MAGIC!'s charming, reggae-accented “Rude” jumps to #1 on the Hot 100, dislodging “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX. It’s the first reggae-shaded hit to reach #1 since Sean Kingston's “Beautiful Girls” spent four weeks on top in the summer of 2007.
MAGIC!, a four-man “reggae fusion” group, hails from Toronto, far away from reggae’s origins in Jamaica. Surprisingly, they’re not the first act from Toronto to take a reggae song to #1. Snow led for seven weeks in 1993 with “Informer.”
Johnny Nash's “I Can See Clearly Now” was the first reggae song to top the Hot 100. Nash wrote and produced the song, which spent four weeks on top in November 1972. Less than two years later, Eric Clapton's cover version of Bob Marley's “I Shot The Sheriff” became the second reggae song to reach #1. It spent one week on top in September 1974.
UB40 was the first act to send two reggae songs to #1 on the Hot 100. The English band first topped the chart with a cover of Neil Diamond's “Red Red Wine” (one week in October 1988) and returned to the top spot five years later with a cover of the Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (seven weeks in the summer of 1993).
Other reggae songs to reach #1 include Sean Paul's “Get Busy” (2003) and “Temperature” (2006), Shaggy's “It Wasn't Me” and “Angel” (both 2001), Ini Kamoze's “Here Comes The Hotstepper” (1994) and Maxi Priest's “Close To You” (1990).
This may surprise you: MAGIC! is the first group to top the Hot 100 since Maroon 5 scored for nine weeks in the fall of 2012 with “One More Night.” In the intervening 19 months, the top spot has been locked up by solo artists, collaborations and one red-hot duo (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis).
MAGIC! is the first Canadian group to reach #1 since Nickelback topped the chart for four weeks in December 2001 and January 2002 with “How You Remind Me.” Other Canadian groups to head the Hot 100: Barenaked Ladies (1998’s “One Week”), Sheriff (1989’s “When I’m With You”), Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1974’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and the Guess Who (1970’s “American Woman”).
MAGIC! has now served as both the name of a group with a #1 hit and also the title of a #1 hit. Olivia Newton-John topped the chart in August 1980 with a song titled “Magic” (minus the capitalization and the exclamation point.)
This is the second “Rude” song to reach #1, following Rihanna's “Rude Boy” (five weeks in 2010).
"Magic" returns to #1 on Hot Digital Songs (185K), after being bumped down to #2 on that chart the past two weeks by Sam Smith's “Stay With Me.” It's the first song to regain #1 after a two-week shutout since “Timber” by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha, which had its run at #1 rudely interrupted by “Say Something” by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera.
Here are quick summaries of this week’s other top chart stories.
"Fancy" by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX dips to #2 following seven weeks on top. It continues at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the eighth straight week. This enables it to tie “The Boy Is Mine” by Brandy & Monica for the longest run by an all-female collabo in the chart’s 72-year history. That Grammy-winning smash spent eight weeks on top in the summer of 1998. Just two other all-female collabos have reached #1 on the R&B chart: “Heartbreak Hotel” by Whitney Houston featuring Faith Evans & Kelly Price (seven weeks on top in 1999) and “Let It Go” by Keyshia Cole featuring Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim (three weeks on top in 2007).
Sam Smith has two songs in this week’s top 10. “Stay With Me” holds at #5 for the fourth week. Disclosure's “Latch,” on which he is featured, jumps from #11 to #10. “Latch” has climbed higher in the U.S. than it did in the U.K. The song reached #11 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart in November 2012. The song's transatlantic success has come as surprise to the duo's Guy Lawrence. “We thought ‘Latch’ was too weird for the radio and not clubby enough for the clubs,” Lawrence told Billboard.
Ed Sheeran's “Sing” tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Pharrell Williams produced and co-wrote the song, which is Sheeran’s highest-charting hit on both sides of the Atlantic. It reached #13 on the Hot 100; #1 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart. This is the second song titled “Sing” to become a million-seller. Carpenters had a million-seller on seven-inch vinyl with a song with that title the spring of 1973. Incidentally, Sheeran is 23, the same age that Karen Carpenter was when Carpenters’ “Sing” was a hit.
Florida Georgia Line's “Dirt” enters Hot Digital Songs at #2 (182K). If it had sold just 3K more copies, it would have bowed at #1. It's the duo's second song to reach the runner-up spot on Hot Digital Songs. “Cruise” (featuring Nelly) spent three non-consecutive weeks at #2 in May and June 2013.
To My Readers: I’ll have a second Chart Watch blog drawn from the Hot 100 later today.
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