Chart Watch

Week Ending April 3, 2011. Songs: Born Hot

Chart Watch

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Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" tops the 2 million mark in digital sales in its eighth week of release, the fastest that any of her songs has reached this plateau. Gaga's old personal-best was "Bad Romance," which took 10 weeks to top 2 million.

Only four other songs in digital history have sold 2 million copies in as few as eight weeks. Flo Rida's "Right Round" did it in just five weeks. "California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Doggand "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna both took seven weeks. The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" also took eight weeks.

"Born This Way" is the second song to top the 2 million in digital sales so far this year, following Cee Lo Green's "F***k You (Forget You)." Green's smash is still a bit ahead for the year-to-date, having sold 2,153,000 copies in this calendar year, to 2,107,000 for Gaga's hit.

This marks the first time in Nielsen SoundScan history that two songs have sold 2 million copies in the first quarter of the year. No song topped the 2 million mark in the first quarter of 2008. "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain came close, selling 1,927,000 in the quarter. One song topped the 2 million mark in the first quarter of both 2009 and 2010. Flo Rida's "Right Round" sold 2,436,000 in the first quarter of 2009. Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" sold 2,038,000 in the first quarter of 2010.

And then there were four: Katy Perry's "E.T." (featuring Kanye West) tops the Hot 100 for the second week. All four of the chart-toppers from Perry's Teenage Dream have logged multiple weeks at #1. "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg) spent six weeks on top. "Teenage Dream" had two. "Firework" had four.

Only three other albums in chart history have produced four #1 singles that each had multiple weeks on top. The first to do so was George Michael's 1987 solo debut album, Faith, which spawned "Faith"(four weeks on top), "Father Figure" (two weeks), "One More Try" (three weeks) and "Monkey" (two weeks).

The second album (and the only other album by a female artist) to do it was Mariah Carey's eponymous 1990 debut album, which spawned "Vision Of Love" (four weeks), "Love Takes Time" (three weeks), "Someday" (two weeks) and "I Don't Wanna Cry" (two weeks).

The most recent album to do it before Teenage Dream was Usher's 2004 blockbuster Confessions, which spawned "Yeah!" (featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris, 12 weeks), "Burn" (eight weeks), "Confessions Part II" (two weeks) and "My Boo" (a co-equal collabo with Alicia Keys, six weeks).

All four of these albums, not surprisingly, topped The Billboard 200. Of the four, Teenage Dream had the briefest run at #1 (just two weeks), compared to nine weeks for Confessions, 11 for Mariah Carey and 12 for Faith. All four were also nominated for Grammys for Album of the Year. Faith won.

Rihanna's "S&M" holds at #2 on the Hot 100 for the second week. Unless it moves up, it will become Rihanna's third song to peak in the runner-up slot, following her initial hit "Pon De Replay" and "Run This Town," a co-equal collabo with Jay-Z and Kanye West. (Rihanna and Katy Perry are friends, according to the current Rolling Stone cover story on Rihanna.)

"S&M" last week became Rihanna's 14th #1 hit on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart. Only four artists have had more #1 hits on that chart. Madonna, fittingly, leads the pack with 40 #1 dance hits. Janet Jackson is in second place with 19. Mariah Carey and Kristine W have each had 15. (Beyonce is tied with Rihanna with 14.) The odd person out on this list is Kristine W, who is a dance club superstar even though she has made the Hot 100 with just one song, "One More Try," which petered out at #78 in 1996. Why has Kristine Weitz (which is her full name) had so little pop success, especially compared to her chart-topping rivals? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Jennifer Lopez's "On The Floor" (featuring Pitbull) jumps from #10 to #8.  The dance smash also debuts at #1 in the U.K. It's J.Lo's third #1 in that country, following "Love Don't Cost A Thing" (2001) and "Get Right" (2005). Neither of those songs are among Lopez's four U.S. chart-toppers. "Love Don't Cost A Thing" peaked at #3 in the U.S. "Get Right" stalled at #12. If "On The Floor" also falls short of the top spot in the U.S., which seems likely, Lopez will have wholly distinct lists of chart toppers in these two key markets.

Shameless Plug: Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" this week pushes ahead of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" to become the best-selling country song in digital history. I've written a Chart Watch Extra in which I count down the top 10 country songs in digital history. I also showcase eight other songs that hold various records. The piece is filled to the brim with country lore. It will go live on Thursday.

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

 

1. Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, "E.T." The song holds at #1 for the second week in its eighth week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (327K).

2. Rihanna, "S&M." The song holds at #2 for the second week in its 12th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (159K).

3. The Black Eyed Peas, "Just Can't Get Enough." The song jumps from #5 to #3 in its seventh week on the chart. This is the song's third week in the top 10. This is its sixth song to make the top three on the Hot 100. Digital sales rank: #2 (203K).

4. Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)." The song dips from #3 to #4 in its 32nd week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (134K).

5. Lady Gaga, "Born This Way." The former #1 song dips from #4 to #5 in its eighth week on the chart. It has been in the top five the entire time. Digital sales rank: #8 (129K).

6. Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes, "Look At Me Now." The song jumps from #7 to #6 in its ninth week. This is its third week in the top 10 and its third week at #1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Digital sales rank: #5 (137K).

7. Jeremih featuring 50 Cent, "Down On Me." The song jumps from #9 to #7 in its 21st week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #12 (98K).

8. Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull, "On The Floor." The song jumps from #10 to #8 in its sixth week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (138K).

9. P!nk, "F**kin' Perfect." The song dips from #8 to #9 in its 14th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #22 (72K).

10. Adele, "Rolling In The Deep." The song jumps from #17 to #10 in its 13th week on the chart. It's Adele's first top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #9 (122K).

 

Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep" drops out of the top 10, falling from #6 to #17 in its second week.  Digital sales rank: #6 (135K). The hip-hopper has two other songs on this week's Hot 100. "Roll Up" jumps from #29 to #28 in its eighth week. "When I'm Gone" is the week's top new entry on the Hot 100 at #57. His former #1 hit "Black And Yellow" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. Alas, it drops off the chart this week.

Two former #1 hits in the U.K. are moving up the chart. "Written In The Stars" by Tinie Tempah featuring Eric Turner jumps from #27 to #19 in its seventh week. "Price Tag" by Jessie J featuring B.o.B jumps from #50 to #49 in its ninth week. "Written In The Stars" hit #1 in the U.K. on Oct. 9. "Price Tag" scored on Feb. 12.

"John" by Lil Wayne featuring Rick Ross vaults from #57 to #22 in its second week. Digital sales rank: #10 (116K). The song, which references John Lennon, is vying to become Lil Wayne's 14th top 10 hit...Another hot collabo, "Give Me Everything" by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, debuts at #60. The song is vying to become Pitbull's seventh top 10 hit.

The Zac Brown Band's "Colder Weather" jumps from #36 to #31 in its 11th week. Even better, the song jumps to #1 on Top Country Songs. It's the group's sixth #1 country hit.

Sara Evans' "A Little Bit Stronger" jumps from #51 to #45 in its 14th week, its highest ranking to date. Evans performed the song on Sunday's broadcast of the Academy of Country Music Awards...Taylor Swift's "Mean" vaults from #90 to #67 in its second week. Swift also performed the song on the ACM  broadcast. Swift reportedly wrote the song about a music blogger who took repeated shots at her. Stars have feelings, too.

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Sara Ramirez's cover of Brandi Carlisle's "The Story" debuts at #69. Ramirez performed the song on a special musical episode of Grey's Anatomy last week. The song is featured on both that TV soundtrack and Carlisle's own EP...Britney Spears' "I Wanna Go" debuts at #73. It's vying to become Spears' 11th top 10 hit..."Beggin' On Your Knees" by Victorious Cast Featuring Victoria debuts at #83. The song was featured on the April 2 episode of the Nickelodeon series, which was the kick-off of the second season. The ensemble reached #50 with its previous entry, "Freak The Freak Out."

Pop Quiz: Four Elton John hits re-entered Hot Digital Songs this week in the wake of "Elton John Week" on American Idol. Here they are in alphabetical order: "Bennie And The Jets," "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer," "Your Song." Your task is to re-arrange them in order of their total digital sales, not just this week, but to date. Answer below.

As I noted in Chart Watch: Albums, the cast of Grey's Anatomy entered Hot Digital Songs with their versions of Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and The Fray's "How To Save A Life." The originals, both from the spring of 2006, also charted. Snow Patrol's smash has sold 2,953,000 copies. The Fray's hit has sold 3,703,000 copies.

Song Scorecard: "Born This Way" is Lady Gaga's eighth song to top the 2 million mark in digital sales...Ke$ha's "Blow" (which holds at #11 on the Hot 100 for the third straight week) topped the 1 million mark in digital sales this week, as did a pair of hot collabos, "On The Floor" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull and "Look At Me Now" by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes.

Quiz Answer: The correct order of digital sales for those four Elton John hits is: "Tiny Dancer" (1,149,000), "Rocket Man" (803,000), "Your Song" (758,000) and "Bennie And The Jets" (738,000). "Tiny Dancer" got a big boost by being featured in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous.

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