Category Top 40 Music

Defying the Pop Charts

Defying the pop charts

Most songs that hit the top 40 in the pop charts have a pretty short shelf life and don’t go on to become classics.  Even the biggest hits don’t stick around for very long, when was the last time you heard someone playing Backstreet Boys?  It’s extremely rare that a song continues to receive airplay on radio stations or garners much in the way of YouTube views after it falls off the charts.

However every rule has an exception and Psy’s track “Gangnam Style” has been defying the pop charts since it was released.  The catchy K-pop tune has been bucking trends and defying odds since its initial release more than 4 years ago.  The song never did get much in the way of radio airplay, American pop stations are really inclined to play a song that is sung entirely in Korean...

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How Does a Song Make it to the Top 40?

How Does a Song Make it to the Top 40?

Every week Billboard puts together a list of the 100 most popular songs, broken down into different genres of music.  There are charts for country music, gospel, R&B, soul, Rock and pop or popular music.  Of all these charts the pop chart is the Holy Grail for an artist, it’s THE standard for commercial success in the music business.  There are artists who will crossover and reach the top 40 on more than one chart, take Taylor Swift for a modern example but most artists strive to hit the pop charts.  The list is based on several factors including sales, airplay and what makes up the top 40 playlists at popular radio stations.

Compiling the List

The first metric they look at is “airplay”, airplay are the songs that are actually played on the radio and television stations like MTV…well...

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