Atlantic Records' John McMann offers insights about Mars' successful sonic transformation with the "24K Magic" album. Plus Hot 100 action for Kendrick Lamar & Sam Hunt.
Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts.
This week, Atlantic Records senior vp promotion John McMann, who stopped by the podcast two weeks ago to share the label's perspective on Ed Sheeran's success, returns to dig into Bruno Mars' chart domination. Mars' latest album, the R&B-flavored 24K Magic, became his first No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and has spun off two top five Billboard Hot 100 hits: the title track and "That's What I Like," currently at No. 3 on the April 22-dated chart. It also rules the Hot R&B Songs tally for an eighth week.
"The album, he was telling us along, was going to be much more R&B-influenced [and] maybe a little throwback vibe here and there," McMann says, adding that Mars' Grammy Awards appearance in February, when he performed "Like," as well as a tribute to Prince, helped show off the star's multiple sides. Says McMann, "Bruno is a master of having a throwback DNA in his songs, but still sounding super-current."