If it’s summer, it must be time for a reggae-lilted hit to rule the Billboard Hot 100 — at least that’s what the last two years of pop watching have taught observers. Last year, the chart-topping island jam was the pleading “Rude,” by the Canadian act MAGIC!; this time out, the first new No. 1 since June belongs to the Jamaican singer OMI (pictured), whose besotted “Cheerleader” took over the top spot after selling 276,000 downloads and racking up 14.4 million streams in the US during the chart period ending July 9.
“Cheerleader” originally came out in 2012, but a remix by the German house producer Felix Jaehn began gaining steam on streaming services earlier this year. Jaehn’s rework upped the tempo and emphasized a sax counterpoint, making it fit in more snugly with the hyperactive offerings of American pop stations like Kiss 108 and Amp 103.3.
“Cheerleader” is No. 6 on the July 25 Radio Songs chart, which is led by Taylor Swift’s Kendrick Lamar-heavy rework of the schoolyard chant “Bad Blood.” It also notched up to No. 4 on Billboard’s Songs of the Summer chart, which keeps track of songs’ cumulative Hot 100 performance between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That chart is led by the Wiz Khalifa/Charlie Puth ballad “See You Again,” which “Cheerleader” dethroned from the Hot 100’s top spot.
Maura Johnston can be reached at email@example.com.