Crave is Madonna’s Best Adult Contemporary Chart Debut
Madonna achieves her highest debut ever on Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary chart, as Crave, with Swae Lee, launches at No. 19 on the June 8-dated tally.
The Adult Contemporary chart ranks titles by weekly plays on a panel of 85 adult contemporary stations monitored by Nielsen Music.
Crave is Madonna’s 37th Adult Contemporary entry, her first dating back to Borderline in 1984.
She logged her prior best Adult Contemporary start when Ghosttown opened at No. 21 in April 2015. The song then peaked at No. 18, Madonna boasting back-to-back top 20 Adult Contemporary hits for the first time in 20 years, since Frozen (No. 8 peak) and The Power of Good-Bye (No. 14) charted consecutively in 1998-99.
Notably, Interscope Records has serviced a Madonna-only edit of the song to adult radio. Emily Boldon, program director at WWLI Providence, Rhode Island comments:
If you didn’t know it was Madonna, you might think it was Ariana Grande or Alessia Cara. About half [of Cumulus] stations playing it are playing the duet version with Swae Lee, which, even for AC, is a hooky rap.
Crave sounds great on the air. You don’t have to sell it as ‘new Madonna.’ It stands on its own as simply ‘cool new music.’
Brian Demay, program director at Cumulus-owned WRRM Cincinnati, notes:
Crave took me a few listens, but now it’s stuck in my head. [The station is playing the Madonna-solo version] only because our listeners don’t know who Swae Lee is. This song is legit. It’s not campy or nostalgic. It sounds like 2019. Madonna has reinvented her sound yet again.