Chatter before the VMAs said that Fergie would be joining Jack Harlow to perform his “Glamorous”-sampling No. 1 hit “First Class,” and that’s exactly what happened on the stage of the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Sunday night.
Harlow started off with “First Class,” continuing his self-deprecating video appearances: He appeared in “What’s Poppin” as a short-order cook, on “Saturday Night Live” as a custodian, and tonight he appeared as an airline steward, high-fiving or walking past Avril Lavigne, Becky G and of course his pal Lil Nas X before quickly losing that outfit for a glittery black ensemble and a red-carpet scene. He quickly joined Fergie as the song transformed into “Glamorous.”
Fergie’s 2006 song saw a mini streaming increase of 70% following Harlow’s sample of the track — which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year — according to data by Luminate.
Harlow’s strategic teasing of the track on TikTok helped to make the song an immediate success. Using thirteen-second clips of the single for a multitude of videos, Harlow — who is no slouch at social media — made “First Class” a trending sound on the app ahead of its full release.
In the weeks prior to Harlow’s release, “Glamourous” had a total of 3,225,900 on-demand total streams. On the day and weeks following Harlow’s release, “Glamorous” tallied 5,474,100 on-demand total streams, accounting for a bump of 70%. The increased interest in the 2000s track also extended to digital song sales for “Glamorous,” boosting from 400 (two weeks before release) to 900 (two weeks after release) — a 125% difference.
Ron Fair, the record producer behind “Glamorous,” called Harlow’s “[interpolation] [a] really gigantic co-sign of Fergie and Will.i.am’s continuing relevance in culture. It was just a great feeling and reaction all the way around. That her work would be embraced by a different generation — that’s great, especially in this very qualitative way.”
Harlow’s strategic teasing of the track on TikTok also helped to make the song an immediate success. Using 13-second clips of the single online, Harlow made “First Class” a trending sound on the app weeks ahead of its full release.