Controversy translates to chart action for Avril Lavigne, whose "Hello Kitty" debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 75 following the track’s Vevo video debut on April 23. It’s her second-highest charted song from her recent self-titled album; "Here's to Never Growing Up," also co-produced by Lavigne's husband, Chad Kroeger, peaked at No. 20 in June.
"Kitty," which is not an official U.S. single, claws its way onto the Hot 100 with 92 percent of its chart points from streaming. Factoring into its rank: a weekly U.S. count of 2.9 million streams (up from 41,000 the prior frame), with 73 percent of that activity attributed to Vevo on YouTube views, according to Nielsen BDS. That action allows Lavigne to receive her highest debut on Streaming Songs to date, as the track bows at a lofty No. 14 (besting "Growing Up," which opened at No. 26 in May following its official video debut).
The song also surges to 5,000 downloads sold in the tracking week ending Sunday, April 27, up from a negligible amount the week before, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The online firestorm ignited by the video’s content sends Lavigne to her highest position on the Social 50 since January, where she moves 37-15. The "Kitty" music video, which was shot in Japan, was berated on various blogs and news sites for its appropriation of Japanese culture, enough so to lead Lavigne to respond to the criticism on Twitter and Facebook.
RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video…— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) April 24, 2014
…specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan.— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) April 24, 2014
The above tweets helped spark a 131 percent increase in retweets for the week, and Lavigne’s twitter handle was mentioned more than 101,000 times during the week, a 144 percent increase over the previous week, according to data provided by Next Big Sound. Her overall online fanbase increased for the week by 32 percent, as she added 387,000 new fans across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vevo and YouTube.
Text, Video, and Tweets @ BILLBOARD