Chart Beat

Kurt Vile's 'Pretty Pimpin' Tops Adult Alternative Songs Chart

Kurt Vile Pretty Pimpin
Courtesy Photo

Kurt Vile in the video for "Pretty Pimpin."

Initially, it was Vile's first song to make a Billboard airplay chart. Now it's his first No. 1.

Kurt Vile notches a career-first No. 1, collecting his initial leader on a Billboard airplay chart, as "Pretty Pimpin," the lead single from b'lieve I'm goin down…, rises 2-1 on the Adult Alternative Songs ranking (dated March 12).

"I've called myself 'Philly's Constant Hitmaker' since I was putting out CD-Rs, so it's good to know that I finally grew into those shoes after 10 years or so," the Philadelphia native, 36, Vile tells Billboard.

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Vile has been a fixture in the indie rock scene dating back to his time as a founding member of The War on Drugs (2005-09). But, despite six solo records and numerous singles, "Pimpin," one of the last songs Vile says he recorded for the album, is the first to make a major dent at radio. It became his maiden song to reach an airplay chart in October and has since begun to cross over to alternative rock radio.

"I previously thought 'Life Like This' would be the single, but then 'Pretty Pimpin' felt like such a hit," Vile explains. "Once the harmonies came, it was all over, because I'm not a natural harmonies singer.

"I guess I was hoping that it'd be some kind of radio hit. I'm glad it finally worked out because I wasn't sure the secret of getting stuff on the radio."

The rocker previously crowned the Tastemakers and Vinyl Albums charts with his 2013 set Walkin on a Pretty Daze.

"Pimpin," being promoted to radio by Beggars Group, is also label Matador's first Billboard airplay No. 1 in its 26-year history.

Vile's b'lieve debuted at No. 10 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart in October, his highest placement yet, and No. 2 on Folk Albums and No. 8 on Alternative Albums. The record also became his highest-charting on the Billboard 200 (No. 40).