Chart Watch

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

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch6 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.

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

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch6 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.

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  • Chart Watch: Shakira Tops Gaga

    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.

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  • Chart Watch: Crank That, Pharrell

    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.

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  • Chart Watch: After “Frozen,” Here Comes “Summer”

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch20 days ago

    Songs from "Frozen" are moving back up the Hot 100. In addition to Idina Menzel's "Let It Go," which leaps from #14 to #5 this week, Demi Lovato's version of the same song rebounds from #71 to #52 in its 17th week, "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" by Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee, Monn & Katie Lopez rebounds from #79 to #62 in its 13th week and "For The First Time In Forever" by Kristen Bell & Idina Menzel rebounds from #85 to #65 in its 13th week. These three songs have climbed as high as #38, #55 and #57, respectively.

    The "Frozen" soundtrack tops The Billboard 200 for the seventh week this week and is assured of an eighth week on top next week.

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  • Chart Watch: Two Movie Songs In Top 5

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch20 days ago

    Two songs that competed for the Academy Award for Original Song on March 2 are listed in the top five on this week's Hot 100. Pharrell Williams's "Happy" holds at #1 for the fifth week. Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" rebounds from #14 to #5, in the wake of the release of the DVD and blu-ray of "Frozen." ("Let It Go," of course, won the award.)

    This is the first time in 16 years that two of the Original Song finalists were top five hits on the Hot 100. The two nominees for 1997 that made the top five were Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" (from "Titanic"), which spent two weeks at #1, and LeAnn Rimes's "How Do I Live" (from "Con Air"), which spent four weeks at #2. (Those songs were never in the top five at the same time, however.)

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  • Chart Watch: “Frozen” DVD Boosts Soundtrack

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch20 days ago

    The "Frozen" soundtrack sold 202K copies this past week, more than double last week's tally of 99K. The surge is linked to the release of the movie's DVD and Blu-ray, which sold a combined 3.2 million copies in their first day of release last Tuesday (March 19). This spurt for the soundtrack surpasses the gains posted by "The Lion King" soundtrack following the release of the VHS and Laserdisc in March 1995 and the "Twilight" soundtrack following the release of the DVD in March 2009.

    The "Frozen" soundtrack has sold 1,633,000 copies. Nearly half of those copies (781K) have been sold digitally, which makes "Frozen" the best-selling soundtrack in digital history. It this week pushes ahead of "Pitch Perfect," which has sold 760K digital copies. "Twilight" is in third place, with sales of 742K digital copies.

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  • Chart Watch: “#Selfie” Is A #Smash

    Paul Grein at Chart Watch27 days ago

    The Chainsmokers's "#Selfie" leaps from #28 to #18 in its third week on the Hot 100. Digital sales rank: #6 (111K). The novelty song about the "selfie" explosion is the latest in a long string of singles that were quick to comment on a cultural phenomenon. Others include Ray Stevens's "The Streak" (#1 in 1974), about that year's streaking craze; C.W. McCall's "Convoy" (#1 in 1976), about the booming citizens band (CB) radio phenomenon; Buckner & Garcia's "Pac-Man Fever" (#9 in 1982), about the videogame explosion; and "Valley Girl" by Frank Zappa featuring an uncredited Moon Unit Zappa (#32 in 1982), about suburban teens' "Valley-speak."

    Other novelty songs that have mirrored the times include Brian Hyland's "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" (#1 in 1960), about the skimpy beach attire that was becoming acceptable, and Larry Groce's "Junk Food Junkie" (#9 in 1976), a reaction to the growing popularity of health food.

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