Current hit songs by Bruno Mars and Katy Perry each sold more than 500,000 copies last week. Mars' "Grenade" sold 559K. Perry's "Firework" sold 509K. This is the first time in digital history that two songs have sold 500K or more copies in the same week. In fact, only two other songs in digital history have ever sold 500K in one week. Flo Rida's "Right Round" sold 636K in its first week in February 2009. Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" sold 610K during Christmas week in 2009.
Eight songs sold 300,000 or more copies this week, more than in any previous week in digital history. Seven songs hit that plateau during Christmas week in each of the past two years.
The news was less encouraging on the album front. Taylor Swift's Speak Now (276K) and Susan Boyle's The Gift (240K) remained in the top two spots. This will be the first December in Nielsen SoundScan history in which no album topped 300K in any week during the month. The last album to sell that many copies in one week was Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which sold 496K copies in the week ending Nov. 28.
This was the fourth week at #1 for Speak Now. Only Eminem's Recovery has logged more weeks at #1 this year (seven). Three other albums (Lady Antebellum's Need You Now, Justin Bieber's My World 2.0 and Susan Boyle's The Gift) have also spent four weeks at #1 so far this year.
Until this week, Lady Gaga was the only artist with three songs that had sold 4 million or more copies: "Just Dance" (featuring Colby O'Donis), "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance." Gaga now has to share that distinction with Rihanna. T.I.'s "Live Your Life," on which Rihanna is featured, tops the 4 million mark. Rihanna previously reached the 4 million plateau with her own smash "Disturbia" and Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie," on which she is featured.
Gaga remains the only artist with top billing on three 4 million sellers, but Rihanna is so crucial to the success of these two collaborations that it seems fairest to also put them in her column.
Rihanna and Gaga each have other hits that top the 2 million mark in paid downloads this week. "Only Girl (In The World)" is Rihanna's ninth song to top the 2 million mark. "Alejandro" is Gaga's seventh.
Jamie Foxx's new album, Best Night Of My Life, enters The Billboard 200 at #6, a few notches higher than Keyshia Cole's new album, Calling All Hearts. These two artists must synchronize their schedules. Their last albums also entered the chart the same week. For the week ending Dec. 21, 2008, Cole's A Different Me opened at #2, while Foxx's Intuition opened at #3.
Eminem's Recovery rebounds from #22 to #7. This is its first top 10 appearance since Nov. 7. Recovery has sold 3,352,000 copies, which is more than any album sold in 2008 or 2009. And there's still one week to go in the 2010 chart year. The last album to sell this many copies in a calendar year was Josh Groban's Noel, which sold 3,699,000 copies in 2007. The last rap album to sell this many copies in a calendar year was 50 Cent's The Massacre, which sold 4,853,000 copies in 2005. (Recovery has sold more than half again as many copies as Eminem's previous album, Relapse, which has sold 2,110,000 copies as of this week.)
One key to the success of Recovery is its strong digital sales. The album returns to #1 on the Digital Albums chart this week, with digital sales of 54K. (It was sale priced in the iTunes Store this past week.) This sales spurt pushes the album to #2 on the all-time list of albums with the most digital sales. Recovery has sold 822,000 digital copies to date, a total topped only by Lady Gaga's The Fame, which has sold 879K digital copies. (Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends slips to third place, with digital sales of 794K.)
Everything has been going Eminem's way. He received 10 Grammy nominations earlier this month, more than any other artist. I think he'll finally win for Album of the Year when the awards are presented on Feb. 13. (Here's a link to my annual Grammy nominations piece.)
In just five weeks of release, Beyonce's I Am...World Tour has become the best-selling music video of 2010. The title has sold 132,000 copies. It tops Rush's Beyond The Lighted Stage, which has sold 118,000 copies in 26 weeks and Michael Jackson's Live In Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour, which has sold 116,000 copies during the entire year.
Shameless Plug: I've written a Chart Watch Extra in which I count down the top 20 music videos of 2010. It's chock full of video lore. On Jan. 5, when the final numbers come in, I'll update all the tallies. I'll also update my already posted recaps of the year's top 20 songs and top 10 albums.
Here's the rest of the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs. Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" jumps from #6 to #3 (411K). Rihanna featuring Drake's "What's My Name?" jumps from #5 to #4 (343K). Wiz Khalifa's "Black And Yellow" jumps from #8 to #5 (331K). P!nk's "Raise Your Glass" jumps from #7 to #6 (324K). Enrique Iglesias featuring Ludacris & DJ Frank E's "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" jumps from #9 to #7 (312K). Lil Wayne featuring Cory Gunz's "6 Foot 7 Foot" drops from #3 to #8 (308K). The Black Eyed Peas' "The Time (Dirty Bit)" drops from #4 to #9 (294K). Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj's "Bottoms Up" holds at #10 for the second week (291K). ("Black And Yellow" and "The Time (Dirty Bit)" both top the 1 million mark in paid downloads this week.)
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. Taylor Swift, Speak Now, 276,000. The album logs its fourth week at #1. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Back To December" drops from #34 to #36. "Mine" rebounds from #77 to #42.
2. Susan Boyle, The Gift, 240,000. The former #1 album holds at #2 for the second week. This is its seventh week in the top three. The album has sold 1,835,000 copies, which puts it at #5 for the year-to-date.
3. Various Artists, Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, 160,000. The album jumps from #5 to #3. This is its sixth week in the top 10. It's the top soundtrack for the sixth week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Last Christmas" drops from #65 to #132. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" drops from #68 to #159.
4. Jackie Evancho, O Holy Night, 151,000. The EP/DVD combo holds at #4 for the second week. This is its sixth week in the top five. The hit has sold 995,000 copies, which puts it at #13 for the year-to-date.
6. Jamie Foxx, Best Night Of My Life, 144,000. This new entry is Foxx's third top 10 album in a row. Unpredictable logged three weeks at #1 in 2005-2006. Intuition hit #3 in 2008. "Fall For Your Type" (featuring Drake) jumps from #96 to #83 on Hot Digital Songs.
7. Eminem, Recovery, 137,000. The former #1 album jumps from #22 to #7 in its 27th week. This is its 21st week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Not Afraid," which rebounds from #50 to #25.
8. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday, 133,000. The album holds at #8 for the second week. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Right Thru Me," which jumps from #46 to #43.
9. Keyshia Cole, Calling All Hearts, 128,000. This new entry is Cole's fourth top 10 album in a row. But it debuted lower than the other three. Cole's last two albums, Just Like You and A Different Me, both debuted at #2.
10. Rihanna, Loud, 111,000. The album jumps from #11 to #10 in its sixth week. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "What's My Name?" (featuring the ubiquitous Drake) jumps from #5 to #4. "Only Girl (In The World)" jumps from #18 to #17.
Diddy Dirty Money's Last Train To Paris dives from #7 to #44, even though the act's broadly appealing "Coming Home" is a big hit. Go figure. Three other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. R. Kelly's Love Letter drops from #6 to #13. Kid Rock's Born Free drops from #9 to #15. Glee, The Music: Season Two: Volume Four drops from #10 to #17.
Keri Hilson's sophomore album, No Boys Allowed, debuts at #11. Hilson's first album, In A Perfect World..., debuted and peaked at #4 in March 2009. "Pretty Girl Rock" jumps from #41 to #30 on Hot Digital Songs. Hilson was nominated for a Grammy as Best New Artist of 2009.
Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack jumps from #33 to #27. It's the #1 soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the third straight week. The duo's "Derezzed" drops from #120 to #151 on Hot Digital Songs....Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas drops from #20 to #31. It's #1 on the Catalog Albums chart for the fourth straight week.
"California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg sold 115K copies this week, enabling it to pull back ahead of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" (which sold 64K this week) as the song that has sold the most digital copies in 2010. "California Gurls" has a lead of 41,000 copies. Will that lead hold up for one more week or will Train pull ahead again? Check back next week and find out.
Song Scorecard: Bruno Mars' first solo smash, "Just The Way You Are," tops the 3 million mark in digital sales. It's Mars' first hit to reach this plateau, even counting his earlier collabos. B.o.B's "Nothin' On You" is up to 2,650,000. Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" is up to 2,685,000.
Six songs top the 2 million mark in paid downloads this week. I already told you about "Alejandro" and "Only Girl (In The World)." The other four are Drake's "Best I Ever Had," Linkin Park's "New Divide," Ke$ha featuring 3OH!3's "Blah Blah Blah" and Flo Rida featuring David Guetta's "Club Can't Handle Me."
Four songs top the 1 million mark this week. I already told you about "Black And Yellow" and "The Time (Dirty Bit)." The other two are Waka Flocka Flame featuring Roscoe Dash & Wale's "No Hands" and the Ready Set's "Love Like Woe."
Actor James Brolin had divided loyalties this week. His wife, Barbra Streisand, and his son, Josh Brolin, had movies opening the same day. His wife's movie, Little Fockers, won the weekend box-office battle. His son's movie, True Grit, came in second. (Little Fockers is as bad as the reviews indicated, though it was hardly Streisand's fault. She was probably the best thing in it.)
Take That's Progress tops the Official U.K. Chart for the sixth week. That's the longest run on top since Eminem's Recovery had seven weeks in the lead last summer. It's the first album to spend six or more consecutive weeks on top in the U.K. since Leona Lewis' Spirit, which spent seven straight weeks at #1 three years ago.
R.I.P. Teena Marie, who was one of the most successful white artists ever signed to the Motown family of labels, died on Sunday. Marie landed a top five hit in 1985 with "Lovergirl," though by that time she had moved on to Epic Records. Marie was 54. She was a protégé of Rick James, who, sadly, also died young. James was 56 when he died in 2004.
Coming Attractions: Jesse McCartney's Have It All is expected to be next week's top debut.