Kenny Rogers Hosts Country Duets Station on Slacker

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.36.49 PMThere is no artist more fitting to host Slacker’s brand-new 77 Greatest Country Duets station than The Gambler himself, Kenny Rogers. The music legend has recorded some of the most beloved collaborations in both country and pop history, and has made entire albums of duets. Just a few of the many we all know by heart are “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton, “Everytime Two Fools Collide” with Dottie West, “We’ve Got Tonight” with Sheena Easton and “Lady” with his old buddy, Lionel Richie.

In hosting our new 77 Greatest Country Duets station, Rogers tells the stories behind some of his own duets and gives commentary on a wide range of other country collaborations, from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” to Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift’s “Highway Don’t Care.” We also hear personal stories about some of his friends on the countdown, including Reba McEntire, Naomi Judd and, of course, Miss Dolly.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.32.05 PMRogers and Parton have a new duet, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” on his new album of the same name. The song comes three decades after “Islands in the Stream” and reunites the platonic friends who have weathered 30 years of romantic rumors.

“People always thought we were having an affair and we didn’t want to ruin it because if we’d had an affair, we’d lose that spark. We just flirted a lot,” Rogers tells the Associated Press. “I can’t explain it but flirting is more electric than passion, it’s the anticipation … She does it better than anybody I’ve ever seen, and it’s just fun.”

Tune in to our 77 Greatest Country Duets station, hosted by Kenny Rogers, here.

Countdown Kanye West’s Top 33 Songs

KANYE-NT-472x472Kanye West embarks on his first tour in five years starting this Saturday, and Slacker celebrates with a station counting down his 33 most popular songs, as determined by you and millions of Slacker listeners.

You’ll notice that we’ve even got special artwork for this station from Kanye himself!

This exclusive station is available for all Slacker listeners but remember, listeners with “explicit content” set to “off” wont be able to hear the Kanye West Top 33.

Listen to the Top 33 here.

Take a Look at the Movers and Shakers on This Week’s EQ Charts

EQ PlayWelcome to the first EQ charts for October! You can take a look at the full charts here. 

One of the interesting patterns that emerges on Slacker’s EQ charts is how arbitrary tags that we use to describe bands and genres seem to disappear when we measure actual listener engagement instead of media coverage, FM radio airplay, and the opinions of music critics. Is CHVRCHES “indie” or “alternative?” Those tags clearly don’t matter, as millions of Slacker listeners push them up the Alt/Indie chart this week. Is Kacey Musgraves too “progressive” for country radio? Slacker listeners say no, as she makes the chart for the second week in a row. Is Lorde “alt,” “pop,” “indie” or something else altogether? It doesn’t matter, as she appears on charts for 4 different genres this week, including the Overall charts. More examples and insights from this week’s charts are below.

AWOLNATION continues their improbable rise up the Pop chart with “Sail,” over a year after it peaked on the Alt/Indie chart. It makes the biggest jump this week, up 20 spots to land at number 11. Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” is also enjoying a similar reemergence at Pop—it holds its spot in the top 10 for the 2nd week in a row, aided by its Cedric Gervais remix.

On the EDM chart, we continue to track the crossover of “pure” EDM to Pop and beyond. RAC’s “Let Go” appears to be a good candidate to crossover beyond the world of electronic music–in addition to being one of the top-rated songs on several of Slacker’s individual EDM and Indie stations, it makes the second-biggest jump on the EDM chart this week, moving up 21 spots to debut at number 28.

The “blogbands” are taking over on the Alt/Indie chart, as MS MR’s “Hurricane” moves up 11 spots to land at number 22, and a band that your Slacker curators first introduced you to on our “Artists to Watch 2013” station back in January—CHVRCHES—moves up 10 spots to number 32. American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life” makes its EQ debut this week, moving up 9 spots to crack the top 40.

We’ve been tracking the rise of two new artists on the Hip Hop/R&B chart for the last month; this week Rich Homie Quan’s “Type of Way” moves up 2 spots to number 6, and Sage the Gemini’s “Gas Pedal” moves up 7 spots to crack the top 10. These two artists are engaging Slacker listeners more powerfully than any new hip hop artists in recent chart history. Miley Cyrus also somehow (t)works her way on to the Hip Hop/R&B chart, via her guest spot on Mike Will Made-It’s “23,” which debuts at number 40 this week.

At Country, the chart is relatively stable, although Keith Urban’s “We Were Us” makes a big jump, moving up 17 spots to number 29. Blake Shelton’s performance on the chart seems to mirror his performance on “The Voice” from week to week, and as he filled out his team this week, his “Mine Would Be You” moves up one spot to crack the top 10!

Finally, congratulations are in order to Black Veil Brides, who break a record this week—their “In The End” has held the top spot on the Rock chart for 8 weeks now. This is perfect example of a song that received limited consideration and airplay on FM radio, but because Slacker’s EQ charts measure actual listener engagement—not “spins” or airplay—it is allowed to rise to the top of the chart on its own merits and based on the strength of its fanbase.

Take a listen to this week’s Overall chart here, in the form of a countdown hosted by Slacker DJ Parker. And check back next week to see how millions of Slacker music fans just like you push songs up and down the charts—just by listening, skipping, Hearting, and banning the songs that you hear!

Want to learn more about what the EQ score is? Read more here or check out our nifty infographic here.

Listen to the Exclusive “Sting Top 33″

STINGiOS7b-472x472Sting has a busy week ahead of him-he turns 62 on October 2nd and he released his 14th album this week: “The Last Ship.”

Slacker is counting down the top 33 songs by Sting—including the songs of The Police.

Created using our “E.Q. Data” which measures how many times listeners play, “heart,” and share his songs, the Sting 33 countdown is a premium experience open to all Slacker users for one week only so enjoy it while you can!

Listen to Sting’s Exclusive Top 33 here. 

New Countdown: JT’s Top 33!

JT-iOS7b2-472x472Justin Timberlake is releasing The Twenty-Twenty Experience Part Two next week, so Slacker is counting down the top 33 J.T. songs–including solo singles, collaborations, and even hits from his Nsync’ days.

This countdown was created by calculating our “E.Q. Data” which measures how many times you’ve launched, “Hearted” and shared individual songs.

FYI, this JT-only station is a premium experience open to all Slacker users until Sunday, September 29th.

Enjoy JT’s Top 33 here. 

Slacker Honors Tupac Shakur With the 2Pac Top 33

2PAC-472x472 (1)It was 17 years ago this week that we lost one of the greatest rappers of all time.

Tupac Shakur’s legacy continues to inspire, and in celebration of his amazing career, Slacker presents The 2Pac Top 33.

This countdown is determined by Slacker listeners and what we call “E.Q.,” an “Engagement Quotient” that indicates the most played, most hearted, and most shared 2Pac songs of all time.

Listen here as we celebrate a true artist gone much too soon.

“Country A – Z” Gives Alphabetical Snapshot of Nashville’s Greatest Music

COUNTRY A-Z Music Guide2How about a history lesson that doesn’t make you fall asleep? On our brand-new station, Country A-Z, Slacker gives you a compelling country music history lesson that spans almost a century, from the genre’s earliest roots to the pop-laden tunes of today.

Our country experts have gone through the alphabet and chosen for each letter one artist, song, album or event that has defined the genre. We’ve included the music your grandparents probably loved, from the likes of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, all the way to the Taylor Swift tween-country phenomenon of today. There are the quintessential country heartbreakers, like Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” mixed in with tracks for your party playlist, such as Kenny Chesney’s “Young,” and everything in between. There’s even a classic movie and TV show thrown into the mix, both of which helped popularize tunes with twang.

If you’re a fan of country music, you’ll probably know the lyrics to each song played on Country A-Z by heart. And if you’re not a fan, we challenge you to listen with your most critical cap on … and maybe you’ll find that country is pretty cool after all.

Tune in to Country A-Z on Slacker here.

Get Exclusive Access to the Pearl Jam Top 33!

PEARL JAM MUSIC GUIDEThis week marks the 22nd anniversary of the release of Pearl Jam’s classic debut album, “Ten.” Slacker celebrates with an exclusive station built out of their greatest hits including “Even Flow” and “Better Man,” as well as lesser known fan favorites like “Crazy Mary.”

This countdown of Pearl Jam’s Top 33 is determined by Slacker users via our E.Q. (“Engagement Quotient”) methodology, allowing us to rank their 33 most played, most hearted and most shared tracks.

Such one-artist stations are usually reserved for premium users but, thanks to a special arrangement with the band, everybody on Slacker can listen through Sunday 8/25.

The Pearl Jam Top 33, powered by real user engagement–something that could only happen on Slacker. Listen here. 

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