Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai’s hit single “Toy” will debut at the top of Billboard’s dance club chart this week in an unprecedented feat for an Israeli singer.
“This is very exciting for me,” Barzilai said in a statement sent to Hebrew media from New York, where she is on a promotional tour. “I just got off the plane and this is the first message I got when I turned on my phone.”
“I am grateful for everything happening around me,” she added. “This is an amazing year and the experience I’m having is just nuts.”
“Toy” is now on the list of Billboard’s top dance club songs for the ninth week, with the track steadily climbing in popularity.
Having reached number one on the chart, “Toy” ranks ahead of songs by world famous artists such as Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and U2, among others.
According to Hadashot TV news, it is the first time a song by an Israeli singer has topped one of Billboard’s charts, which track the most popular music in the United States each week.
“Toy” is also number 31 on the Billboard top hot dance/electronic songs, where it has been the past five weeks.
After its debut ahead of the Eurovision, “Toy” became an instant hit in Israel, with its popularity only continuing to climb after Barzilai’s victory in the song contest in May.
The song has also been popular in Europe and made history by racking up the most views ever for a video on Eurovision’s YouTube channel.
Despite the celebration for the song, its composers have faced threatened legal action for alleged plagiarism.
Universal Music Studios, one of the world’s biggest music companies, sent a pre-suit notice letter two months ago to Doron Medalie and Stav Beger, who jointly wrote “Toy,” claiming that the song was copied from The White Stripes’ 2003 song, “Seven Nation Army.”
According to a report from the Ynet news site last week, the sides are set to sign a deal that will see Medalie and Beger will give Universal some of the distribution rights of the song in certain countries in exchange for resolving claims of copyright infringement.
Both sides will reportedly benefit from the deal because, with the backing of Universal, the song will reach a much larger audience.
If upheld, claims of copyright infringement could have disqualified “Toy’s” eligibility to participate in Eurovision, meaning Israel could have been stripped of its win and lost hosting rights for the 2019 tournament. Eurovision entries must be original material.
Many have observed that the two songs have a similar baseline — as is the case of many other pairs of songs — but Universal’s attorneys alleged that similarities in rhythm and harmony constitute copyright infringement.
News of the imminent deal came a day after Israel’s public broadcaster and the government reached a last-minute deal to end a spat over funding for hosting next year’s contest, which had left Israel’s hosting duties in jeopardy.