Hundreds of male contestants have walked across the American Idol stage in the past 11 years (Yahoo!’s Idol guru Lyndsey Parker could probably rattle off an exact count), but only one has gone on to record a 3-million-seller. That’s Phillip Phillips, whose “Home” tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. Just three female Idol contestants (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks) have landed 3-million-sellers. They’ve each done it just once. Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” has sold 3,970,000 copies. Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” has sold 3,633,000. “No Air” by Sparks & Chris Brown has sold 3,491,000.
The old sales record for a male Idol contestant was held by a different song, also titled “Home,” by Chris Daughtry’s band Daughtry, which has sold 2,325,000 copies. The old record by a male Idol contestant who remained a solo artist was held by David Archuleta’s “Crush,” which is up to 2,087,000.
“Home” is the 17th song to top the 3 million mark in digital sales in 2012. That extends this year’s record pace—and there’s still one chart week to go in 2012. (The previous record for most 3-million-sellers in a calendar year was set in 2011, when there were 14.)
Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” tops the Hot 100 for the third straight week. That’s the longest run at #1 for a song by a male solo artist (excluding collaborations) since Mars’ “Grenade” had four weeks on top in January and February 2011. Mars is already at work on his follow-up: “When I Was Your Man” re-enters the chart at #62.
Rihanna’s “Diamonds” holds at #2 for the third straight week. It’s #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the 12th week. That’s the longest run at #1 by any song since Trey Songz’s “Can’t Be Friends” logged 13 weeks on top in 2010-2011. It’s the longest run for a song by a female artist since Alicia Keys’ “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” had 12 weeks on top in 2010. Unlike “Diamonds,” neither of these other songs were big crossover hits. “Can’t Be Friends” stalled at #43 on the Hot 100. “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” peaked at #21.
“Beauty And A Beat” by Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj jumps from #7 to #5. It’s Bieber’s third top five hit, following “Baby” (featuring Ludacris) and “Boyfriend.” It’s Minaj’s fourth, following “Super Bass,” “Starships” and David Guetta’s “Turn Me On,” on which she was featured. Believe is Bieber’s first album to spawn two top five hits.
Ke$ha's “Die Young” drops from #4 to #6, but her follow-up, “C’mon,” debuts at #99.
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz jumps from #13 to #10. It’s the duo’s first top 10 hit. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album, The Heist, has sold 192K copies since its release in October.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” holds at #1 for the third week in its 12th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (226K)… Rihanna's “Diamonds” holds at #2 for the third week in its 13th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (141K)… The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” holds at #3 for the second week in its 29th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (149K)… Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” jumps from #10 to #4 in its 10th week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #3. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (221K)…“Beauty And A Beat” by Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj jumps from #7 to #5 in its 11th week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (119K).
The Second Five: Ke$ha's “Die Young” drops from #4 to #6 in its 13th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #12 (91K)… Maroon 5's “One More Night” drops from #5 to #7 in its 27th week on the chart. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #19 (72K)…Flo Rida’s “I Cry” drops from #6 to #8 in its 13th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #15 (81K)… Phillip Phillips’ “Home” dips from #8 to #9 in its 26th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (110K)…“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz jumps from #13 to #10 in its 11th week on the chart. It’s the duo’s first top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #6 (140K).
fun.'s “Some Nights” drops from #9 to #14, ending a 19-week run in the top 10.
“Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin jumps from #12 to #11 its 14th week. The song topped the Official U.K. chart in October. Digital sales rank: #10 (104K)…“Scream & Shout” by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears jumps from #15 to #12 in its fourth week. This matches the song’s highest ranking to date. Digital sales rank: #4 (143K)…P!nk’s “Try” jumps from #14 to #13 in its ninth week.
Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” dips from #11 to #15 in its 21st week. In addition, the song becomes Ne-Yo’s sixth million-seller as a lead artist… Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team,” a Grammy Song of the Year finalist, holds at #17 in its 23rd week. In addition, the song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales…PSY’s “Gangnam Style” dips from #18 to #19 in its 16th week. Digital sales rank: #8 (116K).
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” jumps from #25 to #21 in its fourth week. It’s this season’s biggest Christmas song hit, though last year’s top holiday hit, Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe,” climbed higher (#11). Of course, it was new that year, while Carey’s song is 18 years old.
Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” drops from #20 to #22 in its 19th week. The song logs its third week at #1 on Hot Country Songs.
“F**kin’ Problems” by A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar jumps from #32 to #24 in its eighth week…“Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch jumps from #33 to #26 in its seventh week. The song reached #1 on the Official U.K. chart in October.
Kelly Clarkson lands her 15th top 40 hit as “Catch My Breath” jumps from #49 to #30 in its ninth week. Clarkson first cracked the top 40 the week of Oct. 5, 2002 when her teary American Idol coronation song “A Moment Like This” shot from #52 to #1. Her material has gotten bolder and better.
2 Chainz’s “I’m Different” jumps from #42 to #33 in its sixth week…“No Worries” by Lil Wayne featuring Detail jumps from #39 to #34 in its 16th week..
Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted” rebounds from #37 to #36 in its 35th week. The song peaked at #16. In addition, the song tops the 2 million mark in digital sales. Hayes is the fifth male solo country artist to achieve this milestone. He follows Jason Aldean (who has hit 2 million with four songs), Luke Bryan (three songs) and Toby Keith and Blake Shelton (one each). Hayes was voted New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Assn. Awards. He’s nominated for a Grammy as Best New Artist.
One Direction’s “Little Things” jumps from #46 to #41 in its sixth week. This matches its highest ranking to date. It will be interesting to see if this sweet ballad has the same appeal as the boy band’s two up-tempo hits, both of which made the top 10. The song reached #1 on the Official U.K. chart in November…Maroon 5’s “Daylight” jumps from #58 to #46 in its third week.
Cassadee Pope, winner of the third season of The Voice, has the week’s top new entry at #60 with her version of Faith Hill’s 2002 hit “Cry.” Pope also re-enters the chart at #84 with her version of Miranda Lambert’s “Over You.” Pope’s version of the song has climbed as high as #25.
Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa” jumps from #82 to #70 in its second week. Chief Keef’s debut album Finally Rich enters The Billboard 200 at #29 this week…Big Sean’s “Guap” jumps from #89 to #78 in its second week…Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” jumps from #96 to #81 in its second week…Future’s “Neva End” jumps from #91 to #82 in its third week.
Kid Cudi’s “King Wizard” debuts at #95. It’s from his third studio album, Indicud, which is due in the first quarter of 2013. The song is vying to become his second top 10 hit. “Day ‘N’ Nite” hit #3 in May 2009.
Casey James’ “Crying On A Suitcase” debuts at #100. This is the first Hot 100 hit from James’ eponymous debut album. James finished third in Season 9 of American Idol.
Last week’s media hype about the possible end of the world prompted 19K fans to buy R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” The song reached #69 in 1988. It has sold 889K digital copies.
“We Are Young” by fun. featuring Janelle Monae tops the 6 million mark in digital sales this week. It’s the 15th song to reach this threshold…Iyaz’s 2009 hit “Replay” tops the 4 million mark in digital sales.
“Kiss Kiss” by Chris Brown featuring T-Pain tops the 3 million mark. It’s Brown’s fourth song to reach 3 million, following “Forever” (3,689,000), “Look At Me Now” (featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes, 3,685,000) and “No Air” (a collabo with Jordin Sparks, 3,491,000).
R.I.P. Fontella Bass’ “Rescue Me” was one of the biggest and best hits of 1965. The song reached #4 on the Hot 100 in November of that year. It was the year’s fourth highest-charting hit by a female solo artist, following Petula Clark’s “Downtown” and “I Know A Place” and Shirley Ellis’ novelty hit “The Name Game.” These women and others were trail-blazers for today’s many top female solo stars. Bass died yesterday. She was 72.
To My Readers: Two weeks ago, we posted The Year’s Top Albums. Last week, we posted The Year’s Top Songs. One week from today, when Nielsen SoundScan publishes the final chart of 2012, I’ll update both blogs and re-post them.
Happy new year, everybody.