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Wonders never cease in the world of Daniel Johnston. The Texas songwriter, who rose to prominence in Austin with home-recorded cassettes in the 1980s, is No. 1 on this week’s Top Commercials chart in Billboard, thanks to a much-talked-about new Apple ad that features his song “Story of an Artist.”
Just behind Johnston on the chart? Upcoming Austin City Limits Music Festival headliner Childish Gambino, whose song “Redbone” is featured in another Apple commercial. And, ah yes, the late David Bowie, whose “Starman” is in a Chanel perfume ad.
The Billboard article cites Nielsen Music figures of 420,000 streams and 2,000 downloads of “Story of an Artist’ last month. The ad’s prime placement in World Cup coverage clearly made a big difference, especially for music-discovery services: Per Billboard, “Story of an Artist” racked up 85,000 tags on Shazam, a song-identification app, and last week topped the U.S. chart of LyricFind, a lyrics licensing and search site.
Earlier this year, friends and fans helped Johnston celebrate his 57th birthday at the Mohawk with “Hi, How Are You? Day,” which doubled as a launch for the new Hi, How Are You? Foundation focusing on mental health awareness.