In a surprise move, Lady Gaga released a music video on Thursday (Sept. 17) to accompany “Till It Happens To You,” a powerful track that addresses sexual assault. Upon the video’s debut, the cut raced to No. 1 on the real time Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart, and maintained a presence in the top five through the weekend after supportive tweets from Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Platten, among others. “Happens” returns Gaga to the top 10 of the Trending 140 for the first time since July 29, when “Anything Goes” (a duet with Tony Bennett) swung to No. 4.
Gaga wrote the track with legendary songwriter Diane Warren for the film The Hunting Ground, a documentary chronicling sexual assault on college campuses, which debuted in January. “Till It Happens To You” marks Lady Gaga’s first new material since releasing Cheek to Cheek, her jazz duets album with Bennett, in September 2014.
As the clip premiered, Gaga said on Twitter that she penned the song “for people all over the world who suffer from painful life experiences.” The famed singer herself belongs in that camp. In 2014, during an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show, Gaga revealed she was sexually assaulted when she was 19 years old.
As “Till It Happens” takes off, Gaga has several forthcoming projects, led by her anticipated role on FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel, which premieres Oct. 7. On the music side, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is working on her fifth studio album, which may reach listeners in 2016. Earlier this year, Gaga confirmed her reunion with hitmaking producer RedOne, who helped helm some of Gaga’s biggest hits, including “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance.”
Meanwhile, Lana Del Rey’s Honeymoon kicks off in sweet style as the album’s tracks set sail on the Trending 140. Lead single “High By The Beach” fared strongest, reaching a No. 5 peak in the hours ahead of the Honeymoon issue. The whimsical single completed the journey to No. 1 on two prior occasions – the day of its initial release (Aug. 10) and the day of its music video debut (Aug. 13).
All told, five of the album’s tracks -- “Beach,” the title track, and the cuts “Music To Watch Boys To,” “Freak” and “Salvatore” -- spent time at No. 1 during the lead-up to Honeymoon’s release.
Speaking of “Freak,” that song and “The Blackest Day” also nestled into the top 10, peaking at Nos. 8 and 10, respectively. Listeners first heard the former cut in the short Honeymoon sampler clip Lana premiered on Sept. 8.
Just outside the top 10, the songs “Art Deco” (No. 12) and “God Knows I Tried” (No. 18) made notable advances up the Trending 140.
Interest in new Del Rey material also helps her collaboration with The Weeknd, “Prisoner,” return to the chart at No. 19. The cut features on his new album, Beauty Behind the Madness, which leads the Billboard 200 for a third straight frame. The set has spun off two top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, “Can’t Feel My Face” (No. 1) and “The Hills” (No. 2), making the R&B singer the 10th act ever to simultaneously own the chart’s top two positions as a lead artist.