Posts by Paul Grein
Sam Smith, the red-hot, 21-year old English singer/songwriter, has three songs on this week's Hot 100. Naughty Boy's "La La La," on which he is featured, drops from #31 to #33 in its seventh week. His own "Stay With Me" is the week's second highest new entry at #68. And Disclosure's "Latch," on which he is also featured, jumps from #100 to #90 in its third week.
Smith has landed two #1 hits on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart in less than a year. "La La La" reached #1 last June. "Money On My Mind" hit #1 in March. "Money On My Mind" and "Stay With Me" will both appear on Smith's first studio album, "In The Lonely Hour," which is due May 26.
Smith won the 2014 BRIT Critics' Choice Award. He also topped the BBC's Sound of 2014 poll.
Pharrell Williams's"Happy" is finally peaking in terms of radio airplay. In fact, it most likely peaked a week ago, when it received 225.9 million "all-format audience impressions." (That's music industry jargon for a song that is simply inescapable.) It slipped to 225.4 million such impressions this week. In the 23-year history of Billboard's Radio Songs chart, only one song has ever amassed this many or more radio impressions. That's "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell, which registered 228.9 million in its peak week last August. (Given Williams' drop this week, even though it was a slight one, Thicke's record seems safe.)
"Happy" peaked in terms of digital sales four weeks ago, when it sold 490K copies. This week, its sales fell to 284K.
"Happy" tops the Hot 100 for the seventh week. The feel-good smash is the first song by a male solo artist (who wasn't part of a collaboration) to log seven weeks at #1 since T.I.'s"Whatever You Like" in 2008.
5 Seconds Of Summer's "She Looks So Perfect: U.S. Tour Edition" enters The Billboard 200 at #2, just behind the inexhaustible "Frozen" soundtrack. The pop/rock quartet was formed in Sydney, Australia three years ago.
5SOS looks like a boy band, but its sound is closer to power-pop, at least on this single. All four group members play instruments. Lead singer Luke Hemmings plays guitar. The group also includes Michael Clifford (guitar), Calum Hood (bass guitar) and Ashton Irwin (drums).
The group's four-song EP sold 143K copies in its first week, fairly close to the 176K that One Direction's first album, "Up All Night," sold in its first week in March 2012. (1D's last two albums, "Take Me Home" and "Midnight Memories," have each sold more than 500K copies in their first weeks).
Here are five reasons that 5 Seconds Of Summer (5SOS to fans) has gotten off to a fast start.
- Paul Grein at Our Country7 days ago
Having an album shelved by your record company is the ultimate indignity for an artist. Your own label believes that your work isn't good enough, or commercial enough, to release. The great Johnny Cash had such a humbling experience in 1984, when Columbia Records, his record label since 1958, mothballed an album Cash recorded with famed country producer Billy Sherrill.
Cash died in 2003, but this week he scored some sweet vindication. That album, "Out Among the Stars," entered Billboard's Top Country Albums chart at No. 1, dislodging an album by current hot-shot Eric Church. On the main Billboard 200, the Cash album arrived at No. 3, just behind two monster hits, the "Frozen" soundtrack and Shakira's "Shakira."
Cash has had posthumous successes before. The last two albums in his career-rejuvenating "American Recordings" series with producer Rick Rubin were released after Cash died. But Rubin, who didn't begin working with Cash until the early 1990s, had nothing to do with "Out Among the Stars."
- Paul Grein at Our Country11 days ago
Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan, who have the #1 song on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart for the third straight week with "This Is How We Roll," are likely to be the big winners at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday. Both artists are likely to take home three awards. (In addition, Bryan is co-hosting the show with Blake Shelton.)
Here are all the categories that will presented on Sunday's telecast. I show the nominees, who won in that category at the ACM Awards last year, who won in that category at the rival Country Music Assn. Awards on Nov. 6, who had the best-seller of the nominees according to Nielsen SoundScan, and finally who I think will win.
(In categories were no recording is specified, I looked at the sales of the artist's most recent studio album.)
You may look this same data and come to a different conclusion about who is likely to win. (And you may well be right!) It's always hard to predict the winners at award shows. But it's always fun. Play along and see where you agree and disagree.
Entertainer of the Year Presented By Ram
- Paul Grein at Yahoo Music12 days ago
Are you a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan? How would you like to have the one and only copy that will ever be made of the influential rap group's new double album?
It can be yours, if you're the highest bidder. The only hitch: The offers are reportedly already running into the millions.
The album, "The Wu—Once Upon a Time In Shaolin…," consists of 31 tracks which have been recorded over the past six years. It was produced by Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh, "under the tutelage" of the RZA, a founding member of the group. The album features guest appearances by Redman and Bonnie Jo Mason, among others.
- Paul Grein at Our Country12 days ago
Hundreds of artists have reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart since it was introduced 70 years ago (as Most Played Juke Box Folk Records). Most have been top country stars, but some have come out of left field.
In preparation for this weekend's Academy of Country Music Awards, here are 15 artists you probably never would have guessed have a No. 1 country hit to their credit.
15. The Mike Curb Congregation. The pop vocal ensemble was featured on Hank Williams Jr.'s "All for the Love of Sunshine," which hit No. 1 in September 1970. The song was featured in the Clint Eastwoodmovie "Kelly's Heroes." The ensemble backed Williams on two more Top 10 country hits. Here's something even more unexpected — in 1978, Curb was elected lieutenant governor of California.
- Paul Grein at Chart Watch12 days ago
Shakira's "Empire" is the week's top new entry on the Hot 100 at #58. It edges out Lady Gaga's "G.U.Y.," which is the week's second highest new entry at #76.
"Empire" is the second single from "Shakira," which enters The Billboard 200 at #2 this week. The lead single, "Can't Remember To Forget You" (featuring Rihanna), rebounds from #34 to #32 this week. It peaked at #15.
"G.U.Y." is vying to become the third top 20 hit from Gaga's "ARTPOP" album. The album's first single, "Applause," reached #4. The follow-up, "Do What U Want" (featuring R. Kelly), peaked at #13.
- Paul Grein at Chart Watch13 days ago
Pharrell Williams's"Happy" tops the Hot 100 for the sixth week. That's the longest run at #1 for a song that an individual artist wrote, produced and performed all by himself, with no credited collaborators, since "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" by Soulja Boy Tell'em logged seven weeks at #1 in 2007. Since 1955, just one other song that meets this description has logged six or more weeks at #1. That's Alicia Keys' "Fallin'," which spent six weeks on top in 2001.
There have been a few close calls. Gotye wrote and produced "Somebody That I Used To Know" (eight weeks on top in 2013), but employed a featured artist, Kimbra. Andre 3000 wrote, produced and performed OutKast's "Hey Ya!" (nine weeks on top in 2003-2004), but it was credited to the duo.
"Happy" is the first song by a male solo artist (who wasn't part of a collaboration) to log six weeks on top since Bruno Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven" in late 2012 and early 2013.
- Paul Grein at Chart Watch13 days ago
Johnny Cash's "Out Among The Stars" enters The Billboard 200 at #3, just behind the "Frozen" soundtrack and Shakira's "Shakira." Here's the odd part: The country legend has amassed twice as many top 10 albums since he died in September 2003 than he didwhile he was alive.
This is Cash's fourth posthumous album to reach the top 10. It follows "The Legend Of Johnny Cash" (#5 in 2005), "American V: A Hundred Highways" (#1 in 2006) and "American VI: Ain’t No Grave" (#3 in 2010). During Cash’s lifetime, he made the top 10 with just two albums: "Johnny Cash At San Quentin" (#1 in 1969) and "Hello, I’m Johnny Cash" (#8 in 1970).
Cash isn’t the first music star to have more top 10 albums after he died than he did in his lifetime. But most of the other stars of whom this is true died years before their time. 2Pac, for example,had just two top 10 albums during his lifetime, and has had nine since he was shot to death in September 1996. As part of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain had two top 10 albums during his lifetime and three since he took his own life in April 1994.