Katy Perry’s song “Dark Horse” is living up to its title as a surprise hit at top 40 radio.
Having been released less than two months ago, Perry’s No. 1 Billboard 200 album “PRISM” this week yields its third hit on the Nielsen BDS-based Pop Songs radio airplay chart, as "Dark Horse," featuring Juicy J, debuts at No. 40.
Unlike uptempo first single “Roar,” which topped the tally for five weeks, and ballad follow-up “Unconditionally,” which lifts 10-8 this week (although down seven plays from last week), the moodier, rap-infused “Horse” trots in due solely to unsolicited airplay.
Notably, “Dark Horse” was released as a digital “PRISM” preview track and debuted on the Digital Songs chart at No. 4 the week of Oct. 5. It’s sold 785,000 downloads to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. ("Unconditionally," meanwhile, has sold less than half that sum: 340,000. The set’s other preview cut,"Walking on Air," which bowed on Digital Songs at No. 8 with 113,000 the week of Oct. 19, has sold 150,000 so far.)