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2017 No. 1s: How Dua Lipa’s Dancefloor Hits Created Crossover Success

"Be the One" was a hit throughout her home continent in 2016, but it wasn't until this year that Dua Lipa, 22, caught on with American audiences.

Dance Club Songs (one week each)

In 2017, British singer-songwriter Dua Lipa made the leap from European sensation to global pop star. “Be the One” was a hit throughout her home continent in 2016, but it wasn’t until this year that Lipa, 22, caught on with American audiences. “Be the One,” “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” and “New Rules” all topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs airplay chart, with the lattermost track ultimately crossing over to the top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100 — where it is still climbing. “She’s got the balance between something that’s commercial, but which also maintains credibility, edge and personality,” says Ben Mawson, Lipa’s manager.


Kirdis Postelle, senior vp marketing, Warner Bros. Records: I remember hearing “Blow Your Mind” and thinking, “This is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.” The hook, the sassiness of the song, that kiss [sound] in there.

Dua Lipa: A lot of [my] songs are songs to dance to, but if you really listen to the lyric, you can cry to them, too. I quite often refer to my music as “dance-crying.”

Ben Mawson: While we didn’t have a global smash before, we had a few songs with over 100 million streams each on Spotify. We were creating a base from which to have the big hit we’re now having [“New Rules”].

Postelle: The U.S. was sort of out of step with the rest of the world. We tried to get in step with everybody else on “New Rules.”

Lipa: I feel like releasing music the way that I have has helped me get to where I am. It’s a lot harder for a new artist to break through, and it has been really cool to see it grow the way that it has, by releasing lots of songs and videos.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 30 issue of Billboard.