“WATER” REACHES #1 AT POP RADIO

Who were the world’s ten best-selling music acts of 2017? The standings have been revealed, and Ed Sheeran has come out on top.

In a list made up of only one UK artist, seven US acts and two Canadians, international music body IFPI has named Ed Sheeran as 2017’s best-selling musician globally following the incredible success of his third album ÷. Shape of You, the lead single from the album, spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 here in the UK, while it also spent 12 weeks at Number 1 in the US, and topped charts in a further 42 countries. ÷ was also a global success, hitting Number 1 in 14 territories.

At Inkaterra

By Jack White Who were the world’s ten best-selling music acts of 2017? The standings have been revealed, and Ed Sheeran has come out on top. In a list made up of only one UK artist, seven US acts and two Canadians, international music body IFPI has named Ed Sheeran as 2017’s best-selling musician globally following the incredible success of his third album ÷. Shape of You, the lead single from the album, spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 here in the UK, while it also spent 12 weeks at Number 1 in the US, and topped charts in a further 42 countries was also a global success, hitting Number 1 in 14 territories. Here in the UK, Ed’s third studio record finished 2017 with combined sales of 2.7 million, more than any other album. 672,000 of those sales were logged in its first week of release in March, making it the fastest-selling ever by a solo male, and the third fastest-selling album of all time behind Adele’s 25 and Oasis’ Be Here Now.

Next it’s on to the Andes

Last year’s leader Drake had to settle for the runner-up spot this time around, while Taylor Swift is the only female in the Top 10 at Number 3; her album reputation sold over one million copies in its first week on sale in the US.

Aside from Drake, rap dominates the list, with Kendrick Lamar and Drake completing the Top 5. Imagine Dragons and The Chainsmokers are two of three groups in the Top 10, the other being Linkin Park at Number 9.

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Chris Cornell’s widow recalls rocker’s drug relapse a year before death

Chris Cornell’s widow has called out the rocker’s doctor for prescribing him a drug deemed unsuitable for recovering addicts to treat a shoulder injury a year before his death.

The Soundgarden frontman, 52, had been sober since 2003, but his wife, Vicky Cornell, reveals he suffered a relapse in 2016 – and she believes that ultimately led to his suicide in May, 2017.

“Approximately a year before he died, he was prescribed a Benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety medication) to help him sleep,” she told TV show Good Morning America. “He had torn his shoulder. He complained that the pain in his shoulder would wake him up.”

The impact

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Vicky didn’t realise the impact the drug would have on Chris until it was too late.
“In retrospect, I learned it’s not supposed to be given to anybody in recovery,” she shared. “If you have to give it, they have to be closely monitored and it should not be given for more than two to three weeks, so he relapsed.

“In a seven-day period, he took 20-something pills and in a nine-day period, 33.”

Just two months before taking his own life, Chris actually reached out to an unidentified colleague, seeking help via email, writing, “Would love to talk, had relapse.”

Vicky admits “there were signs” he was in serious trouble, and she’s trying not to blame herself for failing to spot them sooner and getting him the treatment he needed.

“He had really delayed speech, he was forgetful. There were moments where I thought there was some confusion,” she recalled.

His problems became really apparent as he took to the stage for what would become his final concert in Detroit, Michigan, when he was “off-pitch” and “walked offstage” midway through the set.

Hours later, the musician hanged himself in his hotel room, and although coroners insisted the seven different types of drugs found in his system did not contribute to his death, Vicky remains convinced otherwise.

“He wanted to be there for his family, for his children,” she said. “He loved his life. He would never have ever left this world. I don’t think that he could make any decisions because of the level of impairment.”

Now Vicky is using her husband’s tragedy to raise awareness about addiction as a disease and combat the stigma associated with the illness to help save others facing similar struggles.

“It (addiction) is in all of our houses. It’s in rich, poor, it has no racial boundaries… it does not discriminate,” she declared. “I think that if there were less stigma around it, more people would speak up.

“There’s just so much labelling that comes with it (addiction), and my husband was the furthest thing from a rock star junkie. He just wasn’t. He was the best husband, the greatest father. I lost my soul mate and the love of my life.”

Greta Van Fleet Lands Second Straight Mainstream Rock Songs No. 1

The act is the third in the 2010s to lead with its first two charting singles.

Greta Van Fleet sends its second straight single to No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart, as “Safari Song” rise 2-1 on the ranking dated Feb. 24.

“Safari” marks the Michigan rockers’ second No. 1 of two charted singles, as “Highway Tune” ruled the Mainstream Rock Songs chart for five weeks, beginning on the list dated Sept. 16, 2017.

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet becomes the latest act to top the tally with its first two entries, with just two other acts having done so in the 2010s: Red Sun Rising (with “The Otherside” on Oct. 31, 2015, and “Emotionless” on May 7, 2016) and The Pretty Reckless (“Heaven Knows,” March 22, 2014, and “Messed Up World,” Sept. 13, 2014; the group’s subsequent two entries also reached No. 1, with its four leaders in its first four tries a feat unmatched by any other act in the chart’s 37-year history).

The ascent of “Safari”

The ascent of “Safari,” which concurrently climbs 17-15 on the all-rock-format Rock Airplay chart (4.7 million audience impressions in the week ending Feb. 15, according to Nielsen Music), is the latest triumph for Greta Van Fleet. In addition to its No. 1s on Mainstream Rock Songs, the band’s first two releases – 2017’s Black Smoke Rising EP and From the Fires double-EP – have made inroads on Billboard’s rock album charts, with the latter having debuted at No. 1 on the Dec. 2, 2017-dated Hard Rock Albums ranking with 15,000 equivalent album units.

Black Smoke Rising

To date, Black Smoke Rising has moved 70,000 units (including 47,000 in traditional album sales) in the U.S., while From the Fires has earned 104,000 units (74,000 in album sales). Both sets feature “Safari.”

The four-piece is currently at work on its debut full-length, with an anticipated release date sometime in mid-2018.

MAX Talks Writing & Proposing to His Wife With ‘Lights Down Low’

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.