Although it’s spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold almost half a million (498,000) downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan, Anna Kendrick’s quirky single “Cups” (UME/Republic) is just now adding a new element to its success: radio airplay.
And, much like the vocal group (the Barden Bellas) that Kendrick’s character helps reinvent, leading to glee club glory in the film, “Cups” is likewise winning new fans thanks to a radical change in sound.
As “Pitch Perfect” protagonist Beca Mitchell, Kendrick sings “Cups” as her audition song for the ensemble, performing it only with the accompaniment of a yellow plastic cup (and the stage floor upon which she’s sitting) as percussion. British act Lulu and the Lampshades unveiled their version of the composition and unique performance style in 2009 as reworking of the 1937 recording “Miss Me When I’m Gone,” by J. E. Mainer’s Mountaineers. Anna Burden’s performance subsequently garnered attention on YouTube (3.3 million views to date), which led to front-page placement on Reddit, and myriad other online covers followed.
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