Turns out, Madonna is as popular as ever!
Back on June 2nd, during the early “Padam” era, the gay world thought a new summer anthem was at hand with the release of The Weeknd and Madonna’s new single “Popular.”
The upbeat track also features rapper Playboi Carti and was from the soundtrack to the doomed HBO series The Idol, starring The Weeknd, Lily-Rose Depp and Troye Sivan.
The Idol was canceled after it’s five-episode first season, with critics calling it everything from boring to raunchy to “the worst TV show of the year.”
Perhaps the saving grace of all that carnage is that that “Popular” has turned out to be a bigger hit than everyone thought.
Upon its release, the track rose to the top 10 on the iTunes chart and hit #43 on the Billboard Hot 100.
While debuting at 43 isn’t something Taylor Swift would write home about, it quickly became Madonna’s 58th entry on the Hot 100 and her first since “Bitch I’m Madonna” in 2015. It was also her highest placement on the chart since “Give Me All Your Luvin’” back in 2012.
Many were also taken by Madonna’s vocals as she sang, “I know that you see me (Oh), time’s gone by/ Spent my whole life runnin’ from your flashin’ lights/Try to own it (Uh), but I’m alright (Yeah)/You can’t take my soul without a f*ckin’ fight.”
Fans were hopeful the song would continue to rise into the Top 10, or at least the Top 40, and become part of everyone’s summer playlist. However, it was not meant to be and “Popular” quickly began its descent. The following week it fell to #72, and then plummeted to #80 the next.
It would seem the song was not-so popular after all.
But then the unexpected happen. The single bounced back, rising and falling between #62 and #80 over the course of the next THREE months. It is currently holding steady at #65 in its 15th week on the Hot 100. Not bad for a song that everyone wrote off in June.
Over on the R&B charts, “Popular” is doing even better. It’s currently #19 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart after 14 weeks. The song is also tied with “Vogue” as Madonna’s fourth-longest-charting hit on the chart.
Strike a pose, but don’t you dare call her the Queen of R&B!
Some overzealous fans even think Madonna and The Weeknd are dropping a music video for the track and took one of the 65-year-old diva’s bizarre TikToks as proof.
While there has been no confirmation about a video being in the works, any new visuals will be welcomed with open arms.
Meanwhile, The Weeknd has taken to performing the song (sans Madonna) during the European leg of his “After Hours til Dawn” Tour this summer.
The endurance of “Popular” should come as an added bonus as Madonna is in final prep for her upcoming “Celebration Tour”, which was nearly derailed by the Queen of Pop’s hospitalization at the end of June.
It’s also a bright spot on the heels of the lackluster performance of Madonna’s “Vulgar” collaboration with Sam Smith. While the highly-promoted duet fizzled, it’s still a fierce banger!
Moral of the story: There’s only one queen and that’s Madonna.
Madonna’s self-titled debut album was released exactly 40 years ago and the world has never been the same since.