5SOS fans left seething after Billboard 'director' allegedly trolls them with goading tweets

5SOS and their fans are still waiting for Billboard to fix the counting error that cost them their #1 spot on the charts


                            5SOS fans left seething after Billboard 'director' allegedly trolls them with goading tweets
(L-R) Calum Hood, Luke Hemmings, Ashton Irwin, and Michael Clifford of 5 Seconds of Summer (Getty Images)

Did Billboard just shade 5 Seconds of Summer?

One of Billboard's senior directors, Dave Brooks, has come under fire after a series of tweets attributed to him appear to diss 5SOS and their fans for demanding that Billboard count the 10,000 sales form albums shipped early due to a clerical error. Due to this mistake, the album 'CALM' debuted on the charts a whole week early at #62, and lost out its #1 spot in its actual charting week to The Weeknd's 'After Hours'. Had they been counted, 'CALM' would win by the sizeable margin of approximately 7000 units.

The tweets begin by stating, "Been getting a lot of questions on @%SOS so I'm sharing this "Calm made an early arrival on the Billboard chart dated April 4 at No. 62 with 11,000 in CD sales (in the tracking week ending March 26) from the band's concert ticket/album bundle with its upcoming U.S. tour""

Brooks was reported to have joined Billboard only a few days ago as their Senior Correspondent, Touring and Live Entertainment. While the Twitter account of @RealDaveBrooks doesn't appear to be verified, this profile has been listed as belonging to the Billboard director on sites like Muck Rack, which also link to his other roles and articles he has written. But aside from tagging Billboard in the profile's bio, the account has locked itself down so there's no way to confirm if it really does belong to the same Dave Brooks, and therefore cannot be claimed with a hundred percent certainty that this is Billboard's official stance and final response to 5SOS and their fans, and, by extension, the music industry.

(L-R) Michael Clifford, Luke Hemmings, Ashton Irwin and Calum Hood of 5 Seconds of Summer attend G'Day USA 2020 | Standing Together Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

Brooks' tweets continue, "The CDs were inadvertently fulfilled prior to the album's release date of March 27 due to an error" which fully acknowledges that it was, in fact, a mistake. He adds, "Customers received the album as early as March 23. Longstanding Billboard policy is to reflect album sale activity in the tracking week that the paying customer receives it."

However, this is quite untrue. For instance, Harry Styles' fans claimed his album 'Fine Line' had been shipped out early, and confirmed they received their copies a week prior to its actual release and charting week, yet that album did not debut on the charts a week earlier the way 'CALM' has. Similar situations have been observed for other albums, including Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener'.

One fan tweeted screenshots to corroborate this claim, stating "@billboard when ariana grande and harry styles’ albums were put on shelves/sent out early, those sales counted toward their debut week despite being sold a week early. how is it plausible to say that 5sos debuted last week when it is the same situation? #billboardincludethe10k"

The fact that other artists have had their charting position unaffected despite facing the same issues is precisely why 5SOS fans are upset right now, and why other people from the music industry have also begun demanding answers.

The band themselves expressed their disappointment and heartbreak over the issue, thanking the fans for their unrelenting support during this time.

5 Seconds of Summer pose before performing at the Spotify Fans First Event With 5 Seconds Of Summer on May 25, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Spotify invited its top-streaming 5 Seconds of Summer fans for an intimate Q&A, album preview, and acoustic performance in Sydney (Getty Images)

The All-American Rejects and Vanessa Carlton also weighed in on the issue, in addition to music journalist Nicholas Liddle who said "@5SOS We stand with you and the album was beyond amazing. & #CALM deserves the acknowledgement. if they won’t be here to support, we will. don’t ever stop! we got you! #BillboardIncludeThe10k" and radio personality Erik Zachery who tweeted, "I’ll admit, I thought @5SOS fans were over-reacting to album results... I’ve since realized evidence proves otherwise. @billboard, as a music authority, you need to acknowledge this & if you’re standing by the chart, provide proper reasoning as to why. Now. #billboardcounthe10k"

Other fandoms have also joined forces with 5SOS fans, most notably K-Pop group Monsta X's fandom 'Monbebe' who tweeted, "Monbebe~ If you would like, 5SOSFam needs our help again. Billboard refuses to acknowledge the clinical error that Ticketmaster did. Let Billboard know we won’t stand for it! Use #BillboardIncludeThe10k + #MBBwith5SOSFam to let them know we’re here for them!" Monbebes themselves secured a win for the fandom by refusing to give up on former Monsta X member Wonho, who has recently confirmed his return to the industry. Perhaps their support will help the 5SOS fans in their fight.

Brooks' tweets were captured and shared by a fan who asked, "Hey @billboardcharts @billboard is this your position? May I refer you to screenshot #3?" His third tweet, in particular, takes direct shots at 5SOS and the fandom, stating "Here is the article and hope this is a great reminder about the importance of small details and how rules are here to help you and me. And Billboard! We just turned 125 years old. 5SOS combined is 99! Math problem - what year will they catch up to us? FUN!!!"

Fans pointed out Brooks was wrong in many ways, including his math: "wait last time I checked 23+24+24+25=96 not 99 and even so wtf does that have to do with billboard being 150???? #billboardspeakup #includethe10kbillboard," tweeted one fan, correcting him on the ages of the four 5SOS members, while others just threw subtle shade right back at Brooks, including Zachery who tweeted, "...because who doesn’t love MATH.."

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