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Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ waltzes into the US charts

Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s hit single “Murder on the Dancefloor” is thriving on both the UK and US charts, hitting a new peak on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.

The 2001 single from the British pop artist’s debut album, Read My Lips, is enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to Emerald Fennell’s film Saltburn, which uses the track in a key scene starring Barry Keoghan.

The Irish actor stars in the movie as Oliver Quick, a scholarship student who befriends the popular and wealthy Felix (Jacob Elordi), and is invited to spend the summer at his family’s estate, Saltburn.

Since the film’s release last November, “Murder on the Dancefloor” has been slowly working its way up the charts after going viral on TikTok, as Saltburn fans recreate Keoghan’s scene where he dances around a mansion.

OfficialCharts.com now reports that, after returning to its original No 2 peak in the Official Singles Chart, the track has also vaulted from No 98 to No 58 on the Billboard Hot 100, 22 years after it was first released.

The song is expected to retain its Top Five position in the UK this week.

 (Sophie Ellis-Bextor / YouTube)
(Sophie Ellis-Bextor / YouTube)

“It’s been pretty wild actually, but I’m definitely here for it,” Ellis-Bextor told The Independent of her track’s renewed success last week.

“I’ve always loved the fact that I’m not really in control of what happens to me and my music for a lot of the time, and I’ve always just been open to these new adventures and seeing what can happen.”

Director Fennell told The Independent: “The final dance needed to feel like a moment of triumph. A post-coital, joyful act of desecration and territory-taking. There’s no other song to me that so perfectly contains all the evil glee, the sheer FUN, the irresistible camp of ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’.

“The beat, the words, Sophie’s incredible deadpan delivery. A sweet butter-wouldn’t-melt threat. If there’s a song that’ll make you dance no matter what, this is it, and Oliver needed to make us all dance to his tune.”

Since Saltburn’s release, “Murder on the Dancefloor” has featured in more than 300,000 TikToks.

“It’s a brilliant, upbeat song that is another example of how music fans on TikTok don’t care if a song is new or old,” Darina Connolly, head of music partnerships UK & Ireland at TikTok, told The Independent.

“There’s no stigma of old music – everything is new music. What’s great is that so many people who have watched Saltburn and then celebrated the song on TikTok weren’t even alive when the track was first released, which is reminiscent of tracks like Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac or “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers, which have all had massive success on the platform.”

Ellis-Bextor announced this week that “Murder on the Dancefloor” will be reissued in a limited edition blood-red 7” vinyl and as a CD single. Both editions, accompanied by Saltburn branding, will be released on 16 February.