Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 10/16/2014



Welcome back for another analysis of the Billboard Hot 100! Here’s all you need to know about the chart released today.


  1. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
  2. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
  3. Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora
  4. Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo
  5. Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
  6. Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih f/YG
  7. Animals by Maroon 5
  8. Anaconda by Nicki Minaj
  9. Stay With Me by Sam Smith
  10. Hot Boy by Bobby Shmurda

Female artists hold the entire Top 5 for a record-extending sixth consecutive week, as Tove Lo’s breakout hit replaces “Anaconda.” There have now been 12 weeks in Hot 100 history where women have dominated each of the top 5 spots, and half of them have come since September.

Also edging forward this week are “Don’t Tell ‘Em” and “Animals.” For Jeremih, he now sits just two spots below his career-high peak of #4 (“Down on Me” in 2011). For Maroon 5, the band follows up its huge video-aided jump last week by earning the Airplay Gainer award this week. Radio exposure is the best way for a song to gain Hot 100 traction, so look for “Animals” to settle in here in the Top 10.

Bouncing 12-10, “Hot Boy” Shmoney dances its way into the Top 10, giving Bobby Shmurda his first Top 10 single in as many tries. The song does not appear in any form on any form of pop genre chart, meaning that rap airplay and viral video exposure alone are responsible for its astronomical ranking. Very few rap songs can make it this high without crossing over to mainstream radio, so kudos for Shmurda for expertly navigating the world of online fame.



27 Spots: I’m Not The Only One by Sam Smith (52-25)

17 Spots: Try by Colbie Caillat (82-65)

13 Spots: Take Me To Church by Hozier (62-49)

13 Spots: Shotgun Rider by Tim McGraw (97-84)

12 Spots: Jealous by Nick Jonas (40-28)


  1. Thanks to an A$AP Rocky remix, Smith’s newest single earns the Streaming Gainer this week, and gives Smith his fourth trip to the Top 40 this year.
  2. After falling off the Hot 100 directly from its #55 peak, “Try” is using adult contemporary radio to build its way back up to its previous height.
  3. The king of alternative radio right now, Hozier’s first Hot 100 appearance cracks the Top 50 in its ninth week on the chart, a good pace for an emerging artist.
  4. McGraw’s newest single from Sundown Heaven Town appears to be off to a similar start to “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”.
  5. The buzz surrounding Nick Jonas’ return to the spotlight does not seem to be abating, and his first solo single is approaching the heights of even the most successful Jonas Brothers singles.


“Ew!” by Jimmy Fallon f/ (#26)

  • Aided by a viral video which premiered on The Tonight Show and garnered millions views on YouTube within 24 hours, late-night host Jimmy Fallon (known to utilize his musical talents on the show) turned one of his skits into a Hot 100 Top Debut. The song is humorous, but everyone knows that the success of the debut won’t last. “Ew!” will either be off the chart next week, or at least fall a considerable amount.

“Sippin’ On Fire” by Florida Georgia Line (#62)

  • Another week, another high debut for Florida Georgia Line. Jason Aldean’s album came out last week, so he’s done with the teaser singles. Florida Georgia Line released Anything Goes on Tuesday, so this could be their last one-and-done chart appearance for the year.

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran (#69)

  • A very sweet and tender ballad, “Thinking Out Loud” is yet another diversified and impressive track from Sheeran. Its music video, featuring him ballroom dancing, was released just last week and has over 9 million views already. While that figure certainly is responsible for its high debut, I think this song has potential to stick around and give him a shot at another Top 40 single off of X.

“The Days” by Avicii (#78)

  • Featuring uncredited vocals from British superstar Robbie Williams, Avicii’s newest single breaks slightly from the folktronica mold set by his TRUE album last year. Nonetheless, it builds to a winning final two minutes, and has the potential to be this fall’s club banger. It might not take off like “Wake Me Up” or “Hey Brother,” but it could certainly reach the Top 30.

“Love Me Harder” by Ariana Grande & The Weeknd (#79)

  • Showcasing her mastery of pop and traditional R&B, Grande takes the beat down a bit and teams up with R&B critical darling The Weeknd to create a slick duet. It’s a little more uptempo than “Best Mistake,” which turned into a one-and-done, and I think it has the potential to stick around a bit longer. It might not have too much upward mobility, but it could peak around the 50s if radio decides to pick it up.

“Perfect Storm” by Brad Paisley (#85)

  • “River Bank” became a nice summer hit for Paisley, and the country superstar is always ready to score another hit single. Taking it down a few notches from his trademark summer jams, Paisley returns to the balladic structure which gave him a hit in 2011 with “Remind Me.” The name of the game in country music is airplay, and a name as big as Paisley’s is sure to get a lion’s share of radio spins. As such, I think it’s a fair bet to assume that “Perfect Storm” will at least make it to the 50s, and likely could make a run for the Top 40.

“L.A.Love (La La) by Fergie (#97)

  • Fergie certainly wishes it was 2007, when she was literally on top of the pop world with three #1 singles and a slew of hit records. Her time in the spotlight has faded though, so it seems natural that she would seek out DJ Mustard to try and give her solo career a little boost. Mustard provides her a functional beat, but Fergie does little with it and creates a vastly unforgettable track. I don’t see “L.A.Love” peaking any higher than #80, and could easily be a one-and-done single.

“Errrbody” by Yo Gotti (#98)

  • Merely by debuting at #98, Yo Gotti has his highest charting effort as a solo artist since 2009. “Errrbody” isn’t a particularly-inspired track, and didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me. I could see it being a one-and-done, but it likely will peak somewhere in the 80s.

“Body Language” by Kid Ink f/Usher & Tinashe (#100)

  • Appearing for the first time without Chris Brown on the chorus, Kid Ink arguably does one better by recruiting Usher and up-and-comer Tinashe. The song has a fun beat, and sounds a lot more like “Show Me” than “Main Chick.” Kid Ink and Tinashe are two of 2014’s undisputable breakout stars, so their union with Usher could prove to be a fruitful one. I could easily see “Body Language” making a run towards the Top 40.

There are plenty of songs with hit potential this week, all the way from Kid Ink’s #100 debut to Brad Paisley’s latest offering. The two songs I have circled however, are “Thinking Out Loud” and “The Days.” Both songs represent genres currently in vogue (the Sam Smith ballad-pop and the EDM mainstream crossover), and both are by artists who have been very successful over the past year. If I had to give the edge to one song, I’d pick “The Days,” but look for Sheeran and Avicii to have some late-fall success with these songs.



  • POP: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift (#2 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Burnin’ It Down by Jason Aldean (#20 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: A Sky Full Of Stars by Coldplay (#30 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance (#56 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#3 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#3 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Break Free by Ariana Grande f/Zedd (#11 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (#22 on Hot 100)


  1. The Hot 100 bids farewell to “Counting Stars” this week, a huge hit which could easily go down as OneRepublic’s biggest song ever. Its 68 weeks spent on the chart are good for a fifth-place tie for longest run of all-time with “Party Rock Anthem.”

That’s all for this week! I’ll be back on Thursday with a look at the next edition of the Hot 100. More predictions and analysis coming at you in a week!

Until then,



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