Chart Watch

Week Ending April 19, 2009: She’s The Youngest To Ever Do It

Chart Watch

Miley Cyrus this week becomes the youngest hit-maker ever to amass three #1 albums on The Billboard 200. The 16-year old overachiever accomplishes the feat as the soundtrack to Hannah Montana: The Movie climbs to #1 in its fourth week. Cyrus breaks a record that had been held by Britney Spears, who was 19 when she landed her third #1 album, Britney, in 2001. Cyrus previously topped the chart with Breakout and Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus. (I'm not counting the first Hannah Montana soundtrack toward Cyrus' total, because she didn't yet have star billing. It was strictly a Hannah album.) Spears' three #1 albums as a teenager were ...Baby One More Time, Oops!...I Did It Again and Britney. Even after all her success, Cyrus is three months younger now than Spears was in November 1998 when she first cracked the Hot 100 with "...Baby One More Time." Fame and fortune at an early age often take a toll on artists (think: Michael Jackson, or for that matter Spears, who went through a rough patch before rebounding with her current album and tour.) I hope Cyrus sidesteps these pitfalls as adroitly as former teen stars Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera have.

Hannah Montana: The Movie is the first album to appear at #1 that didn't debut in the top spot since the Mamma Mia! soundtrack in August, which took five weeks to climb to #1. Hannah debuted at #2 three weeks ago behind Now 30, then fell to #5, before rebounding to #2 last week behind Rascal Flatts' Unstoppable. Hannah wasn't expected to rise to the top this week. The race for #1 was supposed to be between Rascal Flatts and Day26. But the movie's strong showing at the box-office gave the soundtrack the boost it needed. The album has sold 555,000 copies, which puts it second only to U2's No Line On The Horizon as the best-selling album released in 2009. It bumps Bruce Springsteen's Working On A Dream down to third place.

Hannah Montana is the second TV franchise to spawn a theatrical movie that yielded a #1 soundtrack album. It follows Wayne's World, a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, which spawned a 1992 movie. (I'm not counting the mid-'60s TV sensation Batman, because the 1989 movie was based on the comic book more than on the sitcom.) Several other TV franchises spawned theatrical movie that yielded #2 soundtracks: Mission: Impossible 2, Sex And The City and High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Others that made the top 10 include Wild Wild West (#4 in 1999), Charlie's Angels (#7 in 2000) and The Lizzie McGuire Movie (#6 in 2003).

Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" tops the 1 million mark in paid downloads in its third week of release. Only one other song has ever hit the 1 million download plateau this quickly--Flo Rida's "Right Round," which rang the bell in just two weeks in February. The market for song downloads is heating up quickly. The first song ever to reach the 1 million mark in paid downloads, Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," took 30 weeks to reach that plateau in October 2005.  "Boom Boom Pow" sold 259,000 downloads this week, bringing its three-week total to 1,063,000. The song is already nearly halfway to matching the success of the Peas' best-selling hit to date, "My Humps," which has sold 2,174,000 downloads since its release in August 2005.

"Right Round" and "Boom Boom Pow" both hit the 1 million mark before the artists' albums were released. "Right Round" sold 2,436,000 downloads before the release of Flo Rida's second album, R.O.O.T.S. (Route Of Overcoming The Struggle). "Boom Boom Pow" may well rack up a similar tally by the time the Peas' album, The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies), is released on June 9. Smash singles are always welcome, but both of these artists (and their record companies) must wish that they had had albums in the marketplace to capitalize on all the airplay and buzz. Other recent mega-hits have also been released far in advance of the artists' albums. Flo Rida's "Low" (featuring T-Pain) had sold 3,316,000 downloads by the time the rapper's debut album, Mail On Sunday, was finally released in March 2008. Lil Wayne's "Lollipop" (featuring Static Major) had sold 2,043,000 downloads by the time Tha Carter III was released in June.

It's easy to see why "Boom Boom Pow" is such a big hit. The song encapsulates the sound of pop music in 2009--it's part pop, part hip-hop, part soul. (I'll have a little more on "Boom Boom Pow" below in the Useless Information section.)

Eminem's "We Made You" sold 167,000 downloads in its first week, to enter Hot Digital Songs at #3. The song is expected to reach the top five on the Hot 100. It will be Eminem's second top five hit in a row on that chart, following the #1-ranked "Crack A Bottle," a collaboration with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. This will mark the first time that Eminem has had back-to-back top five hits on the Hot 100 (as a lead artist) since 2002, when he scored with "Without Me," "Cleanin' Out My Closet" and "Lose Yourself."

Green Day's "Know Your Enemy" enters Hot Digital Songs at #32.The band's long-awaited album, 21st Century Breakdown, is due May 15. Green Day's last studio album, American Idiot, debuted at #1 in September 2004. This week's next-highest new entries are the Oscar-winning "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, at #51, and the original London cast version of "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables, at #61. Contestant Kris Allen sang "Falling Slowly" on American Idol last week. Susan Boyle's version of "I Dreamed A Dream" on Britain's Got Talent is the viral sensation of the year.

Song Scorecard: Three songs top the 1 million mark in paid downloads this week. "Boom Boom Pow" is joined by Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," which took seven weeks to cross the threshold, and Asher Roth's frat-boy anthem "I Love College," which took 12...Also this week, Beyonce's "If I Were A Boy" and Fergie's "Clumsy" reached the 2 million mark in paid downloads. "If I Were A Boy" is the second song from I Am...Sasha Fierce to hit the plateau. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" rang the bell in February. Beyonce earlier topped the 2 million mark with her 2006 smash, "Irreplaceable." "Clumsy" is the fifth smash from The Dutchess to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads. It follows "London Bridge," "Fergalicious" (featuring, "Glamorous" (featuring Ludacris) and "Big Girls Don't Cry."

Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.

1. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, 133,000. The album finally reaches #1 in its fourth week. More than 24,000 copies were sold digitally, which allows the album to return to #1 on the Digital Albums chart. Six songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. Three are in the top 10: "The Climb" at #2, Taylor Swift's "Crazier" at #7 and "Hoedown Throwdown" at #8.

2. Day26, Forever In A Day, 113,000. This new entry is the R&B group's second album to open in the top five. Day26 bowed at #1 in March 2008. Day26 is the second P. Diddy--groomed graduate of MTV's Making The Band to get off to a fast start with its first two albums. Danity Kane debuted at #1 with both Danity Kane and Welcome To The Dollhouse. "Imma Put It On Her" (featuring P. Diddy and Yung Joc) jumps to #58 on Hot Digital Songs.

3. Rascal Flatts, Unstoppable, 107,000. The album dips from #1 to #3 in its second week. Three of the country trio's four #1 albums logged just a single week on top. Three songs from the new album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Here Comes Goodbye," which jumps to #38.

4. Various Artists, Twilight soundtrack, 49,000. The former #1 album jumps from #8 to #4. This is its 17th week in the top 10. That's the longest run in the top 10 for a theatrical movie soundtrack since City Of Angels had 20 weeks in the top 10 in 1998. Paramore's "Decode" dips to #105 on Hot Digital Songs.

5. Various Artists, NOW 30, 45,000. The former #1 album dips from #5 to #6. This is the compilation's fourth week in the top 10.

6. Jadakiss, The Last Kiss, 45,000. The album falls from #3 to #7 in its second week. No songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs.

7. Silversun Pickups, Swoon, 43,000. This marks the first week that the alternative band has sold so much as 10,000 copies of an album in any one week. That's striking because its last album, 2006's Carnavas has sold a very respectable 338,000 copies. But it did it the hard way, with modest weekly sums adding up to a substantial total. "Panic Switch" enters Hot Digital Songs at #84.

8. Lady GaGa, The Fame, 36,000. The album rebounds from #10 to #8. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Poker Face," which dips to #4.

9. Jason Aldean, Wide Open, 35,000. The album falls from #4 to #9 in its second week. "She's Country" jumps to #47 on Hot Digital Songs.

10. Taylor Swift, Fearless, 32,000. The former #1 album drops from #6 to #10 (the same position it held two weeks ago, before a spike caused by Academy of Country Music awards telecast.). This is the album's 22nd week in the top 10. That's the longest run in the top 10 for a country album since Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts had 25 weeks in 2005-2006. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Love Story" at #30.

Two albums fall out of the top 10 this week. Keith Urban's Defying Gravity drops from #7 to #12. Prince/Bria Valente's Lotus Flow3r/MPLSoUND/Elix3r drops from #9 to #15. Urban's album logged just two weeks in the top 10, the shortest run for a #1 album since Day26's Day26 a year ago. (Keith, I'm afraid that's not defying the law of gravity, but confirming it.)

Pearl Jam's 1991 classic Ten returns to #1 on the Catalog Albums chart for a third week. The album sold 8,000 copies this week and would have ranked #53 on the big chart if older, catalog albums were eligible to compete there...Easy Star All-Stars' Easy Stars' Lonely Hearts Dub debuts at #117 on the big chart. Most of the album's sales were in the digital realm. The title, of course, is an homage to the Beatles' 1967 classic, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Heads Up: Rick Ross' third album, Deeper Than Rap, is expected to be next week's top debut. The rapper's two previous albums, Port Of Miami and Trilla, both debuted at #1.

Depeche Mode's Sounds Of The Universe  is also expected to open strongly.  The iconic band has made the top 10 with every release since 1990, except for a live album and a pair of greatest hits sets. Also due: Asher Roth's Asleep In The Bread Aisle, which includes the million-selling download "I Love College," Pet Shop Boys' Yes, Jesse Winchester's Love Filling Station, Jars Of Clay's The Long Fall Back To Earth, Lacuna Coil's Shallow Life and Tinted Windows' Tinted Windows.

Last week, Rascal Flatts surpassed Dave Matthews Band (and four other groups) to become the group with the most #1 albums since January 2000. The Matthews Band will aim to move back into a tie with Rascal Flatts on June 2, with the release of its latest album, Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King.

Useless Information: "Boom Boom Pow" isn't the first hit with the immortal phrase "boom boom" in the title. Blues legend John Lee Hooker had a hit called "Boom Boom" (later covered by the Animals) in 1962. The DeCastro Sisters had "Boom Boom Boomerang" in 1955. Paul Lekakis had "Boom Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)" in 1987. In addition, there were songs where the phrase was tucked deeper into the title, such as the Staple Singers' 1971 hit "Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom).


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