In a new interview with Vulture, Fiona Apple accused Justin Bieber of “gaming the system” to get his song up the charts. She said, “I feel terrible that anybody would want to be #1 as badly as Justin Bieber wants to be #1.”
For her upcoming album, she says she doesn’t plan to do what she called a “crazy amount of promo” and questioned how the music industry got to this point. She commented, “The climate of art and the music industry is so ridiculous” and went on to compared it to a video game with artists now “checking their scores.” to see who's made it to the top of the charts.
Her comments were in reference to the fact that Justin Bieber had asked fans to use manipulative streaming and purchasing practices on social media. His post, that went viral, suggested that international fans use a VPN (virtual private network) to make it seem as though they were listening to the song from America.
The U.S. is the only country that the Billboard Hot 100 chart takes into consideration for chart placement. The post also suggested that fans listen to the music with ads and on repeat at a low volume even while they are sleeping. All as an effort to race the song up the chart.
In the end, Bieber’s song “Yummy,” peaked at #2 on that chart.