivia Rodrigo’s heartbreaking “Drivers License.” The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” and “Save Your Tears,” 24kGoldn and Iann Dior’s “Mood,” Ariana Grande’s “34+35″ and “Positions,” Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez’s “Dakiti,” CJ’s “Whoopty” and Doja Cat’s “Streets” also made the list.

Once you got that date set, time to set the mood with a great playlist. Spotify revealed some of the top songs added to user-generated Valentine’s Day playlists globally in the last 90 days, leading with John Legend’s swoon-worthy “All of Me.” Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” and “Thinking Out Loud,” The Temptations’ “My Girl,” Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” Etta James’ “At Last,” Elton John’s “Your Song” and Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” were also top picks.

See below for Tinder’s Valentine’s Day Spotify playlist.

Taylor Swift to Make ‘Surprise Announcement’ on ‘Good Morning America’

In the past year, Taylor Swift gave fans Folklore, its sister project Evermore and revealed that she’s re-recording her first six albums in an effort to control her own masters. But she’s not done with the treats yet.

Good Morning America revealed in a tweet on Wednesday (Feb. 10) that the superstar will be making a “surprise announcement” on Thursday’s episode, which airs at 7 a.m. on ABC. The accompanying 10-second teaser didn’t reveal any additional information, featuring only an acoustic guitar instrumental.

Swifties on Twitter immediately began speculating what the big surprise could be, with the most popular theory being the release of Swift’s re-recorded Fearless cut, “Love Story,” just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Swift first teased the new version of “Love Story” in December, with a snippet featured in an ad for dating site Match written by Ryan Reynolds.

“Okay so while my new re-records are NOT done, my friend @VancityReynolds asked me if he could use a snippet of one for a LOLsome commercial he wrote so…here’s a sneak peak of ‘Love Story’!” she tweeted at the time.