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Cheerleader hits U.S., Billboard

Published:Thursday | May 7, 2015 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell

Reggae/dancehall and pop artiste Omi has finally entered the United States (US) Billboard Hot 100 chart with his single Cheerleader. The single, which was recently certified gold in the United Kingdom, is currently enjoying its first week on the US chart.

Cheerleader now features musician Felix Jaehn and yesterday entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 95. The song remains number one in the United Kingdom and France.

Omi told The Gleaner in a recent interview that he and his management were looking into the prospect of pushing the song to the US market, as, at the time of the interview, the song had not yet charted on Billboard Hot 100.

"We haven't started promoting fully in the US, as yet. But we will do so in short order ... we are taking a different approach to music and the records are there to show that it's working," Omi told The Gleaner.

Cheerleader last charted in Jamaica two years ago, however, the effort is still reaping success overseas, having received certifications in several countries. The song was originally produced as a ska record. However, the remix featuring the work of Felix Jaehn, now has a more pop appeal and has surpassed the original version in online viewership, resulting in a triple platinum certification in Austria, five times platinum in Sweden, and platinum in Italy.

Competing with top acts

Wiz Khalifa's See You Again, featuring Charlie Puth, currently sits at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. However, that is not the case on the France Billboard chart, where Omi triumphs over the popular Furious 7 sound track, to hold the number-one spot.

"When I see myself competing with people like Wiz Khalifa, I recognise that the work has just started. Reaching this stage, a lot of people would become complacent, but that is not the case with me," he told The Gleaner.

The artiste is booked to appear on several festivals during the summer. His team is also looking forward to the US leg of promotions after fully cementing Cheerleader in the hearts of European music lovers.