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Buoyed by a music video in which the singer emotes in a bathtub, Rihanna’s “Stay” has led her where she has never gone before. Billboard reports that the song has jumped into the Top 10 on its Adult Contemporary chart, landing at No. 9.
That’s a first for Rihanna, who has never cracked the AC Top 10, despite holding a breathtaking number of records on Billboard’s most illustrious chart, the Pop Hot 100. “Stay,” which features Mikky Ekko, earned her tenth No. 1 on that chart, a record. She also holds the top spot in terms of number of Top 10 appearances on the Hot 100 (23) and has also just appeared on the Hot 100 more time than any other artist (36).
While chart talk is often too nuanced to have much meaning, the Adult Contemporary boost could be significant, as AC listeners have more spending money than Rihanna’s pop audience, which tends to skew younger. AC hits also last longer, so while a song like “Stay” is already falling off pop radio, gaining in the AC demographic can only help sustain the song’s relevance.
Billboard has a nice rundown of how Rihanna’s following in the footsteps of Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Miley Cyrus in moving from a strictly pop audience to being accepted in the AC market — a development which made Madonna’s “Holiday” a seminal hit.
Rihanna is in the middle of her Diamonds World Tour, a massive jaunt across the globe which not only has her playing some of the world’s biggest venues but also affords her the chance to hobnob and create Instagram worthy moments with designers. It also put her in this big ol’ tub. The singer also contributed a verse and a hook to Wale’s remix of “Bad,” offering Rihanna a chance to do a bit of rapping as well.
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