Chart Watch

Week Ending Aug. 4, 2013. Songs: It’s All A “Blur”

Chart Watch

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If it seems like you hear “Blurred Lines” every time you turn on the radio, there’s a good reason for that: The Robin Thicke smash, which features T.I. + Pharrell, this week logged the largest weekly radio audience since Nielsen BDS starting measuring such things in December 1990. “Blurred Lines” rang up 219.8 million all-format “audience impressions” this past week. The old record was held by Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” which drew 212.2 million audience impressions on the chart dated July 9, 2005.

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Both of these songs were comeback hits. “We Belong Together” was Carey’s first #1 hit in more than five years. “Blurred Lines” is Thicke’s first song to crack the top 40 since his 2006 breakthrough hit “Lost Without U.”

“Blurred Lines” also establishes another important record. The song sold 405K copies this week. It’s the first song in digital history to top 400K in weekly sales four times. It breaks the old record of three, established in April 2012 by “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra. (It also ties “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz as only the second song in digital history to top 300K in weekly sales nine times.)

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As you might imagine, given these achievements, “Blurred Lines” tops the Hot 100 for the ninth week. That’s the longest run on top since Maroon 5’s “One More Night” spent nine weeks on top last year. And the slinky smash is nowhere near the end of its run. Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s Director of Charts, reports that the song “posts its largest lead to date over its next-highest challenger,” which is currently Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop.” (He further reveals that “Blurred” had more than double the total Hot 100 points of Cyrus’ smash.)

In Pietroluongo’s words: “Unless one of the upcoming big single releases (Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’? Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’?) posts extraordinary first-week sales, airplay and streaming numbers, Thicke’s ‘Lines’ could be entrenched at the top for quite some time and make its way among the all-time weeks-at-#1 leaders.”

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OK, let’s take a look at this. Next week, “Blurred Lines” seems sure to tie “We Found Love” by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris for the longest run on top since 2010. But can it spend five more weeks at #1? It would be the first song to do so since the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” in 2009. (You may recall that that ultra-catchy smash is the best-selling song of the digital era. Current sales tally: 8,368,000.)

“Blurred Lines” is also #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the ninth week.

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“Blurred Lines” this week surpasses Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” to become the second best-selling song so far in 2013. Both songs trail “Thrift Shop,” which is up to 5,772,000. Both “Blurred Lines” and “Radioactive” top the 4 million mark in 2013 sales this week. (“Radioactive” sold an additional 547K copies in 2012.)

“Blurred Lines” is the third 4-million-seller for T.I., following “Live Your Life” (featuring Rihanna, 4,532,000) and “Whatever You Like” (4,347,000).

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One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” dives from #2, where it debuted last week, to #15. That enables three songs to move back up a notch, led by Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” which returns to #2. (Cyrus’ previous #2 hit, “Party In The U.S.A.,” also had two separate stints at #2.) “We Can’t Stop” is #1 on Streaming Songs for the seventh week.

Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” rebounds from #4 to #3. This is its third non-consecutive week at #3. It has ranked #3 or #4 for eight straight weeks. The song is #1 on Rock Songs for the 20th week.

Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” (which also features Pharrell Williams) rebounds from #5 to #4. The song spent five weeks at #2. It’s #1 on Dance/Electronic Songs for the 12th week.

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“Holy Grail” by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake, which samples Nirvana’s classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” jumps from #7 to #5. This surpasses the #6 peak of Nirvana’s grunge classic in January 1992. This is the second top five hit of 2013 for the pairing of Jay Z and Timberlake. “Suit & Tie” reached #3 in March.

Three songs move into the top 10 this week, the largest number since the issue dated March 2, when three songs also broke in. That was the week that YouTube data was added to the chart formula for the first time, which helped Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko and Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” to break through.

This week’s top 10 arrivals are “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes, Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound” and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody.” It’s the first Hot 100 hit for Zedd, Foxes and Capital Cities.

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Maroon5’s “Love Somebody” jumps from #14 to #10. It’s the group’s eighth top 10 hit; its fourth from its current album, Overexposed. That’s the group’s first album to spawn more than two top 10 hits. “Love Somebody” has sold 997K copies. It will be the fourth million-seller from this album. (Overexposed will be the group’s first album to yield four digital million-sellers since its 2003 debut, Songs About Jane.) The four hit singles from Overexposed have sold a combined total of 12,586,000 copies. The album itself has sold 1,431,000 copies in its first 58 weeks.

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

The Top Five: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell holds at #1 for the ninth week in its 16th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (405K)…Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” rebounds from #3 to #2 in its ninth week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (173K)…Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” rebounds from #4 to #3 in its 49th week on the chart. This is its 16th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (155K)…“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams rebounds from #5 to #4 in its 16th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (103K)… Holy Grail” by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake jumps from #7 to #5 in its fourth week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #3 (162K).

The Second Five: Anna Kendrick’s “Cups (Pitch Perfect’s When I’m Gone)” jumps from #8 to #6 in its 32nd week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (110K)….Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” dips from #6 to #7 in its 12th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (97K)…“Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes jumps from #13 to #8 in its 20th week on the chart. This is the first top 10 hit for both acts. Digital sales rank: #14 (77K)…Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound” jumps from #15 to #9 in its 14th week on the chart. This is the group’s first top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #8 (103K)…Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody” jumps from #14 to #10 in its 11th week on the chart. This is the group’s eighth top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #15 (73K).

As noted above, One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” drops from #2, where it debuted last week, to #15. Two other songs drop out of the top 10. “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton drops from #9 to 13. “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly drops from #10 to #12. The latter song is still in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs (#6, 108K). It holds at #1 on Hot Country Songs for a record-extending 23rd week.

“Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert rebounds from #12 to #11 in its 21st week. This equals its highest ranking to date. Digital sales rank: #10 (97K). Will this classy record follow “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” into the top 10? Stay tuned. Lambert’s recording of “She Keeps Me Warm” (which adds such warmth to “Same Love”) enters Hot Digital Songs at #107, with sales of 17K copies…“I Need Your Love” by Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding jumps from #19 to #16 in its 16th week.

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Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” vaults from #48 to #17 in its sixth week. Digital sales rank: #9 (100K). The song is in its third week at #1 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart. The 23-year old DJ and producer is a cinch to become the second Swedish act to land a top 10 hit on the Hot 100 in 2013. He’ll follow the duo Icona Pop, whose “I Love It” (a collabo with British singer Charli XCX) reached #7. (“I Love It” also reached #1 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart.)

Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” jumps from #37 to #23 in its fourth week. It’s a cinch to become Del Rey’s first top 20 hit. “Young & Beautiful,” from The Great Gatsby: Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film, peaked at #22 earlier this year …AWOLNATION’s “Sail” jumps from #31 to #27 in its 48th week. This is its highest ranking to date, which is amazing for a song that’s been charting for nearly a year…Justin Timberlake’s “Take Back The Night” leaps from #52 to #33 in its fourth week…Brett Eldredge’s country crossover hit, “Don’t Ya,” jumps from #40 to #35 in its 11th week…Lorde’s “Royals” jumps from #59 to #39 in its fifth week. This is the first top 40 hit for the 16-year old from New Zealand.

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The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” rebounds from #47 to #44 in its 61st week. It’s only the eighth song to log 61 or more weeks on the Hot 100 since the chart was introduced in August 1958. Here are the others, in descending order: Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” (76 weeks), LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live” (69 weeks), “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock (68 weeks), Jewel’s “You Were Meant For Me” (65 weeks), Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” (65 weeks), Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” (64 weeks) and Lifehouse’s “You And Me” (62 weeks). “Ho Hey” never made #1. It logged five weeks at #3. Oddly, only two of these long-running chart hits managed to hit #1: “Party Rock Anthem” and “Rolling In The Deep.”

“Gas Pedal” by Sage The Gemini featuring IamSu jumps from #58 to #46 in its second week...Jason Aldean’s “Night Train” jumps from #69 to #55 in its fifth week…Billy Currington’s “Hey Girl” jumps from #65 to #56 in is 11th week…

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Enrique Iglesias’ “Turn The Night Up” is the week’s top new entry at #62. It’s from Iglesias’ upcoming studio album. The single was produced by The CataracsParamore’s “Still Into You” jumps from #86 to #68 in its fourth week…Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party” jumps from #79 to #69 in its sixth week. The song has climbed as high as #67…”Headband” by B.o.B featuring 2 Chainz jumps from #85 to #72 in its eighth week. The song has climbed as high as #65…Tim McGraw’s “Southern Girl” jumps from #100 to #78 in its second week…Chris Young’s “Aw Naw” jumps from #90 to #79 in its third week…The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” jumps from #91 to #81 in its eighth week.

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“True Love” by P!nk featuring Lily Allen is the week’s second-highest new entry at #85. This is P!nk’s first all-female collabo to make the chart since “Lady Marmalade,” her 2001 smash with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim and Mya. It’s from The Truth About Love. (This is an original song, not the Cole Porter song that Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly took to #2 in 1956. OK, it’s ancient history, but the song was that year’s most popular duet.)

Lady Antebellum’s “Goodbye Town” jumps from #99 to #86 in its sixth week...“Beware” by Big Sean featuring Jhene Aiko & Lil Wayne re-enters the chart at #94…Passenger’s “Let Her Go” debuts at #95. It’s from the British singer/songwriter’s fourth studio album, All The Little Lights, which was released in February 2012…Sheryl Crow’s “Easy” re-enters the chart at #98.

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Blake Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You” debuts at #100. It’s from Based On A True Story…, which is #6 for the year-to-date among all albums and #3 among albums that were released in 2013. (In that regard, it trails only albums by Justin Timberlake and Jay Z).

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