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Week Ending Aug. 7, 2011. Songs: Place Your Bets

Chart Watch

Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" holds at #2 on the Hot 100 for the third straight week, still stuck behind LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," which is in its sixth week on top. Will "Last Friday Night" make it to the top next week, enabling Perry to match Michael Jackson's record of five #1 singles from one album? It will be tight.

"Last Friday Night" climbs to #1 on the all-format Hot 100 Airplay chart, which includes airplay from 1,200 radio stations representing a cross section of radio formats. The song had 146.9 million audience impressions this week, a hair more than the #2 song on that chart, "Party Rock Anthem," which had 146.7 million impressions.

But "Party Rock Anthem" is ahead of "Last Friday Night" by a fairly wide margin in digital sales (which is the other major component of the Hot 100). The LMFAO song sold 185K copies this week, to rank #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the sixth straight week. Perry's hit sold 136K copies, to drop from #3 to #5. So are Perry's chances of topping the Hot 100 doomed? Not so fast. A remix of "Last Friday Night," featuring Missy Elliott, was released on Sunday. That may give Perry's hit the last little push it needs to reach #1.

The same thing happened with Rihanna's "S&M" in April. A remix featuring Britney Spears gave the record, which was stuck at #2 for the third week, the push it needed to finally reach the top spot. Three weeks later, a remix of Spears' "Till The World Ends," featuring Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha, surged from #11 to #3. That represented a new peak for the hit.

Record companies have this down to a science. If you can get a hot artist to guest on a remix, it can add enough sales to juice your hit on the charts. And what's in it for the guest artist? Billboard has said that it will count these guest shots as full-fledged hits for the guest artists. I hope they reconsider that policy, as it dilutes the impact of a legitimate top 10 hit. Missy Elliott has earned 10 top 10 hits the old-fashioned way: by being either the lead artist (five hits) or the guest artist from the start of a record's chart life (five hits). To get permanent credit for a top 10 hit for a relatively minor involvement with a record is the chart equivalent of "grade inflation."

Even if "Last Friday Night" fails to hit #1 on the Hot 100, Perry's Teenage Dream album has set three records. It's the first album to spawn five #1 hits on Hot Digital Songs, the Mainstream Top 40 chart (which, as the name suggests, focuses on top 40-oriented radio stations) and now the all-format Hot 100 Airplay chart. (None of these charts existed in 1987-1988, when Michael Jackson pulled five #1 hits from Bad. Digital, of course, didn't exist yet. And Billboard hadn't yet created a chart to cover every conceivable market niche.)

Pop Quiz: As you probably know by now, LMFAO consists of Stefan Gordy (Redfoo) and Skyler Gordy (SkyBlu), who are the son and grandson, respectively, of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. How many Motown hits logged six or more weeks at #1 in the years that Gordy owned the label (he sold his shares in June 1988)? And what were they? Answer below.

While you work on that, I'll tell you that LMFAO's digital sales tally this week (185K copies) is the lowest for a song at #1 on Hot Digital Songs in more than 15 months. (The last song to top the digital sales chart with as modest a tally was "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars, which sold 179K in its second week at #1 in April 2010.)

Need more time on the Pop Quiz? Here's a quick item. Three songs in this week's top 10 rank in the top 10 for the year-to-date. Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" is #1 for the year-to-date. "Give Me Everything" by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer  is #6. "Party Rock Anthem" is #7.

Quiz Answer: Only two Motown hits topped the Hot 100 for as many as six weeks in the years that Berry Gordy Jr. owned the label. Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" was #1 for seven weeks in 1968-1969. "Endless Love" by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie was #1 for nine weeks in 1981.

Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" holds at #3 for the second week. Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that "Super Bass" is just the fifth song by a female rapper (working solo, without the aid of a featured artist) to crack the top five. It follows Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" (#1 in 1998), Missy Elliott's "Work It" (#2 in 2002-2003), Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" (#3 in 1989) and M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" (#4 in 2008). (Caulfield explains that he counts "Buffalo Stance" because it made the top 20 on the rap chart.)

Let me add that "Super Bass" tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. This marks the first time that a female rapper (solo or in the lead position) has had a 2 million seller. There has been only one hit with a female rapper in the featured spot that has sold this well. That also involved Minaj. "Bottoms Up" by Trey Songz featuring Minaj has sold 2,899,000 copies.

Bruno Mars lands his sixth top five hit on the Hot 100 as Bad Meets Evil's "Lighters" (on which he is featured) jumps from #7 to #5. Mars has piled up these hits very quickly. He first cracked the top five with the aforementioned "Nothin' On You" in March 2010. Clearly, there was an opening in the sometimes hard-edged pop music landscape for a sweet-natured artist like Mars.

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

 

1. LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock, "Party Rock Anthem." The song holds at #1 for the sixth week in its 20th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (185K).

2. Katy Perry, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." The song holds at #2 for the third week in its 11th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Will it become the fifth #1 from Teenage Dream, matching the record set by Michael Jackson's Bad? Stay tuned. Digital sales rank: #5 (136K).

3. Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass." The song holds at #3 for the second week in its 15th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (140K).

4. Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer, "Give Me Everything." The former #1 song holds at #4 for the second week in its 19th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (105K).

5. Bad Meets Evil featuring Bruno Mars, "Lighters." The song jumps from #7 to #5 in its eighth week on the chart. This is Mars' sixth top five hit. Digital sales rank: #2 (164K).

6. Lil Wayne, "How To Love." The song dips from #5 to #6 in its 11th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (125K).

7. Britney Spears, "I Wanna Go." The song jumps from #9 to #7 in its ninth week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (109K).

8. Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, "Moves Like Jagger." The song rebounds from #25 to #8 in its seventh week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. The song debuted at #8 and fell as low as #62 in Week 3 before coming back to life. Digital sales rank: #3 (159K).

9. Adele, "Rolling In The Deep." The former #1 smash drops from #6 to #9 in its 31st week on the chart. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #12 (87K).

10. Hot Chelle Rae, "Tonight Tonight." The song drops from #8 to #10 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (123K).

 

Lady Gaga's "The Edge Of Glory" drops from #10 to #12 in its 13th week on the chart. This ends an 11-week in the top 10.

Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks" jumps from #18 to #13 in its 15th week on the chart. The irresistible song leaps from #13 to #6 on Hot Digital Songs (134K).

"I'm On One" by DJ Khaled featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne holds at #15 in its 12th week on the chart. The song is in its fifth week at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. In addition, it tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

"Remind Me," a duet by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, leaps from #26 to #18 in its ninth week on the chart. It's Paisley's first top 20 hit on the Hot 100. He cracked the top 20 on Hot Country Songs with his first release, 1999's "Who Needs Pictures."

Lady Antebellum's "Just A Kiss," which debuted at #7 in May, inches back up from #23 to #22 in its 14th week. It also jumps to #1 on Hot Country Songs. It's the trio's fifth #1 country hit.

"You Make Me Feel..." by Cobra Starship featuring Sabi vaults from #36 to #26 in its fourth week. Cobra Starship reached #7 two years ago with "Good Girls Go Bad" (featuring Leighton Meester)..."Stereo Hearts" by Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine jumps from #48 to #32 in its eighth week. This gives Levine, the lead signer of Maroon5, two hits in the top 40.

Rihanna's "Cheers (Drink To That)" vaults from #91 to #50 in its second week. It has already moved ahead of her ballad "California King Bed," which peaked two weeks ago at #37 and this week drops from #54 to #60.

Adele's "Someone Like You" jumps from #73 to #57 in its fifth week. This is its highest-ranking to date, topping its early peak at #65 when Adele's album was first released...Alexandra Stan's dance hit "Mr. Saxobeat" jumps from #74 to #59 in its fourth week..."Marvin & Chardonnay" by Big Sean featuring Kanye West & Roscoe Dash jumps from #77 to #61 in its third week.

Here's something that doesn't happen every day: A metal band has the top new entry on the Hot 100. Five Finger Death Punch's "Under And Over It" debuts at #77, becoming the band's first Hot 100 hit. The song is from the band's upcoming album, American Capitalist, which is due Oct. 11. The band's last album, War Is The Answer, reached #7 in September 2009.

"Low" by Flo Rida featuring T Pain tops the 6 million mark in digital sales this week. It's only the fifth song to reach that milestone. The smash spent the first 10 weeks of 2008 at #1.

"Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna tops the 5 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the 15th song to reach that plateau. It's the biggest digital seller for both artists. Eminem's second biggest hit is "Not Afraid," which has sold 3,991,000 copies. Rihanna's is "Disturbia," which has sold 4,240,000. "Love The Way You Lie" spent seven weeks at #1 last summer.

Taylor Swift's "Mean" this week becomes her 13th song to sell more than 1 million copies. That's more than any other country artist in digital history. In fact, it's more than the combined totals of the next two artists combined (Carrie Underwood with six and Jason Aldean with five). Swift wrote "Mean" after a music industry blogger repeatedly laced into her. It turns out that stars have feelings too.

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