Chart Beat

Even Better Than 'A-O-K': Tai Verdes Tops Emerging Artists Chart

Tai Verdes
Angelo Kritikos

Tai Verdes

Plus, KK's Priest debuts at No. 5.

Tai Verdes ascends to No. 1 on Billboard's Emerging Artists chart (dated Oct. 16) to become the top emerging act in the U.S. for the first time, thanks to his multi-format hit "A-O-K."

The single, released on Arista Records, rises to a new No. 34 high on the Billboard Hot 100 with 23.4 million radio airplay audience impressions (up 7%), 7.1 million U.S. streams and 2,500 downloads sold, according to MRC Data.

"A-O-K" concurrently places at No. 5 on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, as it holds at No. 20 on Alternative Airplay. It also lifts 13-12 on Pop Airplay and 32-27 on Adult Pop Airplay.

Verdes is a relative newcomer to Billboard's charts, after charting two other tracks. "Stuck in the Middle" reached No. 24 on Alternative Airplay last December, its profile boosted by TikTok, and "Drugs" climbed to No. 32 on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs in March. Plus, his debut LP TV hit No. 15 on Alternative Albums in August.

The 25-year-old recently told Billboard of his sunny crossover hit, "The amount of people that have hit me up on Instagram or in any DM and said, like, 'Hey, 'A-O-K' has made a difference in my day' or, 'This song has brought me out of this moment' ... I really appreciate that."

Among other Emerging Artists chart moves, heavy metal band KK's Priest debuts at No. 5, powered by its new LP Sermons of the Sinner. The set opens at No. 10 on Top Hard Rock Albums (6,000 equivalent album units), with this week marking the group's first appearances on Billboard's charts.

The Emerging Artists chart ranks the most popular developing artists of the week, using the same formula as the all-encompassing Billboard Artist 100, which measures artist activity across multiple Billboard charts, including the Hot 100, Billboard 200 and the Social 50. (The Artist 100 lists the most popular acts, overall, each week.) However, the Emerging Artists chart excludes acts that have notched a top 25 entry on either the Hot 100 or Billboard 200, as well as artists that have achieved two or more top 10s on Billboard's "Hot" song genre charts and/or consumption-based "Top" album genre rankings.