In 2015, Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora released her debut EP, Running With the Wolves. She followed in 2016 with her first full-length, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend, which reached No. 28 on Billboard’s U.S.-based Top Rock Albums chart.
Both sets begin with the song “Runaway.” Fast-forward to 2021 and the track is gaining more widespread worldwide recognition on the back of, what else? TikTok virality. On the latest lists, dated April 24, “Runaway” leaps 99-34 on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart and 130-49 on the Billboard Global 200.
“Runaway” received its own colorful interactive TikTok filter that dramatically changes the backlighting from day to night and back again, spurring the #RunawayChallenge. The song’s global sales and streams have been building each week for more than a month, from 7.8 million streams and 500 downloads sold in the week ending March 18 to 23.7 million streams and 2,400 downloads sold in the week ending April 15, according to MRC Data.
The song’s success is rare for songs of a certain age: of 51 songs released in 2015 or before to make the Global Excl. U.S. chart since the list launched last September, “Runaway” is only the second to crack the top 40. Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” from 1977, followed its own social media resurgence No. 30 for two weeks in October.
Further, it’s the fifth such song to hit the top 50 of the Global 200, following “Dreams” (No. 10), The Weeknd’s “The Hills” (No. 44) and a pair of DMX tracks, as “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” debut on this week’s chart at Nos. 27 and 32, respectively.
Growth for “Runaway” has been healthy both in and out of the U.S., although its share of streams in the past month has shifted slightly more internationally; while four weeks ago its streams were 24% domestic and 76% international, this week brings an 18% U.S./82% outside the U.S. split.
Stateside, still, “Runaway” debuts on this week’s U.S.-based Alternative Digital Song Sales and Alternative Streaming Songs charts at Nos. 14 and 15, respectively, while jumping 12-3 on the LyricFind U.S. chart. Aurora herself re-entered the Emerging Artists two weeks ago and has climbed 42-32-15 the last three weeks.