B.o.B Presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray debuts at #1 on this week's Billboard 200. The album's smash single, "Nothin' On You" (featuring Bruno Mars), spent the past two weeks at #1 on the Hot 100. B.o.B is the first rap or hip-hop performer to pull off this double chart victory (a debut album that hit #1 and included a #1 single) since Puff Daddy way back in 1997, when B.o.B (real name: Bobby Ray Simmons) was just 8 years old.
Puffy scored with No Way Out and its #1 singles "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" (featuring Ma$e) and "I'll Be Missing You" (with Faith Evans and featuring 112). Puff won two Grammys that year and was nominated for Best New Artist.
In the history of hip-hop, only two other artists have reached #1 with a debut album that featured a #1 single. Vanilla Ice scored in 1990 with To The Extreme and its big hit "Ice Ice Baby." The teen duo Kris Kross scored in 1992 with Totally Krossed Out and its smash "Jump."
With its touches of pop, soul and hip-hop, "Nothin' On You" is a perfect song for these times. But B.o.B is already on to his next hit. "Airplanes" (featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams of Paramore) jumps from #3 to #2 on Hot Digital Songs. ("Nothin' On You" drops from #1 to #6.) B.o.B also has the week's fifth-highest new entry on Hot Digital Songs: "Magic" (featuring Rivers Cuomo of Weezer), which bows at #47.
(It's the top new entry if you exclude songs by the cast of Glee).
B.o.B's album sold 84,000 copies, which is the lowest sales total for the best-selling album in the country since Chrisette Michele's Epiphany rang the bell in May with sales of just 83,000. This is the third week in a row that the #1 album has posted weekly sales of less than 100,000.
Digital accounted for just a hair under half of the sales of B.o.B's album. That would have constituted an all-time in any week prior to 2010. But things are changing fast. Digital has accounted for an even higher percentage of the weekly sales tally of four #1 albums so far this year: Hope For Haiti Now (100%), Ke$ha's Animal (76%), Glee: The Power Of Madonna (75%) and Vampire Weekend's Contra (60%).
Shameless Plug: B.o.B is the 25th act in the past 25 years to pull off this double whammy (a debut album that hit #1 and included a #1 single). If you think that's a natural for a Chart Watch Extra, you're right. The list has an exceptionally diverse cast, running the gamut from Guns N' Roses to Milli Vanilli. Look for it on Friday.
Bruno Mars, the smooth singer on "Nothin' For You," already has another hit. He's also featured on Travie McCoy's charming "Billionaire," which leaps from #31 to #19 on Hot Digital Songs. Mars, 23, co-wrote both of these songs. He also co-wrote Flo Rida's monster hit "Right Round." Mars' debut EP, It's Better If You Don't Understand, is slated for release next week, with an album due later in the year.
"OMG" by Usher featuring will.i.am jumps to #1 on the Hot 100. It's Usher's ninth #1 hit. Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard's Director of Charts, came up with a great item. "Since Usher first led the Hot 100 on Valentine's Day week in 1998 with 'Nice & Slow,' no other artist has outpaced his No. 1 production. Mariah Carey and Rihanna have the second-most chart-toppers in that span with six each."
I have something to add to that. Usher's current album, Raymond V Raymond, is his fifth consecutive studio album to spawn at least one #1 single. It follows My Way ("Nice & Slow"), 8701 ("U Remind Me" and "U Got It Bad"), Confessions ("Yeah!," "Burn," "Confessions Part II" and "My Boo") and Here I Stand ("Love In This Club"). Usher is the first artist to pull at least one #1 single from five consecutive studio albums since Mariah Carey did it with at least one hit from six consecutive studio albums from 1990 to 1999.
"OMG" also jumps from #2 to #1 in its fifth week on Hot Digital Songs. The song sold 217,000 digital copies, bringing its five-week total to 763,000. It's Usher's third #1 digital hit, following "Yeah!" (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris) and "Love In This Club" (featuring Young Jeezy). It's will.i.am's second #1 digital hit as a support act, following Fergie's "Fergalicious."
Lady Antebellum's Need You Now holds at #2 in its 14th week on The Billboard 200. The album is #1 on Top Country Albums for the 14th week. It's the first album to spend its first 14 weeks at #1 on the country chart since Kenny Chesney's When The Sun Goes Down in 2004. How much longer will Lady A stay on top? Stay tuned. Need You Now has sold 1,928,000 copies in its first 14 weeks. It may top the 2 million mark next week.
Melissa Etheridge's Fearless Love bows at #7. It's Etheridge's third top 10 album, following Your Little Secret (#6 in 1995) and Skin (#9 in 2001). Etheridge first charted in June 1988 with her eponymous debut album.
Pop Quiz: Etheridge won an Oscar three years ago for writing "I Need To Wake Up" for the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth. She is one of only two women in the 76-year history of the Best Song category to win for a song she wrote by herself (without a collaborator). Name the other. Answer below.
Miranda Cosgrove's debut EP Sparks Fly bows at #8. If you have to ask who she is, you're obviously not a teenager or living with one. Cosgrove, 16, is the star of iCarly, which has been a hit on Nickelodeon since it premiered in September 2007. Cosgrove performed four songs on the iCarly soundtrack, which has sold 213,000 copies since its release in June 2008. The soundtrack debuted (and peaked) at #28 on The Billboard 200.
Glee: The Power Of Madonna drops from #1 to #10. The three Glee albums have sold a combined total of 1,541,000 copies. Songs from the three albums have sold a combined total of 4,136,000 digital copies. And there's no end in sight: This week's top four new entries on Hot Digital Songs are by the Glee cast (with an assist by last week's guest star, Kristin Chenoweth.) "One Less Bell To Answer"/"A House Is Not A Home" bows at #26, "Beautiful" opens at #30, "Fire" starts at #32 and "A House Is Not A Home" opens at #38. Glee has so thoroughly penetrated pop culture that it's hard to imagine that the show is less than a year old. It premiered on Fox on May 19.
Quiz Answer: Carly Simon is the only other woman to win an Oscar for Best Song for a song she wrote by herself. Simon won for writing "Let The River Run" from the 1988 movie Working Girl.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. B.o.B, B.o.B Presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray, 84,000. This new entry is the second rap album hit #1 so far this year. It follows Ludacris' Battle Of The Sexes. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Airplanes" (featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams), which jumps from #3 to #2.
2. Lady Antebellum, Need You Now, 76,000. The former #1 album holds at #2 in its 14th week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Need You Now" dips from #8 to #9. "American Honey" drops rom #25 to #31.
3. Bullet For My Valentine, Fever, 71,000. This new entry is the Welsh metal band's second album in a row to debut in the top five. Scream Aim Fire bowed at #4 in February 2008. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Your Betrayal" debuts at #117. "Fever" bows at #119.
4. Justin Bieber, My World 2.0, 69,000. The former #1 album dips from #3 to #4 in its sixth week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Eenie Meenie" (a duet with Sean Kingston) jumps from #17 to #10. "Baby" (Featuring Ludacris) dips from #14 to #17.
5. AC/DC, Iron Man 2 soundtrack, 52,000. The soundtrack dips from #4 to #5 in its second week. It's the week's #1 soundtrack. The movie, starring Robert Downey Jr., opens Friday.
6. Usher, Raymond V Raymond, 48,000. The former #1 album dips from #5 to #6 in its fifth week. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "OMG" (featuring will.i.am) which jumps from #2 to #1.
8. Miranda Cosgrove, Sparks Fly, 36,000. This new entry is the first EP by the star of iCarly. "Kissin U" leaps from #63 to #29 on Hot Digital Songs.
10. Various Artists, Glee: The Power Of Madonna, 29,000. The EP drops from #1 to #10 in its second week. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Like A Prayer," which drops from #10 to #63.
Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Jimmy Buffett's Encores dives from #7 to #17, Justin Bieber's My World drops from #8 to #12, Zac Brown Band's The Foundation drops from #9 to #13 and Lady Gaga's The Fame dips from #10 to #11.
Hole's third studio album, Nobody's Daughter, debuts at #15. It's the reconstituted band's first studio album since Celebrity Skin, which hit #9 in 1998.
Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster jumps from #24 to #21. The EP topped the 1 million mark in sales last week. It's now up to 1,029,000. It's the third EP from the past year to reach this sales level, following Miley Cyrus' The Time Of Our Lives (1,361,000) and Justin Bieber's My World (1,290,000). Before this flurry of releases, only one EP in the past decade had topped the 1 million mark. That's The Cheetah Girls, which has sold 1,751,000 copies since its release in 2003.
Tenth Avenue North's Over & Underneath jumps from #49 to #44. The Contemporary Christian album is the #1 catalog album for the fourth straight week.
The Broadway cast album to American Idiot drops from #43 to #129 in its second week. On Tuesday, the show was nominated for a Tony as Best Musical, where it is competing with Fela!, Memphis and Million Dollar Quartet.
Pop Quiz: American Idiot, which is based on Green Day's 2004 album of the same name, is only the second musical based on a classic rock album to be nominated in this category. Name the first. Answer below.
You may not know Samuel Bayer's name, but I bet you know his work. Bayer has directed hundreds of music videos, including Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Green Day's "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams," Smashing Pumpkins' "Bullet With Butterfly Wings," Metallica's "Until It Sleeps" and Sheryl Crow's "My Favorite Mistake." Why am I bringing up Samuel Bayer? He directed the weekend's #1 movie, a reboot of the 1984 hit A Nightmare On Elm Street. It's Bayer's first feature film.
Sometimes, musical offspring do better than their parents. Whitney Houston achieved things that Cissy Houston, a gifted singer in her own right, probably never even imagined. There are two current examples. You probably know that Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum is the daughter of Linda Davis, who had a #1 country hit in 1993 with "Does He Love You," a duet with Reba McEntire. But you may not know that Ke$ha's mother, Pebe Sebert, co-wrote Dolly Parton's "Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You," a #1 country hit in 1980. (It pays to keep an eye on that country chart!)
Quiz Answer: The Who's Tommy, which was nominated for Best Musical in 1993, was based on The Who's 1969 album of the same name. In addition, a few "jukebox musicals" based on entire bodies of work by top pop-rock acts (but not specific albums) have been nominated for Best Musical. These are Mamma Mia! (ABBA), Movin' Out (Billy Joel) and Jersey Boys (The 4 Seasons).
Useless Information: Bullet For My Valentine, which has cracked the top five on The Billboard 200 with its last two albums, is one of the most successful acts ever to come from Wales. Tom Jones had three top five albums in 1969: Help Yourself, This Is Tim Jones and Tom Jones Live In Las Vegas. Bonnie Tyler hit #4 in 1983 with Faster Than The Speed Of Light. Duffy hit #4 in 2008 with Rockferry.
Heads Up: Godsmack is expected to debut at #1 next week with its new album, The Oracle. It would be the band's third consecutive full-length studio album to hit #1. Other albums that are candidates for top 10 debuts include (in descending order): MercyMe's The Generous Mr. Lovewell, the Deftones' Diamond Eyes, Carole King/James Taylor's Live At The Troubadour, Court Yard Hounds' Court Yard Hounds, Toni Braxton's Pulse, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony's Uni-5: The World's Enemy and Trina's Amazing. Court Yard Hounds is a pop/rock-oriented side project by Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of Dixie Chicks. There are also two more high-profile live albums in the mix: the Zac Brown Band's Pass The Jar: Live From The Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta and Barbra Streisand's One Night Only-At The Village Vanguard.
Shameless Plug II: If you missed my Chart Watch Extra listing the 27 songs by American Idol contestants to sell 1 million or more digital copies, here's a link. I added Daughtry's "No Surprise," which I inadvertently left out when the blog was first posted. Daughtry, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks have all had four million-sellers, but one Idol contestant surpasses them. (How could anybody resist a tease like that?)