Music News: 'Baby Shark' creators now have as many Top 40 hits as Jimi Hendrix

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A still from the 'Baby Shark Dance' video.
A still from the 'Baby Shark Dance' video. (Pinkfong)
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'Baby Shark' creators now have as many Top 40 hits as Jimi Hendrix
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Thanks to an adorable viral video with over two billion views, an infectious South Korean children's song about a baby shark has landed at number 32 on Billboard's Top 40. Yes, that means that the educational brand Pinkfong now has as many Top 40 hits as Jimi Hendrix, and more than the Wu-Tang Clan.

The song's chart success is testament both to the ascendance of streaming music and video over traditional music distribution channels, and to the increasingly international music landscape. The chief executive of Pinkfong USA says the brand doesn't plan to dismiss the song as a one-off novelty hit.

"We are not planning to settle for Baby Shark hitting the music charts and getting YouTube views, but we are developing Pinkfong and Baby Shark into an entertainment brand that will be enjoyed by generations to come." (New York Times)

Lady Gaga pulls R. Kelly collaboration

Lady Gaga is pulling a 2013 R. Kelly collaboration from streaming services. In the wake of a new Lifetime documentary that's renewed the furor over accusations against Kelly, Lady Gaga wrote in a statement on Thursday that she's sorry for making the song "Do What U Want" with Kelly, and that she's pulling it from streaming services.

The song was controversial when it was released, but at the time Gaga defended Kelly, who she said had "very untrue things" written about him. Now, she says she stands with Kelly's accusers "1000 percent" and she feels "that their voices should be heard and taken seriously." (New York Times)

Phoenix have also apologized for working with R. Kelly. The band, who collaborated with R. Kelly in 2013, wrote, "We regret that we were not both more informed and more discerning when we worked with him previously. We fully support all victims of sexual abuse, and it's our hope that there will be a path to justice." (Stereogum)

RAINN offers a free, confidential sexual assault hotline. Call 800-656-4673 or chat online. Services are available 24/7. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a toll-free number 800-273-TALK (8255).

Documentary charging Michael Jackson molestation headed to Sundance

A documentary accusing the late Michael Jackson of sexual abuse against two men when they were children will premiere in a few weeks at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, titled Leaving Neverland, "tells the story of two men who claim they were abused by the hit pop singer when they were young," reports Consequence of Sound. A representative for Jackson's estate calls the film "yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson."

This week's new releases

Taking Back Sunday, Twenty

Jade: The Long Island emo band Taking Back Sunday, that helped MySpace kids define themselves as "Cute without an E," is hitting a landmark year. 2019 marks the band's 20th anniversary — there will be a tour, and out on Friday is Twenty, a hits compilation featuring two new songs. Listening through the compilation will allow you to feel all the feelings, or maybe just remember how you used to feel. And the new tracks give you two different sides of TBS: the softer piano-driven side with "A Song For Dan" and a rocker that is emotional and aggressive, perfectly nostalgic and very 2019. It's called "All Ready To Go."

The Bangles, the Dream Syndicate, the Rain Parade, and the Three O'Clock: 3x4

Jay: After a limited release on Record Store Day Black Friday, a cool new covers project will become widely available this Friday. 3x4 finds four of the biggest bands to come out of L.A.'s Paisley Underground scene each covering the others. The Paisley Underground updated classic '60s jangle pop with a garage-rock drive and an '80s sheen. The bands participating in this project are the Dream Syndicate, the Rain Parade, the Three O'Clock, and by far and away the biggest band to come out of the Paisley Underground, the Bangles. Here are the Bangles doing their version of the Three O'Clock's "Jet Fighter."

Radar State, Strays

Jade: I'm going to lay my bias out before I go into this next one. I went to school at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence. I'm an emo kid and so I already have a soft spot for bands from that area like the Anniversary, Get Up Kids, and the Architects. There's pretty much no way I wasn't going to be extremely excited about the prospect of them teaming up for a new project called Radar State. The new sound is gritty, lo-fi, fun, sad...and it rips. "Spinning Wheel" showcases what the best of what these guys have always done.

Viral clip: Ron Burgundy accepts Lizzo's challenge

Last year, Lizzo went viral with a video that showed her playing a flute and then dancing wildly. When haters doubted whether she was actually playing flute, she shut them down with plenty of proof of her classically-trained background. In November, she posted a video to Instagram challenging legendary fictional flutist Ron Burgundy to a duel. Now, it seems, the Anchorman anchor has taken up the gauntlet. In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Will Ferrell in character as Burgundy wrote, "@lizzo CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! YOU WANT ME? YOU GOT ME."

Lizzo responded, "OH ITS ON LIKE HOT BUTTA ON POPCORN, BURGUNDY." Will this lead to an IRL flute battle? Stay posted.


Audio sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Pinkfong: "Baby Shark"
Taking Back Sunday: "All Ready To Go"
The Bangles: "Jet Fighter"
Radar State: "Spinning Wheel"
Ron Burgundy clip


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