AC/DC Earns First Mainstream Rock Songs No. 1 in 12 Years

AC/DC returns to No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart dated Nov. 14 with “Shot in the Dark.”

The rock legends lead for the first time since 2008, when “Rock N Roll Train” ruled for three weeks beginning that November.

Since then, the band charted five times before “Shot in the Dark,” rising as high as No. 5 with “Play Ball” in November 2014.

AC/DC now has five total Mainstream Rock Songs No. 1s since the chart began in 1981. All have led since 1993, starting with “Big Gun,” from the Last Action Hero soundtrack.

Concurrently, “Shot in the Dark” leaps 7-4 on the all-rock-format, audience-based Rock Airplay chart with 4.5 million audience impressions, up 10%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The song is the lead single from Power Up, AC/DC’s 17th studio album, due Friday, Nov. 13). The set is the follow-up to 2014’s Rock or Bust, which reigned on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart for 10 weeks.

Ariana Grande Scores 20th Streaming Songs Top 10, Charts Entire ‘Positions’ Album

Ariana Grande pulls into sole possession of the second-most top 10s in the history of Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart, scoring her 20th top 10 with “34+35.”

“34+35” debuts at No. 2 on the list dated Nov. 14 with 21.7 million U.S. streams earned in the tracking week of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

With 20 top 10s, Grande breaks out of a three-way tie with Post Malone and The Weeknd for the second-most top 10s in the chart’s seven-year history. Drake, with 48, is the all-time leader.

Most Top 10s, Streaming Songs
48, Drake
20, Ariana Grande
19, Post Malone
19, The Weeknd
18, Justin Bieber
18, Lil Uzi Vert
15, Juice WRLD
15, Kanye West
15, Taylor Swift
15, Travis Scott

Concurrently, “34+35” bows at No. 8 on the multi-metric Billboard Hot 100.

Grande also rules the Streaming Songs list dated Nov. 14 with “Positions” for the second week in a  row, garnering 25.6 million streams with new album Positions’ lead single.

All 14 of the songs from Positions reach the latest Streaming Songs tally, giving Grande her largest sum of entries in a single week, besting the 12 she charted toward the Feb. 23, 2019, survey, with the entirety of then-new album Thank U, Next.

Carly Pearce Had a ‘Scary’ Fall Before Her Performance at the 2020 CMA Awards

You probably didn’t notice, but Carly Pearce performed at Wednesday night’s (Nov. 11) 2020 CMA Awards after a bad fall that caused serious injury to her mouth. Pearce took the stage for a pre-taped duet with Lady A’s Charles Kelley for her Country Airplay No. 1 hit “I Hope You’re Happy Now” after Lee Brice had to drop out due to a positive COVID-19 test.

What nobody knew until after the ceremony, though, was that she did her thing after suffering a serious fall two weeks before the show that knocked out her front teeth. Pearce spoke to E! News about the Halloween incident that left her bright smile practically empty.

“I fell and knocked my two front teeth out,” she said. “I had a bunch of stitches in my mouth, looked completely different than what I looked like right now, and it was kind of scary because I knew I was going into the biggest week of my life.”

The singer said was super stressed about the awards show performance because she felt awful after the fall. “It looked really bad. It was scary. I was just really fortunate to get doctors that helped and knew the pressure I was under,” she said. “But with every day, I was like, ‘Please Lord, let my face heal so I can do this’ because this is such a huge moment.”

It ended up OK, though, as the performance was a smash and she also snagged musical event of the year for her Lee-featuring “I Hope You’re Happy Now” single.

These Racial Justice Actions Are Already Making Change In the Music Industry

On the last Sunday in May, Universal Music Group general counsel/executive vp business and legal affairs Jeff Harleston called Motown Records president Ethiopia Habtemariam for the second time that day. It was just six days after George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, and UMG chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge had asked Harleston to lead the group’s Task Force for Meaningful Change, dedicated to furthering the fight for racial justice through charitable giving, mental health initiatives and more. Harleston, who’s also the interim chairman/CEO of Def Jam Records, sent a to-the-point reply: “Only with E.”

“Both of us understood that we had not only the responsibility but the opportunity to really make significant change,” says Habtemariam. The next day, they scheduled what was intended to be a one-hour town hall to discuss the civil unrest sweeping the country. The virtual event lasted two-and-a-half hours. “There was not one person on that Zoom who didn’t cry,” says Harleston. The idea of meaningful change, he continues, “means a lot to us, because this can’t be about the summer of 2020. Hopefully this is the inflection point we’ve long waited for.”

Like UMG, major-label groups and companies across the industry are starting to enact long-term strategies — assembling coalitions, hiring C-suite officers, developing ongoing educational initiatives — to improve diversity and address systemic racism both within and outside their offices. Though the more ambitious efforts may take some time to yield concrete change, those aimed at a more immediate impact are already showing positive results.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is — Now

Independent label 10K Projects has created the charity 10K Together, setting aside $500,000 for nonprofits fighting inequality and providing grants for Black creatives. It has already donated to the racial justice organization Color of Change, a GoFundMe for Jacob Blake and his family, and the Louisville Bail Fund; it has also matched 10K duo Surfaces’ contribution to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. “We wanted our reach to be varied and broad,” says 10K senior vp business and legal affairs Danielle Price, “so that we could effect change in different ways — and that change would have varied effects.”

In June, Sony Music Group established a $100 million social justice fund and offered to match employee donations to the American Civil Liberties Union, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP and The Innocence Project, among others, while Warner Music Group has created its own $100 million fund to help underrepresented populations, starting with a grant to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which protects voting rights in the state.

Support Those Already Doing the Work

In October, Live Nation Urban created the Black Tour Directory, an online portal with the names of hundreds of Black tour and production managers, sound engineers, lighting experts, stage and set designers, and more — all from established organizations like Roadies of Color, Diversify the Stage and Black Promoters Collective. “It was important that we spoke with all of these entities, because they’ve been doing the work,” says LNU manager of marketing and creative services NyAsia Burris. “We wanted to be a partner to amplify the work that’s already being done.”

UMG has supported protesters by donating to bail funds and helping to pay legal fees for those arrested over the past few months. Harleston says the company also assembled “thousands of backpacks for protesters, which had kits in them with water and bandannas and the things you would want and need on the front lines.”

Lower Barriers to Entry

In the midst of the live-music shutdown, says Burris, she has been fielding inquiries from graduating students of color looking for opportunities in the sector — and she regularly connects them with LNU’s network of industry veterans “so that they can learn more once live is back at full scale.”

UMG’s task force has partnered with its internal resource group Black Label to create UPLIFT, a yearlong mentorship program available to any UMG employee, aimed at increasing retention of Black staff and fostering career advancement. In an effort to diversify and expand their internship programs, companies including Concord Music Publishing and PULSE Music Group have begun reaching out to students at historically Black colleges and universities for paid and college-credit roles, respectively; and 10K Together has gone a step further, seeking out young people lacking the means to pursue higher education. Those internships are paid, says Price, so that young people of color aren’t “foreclosed from having that experience on their résumés and potentially breaking into the business at a later point.”

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 14, 2020, issue of Billboard.