Explaining the genius of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”—using music theory.
In the days since Ted Gioia published hisessay in the Daily Beast, alleging that music criticism has devolved into lifestyle reporting, with little or no attention paid to how the music itself works, I’ve been challenged by friends on Facebook to write a “not boring” piece that explains a successful pop song using music theory. My bet is that it’ll be boring, but I’m going to do my best not to bore you!
I have picked Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Because: this song’s success seems to mystify all the Katy Perry haters in the world. Why did it go to No. 1? Let’s start by talking about the ingenuity of the harmonic content. This song is all about suspension—not in the voice-leading 4–3 sense, but in the emotional sense, which listeners often associate with “exhilaration,” being on the road, being on a roller coaster, travel. This sense of suspension is created simply, by denying the listener any I chords. There is not a single I chord in the song. Laymen, the I chord (“one chord”) is the chord that the key is in. For example, a song is in G but there are no G-chords.
'DARK HORSE (feat. Juicy J)' remains at #2 on the Billboard HOT 100 chart - March 19th, 2014
Back to the Hot 100’s upper reaches, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, spends a fourth week at No. 2 after it ruled for four weeks. The track also holds the No. 2 spots on Radio Songs (155 million, up 1 percent), which it dominated for two weeks, and Streaming Songs (1-2; 9.4 million, up 6 percent), which it led for four frames, while rebounding 5-4 on Digital Songs (165,000, down 9 percent), which it topped for five weeks.
Katy Perry's 'DARK HORSE (feat. Juicy J)' reaches the 4x platinum mark in paid downloads in the US
Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, rides 5-4 with 165,000 (down 9 percent). The song jumps past the 4million sales threshold as well (4.1 million), marking Perry’s EIGHTH song to sell at least 4 million, which is more than any other person in history.
Katy Perry is a global phenomenon — her latest album topped the charts in 100 countries and she is the most followed personality in the world on Twitter.
PRISM, her third studio album, was released in 2013 and featured a number of tracks that had promotional campaigns built around them. Bob Semanovich, SVP, marketing at Capitol Music Group says: “Our plan for Katy is not built around a traditional album release cycle, where we concentrate our promotional effort around one date.There are lots of singles on PRISM and there will be lots of Katy campaigns for the next 18 months and beyond.”
Roar topped the charts in 97 countries.
Capitol Music Group’s campaigns to support Katy Perry highlight how music companies have transformed their marketing and promotional strategies. The success of the PRISM campaigns also highlights how important multiple hit singles are to continuously drive ongoing interest in an artist and keep them in the spotlight.
'Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J) remains at #2, scores its 25th week on Billboard's Hot 100 chart
After it led the Hot 100 for four weeks until two weeks ago, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” spends a third week at No. 2. The track tops Streaming Songs for a fourth week, although with a 20% drop to 8.9 million streams. It slips 1-2 after eight weeks atop On-Demand Songs (2.7 million, down 6%). On Digital Songs, which it led for five weeks, “Horse” retreats 3-5 (182,000, down 14%). It holds at No. 2 on Radio Songs (153 million, up 1%), which it dominated for two weeks earlier this month. “Horse” also spends its 25th week on the Hot 100 chart.
Katy Perry backs Global Citizen campaign with free gig tickets
Katy Perry, One Direction and Ed Sheeran are among 100 artists offering free concert tickets to UK fans in a bid to help global poverty.
Katy Perry, One Direction, and Ed Sheeran are among the 100 artists lending their support to poverty relief campaign Global Citizen by offering free concert tickets.
The pop stars have signed up to the Global Poverty Project and Global Citizen Tickets initiative, which encourages fans to build up points for actions they take to combat extreme hardship and then exchange their points to buy tickets for gigs and festivals.
Katy said: “This is a simple, smart, modern initiative with potential for huge impact.”
"Global Citizen provides people with doable opportunities to make the world a better place, and rewards them for doing so."
The scheme already runs in Australia, New Zealand and America and will launch in the UK soon.
Emma Banks, chair of the UK Global Citizen Tickets initiative committee, said: “The Global Citizen Tickets initiative in the UK marks the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and foresight.”
"I have no doubt that we will match the successes that this initiative has already enjoyed in the USA, something that could only have been achieved by our industry uniting for this very worthwhile cause."
Each ticket will have a different points value, and those with enough points are entered into a lottery to try and secure a pass.
Points can be earned from activities including volunteering with charities or contacting local MPs.
'DARK HORSE' Billboard Hot 100 chart update - March 5 - 12, 2014
After it led the Hot 100 for four weeks until last week, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” spends a second week at No. 2. The track tops Streaming Songs for a third week, although with a 3% drop to 11.2 million streams; it had surged by 86% last week following the Feb. 20 release of its official video. It also rules the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart (2.8 million U.S. streams, down 2%, according to BDS) for an eighth week. On Digital Songs, which it led for five weeks, “Horse” slips 2-3 (212,000, down 16%). As reported yesterday, the single dominates the Mainstream Top 40 (aka, Pop Songs) radio airplay chart for a fourth week, upping Perry’s career total to 46 weeks at No. 1 on the ranking, pushing her past Mariah Carey for the most time spent at No. 1 in the list’s 21-year history.
Katy Perry taps pop art designers for her Prismatic world tour
THERE will be a very bright sequined slice of Australia starring in Katy Perry’s Prismatic world tour.
The American superstar revealed she has commissioned local designers Discount Universe, famous among pop chicks for their colourful, cartoonish patterns, to whip up an outfit for the show.
Their clothes have also been worn by a raft of pop princesses including Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Kimbra and Iggy Azalea.
“I just did a fitting with an Australian design team here, Discount Universe, and they are doing one of my costumes for the tour, like a really major costume,” she said.
“It is towards the finale and super important.”
Looking demure in a white lace dress and vintage blazer, Perry sashayed into Sydney for a whirlwind visit to herald the Australian leg of the tour which arrives here in November.
While rumoured to have recently split with her beau John Mayer, the Roar singer was all smiles and chatty bonhomie as she settled down to a revolving parade of interviews and grin and grip sessions with corporate wellwishers from Telstra, who are sponsoring the tour.
She has made no secret of wanting to emulate Pink’s phenomenal success in Australia and while she matches her on the charts, the Prismatic tour will test her power at our box office.
“This time I have all of November here and a lot of December, pretty much until I go home for Christmas,” she said.
“I have watched Pink’s career very closely and seen that she sets up house here for a while and if you can have that in your career, you should take advantage of it.”
Perry has also been “researching” the pop concert market, checking out shows by her fellow female trendsetters including Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Beyonce.
Cyrus was the only show where she get got so up close and personal, she kissed the girl.
“I am just a big fan of seeing live music, that’s what I do with my extra time and I go to Coachella every single year,” she said.
“I think people have raised the bar for live shows and our attention spans are very short but you have got to have the songs to do a two hour show.
“And that’s my luxury, I’ve got the songs. When everyone is singing along, everyone is unified, it is a really fantastic feeling.”
The tour will kick off at Perth Arena on November 7 and head to Adelaide Entertainment Centre on November 11, Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on November 14 and 15, Allphones Arena, Sydney on November 21 and 22 and Brisbane Entertainment Centre on November 27.
The Telstra Thanks pre-sale runs from 9am on Wednesday and general public tickets are available from noon on March 11.
As ‘Dark Horse’ reigns for a fourth week, Perry rewrites the mark for the most total weeks (46) at No. 1 in the airplay chart’s archives
Katy Perry claims the record for the most weeks at No. 1 in the 21-year history of Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart all to herself, as “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, spends a fourth week on top, upping her career count to 46 weeks at No. 1. With her latest frame in the lead, Perry passes Mariah Carey, who’s totaled 45 weeks at No. 1.
Here’s an updated look at the acts to spend the most time at No. 1 dating to the Oct. 3, 1992, launch of the Nielsen BDS-based tally, which measures the most weekly plays at mainstream top 40 stations:
Weeks at No. 1, Artist 46, Katy Perry 45, Mariah Carey 32, P!nk 32, Rihanna 29, Ace of Base 26, Maroon 5 25, Christina Aguilera 23, Beyonce 23, Boyz II Men 23, Nelly
Perry has earned her record-breaking feat courtesy of 11 Pop Songs No. 1s, also a chart best-sum, which she shares with Rihanna. (Notably, the careers of artists like Carey and Boyz II Men pre-date the Pop Songs chart’s inception.) Of Perry’s 11 leaders, “Horse” is the eighth to rule for at least four weeks. She set a personal best when “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, dominated for seven weeks in 2010.
On its way to granting Perry her latest piece of Pop Songs history, “Horse” last week set the mark for the most weekly plays (16,151) in the chart’s archives. It passed the 16,065 plays that her prior topper, “Roar,” drew on the Oct. 19, 2013, chart.
In addition to its pop airplay success, “Horse” topped the all-format airplay/sales/streaming-based Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it’s her ninth career No. 1. It’s sold 3.5 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The song continues to build at multiple radio formats, bulleting at No. 2 on Rhythmic Songs, No. 8 on Adult Pop Songs and No. 28 on Adult Contemporary.
All charts, including Pop Songs, will refresh on Thursday (March 6) on Billboard.com.