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Britney Spears’ ‘Selfish’ Tops Justin Timberlake’s ‘Selfish’ in Sales During Latter’s First Full Week, Thanks to Fan Movement

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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: Britney Spears’ fans ensure Justin Timberlake isn’t by his “Selfish” lonesome on the charts this week, a Prime Video musical series seems to be on the verge of a major breakout, “Not the 1975” passes The 1975 on radio and much more.

Britney Spears Fans ‘Selfish’-ly Troll Justin Timberlake’s New Single Release, Revive 13-Year-Old ‘Femme Fatale’ Bonus Track 

A little low-stakes trolling never hurt anybody, right? Last Friday (Jan. 25), Justin Timberlake kicked off the campaign for Everything I Thought It Was – his forthcoming sixth studio album – with lead single “Selfish.”  

Of course, Timberlake’s name has been embroiled in controversy for the past few months following unsavory excerpts from Britney SpearsThe Woman In Me memoir, in which she reflects on him cheating on her, dumping her right before a music video shoot, and playing guitar as she cried on the bathroom floor after aborting their unborn child. 

To troll Timberlake’s release, Britney’s fans started throwing their support behind a Spears single also titled “Selfish.” A bonus track from the deluxe edition of 2011’s Femme Fatale, “Selfish” had seen virtually no substantial commercial success before this weekend. At one point, Spears’ “Selfish” reached the top of the U.S. iTunes Chart, conquering a Tom McDonald-Ben Shapiro collab, Megan Thee Stallion’s much-talked-about “Hiss,” and Timberlake’s own “Selfish” in the process. 

According to Luminate, during the period of Jan. 29-31, Spears’ “Selfish” garnered over 397,000 official on-demand streams, marking an unbelievable 14,978% increase from just over 2,600 streams during the period of Jan. 22-24. Notably, Spears’ “Selfish” also sold just under 10,000 digital copies during Jan. 29-31, a vast improvement from the negligible number of copies the song sold during Jan. 22-24. 

For what it’s worth, Spears has since come out as a fan of Timberlake’s “Selfish,” writing on Instagram (which is now set to private), “I am so in love with Justin Timberlake’s new song ‘Selfish.’ It is soo good.” Timberlake’s new single earned 4.8 million official on-demand streams during Jan. 29-31. – KYLE DENIS

Will ‘Hazbin Hotel’ Reserve the ‘Encanto’ Slot on the 2024 Charts?

For all the film musicals that have been taking over the box office in recent months – Wonka, The Color Purple, Mean Girls – it might be an animated musical comedy series whose soundtrack has the most profound impact on the Billboard charts this year. Hazbin Hotel, created by Vivienne Medrano and featuring songs composed by Sam Haft and Andrew Underberg (no relation), has been taking off with viewers and critics since the first four episodes of its first season premiered on Amazon Prime two Thrusdays ago (Jan. 18). Now, with two more episodes out on Jan. 25, the show’ is starting to really make its presence felt in sales and streaming. 

“Poison” (sung by cast member Blake Roman) and “Loser Baby” (by Roman and co-star Keith David), both featured in the season’s fourth episode (“Masquerade”) and available on DSPs via A24 Music, have been the two leading performers from the show thus far. “Poison” notched over 2.4 million official on-demand U.S. streams for the week ending Jan. 25 (following the episode’s premiere), according to Luminate, while “Loser” did even better, with over 2.7 million streams. What’s more, they’re both still gaining: “Poison” has infected over 1.8 million streams through the first four days of this tracking week (Jan. 26-29) – a 61% gain over the same period the previous week – while “Loser” has won nearly 2 million over the same period, a gain of 60%. 

Neither song is threatening the Hot 100 just yet (“Poison” has made a couple Alternative charts) but as the show continues to build buzz – and as the final two songs of the first season arrive this Thursday (Feb. 1) – it’s hard not to get the same feeling Encanto generated when its songs started breaking the surface of the mainstream at the turn of 2022. Whether any of the songs can become a crossover hit on the level of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” remains to be seen, but karaoke rooms should probably start bracing themselves for impact just in case. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER

Michael Marcagi Off to Strong ‘Start’ With Second Single

As both Zach Bryan and Noah Kahan have lodged their work into the upper reaches of the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts, a natural byproduct of their respective successes is the proliferation of their rustic, intimately drawn country-folk amalgamations. Fans of both singer-songwriters have certainly taken a shine to “Scared to Start,” the new single from Cincinnati singer-songwriter Michael Marcagi, who fronted the rock quartet The Heavy Hours before striking out on his own. Debut single “The Other Side” earned some attention upon its December release, but based on early streaming returns, its follow-up may be a bonafide breakthrough.

After Marcagi teased the single ahead of its Jan. 12 release, “Scared to Start” has started strong, with 2.54 million official on-demand U.S. streams in its first week of release and 3.64 million more in its second week — a 42% week-to-week jump, according to Luminate. The song has been added to Spotify’s Hot Hits USA and Pop Rising playlists, while Marcagi has continued promoting “Scared to Start” and re-posting fan covers on his TikTok page, which has 165,000 followers. The soft-glowing electric guitar and tenderly anthemic hooks of “Scared to Start” sound straight out of stick season — and Marcagi, a recent Warner Records signee, may be crashing the Hot 100 with it soon enough. – JASON LIPSHUTZ

Rich Amiri Bags Burgeoning Streaming Smash In Only “One Call” 

“I don’t trust a soul, I don’t trust nobody / Threw up off some pills, I don’t trust my own body,” opens the chorus of Rich Amiri’s “One Call.” Those lines – which are paired with rattling pluggnb production – smartly call on social media’s self-destructive obsession with “haters,” thus providing two immediate gateways to TikTok virality for the single. 

“One Call,” taken from Amiri’s Internet Money/10K Projects LP Ghetto Fabulous (2023), has posted a 289% increase in official on-demand U.S. streams over the past five weeks. During the week of Jan. 19-25, the track pulled in 4.69 million streams, up substantially from the 1.2 million it notched during Dec. 22-28. On TikTok – where users frequently use the song to soundtrack video game fan edits and lip-sync clips – the official “One Call” sound boasts 31,600 posts. On YouTube, the track’s official music video – which debuted on Nov. 8, 2023 – has collected over 2.9 million views. 

Having debuted on both the Bubbling Under Hot 100 (No. 7) and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (No. 45) this week (both charts dated Feb. 3, 2024), “One Call” is shaping up to be the first Billboard Hot 100 entry of Rich Amiri’s career. – KD

‘Not the 1975’ Is Becoming Bigger at Pop Radio Than… The 1975

Last July, Atlantic-signed Nashville artist Knox built a kicky pop-rock track around the chorus lyric “She said ‘I like your confidence, but you’re not The 1975’”; then, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter wove in references to the British band’s songs “Chocolate,” “Looking for Somebody (to Love)” and “Oh Caroline,” and titled the track “Not The 1975.” Over the past month, the song has proven to be an unlikely hit for Knox — and most surprisingly, has continued to find an audience at U.S. pop radio.

The all-format radio audience for “Not the 1975” has ballooned from 141,000 impressions during the week ending Jan. 4 to 1.1 million during the most recent tracking week, according to Luminate. That’s good enough to get Knox’s single to No. 35 on this week’s Pop Airplay chart — a format that has yet to fully embrace the actual 1975, even as they’ve headlined arenas across America in recent years. The 1975’s biggest Pop Airplay hit to date is the aforementioned “Chocolate,” which peaked at No. 25 on the chart in 2014, and the band hasn’t graced the listing at all since “The Sound” in 2016. That means, depending on how many spins Knox keeps collecting over the next few months, “Not the 1975” could climb higher on this chart than the 1975 ever have. – JL

Season’s Gainings: Travis Kelce Continues Fighting the Good ‘Fight’ 

It may have confused those not versed in recent Kansas City Chiefs lore when start tight end (and Taylor Swift beau) Travis Kelce paused his postgame interview after his team’s AFC Championship victory to shout the chorus to the Beastie Boys’ 1986 classic “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party).”But the song has been a rallying cry for the Chiefs since Kelce first yelled it at the AFC Championship post-game a half-decade ago, and the team’s faithful knew it was time to get ill once Kelce again sounded the call: “Fight for Your Right” was up 15% in combined official on-demand U.S. streams (193,000 to 221,000) over this Sunday and Monday (Jan. 27-28) from the same period the previous week. If the Chiefs win their third Super Bowl in the past six years two Sundays from now, maybe Mike D and Ad Rock can at least get some free championship shirts out of it. – AU

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Justin Timberlake’s Top 25 Billboard Hot 100 Hits

Following the launch of his solo career after soaring to success with *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake has been a force on the Billboard charts. His 2002 solo debut album, Justified, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and generated four top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including his first two top 10 efforts: “Like I Love You” (No. 11), “Cry Me a River” (No. 2), “Rock Your Body” (No. 5) and “Senorita” (No. 27). The multi-hit run set Timberlake up for […]

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