American pop radio has proven its willingness to embrace acts from the UK version of “The X Factor.”
Recently, it has demonstrated an affinity for songs that established themselves on international music charts.
The newest entry to the US pop market can check both boxes.
Impacting pop radio Tuesday on behalf of Columbia Records, “Ghost,” the debut single from series nine “X Factor” contestant Ella Henderson, arrives with considerable buzz and a laundry list of achievements.
“Ghost,” most notably, has already reached number one in the UK, where it ranks as the year’s fastest-selling debut single and claims the year’s second-largest radio audience. Only Pharrell’s “Happy” has made a bigger splash on United Kingdom airwaves.
The song also reached #1 on the Irish, Scottish and Polish charts. It has gone as high as #3 in Australia.
Far from a completely unknown commodity in the US, “Ghost” has thus far garnered 400,000 US Spotify streams and and high-profile exposure on a “Good Morning America” episode. It now attempts to tackle the US radio market.
Bearing similarities to “Bleeding Love,” which he co-wrote and produced for Leona Lewis, and the recent entries to his OneRepublic catalog, “Ghost” makes little effort to hide Ryan Tedder’s involvement as a co-writer and co-producer.
But the song ultimately functions as a platform for Henderson’s powerful, richly-textured vocals, and it therefore serves an immensely effective introduction to one of the world’s most promising young artists. The finished product might not obscure Ryan Tedder’s involvement, but it loudly boasts about Henderson’s role.
And it will be America’s appreciation for that role, which most notably amounts to a confident and soulful, yet restrained and unaffected performance, that will either facilitate or bottleneck the song’s success.
(More than a mere vocalist, Henderson joined Tedder, Kenan Williams and Noel Zancanella as a co-writer; Tedder co-produced with Zancanella)