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New Boy Band JO1's Debut Single, 'Infinity,' Rules Japan Hot 100

JO1
Courtesy of Billboard Japan

JO1

J-pop boy band JO1 (pronounced "jay-oh-one") shoots to No. 1 on the latest Billboard Japan Hot 100 (dated March 2 to 8) with its debut single, "INFINITY." The new 11-member group, formed through the audition program PRODUCE 101 JAPAN, led physical sales with 344,299 copies sold and also topped Twitter mentions, where they have charted for seven weeks.

The metric for look-ups, which counts the number of times a CD is ripped to a computer, usually coincides with physical sales, but this week's No. 1 goes to Mr. Children's new single, "Birthday," which debuts at No. 3 on the Japan Hot 100. The veteran pop band's first new single in almost three years sold 64,698 copies and comes in at No. 3 for physical sales, but its strength in look-ups proves the consistent appeal of the group's songs. The track also comes in at No. 4 for radio airplay.

Meanwhile, Official HIGE DANdism's "I LOVE…" continues to dominate the digital metrics of the chart's methodology, ruling downloads for the third week, streaming for the fourth week, and video views for the second week in a row, respectively. The track holds at No. 2 on the Japan Hot 100 for the third week as figures for streaming (from 7,146,456 streams last week to 7,940,200 this week) and video views (from 6,361,458 to 8,584,300 plays) surge. The song is now firmly lodged in the cycle that leads to long-lasting hits, and the band is now up against itself in the race against its mega-hit "Pretender" that is already set to rank highly in the 2020 mid-year and year-end charts.

An interesting trivia from this week's list is the resurgence of actor Takashi Sorimachi's hit song from July 1998, "POISON," which comes in at No. 38 this week. The song is being powered by Twitter (No. 2) and downloads (No. 38) after word got out that the intro's characteristic guitar riff makes babies stop crying, resulting in numerous videos and mentions being posted online.

Back in 2017, Yoko Oginome enjoyed a massive revival of "Dancing Hero," her hit from 1985, powered by video views. While "POISON" lacks the kind of explosive popularity that fueled Oginome's second coming, it still has enough momentum to continue climbing up the Japan Hot 100. Sorimachi himself could be a bit baffled by the resurgence of his pop-rock hit coming from left field, though.

The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! video views, Gracenote look-ups, audio streams from Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, AWA, Google Play Music, KKBOX, LINE MUSIC, Rakuten Music, RecMusic provided by Gfk Japan, dHits, Uta Pass and Spotify, plus karaoke data from Daiichikosho and XING.

Billboard Japan Hot 100 Top 10 (dated March 2 to 8)
1. [39] INFINITY / JO1 (344,299 copies / 6,126 downloads / none)
2. [2] I LOVE… / Official HIGE DANdism (4,463 copies / 38,525 downloads / 7,940,200 streams)
3. [-] Birthday / Mr. Children (64,698 copies / none / none)
4. [3] Pretender / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 13,964 downloads / 5,837,790 streams)
5. [5] Gurenge / LiSA (2,620 copies / 23,697 downloads / 4,896,790 streams)
6. [4] Hakujitsu / King Gnu (none / 13,339 downloads / 6,007,473 streams)
7. [-] Teppen New Days / Matsuri nine. (86,860 copies / none / none)
8. [-] AS ONE / UVERworld (24,673 copies / 13,434 downloads / 1,456,799 streams)
9. [9] Shukumei / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 6,329 downloads / 3,730,453 streams)
10. [10] Yesterday / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 3,871 downloads / 3,610,522 streams)

[ ]: Position last week
( ): Physical sales / downloads / streams (Top 50 only)

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