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With 2 back-to-back hit songs, Sabrina Carpenter is on the rise

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

In this week's Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 and No. 3 are by the pop artist Sabrina Carpenter. They're her first two songs to reach the Top 3, and that puts her in rare company, as NPR Music's Stephen Thompson explains.

STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: We are witnessing the rise of Sabrina Carpenter. Her brand-new song, "Please Please Please," makes its chart debut at No. 2.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE")

SABRINA CARPENTER: (Singing) Please, please, please don't prove I'm right.

THOMPSON: And another song that was released in April, "Espresso," hits a new chart peak at No. 3.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ESPRESSO")

CARPENTER: (Singing) Now he's thinkin' 'bout me every night. Oh, isn't that sweet? I guess so. Say you can't sleep. Baby, I know. That's that me espresso.

THOMPSON: Sabrina Carpenter's busy 2024 stands to take off even further as she builds toward the release of her album "Short N' Sweet" on August 23. Carpenter is a former Disney Channel star, and she joins an impressive list of performers who've crossed over from that world, including Selina Gomez, Zendaya, Olivia Rodrigo and Miley Cyrus. If you're looking for an esoteric milestone to contextualize Carpenter's success, note that she's just the second act in the history of the Hot 100 to make her debut in the chart's Top 3 with two songs at once. The other one? The Beatles in 1964, and they turned out to be a pretty big deal.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) I want to hold your hand.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHE LOVES YOU")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.

THOMPSON: Now, I have to layer a caveat on top of that esoteric milestone, but part of the fun of digging into the charts is peeling back layers to see how history repeats. Other artists have landed their first two Top 3 singles at the same time, including Iggy Azalea and Da Baby, but other performers were also billed on at least one of the charting songs in question in both of those cases. Not so for Carpenter or the act with whom she is now and forever synonymous, the Beatles.

Stephen Thompson, NPR Music. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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