It’s a ‘Barbie World’ for Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice and Aqua on Streaming This Week
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It’s a ‘Barbie World’ for Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice and Aqua on Streaming This Week

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: The Barbieverse continues to take over the music world, while Kylie Minogue’s fan-favorite latest continues to grow and a British singer-songwriter’s tribute to the artist known as Mama Africa goes global a second time.

Come on Barbies, Let’s Go Party: Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice Boost Aqua’s Pop Classic

With the highly anticipated Barbie movie featuring a star-studded soundtrack — boasting new songs from Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Charli XCX and PinkPantheress, among many others — it made all too much sense for the original Barbie anthem, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” to have some presence within the upcoming film. And indeed, the Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group’s 1997 hit was revived on Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s contribution to the soundtrack, “Barbie World,” which samples “Barbie Girl” and credits Aqua as a featured artist on the track.

Since the release of “Barbie World” last Friday (June 23), streams for Aqua’s original have ticked up, gaining plays from those who want to fully relive its Eurodance glory or bask in it for the first time. While Minaj and Ice Spice’s “Barbie World” bowed with 3.33 million U.S. on-demand streams (and nearly 14,000 in sales) last Friday, according to Luminate, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” earned 222,000 streams that day, a nearly 22% increase from the previous day’s streaming total.

And while “Barbie Girl” is unlikely to ever approach its No. 7 Hot 100 peak during its original run in the late ‘90s, Aqua will no doubt enjoy a healthy streaming resurgence in the coming weeks, ahead of the July 21 release of the Barbie film. – JASON LIPSHUTZ


“Padam Padam” Beats Its Way to Virality

Australian pop legend Kylie Minogue has already called her 2023 single “Padam Padam” the biggest musical moment of her career since 2001’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” – no small designation for an artist who’s scored eight top 10 hits in her home country (and 14 on the UK Official Singles Chart) since that classic release. But the Darenote/BMG-released “Padam Padam” is indeed her most viral song of the streaming era, climbing to No. 19 in Australia and No. 8 on the Official Singles Chart – her highest peaks on both charts in over a decade. 

Minogue’s chart success in the U.S. has always been a bit more limited than it has overseas: “Head” peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100 in 2002, but that’s been her lone top 10 appearance on the chart since her initial late-’80s breakout. And so the Billboard rise of “Padam” has been much slower and gradual than it has in those other markets – though you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the song’s internet presence, where it has become an obvious favorite (both as a song and as a meme for its unusual title, meant to approximate a heartbeat) among stateside pop fans on social media. 

Regardless, the song has begun to rise in the U.S. as well. It’s sold over 1,000 digital copies each of the last five chart weeks (up to the week ending June 23), according to Luminate, and currently sits at a new peak of No. 18 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales listing, moving over 2,400 copies last week. Streams are also up, with “Padam” gaining from just over 1.4 million official on-demand U.S. streams the week ending May 25 to nearly 2.4 million this past week, a gain of 70%. (June being Pride Month has undoubtedly helped to boost the song’s fortunes, with Minogue long serving as a gay icon and her new song being deemed a Pride anthem.) 

The song still has a long way to go before it really threatens to become Minogue’s first Hot 100 hit since “Slow” in 2004. But its Billboard chart impact is growing: The song sits at No. 7 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs this week, having already become her first top 10 on the chart since its 2013 inception. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER


Jain’s ‘Makeba’ Could Be Dancing Toward the U.S. Charts Soon

“Makeba,” the whooping dance-pop single from French singer-songwriter Jain, is evolving into a fascinating type of global smash. Originally released in 2015 on Jain’s debut Spookland/Sony/Columbia album Zanaka as a tribute to South African singer-activist Miriam Makeba, the song became a top 10 hit in the pop artist’s native France, a successful follow-up to her No. 1 hit “Come.” Although “Makeba” soundtracked a popular Levi’s ad in the States soon after, the song never made a dent in the charts in North America.

Fast-forward to 2023, and Jain has already released two more albums, including this year’s The Fool — but “Makeba” is becoming a delayed hit in the U.S., thanks in part to a TikTok dance challenge. The song has been resurrected with a simple four-step that combines a heel kick, arm wave and booty shake, among other moves; users put their own spins on the dance, and 740,000 TikTok videos have been created with “Makeba” playing underneath.

As the challenge has been working its way through TikTok over the past month, stateside streams for “Makeba” have exploded, reaching 3.04 million U.S. on-demand streams for the week ending June 23 — nearly 10 times its weekly total from one month before, according to Luminate. Meanwhile, the song has reached No. 1 on Shazam’s Top 200 chart, and rises 34 spots to No. 55 on this week’s Global 200 chart. If people keep dancing to “Makeba” throughout the summer, Jain could score her first Hot 100 entry with an eight-year-old song that was too engaging to be kept out of U.S. pop culture forever. – JL

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