Australian station Triple J have responded after their annual poll to discover the best song of the year was hijacked by Justin Bieber.
Triple J’s Hottest 100 is billed as the world’s ‘biggest musical democracy’. However, a campaign started by a betting agency in Australia and backed by Bieber himself has seen #Bieber4Hottest100 trending globally and a spokesperson for the station issue a statement regarding the validity of the campaign,
The betting company began the hashtag from its official account on December 9 and was subsequently retweeted by Bieber himself. The original tweet now has over 15,000 retweets.
None of Bieber’s songs from 2015 are included in the Hottest 100 shortlist, however fans can vote for specific songs they feel have been unfairly missed off. Three Bieber singles from 2015 are eligible for the list with Skrillex and Diplo collaboration ‘Where Are Ü Now’ the most likely given that it was played on the station following its release.
Meagan Loader, acting Triple J manager, spoke to Tone Deaf about the Bieber campaign.
“We want genuine votes from genuine listeners,” she said. “It isn’t fair to Triple J listeners or artists whose songs could be undermined when campaigns try to incentivise votes or troll the poll.”
“We’ll keep an eye on it,” she added. “If we feel the outcome of the Hottest 100 has been manipulated votes may be disqualified or ignored.”
Triple J has history for this and chose to disqualify Taylor Swift from their poll in 2014. Buzzfeed chose to launch a campaign to get her single ‘Shake It Off’ into last year’s list. Unlike Bieber, Swift’s music has never been played on the station and the station decided that votes cast in her favour were part of a campaign and therefore were not eligible.
The 2014 poll was won by Chet Faker and his song ‘Talk Is Cheap’. Favourites for the 2015 crown include Major Lazer’s ‘Lean On’ and ‘Let It Happen’ by Tame Impala.