Chart Beat

Fiona Apple Makes Record-Breaking Return to Radio With 'Shameika'

Fiona Apple
Courtesy of Epic Records

Fiona Apple

The track becomes her first Adult Alternative Songs hit in two decades.

For the first time in two decades, Fiona Apple has a song on a Billboard airplay chart.

"Shameika," the lead single from Apple's new album Fetch the Bolt Cutters, debuts at No. 24 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs airplay list dated May 9.

Apple appears on a Billboard airplay survey for the first time since Feb. 12, 2000, when "Fast as You Can" spent its last week each on Adult Alternative Songs, after it peaked at No. 8, and Adult Pop Songs, after it hit No. 29. The song also rose to No. 20 on Alternative Songs in December 1999.

In between, Apple released a pair of albums, 2005's Extraordinary Machine and 2012's The Idler Wheel…, but neither yielded any charting singles, airplay or otherwise.

Apple breaks the record for the longest streak between Adult Alternative Songs entries. In fact, it wasn't much of a contest. Chris Cornell, best known as the frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, waited 15 years and eight months between solo hits "Can't Change Me" in 2000 and "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart" in 2015, although he reached the tally as part of Audioslave in 2005. Next up, Rhett Miller spanned 15 years, five months and one week between "Come Around" in 2003 and "Total Disaster" in 2018, although Miller's stat also comes with a caveat, as his usual band, Old 97's, charted three songs in that stretch.

Perhaps the closest example to Apple, then, is Mavis Staples, who took 14 years and nine months between Adult Alternative Songs appearances, both in featured roles: on Natalie Merchant's "Build a Levee" in 2002 and Arcade Fire's "I Give You Power" in 2017. As far as groups (and acts in lead roles) go, Jimmy Eat World ended a gap of 14 years and a month between "The Middle" in 2002 and "Sure and Certain" in 2016.

"Shameika" debuts on Adult Alternative Songs a week after Fetch the Bolt Cutters arrived on multiple Billboard charts, led by its No. 1 bows on Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums, plus a No. 4 start on the all-format Billboard 200, with 44,000 equivalent album units earned in its first week, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. "Shameika" entered the streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Rock Songs chart at No. 15 the same week.