Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’ Up 156% After ‘Anyone But You’ Usage

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Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip. 
This week: A new hit rom-com revives an ’00s pop-rock classic, a musical Apple commercial pulls on the heartstrings, Zeddy Will “Cha Cha”s back to virality and more.

Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” Soars on Streaming Thanks to Anyone But You 

During the holidays (Dec. 22), Anyone But You – which stars Emmy nominee Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell – delighted rom-com fans across movie theatres. In the Shakespeare-inspired story, Natasha Bedingfield’s pop classic “Unwritten” plays a pivotal role in the narrative of Powell’s character. The song plays and is sung by multiple characters throughout the film, easily making it the defining musical characteristic of the Will Gluck-helmed movie. 

According to Luminate, “Unwritten” earned over 1.3 million official on-demand streams during the period of Dec. 29-Jan. 1, marking an eye-popping 156.3% increase from just over 511,000 streams the weekend prior (Dec. 22-25). Since the film hit theatres, TikTok has seen a wave of videos using the official “Unwritten” sound to soundtrack viewers leaving Anyone But You screenings in high spirits. That sound boasts over 39,400 posts on TikTok. Bedingfield has since posted a pair of TikToks celebrating the song’s resurgence. “A rom com has got girls falling out of cinemas singing my song — and now it’s trending!!!” she wrote in an intro to a compilation of post-Anyone But You “Unwritten” TikToks. — KYLE DENIS

A Singing Outlet Electrifies Doe Boy’s “Way Too Long” 

It was certainly one of the more attention-capturing new commercials you might’ve seen in a week of sports and holiday TV coverage at the end of 2023: an Apple ad for the iPhone 15 Plus starring a heartbroken electrical outlet. In the spot, the outlet painedly croons to the new iPhone about why it’s being so distant: ““We had pure energy/ We had that chemistry/ We were inseparable… I feel like it’s been way too long and I’m missing you.” Though it’s mostly just meant to trumpet the long battery life of the 15 Plus, the commercial tugged enough heartstrings this emotional holiday season to lead listeners to the real song behind it. 

“Way Too Long,” released earlier in December by Cleveland rapper Doe Boy, is the song featured in the commercial, and the track has seen a boom in streams following the commercial’s Christmas Eve debut. For the first four days of this current tracking week (Dec. 29 – Jan. 1), the track pulled in over 98,000 official on-demand U.S. streams – up 115% from the under 46,000 it posted over an equivalent period (Dec. 22 – 25) the week before, according to Luminate – while also landing in the top 10 of Shazam’s U.S. top 200, as folks were gratified too learn “Way Too Long” was a real song, not just an inspired invention of Apple’s marketing team. (“Dem damn Electrical Sockets cooked!” reads one characteristic comment on the song’s official YouTube.)  – ANDREW UNTERBERGER

4Batz Rides Ironic Music Video to Massive Streaming Gains 

With SZA, Victoria Monét and Coco Jones leading the charge, R&B had a banner year in 2023. This year seeks to be a continuation of that momentum, but this time with a rising star named 4batz at the forefront. His “Act II: Date @ 8,” has exploded at streaming, pulling in over 2.4 million official on-demand streams during the period of Dec. 22-28, according to Luminate. That’s a whopping 385% increase in streaming activity from just under 500,000 streams the week prior (Dec. 15-21). 

The massive streaming growth of “Act II” is mostly due to its viral From The Block live performance music video. In the clip, which finds him surrounded by a crew decked out in ski masks and hoodies, 4 Batz plays on the TikTok generation’s penchant for visual and sonic irony. While he’s singing a Brent Faiyaz-adjacent R&B track, the video’s aesthetic lends itself more towards drill rappers than R&B crooners. That juxtaposition helped make the video a viral sensation on social media, even drawing a reaction from record-breaking Twitch streamer Kai Cenat. Several excerpts from his reaction have earned over 50,000 likes on TikTok alone, and the excerpt he posted to his own YouTube Shorts page received 49,000 views in just 22 hours. The song’s official visualizer has garnered 700,000 views in two weeks, while the official TikTok sound boasts over 13,500 posts. 

“Act II: Date @ 8” has already hit No. 1 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 and No. 2 on the platform’s Viral 50 – USA ranking. It’s only up from here as 4Batz’s career and profile continue to grow. — KD

Zeddy Will Scores Another TikTok-Feuled Streaming Smash With On the Radar “Cha Cha” Freestyle 

Last year, Billboard covered Zeddy Will’s last TikTok-fueled streaming hit, “Freak You.” Now, just three days into the new year, the social media personality and rapper has another smash on his hands. According to Luminate, “Cha Cha” has collected over 1.24 million official on-demand streams during the period of Dec. 22-28. That’s a humongous 257.4% increase from just under 350,000 streams two weeks prior (Dec. 8-14). 

“Cha Cha” — a remix of the iconic “Cha Cha Slide” — is one-half of Zeddy’s On The Radar Freestyle, which hit YouTube on Dec. 1, 2023. The clip has since earned over one million views, with a standalone “Cha Cha” clip earning an additional 151,000 views. Beyond the initial live performance video, “Cha Cha” sources its virality from a viral TikTok dance courtesy of TikTok creator @jerseyyjoe; his initial dance clip has earned nearly 24 million TikTok views. The hip-rocking, slipper-smacking dance quickly gained steam on the app from major creators and everyday users alike, resulting in over 84,400 posts to On The Radar Radio’s “Cha Cha” sound

With Zeddy Will always being one step ahead of the social media curve – he’s already teamed up for collaborative TikToks with @jerseyyjoe – there’s no telling just how much “Cha Cha” will continue to rise. — KD

Season’s Gainings: New Year, Same Taylor

For hundreds of thousands of music listeners, 2024 appears to be starting off about the same way all of 2023 went: listening to Taylor Swift. There seemed to be a Swift song for just about every occasion in ‘23, and for Jan. 1 of 2024, there was a particularly obvious pick: Reputation closer and fan favorite “New Year’s Day,” which saw a 333% gain (from the prior Dec. 30) to 361,000 official on-demand U.S. streams on the first day of last year as well. But following Swift’s historic 2023, the total bump was even bigger: “Day” skyrocketed 327% to 738,000 streams over the same two-day period this year, even cracking the top 40 of Spotify’s Daily Top Songs USA chart on Jan. 1. Within a few years, there might not be a day on the calendar you won’t be able to pencil in some automatic Swift megabump for. — AU

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Travis Barker & Daughter Alabama Get ‘Tatted Together’

Travis Barker and Alabama Barker had the ultimate father-daughter hangout on Wednesday night (Jan. 3), as the duo got inked up together. The rocker’s 18-year-old daughter took to her Instagram Stories to share a photo of her dad getting his tattoo done. while she sat and waited for her turn. “Tatted together,” Alabama captioned the post. She followed up with her finished product, the Stevie Wonder-inspired lyrics, “Isn’t She Lovely.” “Fun fact: I was rocked as a baby to that […]

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