Most popular Smooth Jazz songs

December 7, 2015

Smooth Jazz Smooth Jazz

Lindsey Webster

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In a format known primarily for its lush arrangements and sexy sax sounds, Lindsey Webster has notched a rare No. 1.

Webster's soulful "Fool Me Once" is the first fully vocals-driven No. 1 on Billboard's Smooth Jazz Songs chart (where it leads for a second week, dated March 5) since Sade's "Soldier of Love, " which reigned for three weeks in February and March 2010. In the history of the radio airplay chart, which began Oct. 22, 2005, the two songs are the only all-out vocals-fueled entries to hit the top (of 132 total No. 1s).

(George Benson and Al Jarreau's "Mornin'" led for five weeks in 2006-07, but it sports scat-singing from Jarreau, as opposed to a fully defined vocal. The song is a mostly-instrumental update of Jarreau's 1983 track "Mornin', " which does boast vocals.)

Webster has more words, about her coronation.

"The fact that I'm on a Billboard chart, let alone at No. 1 ... let alone in a mostly instrumental format, has been a huge turning point for me, " the Woodstock, N.Y., native says about her first entry on any Billboard ranking, from her 2015 sophomore album You Change. "Having the only other vocal No. 1 since queen Sade is an amazing thing, almost incomprehensible. I am so grateful to my partner [husband, producer, keyboardist and co-songwriter], Keith Slattery, for writing the music that inspired 'Fool Me Once.' Without him and our band turning what was just an idea into a beautiful song, we would not have what is now a No. 1 hit on Billboard!"

Webster's manager Bud Harner took on his role after becoming a fan. "When I first heard ["Once"], I was thinking, 'Is this as good as I think it is?' I literally tracked down Lindsey and Keith and said, 'You don't know me but …, '" the veteran A&R exec says. "They told me a friend had tried to get the song played on SiriusXM's Watercolors channel, but nothing had happened. I sent the song to [program director] Trinity, who added it. I then sent it to other programmers in the genre and they confirmed my initial reaction.

"Smooth jazz is primarily an instrumental-based format with some vocals thrown in here and there. Somehow I had the feeling that this song would go beyond those limitations. To see it at No. 1 is very satisfying and exciting."

The Top Ten Most Popular Jazz Songs Of 2011
The Top Ten Most Popular Jazz Songs Of 2011

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