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Billboard Introduces Revamped Hot Rock & Alternative Songs Chart & Debuts Two Rankings

Billboard has revamped the multi-metric Hot Rock Songs chart as the newly-named Hot Rock & Alternative Songs survey.

Billboard has revamped the multi-metric Hot Rock Songs chart as the newly-named Hot Rock & Alternative Songs survey.

Concurrently, two multi-metric genre charts debut: Hot Alternative Songs and Hot Hard Rock Songs.

The change from Hot Rock Songs to Hot Rock & Alternative Songs reflects the rise of artists making music that is often considered alternative, but does not fit within the commonly held boundaries of rock. This subset of music has been noticeable not only on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs airplay chart, which tracks airplay on radio stations playing the alternative format, but also on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart, via such artists as Powfu, Billie Eilish and Benee.


The 50-position Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, which will continue to rank songs via a blend of streaming, radio airplay and sales data as tracked by Nielsen Music/MRC Data (the same methodology that powers the Hot 100), will house songs deemed either rock or alternative, or both, as it expands beyond a listing of core rock titles, including those with an alternative bent, to include songs considered a hybrid of pop and alternative, rap and alternative and more.

Powfu’s breakthrough hit “Death Bed,” featuring Beabadoobee, rules the first iteration of the newly christened Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart dated June 13. The track, released on Columbia Records, has won notable support on alternative radio, having reached the top five on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs airplay chart.

“It’s important that Billboard revamped the chart by adjusting the genre classification rules to support the songs being played across the format,” Lisa Sonkin, Columbia senior vp of rock formats/public radio promotion, tells Billboard. “We’re so proud to have Powfu on the label. We saw the early streaming response to his single and used the data market-by-market to help show programmers the potential for the song on their airwaves. Many alternative programmers believed in this song early, but the data has certainly been an essential factor in the process. It’s incredibly rewarding to see Powfu at No. 1 on this chart.”


Rounding out the top five of the refurbished ranking are, from Nos. 2 through 5, respectively, Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted”; Benee’s “Supalonely,” featuring Gus Dapperton; Tones and I‘s “Dance Monkey”; and Twenty One Pilots‘ “Level of Concern,” concurrently at No. 1 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart.

Additionally, Billboard has launched two new 25-position charts, employing the same multi-metric methodology, as offshoots of Hot Rock & Alternative Songs: Hot Alternative Songs, which will include only songs categorized as alternative in any way, and Hot Hard Rock Songs, which will feature only guitar-based rock songs with a heavier edge.

Powfu’s “Death Bed” likewise leads the initial Hot Alternative Songs chart, while Falling in Reverse‘s “Popular Monster,” a former No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay tally, is the maiden ruler on Hot Hard Rock Songs.


“We welcome the Hot Hard Rock Songs chart as one more quantifiable measure of success that we can use in our conversations with our radio partners,” radio promotion industry veterans Brett Greenberg and Kurt Steffek of Epitaph Records told Billboard in a joint statement. “We worked hard to spread the story to programmers of the fantastic metrics we were seeing on Falling in Reverse, and the streaming success was one of the key drivers in our radio campaign.”

Billboard is also introducing the Alternative Streaming Songs and Hard Rock Streaming Songs charts, both 25 positions in length, to reflect the most-streamed songs in the U.S. in each genre. They join the existing 25-position Alternative Digital Song Sales and Hard Rock Digital Song Sales surveys.

Further, the Rock Songwriters and Rock Producers charts will be renamed Rock & Alternative Songwriters and Rock & Alternative Producers, while four related charts premiere: Alternative Songwriters, Alternative Producers, Hard Rock Songwriters and Hard Rock Producers. The weekly rankings are based on total points accrued by a songwriter and producer, respectively, for each attributed song that appears on each respective songs chart.