A top-20 debut for a new single is no shy feat for an artist to accomplish nowadays, but when you’re someone like Britney Spears, chances are that such a Billboard premiere might be seen by music-loving masses as a full-on flop.
Albeit initially posed to chart much higher based off of iTunes sales, radio airplay, and music streaming spins, the latest release from the 34-year-old Spears, the seductive “Make Me” featuring rapper G-Eazy, officially enters the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 17 this week. The tune’s strongest competitor from the past seven days, Katy Perry’s Olympic epic “Rise,” bests Spears’ offering by six positions, coming in at No. 11, while also taking the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Digital Songs sales chart with 137,000 downloads and 4.6 million streams. “Make Me,” meanwhile, grabs the No. 3 position on the Digital Songs chart with 96,000 sold and 5.3 million domestic streams.
Although both tunes were equally assisted in their Billboard trajectories by fans actively promoting “Make Me” and “Rise” on social media, it’s safe to say that Spears’ ongoing reluctance to promote herself outside of Las Vegas has harmed the release of the summer-ready single. Case in point: The Iggy Azalea-collaborated “Pretty Girls,” which was unleashed to the public in May of last year and was only performed once by the duo during the Las Vegas-held 2015 Billboard Music Awards, peaked at No. 24 on the Hot 100 chart and caused the Australian rapper to distance herself from the track (Spears would ultimately add a solo version of the tune to her “Piece of Me” residency show, which also takes place in Las Vegas).
“[It’s] difficult to send a song up the charts without additional promo and television performances,” she expressed to a fan on Twitter last June. “Unfortunately, I’m just [a] featured [artist].”
Furthermore, whereas “Pretty Girls” at least has a memorable music video that was based off the 80’s rom-com Earth Girls Are Easy, there has still been no sign of the “Make Me” clip that Spears filmed back in June. As noted by the Inquisitr last week, rumor has it that the mother-of-two is purposefully holding back on its release due to certain scenes in the video being too overtly sexual. In leaked clips of the visual that made their way online both before and after the release of “Make Me,” Spears is shown writhing inside of a cage while wearing nothing but red glitter. Another moment shows her straddling G-Eazy in a way that makes it look like the two are actually having sex.
Unlike “Make Me,” Perry’s “Rise” has not one, but two videos to properly promote the single. The first, which was released about a day after the song’s release to iTunes, is spliced together using past Olympic moments to promote the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (which “Rise” is the official song for), while the other is a full-on production that has not been released in full as of yet but can be previewed via a teaser that Perry shared on her YouTube page on July 22.
Interestingly, Billboard states that despite comments from both Spears and Perry’s camps that the songs were offerings from their upcoming albums, neither artist is planning to release a full LP at any time in the near future. That means, of course, that both “Rise” and “Make Me” are meant to be taken as nothing more than “buzz singles.” Unfortunately, if Britney doesn’t act fast and do something worthy of pushing her latest work, it looks like the sting of “Make Me” will fade away a lot quicker than she or anyone in the #BritneyArmy would ever want it to.
Spears is currently on hiatus from her “Piece of Me” shows until mid-August, but she is said to be taking the stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 23 and 24.
[Photo by Britney Spears/Twitter]