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How Post Malone Finally Became a Rock Star In 2019

Why a wide range of radio formats finally embraced Post Malone with 'Hollywood's Bleeding.'

Two years ago, Post Malone sang, “Man, I feel just like a rock star.” In 2019, he became one — at least, according to Billboard’s rock charts.

His first two albums, Stoney (2016) and beerbongs & bentleys (2018), solidified him as a hip-hop/pop staple, and while this year’s Hollywood’s Bleeding increased his stronghold in those genres, it also expanded his reach. In a span of four weeks in October, three songs from the new album landed Post Malone on three radio airplay charts for the first time each. The guitar-wailing “Take What You Want” (featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott) became his first entry on Mainstream Rock, the crooning “Allergic” brought him to Alternative, and with his most pop-leaning track, “Circles” (his fourth Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 and first solo chart-topper), he made his debut on Adult Contemporary. Two weeks later, it became his second track to land on Alternative Songs.


“With the sound and familiarity that Post has now, it took a short minute before realizing he fit right in,” says Matt Malone, program director of Entercom Communications’ alternative WQMP Orlando, Fla. The station added “Circles” and “Allergic” in mid-October, and, a month later, the former was its most-played song (in the week ending Nov. 24), according to Nielsen Music. “They sound right at home between twenty one pilots’ ‘The Hype’ and Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy.’

“We share our biggest audience with the hip-hop and top 40 stations in the market,” he adds. “If they’re going to quote-unquote steal my biggest artists when it makes sense, no shame in me doing it the other way.”

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 21 issue of Billboard.

2019 Billboard Year in Music