Welcome to the new episode of the Billboard.com Pop Shop Podcast, Billboard's weekly audio breakdown of the Billboard charts, hottest music news and year's biggest musical events. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard.com senior editor Katie Atkinson every Tuesday on the Pop Shop Podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes (click here to listen to the previous Tuesday's edition of the show on Billboard.com).
On the latest show, we've got an interview with 16-time Grammy Award winner and Billboard chart-topper Sting!
In our chat, the superstar singer/songwriter talks about his new album, 57th & 9th, which is his first straight-ahead pop/rock effort in over a decade. Of that span of time, Sting says, "I've been making lots of records, but you could say they were more esoteric in a way where I was just following my curiosity or my whim, because that's what I like to do." He's referring to works like his 2006 album of Elizabethan lute music, Songs From the Labyrinth; the 2009 holiday-themed effort If on a Winter's Night; and the 2010 classical interpretations set Symphonicities.
"I think my audience is kind of patient with me," Sting says, "They know that I'll make something that's interesting, at least. My quest always is to create surprise. So whatever I do, I want it to be a surprise. So I thought, 'Well, what would be surprising this time would be a rock and roll record.' It's not all rock and roll, but I think the main thrust of it is noisy guitar-based rock. And you know, I'm very at home there -- it's not as if I ever gave it up. I do it every night of my working life."
Plus, we've got chart chat about a brand-new No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" bounds to the top of the list. In doing so, the viral video-assisted smash bumps The Chainsmokers' "Closer" out of the top slot after a 12-week run in the penthouse. In addition, there's a new No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart from Bon Jovi, a certain FLOTUS debuts on the charts (but likely not the one you're thinking of), and we'll preview this coming Sunday's American Music Awards!
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