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Tones And I honoured for songwriting success with a place on The 1,000,000,000 List

Media Published Monday 3 February 2020
Tones and I accepts her 1,000,000,000 List award from Dean Ormston, accompanied by managers Regan Lethbridge (left) and David Morgan. Photo: Maya Luana

Tones and I has joined The 1,000,000,000 list with her breakout track Dance Monkey

Dance Monkey is the fastest Australia song to reach one billion streams across all platforms

Songwriter and solo artist Tones And I was honoured today at APRA AMCOS headquarters with a place on The 1,000,000,000 List, for the record-breaking, worldwide streaming success of ‘Dance Monkey.’ Chief Executive Dean Ormston presented Tones And I with the songwriting accolade, which is given in recognition of more than one billion streams for a song.

‘Dance Monkey’ achieved the streaming feat faster than any other Aussie song, reaching the milestone in November after its May release. Last week ‘Dance Monkey’ ticked over one billion streams on Spotify alone, and is well on its way to surpass a staggering two billion streams across all major platforms.

Released as the follow-up to Tones’ debut single ‘Johnny Run Away,’ ‘Dance Monkey’ quickly lit up triple j’s textline, Shazam charts and Spotify’s Viral charts.

Written solely by Tones, real name Toni Watson, and recorded with Brisbane producer Konstantin Kersting, the song is now ARIA’s longest-running #1 single, with 24 non-consecutive weeks in the top spot, claiming the title from Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You.’ The song’s 11 weeks at #1 on the UK’s Official Singles Charts broke the record held jointly by Whitney Houston (‘I Will Always Love You’) and Rihanna (‘Umbrella’) for longest-running # 1 single by a female artist in UK chart history.

Tones is also the first Australian artist to reach #1 on Spotify’s Global Top 50 Playlist, a position she held for four months. ‘Dance Monkey’ is one of the most Shazamed songs of all time.

'Dance Monkey' was one of three Australian songs to top the TMN Hot 100 in 2019, along with Guy Sebastian's 'Choir' and Dean Lewis' '7 Minutes,’ and has now spent 38 weeks on the chart.

A song written to capture the attention of the distracted passers-by Tones encountered during her now infamous Byron Bay busking performances, ‘Dance Monkey’ has topped charts in more than 30 countries and is currently sitting at its peak of #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song’s accreditations include: 8x Platinum - Australia; 3x Platinum - New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland; 2x Platinum - UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy; Platinum - Canada, Germany, Spain; Diamond – France; Gold – USA.

Shortly before collecting four awards at the 2019 ARIAs, Tones made her first US TV appearance with a solo performance of ‘Dance Monkey’ on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

She is currently touring on the Laneway Festival and collected the award the day after her performance in Sydney. Tones will next embark on a five-month sold out world tour.

“It was only when I wasn't trying at all that it happened, and I wrote this song in about a half an hour,” Tones said in a speech to APRA AMCOS staff, her co-managers Lemon Tree Music and Artists Only and her publisher Kobalt Music Group.

“The reason for this award is to signal the importance of the songwriter, who is sometimes behind-the-scenes. Tones' talent is incredible: she's the artist and the person behind-the-scenes with a song she wrote one hundred percent herself. Her career is just beginning,” said Ormston.

"We are experiencing something very special here with Tones And I and I would like to thank Tones, Regan, Jackson and David for trusting Kobalt as their publishing partner for Australia and New Zealand. One billion streams is an incredible milestone to stop and reflect on, but it won't be too long before ‘Dance Monkey’ reaches two billion, and there are many more great songs to follow from this truly unique and talented artist and songwriter," said Simon Moor, Managing Director, Kobalt Music Group APAC.

Tones joins an esteemed list of recipients: Nat Dunn (for MARSHMELLO’S ‘Friends’), Dean Lewis (for ‘Be Alright’), Flume (for ‘Never Be Like You’), Jake Mason, Ivan Khatchoyan, and Lance Ferguson (for Cookin’ On 3 Burners ‘This Girl’), Starley and P-Money (for ‘Call On Me’), and Troye Sivan and Alex Hope (for ‘Youth’) with more songwriters to be added. The 1,000,000,000 List takes into account streaming numbers from major services Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. It is the first award of its kind to recognise a songwriter’s achievement.

Tones And I - Dance Monkey