Now more than ever, A-List artists and up-and-comers are turning to the built-in-box-office marketing and radio play of megamovie-fueled singles in their quest for Hot 100 Success. Here are 5 examples.
Justin Timberlake - “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”
TROLLS DOWNLOADS 1.8 million MOVE RELEASE DATE Nov. 4
THE STORY Timberlake’s sole single (so far) of 2016, the upbeat smash that arrived May 6 previews what will be an entire soundtrack produced by the star. “There’s almost no precedent for what that song has done,” says Lamberton. “The whole album is truly Justin’s vision from beginning to end.”
THE CHARTS “Feeling” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, marking Timberlake’s fifth time atop the chart.
Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons with Logic, Ty Dolla Sign & X Ambassadors - “Sucker for Pain”
SUICIDE SQUAD DOWNLOADS 176,000 MOVIE RELEASE DATE Aug. 5
THE STORY Despite the track’s lengthy credit listing, Weaver insists there was no pressure on the single to perform: “This is an album that’s truly a body of work — no one song is the make-or-break single.”
THE CHARTS “Sucker for Pain” has the unique distinction of going top 10 on both Hot Rap Songs and Hot Rock Songs.
Twenty One Pilots - “Heathens”
SUICIDE SQUAD DOWNLOADS 409,000 MOVIE RELEASE DATE Aug. 5
THE STORY “That was a band we identified early on as being incredible for the project,” says Atlantic’s Kevin Weaver [see story, below] of the red-hot Columbus, Ohio, duo. “While Tyler [Joseph] and Josh [Dun] were on tour, they were going back and forth with [director] David Ayer.”
THE CHARTS “Heathens” is the band’s third Hot 100 top 20 hit. It hits new heights at No. 11 on the Aug. 20 chart.
X Ambassadors - “Unsteady”
ME BEFORE YOU DOWNLOADS 717,000 MOVIE RELEASE DATE June 3
THE STORY “Unsteady,” initially the second single off the band’s debut, VHS, was revived for the romantic drama in a string-heavy remix from trailer scorer Erich Lee. “The film has such a strong emotional core,” says frontman Sam Harris, “so we used an orchestral feel to emphasize that in the song.”
THE CHARTS The remix sent X Ambassadors to the top 40 of the Hot 100 for a second time, reaching No. 39 in early July.
Pink - “Just Like Fire”
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
DOWNLOADS 873,000 MOVIE RELEASE DATE May 27
THE STORY Pink co-wrote the single alongside unstoppable hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback. “She was between album cycles, so it seemed like the perfect moment,” says Karen Lamberton, RCA senior vp film and TV music.
THE CHARTS Peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, the track is Pink’s 15th top 10 hit, and Disney’s first since Frozen’s “Let It Go” reached No. 5 in 2014.