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Paul Walker tribute song tops Billboard Hot 100

/ 12:27 AM April 19, 2015

ATLANTA—Paul Walker is being remembered not only onscreen, but in music, too: The tribute song for him, “See You Again,” hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Thursday.

The song from rapper Wiz Khalifa and budding singer Charlie Puth is from the “Furious 7” soundtrack. The popular film series featured Walker.

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Puth, 23, sings the hook on the song. Writing “See You Again,” he said, he thought about a friend who died around the same time as Walker.

“It was a very similar situation [as well],” Puth said in an interview Wednesday. “Paul Walker’s [death in a car crash in 2013] was devastating. I sat down at the piano, played the chords and those words just fell out of me.” It took him about 10 minutes to write the hook, he said.

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Puth and Khalifa beat out a number of artists who submitted their lyrics and vocals for a Walker tribute song.

“It just felt right,” Puth said.

Two Spotify records

“See You Again” already set two Spotify records: It has earned the most streams in a day and week with 4.2 million and 21.9 million listens, respectively. And on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it supplanted Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s 14-week run at the top spot with “Uptown Funk.”

“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” said Puth. “I’m still surprised because ‘Uptown Funk’ is such a brilliant record…so for our song to take its place, it’s major.”

“See You Again,” which has sold 721,193 digital tracks so far, helped the “Furious 7” soundtrack debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s 200 albums chart this week. The film has become a box-office winner, earning $252 million so far.

Days ago, “Furious 7” star Vin Diesel sang a snippet of the song at the MTV Movie Awards.

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Grammy-nominated Khalifa, whose hits include “Black and Yellow” and “Young, Wild & Free,” said he meant to celebrate life and family instead of being sad on “See You Again.”

Amazing vocals

“I tried to put all those things together,” Khalifa said in an interview on Wednesday. “Charlie’s vocals are amazing; it all came together and made sense.”

Puth released his debut single, the Meghan Trainor-featured “Marvin Gaye,” earlier this year. The New Jersey native, once signed to Ellen DeGeneres’ record label, has been busy writing for other acts, including Trey Songz’s latest R&B hit, “Slow Motion.”

Puth said the attention he’s received following the success of “See You Again” has become “surreal.” He added that he cried after he got the news of the song topping the charts.

“I just walked outside, looked up at the sky and said ‘thank you’ to Paul and my friend. My friend always used to say I would someday have a No. 1 hit. I’m just taking it all in.” AP

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TAGS: acto, Billboard Hot 100, Fast and Furious 7, movie, Music, paul walker, Song, tribute
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