Sia’s 6-Year-Old ‘Unstoppable’ Hits No. 1 on Adult Pop Airplay Chart
The song is the singer-songwriter’s second leader on the list, after “Cheap Thrills,” featuring Sean Paul, reigned for seven weeks beginning in September 2016.
Notably, the two tracks are from the same album – Sia’s 2016 LP This Is Acting, which debuted at its No. 4 best on the Billboard 200 that February and spent 83 weeks on the chart through 2018.
“Unstoppable” has lived up to its title, notably being used promos for Major League Baseball’s 2016 postseason and in a Lancôme Idôle commercial, starring Zendaya, in 2019. It subsequently became prominent on TikTok and soundtracked a Samsung Galaxy ad beginning this February.
Radio promotion began this year for the song, which debuted on the Adult Pop Airplay chart dated May 7.
“We started talking about it in January. The question was, ‘How are we going to do this?’ ” Erik Olesen of Crush Music tells Billboard of the song’s promotional campaign. Complicating the push somewhat, Sia’s most recent material has been released on Atlantic Records and “Unstoppable” was originally on RCA Records, and later moved to Sony Music’s catalog division under the Legacy label. However, “both RCA and Legacy were very supportive and were all about us going for this,” Olesen says.
Olesen recalls bemusement among certain programmers as he began bringing “Unstoppable” to radio, but, seemingly in its favor, it was hardly the only older song cutting through in 2022. “As we got it going, Kate Bush took off” with her 1985 classic “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” sparked by its feature in Netflix’s Stranger Things. “At least ‘Unstoppable’ was 30 years younger!”
As momentum continued to build for the song, “I asked several format captains at different radio chains both domestically and internationally to put it into their callout research,” Olesen recalls. “After a couple of weeks, it started to raise its hand and had huge familiarity. One of the most important ingredients for radio is familiarity.”
Among major-market Adult Pop Airplay panelists, KBIG Los Angeles leads with over 1,600 plays to-date for “Unstoppable,” followed by WWBX Boston (800) and WNEW New York (700), according to Luminate.
Since its release, “Unstoppable” has drawn 388.2 million in airplay audience among reporters to Billboard‘s all-format Radio Songs chart and 250 million official streams and sold 365,000 downloads in the U.S.
In addition to its Adult Pop Airplay coronation, the track rises 10-9 on Radio Songs, up 11% to 37.1 million in reach in the week ending Oct. 6. It also drew 3 million streams and sold 3,000 in that span. It likewise hits new highs on Adult Contemporary (No. 3), Pop Airplay (No. 19) and the all-genre, multi-metric Billboard Hot 100 (No. 30).