The lyrics of recent No. 1 singles average at a third grade reading level



No one would ever dare to compare the writing prowess of artists like Macklemore, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry to Chaucer and Ginsberg, but a new study from Andrew Powell-Morse reveals just how dumbed down the lyrics are for songs currently dominating the Billboard charts.

Powell-Morse analyzed the reading levels for 225 songs that spent three or more weeks atop Billboard’s Pop, Country, Rock, and Hip-Hop song charts.

Whereas chart-toppers in 2005 read between a third and fourth grade level, a decade later that average is declining, and fast. In 2014, the reading level of a Billboard No. 1 single averaged between a second and third grade reading level, with the bar trending downward in five of the last 10 years.


Of the four genres analyzed, country music came out with the highest average reading level (3.3), followed by pop (2.9), rock ‘n’ roll (2.9), and R&B/hip-hop (2.6).

At an individual level, the data is even more fascinating. The average reading level of Eminem is a grade-and-a-half higher than Beyoncé, while Nickelback (!) tops Foo Fighters by nearly a number letter grade. In the world of pop music, superstars like Mariah Carey and Adele rank a full number grade higher than the likes of Lady Gaga and Ke$ha.

Of all 225 songs analyzed in the studio, the highest-scoring rock song was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Dani California” with a reading level of 5.5. Meanwhile, Three Days Grace’s “The Good Life” is the “dumbest” with a reading level of 0.8.

Below, you can find a few more infographics illustrating the data. The full report can be read here.


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Lollapalooza reveals 2015 schedule: Here are the 10 worst conflicts




The 2015 edition of Lollapalooza takes place July 31st – August 2nd at Chicago’s Grant Park. Today, the daily schedule has been revealed.

The festival kicks off Friday with performances from The War on Drugs, alt-J, Alabama Shakes, First Aid Kit, Father John Misty, and Hot Chip before ending with a two-hour-and-fifteen-minute headlining performance from Sir Paul McCartney. Playing opposite of Macca will be The Weeknd and Flying Lotus.

Saturday offers sets from Tame Impala, The Tallest Man on Earth, Tyler the Creator, Death From Above 1979, and Brand New, with Metallica and Sam Smith serving as the headlining acts.

Lollapalooza’s third and final day includes Florence and the Machine, TV on the Radio, FKA twigs, ASAP Rocky, and Twin Peaks.

With such a massive lineup, there are bounds to be some scheduling conflicts, and that’s certainly the case for Lollapalooza 2015. Here are 10 particularly nasty ones to work your way through:

Lollapalooza’s 10 Worst Conflicts:

10. Metallica vs. Sam Smith, Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

09. ASAP Rocky vs. Odeza, Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

08. Brand New vs. Banks vs. Kid Cudi, Saturday at 6:45 p.m.

07. The Tallest Man on Earth vs. Delta Spirit, Saturday at 4:45 p.m.

06. Death From Above 1979 vs. Toro y Moi, Saturday at 3:45 p.m.

05. FKA twigs vs. TV on the Radio, Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

04. The War on Drugs vs. Alabama Shakes, Friday at 5:30 p.m.

03. Tame Impala vs. Tyler the Creator, Saturday at 5:45 p.m.

02. alt-J vs. First Aid Kit vs. Gary Clark Jr., Friday at 6:30 p.m.

01. Paul McCartney vs. Flying Lotus vs. The Weeknd, Friday at 7:45 p.m.

Click here to see the full schedule.