- Written by Mark Savage
- BBC Music Correspondent
Kylie Minogue scored her biggest hit single in over a decade with the infectious dance anthem Padam Padam.
It’s the stars’ first single to crack the UK Top 10 since All The Lovers peaked at number three in 2010.
This means that Kylie is one of only four women to have reached the top 10 in the UK in five separate decades, along with Cher, Lulu and Diana Ross.
The singer said the success of the song, which went viral on TikTok, “really surprised all of us”.
She hasn’t been in the top 10 in any capacity since appearing as a featured artist on Taio Cruz’s top 10 single of 2011.
Badam Badam was also a hit in Ireland, the Netherlands, Argentina, Chile, Germany, El Salvador, New Zealand and Kylie’s home country, Australia.
Said to be inspired by the Edith Piaf song of the same name, its title mimics the sound of a heart pounding.
“It’s a voice chat,” Kylie explained. “D-dum, d-dum, like a heartbeat.”
But since its release last month, the word “Padam” has been embraced by fans, especially during Pride Month, to represent all sorts of things — from hello and goodbye, to a vocal seal of approval.
What do you think of the outfit? Badam. How do you take your coffee? Badam. Is it hot outside? Badam Badam.
“People are hilarious,” Kylie told Zoe Ball. “It became a noun, a verb, an adjective.”
“You know, friends leave:” Badam! Like they turned into followers or something. This has taken on a life of its own and I’m having the time of my life seeing what people do.”
Writing at Harper’s BazaarLouis Staples said the phrase fits with the history of “queer people who use art as part of a coded language that only we – the novices – understand”.
“A historical example is San Francisco’s Castro District in the 1970s, during the Harvey Milk era, when there was a whole gay men’s clothing code, according to which not only different-colored handkerchiefs, but also everyday clothes like Converse and plaid shirts mean different things.” .
“Badam-Badam seems to have introduced the same lexicon as gay, which is the acronym many of us use to communicate with each other.”
“This is a wild idea,” Kylie told Capital Radio. “Because what does that mean? It means what you want it to mean.”
Padam Padam is the second single to be taken from the star’s upcoming album Tension, which is set for release in September.
After the positive reactions to the disco of her latest record, the country-pop ballads at 2018’s Golden, she said the musical reference point for her new material was 2003’s sensual, slow-burning single.
Coincidentally, that song was Kylie’s last UK hit.
But with Padam Padam streams increasing week by week, the singer could be back in the top five soon.
Elsewhere in the charts, One Direction star Niall Horan scored his second album with The Show, closely followed by McFly, with his seventh studio album, Power To Play.
Dave and Central Cee have number one for the second week with their relaxing summer jam, Sprinter. Another high-profile rap collaboration — J Hus and Drake’s Who Told You — is the highest-grossing new entry of the week at two.
And Sam Fender and Harry Styles got a boost after putting on huge shows in the UK this week.
Fender’s Seventeen Going Under returns to the Top 40 at 29, while the singles Late Night and Satellite are at 30 and 31, respectively.
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