Category Band, Rock

In 1985, the Scottish singer’s suggestive ‘Sugar Walls,’ written by Prince, topped the Dance Club Songs chart and helped spawn the Parental Advisory labeling system.

“It was such a great groove, even in the demo,” says Sheena Easton of her double-entendre-laden hit “Sugar Walls.” The Scottish singer says she didn’t “think about image” when recording the sultry drum- and keyboard-driven cut, which was written by Prince. “I was just focused on the music.”

With lyrics that included

@MusicNews

With lyrics that included “come spend the night inside my sugar walls,” the song, released in 1984, was a far cry from Easton’s comparably innocent 1981 debut, the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Morning Train (Nine to Five).” But audiences didn’t mind her stylistic shift: “Sugar Walls” became her sixth top 10 Hot 100 hit and her first No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart on Feb. 23, 1985.

A few months later, the song drew attention for a different reason when it came under fire from the Parents Music Resource Center, a group co-founded by Tipper Gore, the wife of future Vice President Al Gore.

The PMRC charged that pop music had become “pornographic” and proposed obscenity guidelines for recordings. In the wake of congressional hearings (featuring testimony from Frank Zappa and John Denver), the RIAA agreed to a parental-advisory sticker system that continues today.

“My feelings were then, and remain now, that every parent has the right to filter the content that their children are exposed to,” says Easton, a mother of two adopted children (both grown).

“If (parents) felt that ‘Sugar Walls’ was inappropriate for their kids to listen to, they were well within their rights to make that clear. Adults, on the other hand, are free to choose what they want. It did not offend me that some people didn’t want their kids listening to ‘Sugar Walls’ at all. I believe the track found its intended audience.”

Category Chart, Hip-hop

Mother Monster’s album & song sales, the 40 top songs that fell a spot shy of No. 1 on the Hot 100 & Sheeran’s unprecedented run after “Shape of You” first led the list.

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to [email protected] Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or

Hi Matt

@HOTnews

Hi Matt (and the rest of the Monsters who indicated that they might have just a bit of an interest in finding out the answer on Twitter this week),

Here’s an updated look at the superstar’s U.S. sales, according to Nielsen Music.

Top-Selling Songs
“Poker Face,” 7.5 million; “Just Dance” (feat. Colby O’Donis), 7.2 million; “Bad Romance,” 5.8 million; “Born This Way,” 4.2 million; “Paparazzi,” 3.6 million; “Telephone” (feat. Beyonce), 3.5 million; “The Edge of Glory” 3 million; “Applause,” 2.7 million; “LoveGame,” 2.66 million; “Alejandro,” 2.62 million; “You and I,” 2.4 million; “Do What U Want” (feat. R. Kelly), 1.3 million; and (fittingly), “Million Reasons,” 1.1 million
“Judas” is next in line to become Lady Gaga’s next million-selling download, as it’s currently within a nominal amount from the milestone.

Lady Gaga’s U.S. totals stand at 11.46 million albums sold and 56.2 million in digital song sales, as well as 2.6 billion on-demand song streams and 35.9 billion in cumulative airplay audience.

Category Chart

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Category Hip-hop, Rock

After Mel B confirmed that the Spice Girls would be making an appearance at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, one question popped into everyone’s minds: Would the iconic girl group be performing at the royal wedding?

Scary Spice couldn’t confirm

Scary Spice couldn’t confirm (or deny!) that the ladies would be singing, but it got fans hyped for a possible performance. After the girls posted a reunion selfie earlier this year, fans have been itching for more Spice-related content. But which song would be the best song to play at a wedding?

Odds are good

Odds are good that “Wannabe” is not the best choice for a wedding dance — but they could make it work! There are a collection of romantic songs that could potentially work at the wedding, in addition to their biggest hits. There is the classic smooth jam “2 Become 1” from their debut album, or the lesser-known romantic ballad “Oxygen.”

Of course

Of course, there is also “Let Love Lead The Way” from their third studio album, Forever. Then there’s their powerful slow ballad “Times Go By” with the super gushy lyrics: You are the reason that my heart beats/ And no, I never thought I will ever fall so deep.”

Category Hip-hop

This is an aside post.

Pop singer-songwriter MAX recently sat down with Billboard as part of the “How It Went Down” video series, to reveal how his romantic breakthrough hit song “Lights Down Low” — which he used to propose to his now-wife — was created.

The track, which appears on MAX’s third studio album Hell’s Kitchen Angel, was written while he was on tour with Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa. At the time, the musician had just started dating the woman he would one day marry, and she would fly out to see him on weekends throughout the tour. “Our time was so precious,” says MAX, explaining that the lyric, “Can I stop the flow of time?/ Can I swim in your divine?” was inspired by their short, sporadic visits together.

“We would just have these weekends in different states on this tour and trying to just encapsulate them,” he adds. “I didn’t want her to leave ever. I just wanted it to be that moment, us together, and not anything else in the world.”
MAX says that he had a great energy with the song’s co-writers, Liam O’Donnell and 3OH!3’s Nathaniel Motte, and that O’Donnell initially came up with the track’s hook. “The music kind of surrounded that hook, and then we wrote all the lyrics around the hook, which is rare,” MAX explains. “But for this one, it was just this encapsulated feeling… what are the things that you really soak another person up with?”

“I actually proposed to my wife with the song with a harp player and I sang it to her,” the New York-based musician continues. “Those little moments are the ones that you really remember… just laying with someone you love, and their head on your chest, and just the little tiny things that really sort of encapsulate a story.”

You can watch MAX tell the full story of how “Lights Down Low” was written – and hear him sing a few lines of the song – below.MAX says that he had a great energy with the song’s co-writers, Liam O’Donnell and 3OH!3’s Nathaniel Motte, and that O’Donnell initially came up with the track’s hook. “The music kind of surrounded that hook, and then we wrote all the lyrics around the hook, which is rare,” MAX explains. “But for this one, it was just this encapsulated feeling… what are the things that you really soak another person up with?”

“I actually proposed to my wife with the song with a harp player and I sang it to her,” the New York-based musician continues. “Those little moments are the ones that you really remember… just laying with someone you love, and their head on your chest, and just the little tiny things that really sort of encapsulate a story.”

You can watch MAX tell the full story of how “Lights Down Low” was written – and hear him sing a few lines of the song – below.

Category Band, Hip-hop

As every Swiftie knows, Taylor Swift has two cats with very distinctive personalities:

Olivia, the sassy but friendly weirdo, and Meredith, the cold-hearted queen. On Tuesday (Feb. 27), Swift shared a rare Instagram video of the two, showing off their unique personalities.

The video — which she captioned: “In this house, there is no correct or incorrect way to relax” — shows Meredith sitting on the bed as a normal cat would while Olivia awkwardly lies on her side on the hard floor.

Category Disco

Mario Peshev piano.

You need to listen to something that focuses you. It needs to keep you motivated, as well as keeping you calm and collected. Ready for business.