Nathan Evans’ Sea Shanty ‘Wellerman’ Sails Onto Billboard Global Charts

The Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts launched in September and have already spotlighted a diverse array of artists across genre, nationality and language.

On the Feb. 6-dated editions, they welcome another new (old) type of hit: the sea shanty. Nathan Evans debuts at No. 94 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart and at No. 134 on the Global 200 with his version of “Wellerman.”

Evans has ridden a startling wave (pun maybe intended) of popularity on TikTok in the last month as he and other users have performed passed-down shanties on the app, going viral and inspiring parodies, covers and remixes. He then signed to Universal’s Polydor Records and formally released “Wellerman” Jan. 22, his rendition of the New Zealand whaling song “Soon May the Wellerman Come,” whose origins date back to the 1860s.

In the tracking week ending Jan. 28, powering its global chart debuts, his version of “Wellerman” earned 4 million streams and sold 25,000 downloads worldwide, according to MRC Data.

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The sales figure is especially strong. Despite not making the top half of the Global 200, it ranks as the week’s second-best selling song worldwide, only 1,000 copies behind “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo and 8,000 ahead of the next-best seller, The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.”

Further, “Wellerman” is the best-selling song of the week outside the U.S., with more than 16,000 downloads. The song’s 9,000 domestic downloads sold propel it to a No. 4 debut on Billboard’s U.S.-based Digital Song Sales chart. The domestic figure helps Evans concurrently debut at No. 17 on the Emerging Artists chart.

That means that only 35% of Evans’ sales for the song were from the U.S., compared to the average of 53% among all songs that appear on both Feb. 6-dated global charts. Conversely, streams for “Wellerman” break down closer to the global average. It earned 27% of its worldwide streams in the U.S., in line with the median total of 24%.

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