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Chart Beat Podcast: Ed Sheeran, Drake, Bruno Mars & More Are Hot 100’s 2018 Stars So Far

Dave & Yael Penn of Hit Songs Deconstructed analyze the most notable trends in the Hot 100's top 10 in the year's first quarter & more.

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, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

This week, Gary and Trevor welcome back Dave and Yael Penn of Hit Songs Deconstructed, as they analyze the most significant trends in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the first quarter of 2018.


Twenty-six songs charted in the top 10 of the Hot 100 between January and March. Of those, Camila Cabello‘s “Havana,” featuring Young Thug, and Ed Sheeran‘s “Perfect” spent the most time in the top 10 in that span, 14 weeks each, followed by Bruno Mars and Cardi B‘s “Finesse” and Post Malone‘s “Rockstar,” featuring 21 Savage, each of which logged 11.

“Looking at some key commonalities, all four songs possess an R&B influence,” Dave notes. “Three of the four have a hip-hop influence, feature a combination of sung-and-rapped vocals and a love-relationship lyrical theme and are in a minor key.”

Meanwhile, as Drake dominated the Hot 100 for 15 weeks, with “God’s Plan” (for 11 frames) and “Nice for What” (four), Yael observes, “Hip-hop reached its highest level of prominence in at least five years [in the first quarter of 2018]: 46 percent of the top 10, while only 23 percent was pop. And, when you look at Q2 to date, 63 percent are hip-hop and just 16 percent are pop. Big drop.”

Plus, chart chat about Childish Gambino‘s “This Is America,” which, for a second week, heads up an all-rap top four on the Hot 100, marking the first such repeat in the region since 2003. Gary and Trevor also field a listener question about Cabello on the new Chart Beat Podcast hotline – 212-493-4021 (aka, “40-to-1” … like a countdown!) (You can keep calling with your chart questions and/or observations for us to play back and respond to in upcoming episodes.)


Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!