Johann Sebastian Bach Debuts on Social 50 Chart After Google Doodle


The German composer is the oldest musician to reach the chart.

By far the oldest musician to reach Billboard’s Social 50 chart ever is Johann Sebastian Bach, who bows at No. 20 on the April 6-dated ranking.

The Social 50 is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers with artist page views and engagement. The chart's latest tracking week ended March 28.

Bach debuts thanks to a March 21 Google Doodle celebrating the composer’s birthday. He would have been 334 years old, having been born on March 21, 1685 (under the Old Style Julian calendar, that is; upon the adoption of the Gregorian [New Style] calendar, it’s held that his birthday was 10 days later on March 31).

The Google Doodle was touted as the first AI-powered graphic created by Google, with users being able to turn a custom melody of their creation into one in the composer’s style.

Attention from the interactive Google Doodle (plus news of his birthday in general) sent 358,000 viewers to Bach’s Wikipedia page, an increase of 782 percent over the previous tracking week, according to Next Big Sound.

Though a less sizable gain, Bach’s catalog on streaming services additionally saw a 9 percent boost in on-demand streams, racking up 773,000 streams in all, according to Nielsen Music.

Bach, considered one of the most important and well-known composers in music history, died in 1750 at age 65.

Prior to Bach's debut, the previous oldest entrant onto the Social 50? That would be Marlene Dietrich, who was born on Dec. 27, 1901. She entered the Social 50 for one week (No. 14, Jan. 6, 2018), also thanks to a Google Doodle. Dietrich died in 1992.