"The video is obviously high-quality, and the song is beautiful and wonderful," says RCA president/COO Tom Corson.
One week after Miley Cyrus' salacious music video for "Wrecking Ball" smashed the 24-hour record for views across the Vevo platform, the accumulation of those streams helped propel the ballad to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. "Wrecking Ball" leapt 22-1 on last week's chart, giving the 20-year-old Cyrus her first chart-topper less than a month before "Bangerz," her fourth studio album and RCA Records debut, arrives Oct. 8.
After "Wrecking Ball" dipped from a prior peak of No. 14 to No. 22 on last issue's Hot 100, the Sept. 9 Vevo premiere of the song's music video helped increase its U.S. streaming numbers by 1,565% in its fourth week on the chart. Directed by Terry Richardson, the clip depicts Cyrus straddling a swinging wrecking ball and licking a sledgehammer in slow motion.
"Clearly after [MTV's Video Music Awards], her fans and people [in general] were looking for the next 'Miley event,'" RCA president/COO Tom Corson says. He also points out that Cyrus helped stoke interest in the "Wrecking Ball" video by promising her 13 million Twitter followers that she would unveil the full track list to "Bangerz" if her latest clip set the 24-hour Vevo record. After the video smashed the mark set by One Direction's "Best Song Ever" clip (12.3 million views) by garnering 19.3 million in one day, Cyrus kept her word, revealing collaborations with Britney Spears, French Montana and Nelly, among others.
"We feel like [the video] over-performed, and we were very pleased with the pickup," continues Corson. "The video is obviously high-quality, and the song is beautiful and wonderful. It's one of the songs that convinced us to sign her."
Produced by Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Cirkut, "Wrecking Ball" offers starker lyrical content and a slower tempo than Cyrus' previous single, "We Can't Stop," which spent most of the summer camped out in the Hot 100's top five. However, WHTZ (Z100) New York PD Sharon Dastur believes pop listeners are ready to put away the summer's dance anthems in favor of something more contemplative on top 40.
"Now we're heading into fall, and ... the timing is perfect for this type of tempo and style," Dastur says, adding that "Wrecking Ball" is still in Z100's "new" rotation category but that early indications signal a huge hit. The track debuts at No. 35 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.
Cyrus debuted "Wrecking Ball" live on Saturday (Sept. 20) at the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival, during a daytime performance at the outdoor iHeartRadio Village, and then on the main stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena later that evening. The singer is set to smash the "Saturday Night Live" crowd with her first No. 1 single during her hosting/performing gig on Oct. 5.