The Tony Awards are set to air Sunday night. You may think you're not much of a Broadway buff, but I bet you know more theater music than you think you do. It's all around us. Susan Boyle became the year's biggest Internet sensation singing "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables. Last year, David Cook sang "Music Of The Night" from The Phantom Of The Opera on his path to winning American Idol. Gwen Stefani's 2004 hit "Rich Girl" included an interpolation of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler On The Roof. Jay-Z's 1998 hit "Hard Knock Life" sampled the song of the same name from Annie. Barbra Streisand, who got her big break in one Broadway show (I Can Get It For You Wholesale) and became a superstar in another (Funny Girl) showed the enduring appeal of theater songs in a pair of chart-topping albums, 1985's The Broadway Album and 1993's Back To Broadway.Read More »from Chart Watch Extra: Cast Albums, From Camelot To Spamalot
Blog Posts by Paul Grein
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Fri, Jun 5, 2009 9:37 AM EDT
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Wed, Jun 3, 2009 9:23 AM EDT
Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" becomes the first song in digital history to spend its first nine weeks of release as the most-downloaded song in America. This tops a record set in 2005 by "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent featuring Olivia, which spent its first eight weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart. "Boom Boom Pow" sold 220,000 downloads this week, bringing its total to 2,381,000. This week, it surpasses "My Humps" as the Peas' song with the most paid downloads. ("My Humps" has sold 2,203,000 digital copies since its release in 2005.) "Candy Shop" was the lead single from 50 Cent's The Massacre album, which sold a staggering 1,912,000 copies in its first two weeks. No one expects a tally remotely like that for Black Eyed Peas' album, The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies), which is due in stores next week. But it is on target to become the group's first #1 album. The group's last album, Monkey Business, debuted and peaked at #2 in June 2005.
Besides "Boom Boom Pow" and "CandyRead More »from Week Ending May 31, 2009: “Boom Boom Pow” Sets Digital Record
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Thu, May 28, 2009 8:22 PM EDT
Eminem, who was born 2-1/2 years after the Beatles broke up, is the only artist who has sold more albums in this decade than the fabled foursome. Eminem's new album Relapse sold 608,000 copies this week, lengthening his lead as the artist who has sold the most albums in the 2000s. The rap superstar has sold 31,127,000 albums since the first week of January 2000. In second place: The Beatles, who have sold 27,591,000 albums in the same period. (That's not bad for a group that broke up in 1970.) The Beatles have done better in this decade relative to the competition than they did in the '90s, when they were the #5 album-selling act.
Only four of the top 20 album sellers of the 1990s also rank among the top 20 album sellers so far in the 2000s. The Fab Four is joined by Metallica, Alan Jackson and Celine Dion. Nielsen/SoundScan, which has tracked sales for Billboard since 1991, doesn't carry a list of the top album sellers of the 2000s on its site. But the information is all there, if youRead More »from Chart Watch Extra: The Top 20 Album Sellers Of The 2000s
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Wed, May 27, 2009 9:16 AM EDT
American Idol Season 8 winner Kris Allen sold more downloads this past week than runner-up Adam Lambert did, but far fewer than David Cook did in the week after he was announced as the Season 7 winner. Allen's 11 entries on the Hot Digital Songs chart sold a combined total of 479,000 downloads. Lambert's 15 entries on that chart sold a combined total of 390,000. But both tallies are dwarfed by Cook, whose 17 chart entries sold a combined 943,000 downloads in his post-victory week last year. (One reason for the discrepancy: There are other purchasing options this year, including the iTunes Pass and digital albums.)
The order of finish was reversed on The Billboard 200 album chart, where Lambert's Season 8 Favorite Performances debuts at #33, while Allen's edition of the digital-only title arrives at #50. As every Idol watcher knows, the contestants' weekly performances are immediately available for download on iTunes. But the show shields download information until a winner isRead More »from Week Ending May 24, 2009: The Kris/Adam Duel Moves To The Charts
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Tue, May 19, 2009 8:07 PM EDT
Green Day gave its competition a three-day head-start in racking up sales and it still managed to come out on top with its new album, 21st Century Breakdown. The album, the band's first studio release in nearly five years, was released on Friday. It sold 215,000 copies by Sunday night, the end of Nielsen/SoundScan's tracking week. That's the fifth biggest opening so far in 2009, trailing U2's No Line On The Horizon (484,000), Rascal Flatts' Unstoppable (351,000), Kelly Clarkson's All I Ever Wanted (255,000) and Bruce Springsteen's Working On A Dream (224,000). While Green Day's showing in an abbreviated week is respectable, it pales next to Metallica's Death Magnetic, which sold 490,000 copies in three days in September. (Death Magnetic was the first album to top The Billboard 200 in an abbreviated opening week since Metallica's 2003 album, St. Anger, did so in a four-day frame.) 21st Century Breakdown also enters the U.K. album chart at #1, based on just two days of sales activity.Read More »from Week Ending May 17, 2009: Three Days Is Plenty For Green Day
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Wed, May 13, 2009 9:59 AM EDT
Halle Berry has won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Golden Globe, but now she has achieved something that really shows what an icon she has become. She's the subject of a Billboard Hot 100 hit. "Halle Berry (She's Fine)," recorded by Hurricane Chris featuring Superstarr, jumps to #83 in its second week on the chart. (The song is also in the top 25 on the R&B chart.) Berry is the latest in a long line of current celebrities to be cited in the title of a Hot 100 hit. Just in the past 10 years, we've had "Tim McGraw" by Taylor Swift, "Clint Eastwood" by Gorillaz and "That's How I Beat Shaq" (about basketball great Shaquille O'Neal) by Aaron Carter. In addition, several chart songs in the past decade have saluted celebrities who had already moved on to that great People photo shoot in the sky. These include "Grace Kelly" by Mika, "Steve McQueen" by Sheryl Crow, "Johnny Cash" by Jason Aldean and "Johnny & June" (about Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash) by Heidi Newfield. Of theseRead More »from Week Ending May 10, 2009: Halle Berry, Now You’ve Made It
There's a 51-year age difference between the artists at #1 and #2 on The Billboard 200 this week. Bob Dylan, 67, debuts at #1 with his latest album, Together Through Life. Miley Cyrus, 16, holds at #2 with her soundtrack to Hannah Montana: The Movie. With this week's debut, Dylan regains the title of the oldest living artist ever to land a #1 album. The rock icon, who turns 68 on May 24, takes the crown back from Neil Diamond, who was 67 when he debuted at #1 a year ago with Home Before Dark. Dylan was just 22 when he first hit the chart in September 1963 with The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. He was 24 years younger than the president at the time, John F. Kennedy. Now, Dylan is 20 years older than President Barack Obama. One of Dylan's most prized songs is "Forever Young," but I guess this shows that nobody stays young forever.Read More »from Week Ending May 3, 2009: Age Is Just A Number
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Fri, May 1, 2009 3:30 AM EDT
In less than six months, the Twilight soundtrack has become the second best-selling album download of all time. Only Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends has sold more digital copies. The paid-download field scarcely existed five years ago and now it's widely regarded as the future of the music business. So it's worth taking a look to see which albums are faring best in the digital realm. Pop, rock and alternative artists do very well. Three artists have three albums each on Nielsen/SoundScan's running list of the 100 best-selling digital albums: pop balladeer Jack Johnson, alternative mainstays the Killers and rap/R&B superstar Kanye West. Ten other artists have two albums each on the list: Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Maroon5, Carrie Underwood, Nickelback, Dane Cook, the Fray, Death Cab For Cutie, Britney Spears and Fall Out Boy. The Beatles have yet to enter the digital universe, but their appeal is seen in the strong showing of the Across The Universe soundtrack, whichRead More »from Chart Watch Extra: I Know Which Albums You’re Downloading
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Wed, Apr 29, 2009 10:54 AM EDT
Flo Rida's "Right Round" tops the 3 million mark in paid downloads this week. The ubiquitous smash took just 11 weeks to cross this threshold, faster than any other song in history. Flo Rida broke his own record, set in February 2008 when "Low" (featuring T-Pain) rang the bell in 17 weeks. Another red-hot rapper, T.I., owns the next two spots on this list. "Live Your Life," T.I.'s smash collaboration with Rihanna, took 20 weeks to reach the 3 million mark in paid downloads; "Whatever You Like" took 24. Flo Rida is only the fourth lead artist to have two songs reach the 3 million download mark. He follows Rihanna, Katy Perry and T.I. Flo Rida is now officially the biggest Flo to hit the music business since Florence Ballard, a founding member of the Supremes. Ballard was part of the famed trio for its first 10 #1 singles on the Hot 100.Read More »from Week Ending April 26, 2009: 3 Million Downloads In Record Time
- Paul Grein | Chart Watch – Wed, Apr 22, 2009 1:36 PM EDT
Miley Cyrus this week becomes the youngest hit-maker ever to amass three #1 albums on The Billboard 200. The 16-year old overachiever accomplishes the feat as the soundtrack to Hannah Montana: The Movie climbs to #1 in its fourth week. Cyrus breaks a record that had been held by Britney Spears, who was 19 when she landed her third #1 album, Britney, in 2001. Cyrus previously topped the chart with Breakout and Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus. (I'm not counting the first Hannah Montana soundtrack toward Cyrus' total, because she didn't yet have star billing. It was strictly a Hannah album.) Spears' three #1 albums as a teenager were ...Baby One More Time, Oops!...I Did It Again and Britney. Even after all her success, Cyrus is three months younger now than Spears was in November 1998 when she first cracked the Hot 100 with "...Baby One More Time." Fame and fortune at an early age often take a toll on artists (think: Michael Jackson, or for that matter Spears, who went through a roughRead More »from Week Ending April 19, 2009: She’s The Youngest To Ever Do It
News for You
- Attorney: Donald Trump lied on stand
CHICAGO (AP) — The attorney for an 87-year-old woman who accuses Donald Trump of cheating her in a skyscraper condo deal told Chicago jurors on Wednesday that he was personally repulsed by the "Apprentice" star whom he said lied on the witness stand.
- Restaurant learns online reviews can make or break
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — It was the customer service disaster heard around the Internet.
- The new consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony
NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is the last of the three big video game console makers to unveil its latest gaming system. The unveiling comes nearly eight years after the Xbox 360 went on sale. It follows last fall's debut of Nintendo's Wii U and a preview in February of the upcoming PlayStation 4 from Sony.
- Microsoft reveals Xbox One, next-generation gaming
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft thinks it has the one.
- Justin Bieber's monkey becomes German property
BERLIN (AP) — Justin Bieber's pet monkey is no longer his.
- Douglas, Damon dramatize a steamy showbiz affair
NEW YORK (AP) — The idea of Michael Douglas playing Liberace might seem nearly as outrageous as Liberace himself.