*Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and John Legend’s “All of Me” lead Nielsen BDS’ mid-year report of the most-played songs in the first half of the year on U.S. terrestrial radio stations, reports Billboard.
“Happy,” which topped Billboard’s Radio Songs chart for eight weeks (the longest lead on the chart in 2014) received a whopping 571,000 plays in the first six months of 2014. Those plays translate to 3.3 billion in total audience reach in that span.
“Happy” peaked with 226 million in weekly audience on Radio Songs (April 19), the second-best sum in the chart’s 23-year history. Williams also factors into the only song that’s logged a better total: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” on which and he and T.I. are featured. The smash drew a weekly high of 229 million (Aug. 31, 2013).
Williams earns the mid-year crown with not only 2014’s top radio hit to date, but also one of the biggest and most versatile songs since BDS began tracking airplay in 1990. It became the first song to crown as many as six singular-format airplay charts, topping Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs, Adult Contemporary, Rhythmic Songs, Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop and Adult R&B Songs.
Legend’s ballad “All of Me” ranks second over the first six months of 2014 with 555,000 plays (and 3.2 billion in cumulative audience). The song ruled Radio Songs for seven weeks, peaking with 196 million (May 10).
Rounding out the five-most-played songs of January through June, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, has garnered 554,000 plays (3.2 billion in audience); Lorde’s “Team,” 456,000 (2.4 billion); and OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars,” 420,000 (2.5 billion).
A year ago, the five most-played radio songs in the same January-June period were, overall, by artists a bit less deep into their careers. Bruno Mars claimed the top two spots, with “When I Was Your Man” (392,000 plays) and “Locked Out of Heaven” (391,000). Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” (368,000), Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” featuring Jay Z (365,000), and 2013 newbies Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz (363,000), completed the top five.