Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.
This week: Demi Lovato’s “29” starts an TikTok trend revisiting past traumas, while an Evanescence discount inspires more nostalgic remembrances, and a New York Mets pitcher’s dramatic entrance routine makes a viral hit out of a late-’10s EDM banger.
Demi Lovato’s “29” Inspires Fans to Look Back in Anger
Demi Lovato has sparked a sobering but therapeutic conversation with their fans online this week, following the release of her song “29.” Many believe the song is a reference to the singer’s relationship with That 70s Show actor Wilmer Valderrama, referencing when the actor was 29 and she was just 17. In it, Lovato sings about how they’re “finally” the same age that their much-older lover was when they dated over a decade ago, and how she used to believe the relationship was her “teenage dream,” but now questions whether it was actually his teenage dream instead.
Across social media, fans commented back to the singer’s promotional “29” posts with encouragement and their own stories of dating much older people while still underage. This trend has seeped over from the comment sections of Lovato’s posts into fan-made TikTok videos, where now-grown adults showed photos of themselves as a teen compared to photos of their older partners, lamenting that they feel traumatized by the relationships, looking back now as adults. Some offenders were teachers, sports coaches, Bible study leaders, or family friends – and often were even older than 29.
The streaming numbers for Lovato prove this song isn’t just a one-time listen for her fans. The song has appeared on Spotify’s US Daily Top 200 chart every day since last Thursday (Aug. 18) – its first full day of release – and hit a high of 787,000 audio on-demand U.S. streams that Friday, according to Luminate, with the full release of parent album Holy Fvck on Island Records. Though it’s not yet a threat to match the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 success of previous Lovato hits like 2013’s “Heart Attack” or 2017’s “Sorry Not Sorry,” one astute commenter predicted “29” as Lovato’s “All Too Well,” a reference to the slow-building (and also likely celebrity relationship-inspired) Taylor Swift song that proved an enduring fan-favorite. – KRISTIN ROBINSON
Evanescence Finds New ‘Life,’ Thanks to iTunes
“19 years and still going strong!” Evanescence posted to their social media channels on Monday (Aug. 22). “Thank you for the love!” The reason for the celebration: “Bring Me to Life,” the long-running hard rock group’s breakthrough 2003 smash on Wind-Up Records, had made its way back to No. 1 on the Top Songs chart on iTunes, where it’s reigned above current hits like Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” and Harry Styles’ “As It Was” for a large chunk of the week, resulting in some breathless social media chatter in honor of the enduring nu-metal anthem.
Since last Friday, U.S. digital sales for “Bring Me To Life” have mushroomed compared to its relatively low total last week — its nearly 1,100 downloads on Saturday, for instance, is almost 10 times its total from three days earlier, according to Luminate. The explanation for the jump is actually quite simple: the song is on sale for 69 cents as the lead song on iTunes’ weekly genre-based sales discounts this week (Don Mclean’s “American Pie,” also on sale this week, has hovered in the top 10 of the iTunes chart). Sales discounts don’t often result in tracks like “Bring Me To Life” having prolonged revivals in the streaming era, but it made enough of a difference this time to earn some Twitter chatter toasting a still-great rock track. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
Sound the Horns: Mets Pitcher Helps Blasterjaxx & Timmy Trumpet’s “Narco” Go Viral
It’s been a beautiful summer in Flushing, Queens: The New York Mets are 79-46 through 125 games, tops in their NL East division, and one of the best records in all of baseball. A big part of that success has been relief pitcher Edwin Diaz, who has cemented himself as perhaps the best closer in all of baseball with his 28 saves and 1.46 ERA this year. And now, his All-Star season has an even rarer achievement to its credit – a viral hit single, via Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet’s horn-laced progressive house thumper “Narco.”
The song, originally released in 2017 on Blasterjaxx’s Maxximize Records, has become a Mets fan favorite this year as Diaz’s walk-on music at his Citi Field home park – with a cinematic presentation that includes team mascots Mr. & Mrs. Met whipping out trumpets of their own to mime along with the song’s signature hook. After video of one of Diaz’s entrances blew up online earlier this month (following a widely viewed Mets-Braves telecast on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball), the song’s sales and streams skyrocketed accordingly – up from 353,000 official on-demand streams and under 1,000 sales for the tracking week ending Aug. 4 to 930,000 streams and nearly 4,000 sales two weeks later (gains of 163% and 724%, respectively), according to Luminate. It’s been enough to propel “Narco” onto Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart, hitting new peak of No. 13 this week on the chart dated Aug. 27.
Can the song continue to grow, possibly even into a Hot 100 hit? That may depend on how much longer the Mets’ dream season can last – particularly once the playoffs begin in October. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER