Chart Watch

  • Chart Watch: Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolent” Debut

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch11 hrs ago

    Lana Del Rey's "West Coast" is the top new entry on this week's Hot 100 at #17. It's from her upcoming third studio album, "Ultraviolence." It's Del Rey's second top 20 hit, following "Summertime Sadness" (featuring Cedric Gervais, #6). "West Coast" enters the Hot Digital Songs chart at #6 this week, with first-week sales of 118K.

    This is the third Hot 100 hit with a title that begins with the evocative phrase "West Coast." "West Coast Woman" by Painter, a Canadian rock band, hit #79 in 1973. "West Coast Summer Nights" by rock singer and keyboardist Tony Carey hit #64 in 1983.

    Wanna know how many songs that begin with the phrase "East Coast" have made the chart over the years? None.

    This week's big chart news is Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown returning to the top 10 with their latest singles. I covered this, and the rest of the top 10 action, in a Chart Watch blog that we posted Wednesday. If you missed it, here's a link. This blog is a look at key movers and debuts below the top 10.

    Read More

  • Chart Watch: “Frozen” Gets Hotter

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch1 day ago

    You'd think the "Frozen" soundtrack would be slowing down by now, but it just keeps, well, snowballing. The album sold 259K copies this week, which constitutes its biggest sales week to date. This is the biggest one-week tally for a soundtrack since "Michael Jackson's This Is It" sold 373K copies in its first week in November 2009.

    "Frozen" logs its 11th week at #1 on The Billboard 200, which is a record only two albums have equaled in this century. Adele's "21" is out front since January 2000 with 24 weeks on top. Taylor Swift's "Fearless" had 11 weeks on top in 2008-2009.

    Three factors spurred this week's increase. "Frozen" is now stocked in Starbucks locations. The album made a nifty Easter gift. And Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" has become a pop smash. The song is due to spend its fifth week in the top five on the Hot 100 this week.

    "Frozen" has sold 2,335,000 copies, which makes it the best-selling soundtrack since "Twilight." That album has sold 2,807,000 copies since its release in October 2008.

    Read More

  • Chart Watch: ‘Happy’ Tops 4M

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch8 days ago

    Pharrell Williams's "Happy" tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. It's Williams' second song to reach that plateau in a little more than eight months. Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (on which Williams was featured, along with T.I.) hit 4M in August. (It currently stands at 6,995,000). As you have probably surmised, "Happy" has already outsold Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," on which Williams was also featured. That Grammy-winning smash has sold 3,475,000 copies.

    "Happy" is the first song to sell 4M digital copies in 2014. It's off to a very fast start, but "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz got off to an even faster start last year. It topped the 4M mark in 2013 sales the week ending March 31. (The current week is Nielsen SoundScan's week ending April 13.)

    "Happy" tops the Hot 100 for the eighth week. The feel-good smash is the first song by a male solo artist (who wasn't part of a collaboration) to log eight or more weeks at #1 since Mario's"Let Me Love You" spent nine weeks on top in 2005.

    Read More

  • Chart Watch: 10 Fun Facts About 'Frozen'

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch8 days ago

    The "Frozen" soundtrack logs its 10th week at #1 on The Billboard 200, which ties "The Lion King" for the longest run at #1 ever for a soundtrack from an animated movie. Both albums spawned Oscar-winning ballads: "Let It Go" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," respectively.

    And "Frozen" will probably stay on top for at least three more weeks. (Three high-profile albums are due for release on May 6 that are vying for #1: "Now 50," a still-untitled Mariah Carey album and Hunter Hayes's"Storyline.")

    The soundtrack's staying power is remarkable. Even after 20 weeks in release, "Frozen" sold more copies this week (133K) than the week's next five best-selling albums combined (130K).

    To commemorate the album's on-going dominance, here's an avalanche of 10 fun facts about "Frozen."

    1."Frozen" tops the 2 million mark in U.S. sales this week. It's the first soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie to reach the 2 million sales plateau since Miley Cyrus's "Hannah Montana: The Movie," which has sold 2,085,000 copies since its release in 2009.

    Read More

  • Chart Watch: 'Happy' Peaked But It’s Still Potent

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch15 days ago

    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.

    Read More

  • Chart Watch: 5 Reasons 5 Seconds Of Summer Is Hot

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch15 days ago

    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.

    Read More

  • Chart Watch: Shakira Tops Gaga

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch21 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.

    Read More