Lil Wayne's fans are remaining loyal as the rap star nears the end of his prison sentence on a weapons possession charge. His latest album, I Am Not A Human Being, enters The Billboard 200 at #2, just behind the latest by country superstar Kenny Chesney. Lil Wayne also has 11 songs on the Hot Digital Songs chart. This puts him second only to the cast of Glee, which has 12 this week.
I Am Not A Human Being, which is a digital-only release for its first two weeks of release, is the second digital-only album to reach the top two. Hope For Haiti Now hit #1 in January. Haiti, which has sold 371,000 digital copies, has yet to be released as a CD. I Am Not A Human Being was originally also slated to be a digital exclusive, but a CD version, with three additional tracks, will be released next week.
Lil Wayne's album sold 110,000 digital copies. This is the second time that Lil Wayne has sold 100K digital copies of an album in one week. Tha Carter III sold 100K digital copies in its first week in June 2008. Only two other hip-hop artists have hit 100K in digital sales with two or more albums. They are Eminem (Relapse and Recovery) and Kanye West (Graduation and the pop-oriented 808s & Heartache).
I Am Not A Human Being has to be the most negative album title ever to appear in the top 10. I guess you can't expect Up With People from an artist who's in solitary on Riker's Island.
Kenny Chesney lands his sixth #1 album on The Billboard 200 with Hemingway's Whiskey. Only one other country artist, Garth Brooks, has topped the chart six or more times. (Brooks lassoed eight #1 albums between 1991 and 2001.) Chesney has amassed all six of his #1 albums in the nine years since Brooks released his most recent studio album, Scarecrow.
Chesney has reached #1 with six of his last seven studio albums. His only studio album during this streak to miss the top spot was Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, which debuted (and peaked) at #3 in 2007. This surpasses Brooks' streak from 1991 to 2001, when he reached #1 with five out of seven consecutive studio albums.
Chesney has already tied another of Brooks' most prized records. These are the only two performers to have won the Country Music Assn.'s award for Entertainer of the Year four times. Brooks, like many top artists, has a strong competitive streak. As he sees Chesney approach his old records, he may get back in the game and seek to add to his hit tallies.
Hemingway's Whiskey sold 183,000 copies in its first week, which is the biggest total for a country album since Lady Antebellum's Need You Now bowed with sales of 481,000 in January. Hemingway's Whiskey displaces the Zac Brown Band's You Get What You Give, which falls from #1 to #3. This marks the first time that country albums have been #1 in back-to-back weeks since August 2009, when Reba McEntire's Keep On Loving You followed George Strait's Twang into the top spot.
This is Chesney's ninth top 10 album. That's his entire output since 2002 except for his 2003 holiday album All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan, which peaked at #42. (Here, Brooks is still king. Two of his Christmas albums have made the top 10.)
Eric Clapton's Clapton debuts at #6. It's Clapton's 18th top 10 album, counting four albums with Cream, one with Blind Faith and one collabo with B.B. King. Clapton first made the top 10 with Cream in January 1968. This gives the rock legend a nearly 43-year span of top 10 albums. Even more impressive, he has appeared in the top 10 in each of the past six decades. (The Rolling Stones and Santana can make the same claim.)
"Like A G6" by Far East Movement featuring Cataracs & Dev jumps from #2 to #1 on Hot Digital Songs, displacing Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are." "Like A G6" sold 216,000 copies this week, bringing its 15-week total to 952,000. The electro house smash jumps from #6 to #2 on the Hot 100, just behind Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are," which holds at #1 for the third straight week.
Eminem this week becomes the first hip-hop artist with three songs at or above the 3 million mark in paid downloads (combining lead and featured credits). He achieves the feat as his Oscar-winning anthem "Lose Yourself" hits the 3 million mark. It follows "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna) and Akon's "Smack That," on which Em was featured. Flo Rida, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and T.I. all have two songs at or above the 3 million mark.
"Lose Yourself," which Eminem introduced in his 2002 film 8 Mile, is the third movie hit to top 3 million in digital sales. It follows M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," which was featured in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, and Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," which she sang in Hannah Montana: The Movie. Unlike "Lose Yourself," neither of those other songs was written for the movie.
Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj have sold a combined total of nearly 11 million digital downloads, as either lead or featured artist, so far in 2010. And they rang up all those sales before releasing their debut albums. Mars' debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was released yesterday and will chart next week. Minaj's solo debut, Pink Friday, is scheduled for release on Nov. 23. (Minaj was featured on the multi-artist We Are Young Money compilation, which debuted and peaked at #9 in December.)
Mars has sung lead on three smashes this year which have sold a combined total of 6,523,000 digital copies. Here are the exact figures: "Nothin' On You," the #1 hit by B.o.B, has sold 2,535,000 copies. "Billionaire," the top five hit by Travie McCoy, has sold 2,471,000 copies. Mars' own hit, "Just The Way You Are," has sold 1,517,000 copies.
Minaj is credited on seven songs that are listed on Nielsen/SoundScan's running tally of the 200 best-selling songs so far in 2010. These seven songs have sold a combined total of 4,298,000 copies. Here's the breakdown: Her own hit "Your Love" has sold 775,000 copies. She is also featured on Ludacris' "My Chick Bad" (1,246,000), Lil Wayne's "Knockout" (519K), Trey Songz's "Bottoms Up" (518K), Usher's "Lil Freak" (508K), Sean Kingston's "Letting Go (Dutty Love)" (377K) and Jay Sean's "2012 (It Ain't The End") (355K). In addition, Rolling Stone chose Minaj to kick off its annual "Hot List" in the current issue. She is the dubbed the Hot "Superfreak" (a compliment, I think).
The fact that these two artists have had so many digital hits and have achieved such high profiles even before their debut albums are released is a sign of how the industry is changing.
Here's the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs, according to Nielsen/SoundScan. Far East Movement featuring Cataracs & Dev's "Like A G6" jumps from #2 to #1 (216K). Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" slips from #1 to #2 (178K). Nelly's "Just A Dream" jumps from #4 to #3 (169K). Rihanna's "Only Girl (In The World) dips from #3 to #4 (145K). Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" holds at #5 for the second week (130K). Usher featuring Pitbull's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" holds at #6 for the second week (125). Flo Rida featuring David Guetta's "Club Can't Handle Me" jumps from #8 to #7 (121K). Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" dips from #7 to #8 (110K). The Glee cast's rendition of Britney Spears' "Toxic" debuts at #9 (109K). Lil Wayne featuring Drake's "Gonorrhea" debuts at #10 (107K).
"Just A Dream" and "Club Can't Handle Me" both topped the 1 million mark in paid downloads this week, as did Taylor Swift's "Mine." It's Swift's 11th song to top the 1 million mark.
Three of the albums in this week's top 10 are by acts who have had the best-selling album of the year in the Nielsen/SoundScan era. Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory was the #1 album of 2001. Eminem's The Eminem Show was the top-seller of 2002. Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III was #1 for 2008.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. Kenny Chesney, Hemingway's Whiskey, 183,000. This new entry is Chesney's ninth top 10 album; his sixth to reach #1. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Boys Of Fall" jumps from #51 to #43. "Live A Little" debuts at #73.
2. Lil Wayne, I Am Not A Human Being, 110,000. This new entry is Lil Wayne's ninth top 10 album (counting one with the Hot Boys and a collabo with Birdman). Ten songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Gonorrhea" (featuring Drake), which debuts at #10.
3. Zac Brown Band, You Get What You Give, 70,000. The former #1 album drops from #1 to #3 in its second week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "As She's Walking Away" (featuring Alan Jackson), which drops from #50 to #60.
4. Gucci Mane, The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted, 60,000. This new entry is the rapper's second top 10 album. The State Vs. Radric Davis hit #10 in 2009. "Haterade" (featuring the very busy Nicki Minaj) enters Hot Digital Songs at #125.
5. Eminem, Recovery, 59,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #6 to #5 in its 15th week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna), which dips from #9 to #11.
6. Eric Clapton, Clapton, 47,000. This new entry is the 18th top 10 album of Clapton's career.
7. Trey Songz, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, 42,000. The album holds at #7 in its third week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Bottoms Up" (featuring Nicki Minaj) holds at #15. "Can't Be Friends" drops from #119 to #126.
8. Linkin Park, A Thousand Suns, 42,000. The former #1 album drops from #3 to #8 in its third week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Catalyst" drops from #43 to #70. "Waiting For The End" drops from #147 to #200.
9. Maroon5, Hands All Over, 41,000. The album drops from #2 to #9 in its second week. "Misery" drops from #16 to #28 on Hot Digital Songs.
10. Selena Gomez & the Scene, A Year Without Rain, 38,000. The album drops from #4 to #10 in its second week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "A Year Without Rain" drops from #26 to #52. "Round & Round" drops from #85 to #141.
Justin Bieber's My World 2.0 drops from #10 to #15, ending a 26-week run in the top 10. As I pointed out last week, this was the first album to spend its first 26 weeks in the top 10 since *NSYNC's 2000 blockbuster No Strings Attached.
Three other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Santana's Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Solos Of All Time drops from #5 to #16. John Legend and the Roots' WAKE UP! falls from #8 to #12, and Billy Currington's Enjoy Yourself drops from #9 to #21.
Jimmy Eat World's Invented debuts at #11. This just missed becoming the band's third top 10 album...Lil Boosie's Incarcerated bows at #13. This is the rapper's fourth album to make the top 20 (counting one with Webbie & Foxx).
Neil Young's Le Noise debuts at #14. This is Young's 21st album to reach the top 20, counting three albums with Crazy Horse and four as part of the iconic foursome Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young...LeCrae's Rehab debuts at #17. It's the first top 20 album for the Christian rapper.
The soundtrack to The Social Network debuts at #20. The album, featuring music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, is the week's #1 soundtrack. Reznor has amassed five top 10 albums as the focal point of Nine Inch Nails. The soundtrack sold 24,000 copies, 84% them digitally. The acclaimed movie, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake, was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.
Soundgarden's Telephantasm bows at #24. The retrospective sold 20,000 copies in its first week. The album is also available inside the new videogame Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, which was released on Sept. 28. According to the Recording Industry Assn. of America, this "marks the first time a newly released music album has been simultaneously bundled with a videogame launch." The RIAA gave Soundgarden a special platinum plaque to recognize the sale of 1 million units to a gaming company, as opposed to a traditional retailer.
Casting Crowns' 2007 album The Altar And The Door holds at #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the fifth week. The album drops from #46 to #57 on The Billboard 200.
Michael Bolton came across like a bit of a wuss last week when he complained that a judge on Dancing With The Stars was mean to him. (Michael, if Florence Henderson can take it, so can you.) Bolton was once the king of the charts. His album Time, Love & Tenderness was #1 the week (May 25, 1991) that Billboard first used Nielsen/SoundScan data to power The Billboard 200.
Song Scorecard II: "Break Your Heart" by Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris tops the 3 million mark in paid downloads. It's the biggest hit by either artist...Britney Spears' "3" tops the 2 million mark. It's Spears' third song to reach this level, following "Womanizer" and "Circus" (though many of her biggest hits pre-dated the digital revolution).
Heads Up: Toby Keith will have next week's top new entry with Bullets In The Gun. Keith will seek to deny Kenny Chesney a second week at #1, but it looks to be close between the two. Also certain to crack the top 10: Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Also due: Waka Flocka Flame's Flockaveli, Faith Evans' Something About Faith, David Archuleta's The Other Side Of Down, Guster's Easy Wonderful, Pimp C's The Naked Soul Of Sweet Jones, KT Tunstall's Tiger Suit and Finger Eleven's Life Turns Electric.