Billboard worked in partnership with Logitech for Creators to bring the Song Breaker chart and associated features like this story to life.
It’s no secret that when a trend goes viral on TikTok, the song that soundtracks the trend gets a massive boost in streams and recognition. To date, the music industry has not had a definitive system to track which creators and trends are truly driving the biggest impact on music consumption. Today, Billboard in partnership with Logitech for Creators launches the first ever Song Breaker chart, built to showcase the top creators, songs, and trends on TikTok and YouTube.
Creators are the source of this new wave of promotion for songs old and new–what goes viral isn’t necessarily the latest major label releases, but whatever resonates with the social zeitgeist at a given time. The Song Breaker Chart tracks three categories: creators, the songs they boost, and the trend or challenge that makes it all happen. The creators themselves on social platforms like TikTok and YouTube run the gamut, from household names like Lizzo to emerging talent like Keara Wilson, who launched the #SavageChallenge trend on TikTok with her choreography set to Megan Thee Stallion’s 2020 smash hit “Savage.”
It’s safe to say that social creators come in roughly three flavors: first, there are the Originators who spark trends, like Wilson. Then, there are the Amplifiers, who use their status as established influencers to shine a spotlight on trends, like Lizzo. Lastly, there are the artists themselves, who increasingly turn to social platforms and challenges to try to strike gold with a viral trend or challenge to boost their latest singles.
Originators, Amplifiers, and artists play vital roles in connecting social platforms and the music world, and the creator economy shows no signs of slowing down. “With Billboard’s Song Breaker Chart, there’s an ongoing recognition and celebration of creators and how they’re impacting pop culture,” Logitech’s Global Head Of Creator Marketing Meridith Rojas told Billboard. Logitech for Creators champions the creator economy, putting a major stake in the ground with their Song Breaker Awards, which recognized Originators and Amplifiers. “Platforms like TikTok democratize content and it’s important for Logitech to support all creators — from emerging to established,” Rojas told Billboard.
Billboard’s Charts Division created a monthly ranking using a blend of engagement and view data from platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Triller, provided by Shareablee, and pairs it with streaming and sales metrics logged by MRC Data. The latest chart represents data collected through July 20 — and there’s a very clear chart topper.
Usim E. Mang — better known by his TikTok handle @usimmango — owns the top spot on the inaugural Song Breaker Chart thanks to his mega viral video featuring Belgian rapper Stromae’s track “Alors en Danse.” The 19-year-old Originator’s effortless charm and smooth shimmy took TikTok by storm and put the Belgian MC Stromae’s work back in the spotlight.
“Alors en Danse” going viral was directly tied to Ussimango’s ultra-popular trend, showcasing the importance of Originators in focusing global attention on both their creativity and the artists that inspire them. Ussimango’s original video racked up more than 130 million views and had celebrities like Chloe Bailey and Jesse McCartney jumping on the trend, and reignited Stromae’s decade-old hit in the process.
“Music is creativity itself, every little beat and tick is what fuels my creativity,” Mang told Billboard. “It’s honestly an honor to be part of this chart, I can be nothing but grateful.”
Following Usim on the inaugural Song Breaker list is Vanessa Clark, aka @Glitchgirlmaster. The 17-year-old Originator and Massachusetts native has created a variety of viral videos on TikTok featuring her glitched out remixes and dance moves. Those include a June 22 clip featuring Luci4’s “Kurxxed Emeraldz” and a June 26 post featuring a remix of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” that boasts nearly 40 million views on TikTok. Both videos set off the #glitchchallenge where users from around the world imitated Clark’s signature video in their own way.
In the U.S., “Get Ur Freak On” streams have jumped 20% from the week before to her first usage of the song in late June to the latest tracking period in mid-July. It rose from 593,000 on-demand streams to 706,000, according to MRC Data. “Kurxxed Emeraldz ” shot upward 61% to 206,000 streams in the U.S during the same time period, underlining Glitchgirlmaster’s ability to break songs through original social media content.
“I would have never thought of being on a chart, it’s a next level type of popularity,” Clark told Billboard. “Music brings the fun out of me… If I have headphones in, playing the best song on my playlist while entering any building, it makes you feel powerful, like every one has eyes on you and they’re like, ‘Wow she’s cool.’”
Right on the heels of Glitchgirlmaster at No. 3 is TikTok user @bobbyvvivid with his viral amplification of T-Pain’s 2007 hit “Buy You a Drank.” The hilarious video has amassed nearly 6 million favorites and ignited the international #italkback challenge, where duos around the globe aggressively defended their laid back, quiet, or sweet other halves.
Spot No. 4 is taken by Zoi Lerma, better known by her TikTok handle @Zoifishh. Lerma choreographed an infectious dance routine set to Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More (feat. Sza)” that helped the song reach new heights and audiences around the globe.
Fifth on the chart is “Fancy Like,” the breakthrough single from country artist Walker Hayes. A June 13 clip of him performing a dance to the single with his daughter on his TikTok account (@walkerhayesofficial) set off a dance trend; the original “Fancy Like” video has racked up 18.6 million views to go alongside 1.6 million favorites. The 41-year-old Hayes had tasted Billboard chart success before, but “Fancy Like” has sent Hayes to new heights entirely, reaching No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart (July 24) and breaking into the top 20 of the Hot 100. The track has ballooned from 201,000 U.S. on-demand streams in the week of its release (ending June 10) to 11.2 million in the latest period (July 15).
“It’s surreal to be part of an official Billboard chart. I’ve watched my heroes climb them since I was a kid,” Hayes told Billboard. “My family bonds over music. So we’re always sharing things we’ve found through word of mouth, commercials, and TikTok. I love how socials have given hidden songs from my childhood second lives.”
Other success stories on the initial Song Breaker chart include No. 6 Layla Muhammad aka @Layzchipz, whose viral choreogrpahy to City Girls’ “Twekulator” was so successful that the Miami duo flew Layla out to their photoshoot. Milli Debrito (@debrito_bunch), who kicked off the “To the man I met…” challenge featuring Noisettes’ “Never Forget You,” as well as Berta Alonso (@bertualonso), who originated the #VHSTape challenge soundtracked by Lonely God’s “Marlboro Nights,” a popular song on user-generated content platforms since 2019. Debrito and Alonso come in at No. 7 and No. 8 on the chart respectively.
Hayes isn’t the only signed musician on the chart, either. Lizzo breaks onto the inaugural ranking at No. 10 thanks to her role in a challenge featuring The Backyardigans’ “Into the Thick of It,” as does Saucy Santana who comes in at No. 8 for his own song “Walk,” which spurred the #WalkIt challenge. Jason Derulo is also on the Song Breaker chart at No. 14 thanks to his amplification of Tesher’s “Jalebi Baby”. Derulo eventually hopped on a remix of the original, showing that trends are not only breaking songs on Billboard charts, but actually fueling a new generation of collaboration and creativity that bridges Originators, Amplifiers, and artists themselves.
“The music industry has changed and social media has been at the forefront of that change,” Derulo told Billboard. “This chart is indicative of how powerful it is to have a presence online.”
Click here to see the full list of the inaugural Song Breaker chart.