Metro Weekly

Lady Gaga’s ‘Bloody Mary’ Is Finally a Top 40 Hit

It's taken a decade, but Lady Gaga's "Bloody Mary" is a top 40 hit thanks to Netflix's "Wednesday" and TikTok.

Lady Gaga -- via tiktok.com/@ladygaga
Lady Gaga — via tiktok.com/@ladygaga

It’s been more than 11 years since the world first heard Lady Gaga’s song “Bloody Mary,” but only now is it finally receiving the attention that many fans have known it has deserved for so long.

This week, “Bloody Mary” sits at No. 36 on Billboard’s Pop Airplay chart. The weekly list ranks the tracks that reach the largest audience on pop radio in the United States. “Bloody Mary” debuted on the highly-competitive tally at No. 38, so it is advancing, though rather slowly.

“Bloody Mary” is now a Billboard top 40 hit for the first time ever, which is rather astounding considering the fact that it has been available to the masses for more than a decade now. When a tune breaks into the top 40 on almost any Billboard chart, that is usually when most people redefine it as a hit as opposed to simply a title that landed on some ranking.

To fully grasp just how incredible this achievement is, one must understand a bit about how the Billboard charts work.

There are a number of rankings published by the company that musicians can find themselves on based solely on fan consumption. The Hot 100 is powered largely by sales and streams, and there are plenty of other genre-specific lists that only take into consideration consumption via either purchases or plays on platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.

It is not uncommon these days for major stars to see many of their new songs place on Billboard charts based entirely on large numbers of fans buying or streaming their latest releases.

In fact, while it was essentially a rule for decades that tunes could not become Billboard charting hits unless they were properly promoted as singles, now the process is far more democratic and unencumbered consumption rules.

This is not the case when it comes to Billboard’s radio rankings. The only thing that matters on those lists is how often a certain song is played or how large the audience is that it reaches. For the most part, tracks are only included in a radio station’s rotation when they are promoted by the artist, their team, or their record label.

In order for a song to rack up enough plays and be heard by enough people to chart, typically a fair amount of resources – including money and time – need to be spent. Behind every radio hit is a team of people who spent hours strategizing and reaching out to programmers and DJs across the country in an effort to get them to spin a new single.

The fact that “Bloody Mary” is now a top 40 radio hit shows that not only is the song newly popular and Gaga just as beloved as ever, but that both her label and those working at stations across the U.S. are invested in the tune and believe in its success.

The “Bloody Mary” surge is thanks to an incredibly viral trend on TikTok. It all began when Netflix released its new series Wednesday, a spin-off within the Addams family franchise. In the new miniseries, the lead character performs a must-see routine at a school dance, and it quickly took over the internet. Wednesday’s moves were originally soundtracked by punk band The Cramps and their decades-old tune “Goo Goo Muck,” which is heard in the show itself. One TikTok user used the video and changed out the music, swapping The Cramps for a sped-up version of Gaga’s slept-on tune.

After that upload went viral, many people moved on from “Goo Goo Muck” and instead began using “Blood Mary” and replicating her moves. Even the singer herself got in on the fun, which only helped spur this viral moment and continued to make “Bloody Mary” a shocking smash.

As if ranking as one of the 40 most-heard songs at pop radio in the U.S. wasn’t enough of an accomplishment for a decade-old album cut, the future looks bright for “Bloody Mary.”

The song currently sits at No. 1 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, which acts as a 25-spot extension of the main Hot 100. For weeks, the tune remained steady at No. 4, but this time around it advances several spots. By landing at No. 1 on this list, “Bloody Mary” is essentially the 101st most-consumed tune in America. Its ascent seems like it will continue, and it is highly likely that the cut will break onto the Hot 100 next week.

“Bloody Mary” was originally released on Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way in May of 2011. The full-length produced five singles during its initial run, starting with the title track and ending with “Marry the Night” in late 2011. “Bloody Mary” was spun off as the sixth official single in December 2022, and its journey to the charts just goes to show that if the music is truly great, there’s no telling what can happen once a piece of music is out into the world.

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