Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending Dec. 25, 2011. Songs: Bringing “Sexy” Back

Chart Watch

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"Sexy and I Know It"

LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" finally jumps to #1 on this week's Hot 100, following seven weeks at #2. It's the fourth song with the word "sexy" in its title to reach #1. You probably won't be surprised to learn that all four songs have been by male artists. Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" (1979) was first up, followed by Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" (1992) and "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland (2006).

"I'm Too Sexy" and "Sexy And I Know It" are obviously playful spoofs of male vanity and sexual bravado. With "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," the joke wasn't played as broadly. Some people missed the joke entirely and thought Stewart had taken the sex symbol hype to his head. It took him a few years to live it down.

This is LMFAO's second #1 hit in a row, following "Party Rock Anthem." LMFAO is the first duo to have back-to-back #1 hits since OutKast scored with "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move" (featuring Sleepy Brown) in 2003-2004. Two other duos have had back-to-back #1 hits. Daryl Hall & John Oates scored in 1981-1982 with "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)." Roxette scored in 1990-1991 with "It Must Have Been Love" and "Joyride."

Both of LMFAO's songs rank in the top 15 for the year-to-date. (There is one tracking week left in this year.) "Party Rock Anthem" is #2. "Sexy And I Know It" is #14. Adele and Pitbull also have two songs in the top 15 for the year-to-date.

"Sexy And I Know It" sold 395K copies this week, a total topped by only three songs in all of 2011. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" sold 448K and 509K copies, respectively, in its first two weeks in February. Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)" sold 412K copies in the week following his performance of the song on the Grammy telecast in February. Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" sold 411K copies when it debuted in January.

"Party Rock Anthem," which features Lauren Bennett and GoonRock, this week becomes the second song to top the 5 million mark in digital sales in 2011. It follows Adele's "Rolling In The Deep." Prior to this year, no song had sold 5 million digital copies in a calendar year. The old record was held by the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow," which sold 4,762,000 digital copies in 2009.

"Party Rock Anthem" is the first song by (or fronted by) a duo to reach the 5 million mark in digital sales. The previous biggest digital hit by a duo was Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," which has sold 3,103,000 digital copies.

"Party Rock Anthem" logs its 27th week in the top 10, a total matched by only two songs in the history of the Hot 100. LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" logged 32 weeks in the top 10. "Smooth" by Santana featuring Rob Thomas had 30. (Billboard also counts Jewel's double-sided hit "You Were Meant For Me"/"Foolish Games," which had 28 total weeks in the top10. But the fact that it was a double-sided hit gives it a big advantage over these other songs.)

LMFAO consists of Stefan "Redfoo" Gordy, 36, and Skyler "Sky Blu" Gordy, 25, the son and grandson, respectively, of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. By way of comparison, Gordy was 34 when the first Motown act had back-to-back #1 hits. That was the Supremes, which hit the top spot in August 1964 with "Where Did Our Love Go" and again in October with "Baby Love."

"Ni**as In Paris" by Jay-Z/Kanye West jumps from #6 to #5. It's the 11th top five hit for Jay-Z; the 10th for West. "…In Paris" is the third song on which they've teamed to make the top five, following "Swagga Like Us" (which also included T.I. and Lil Wayne) and "Run This Town" (which co-headlined Rihanna).

"…In Paris," which tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week, includes a sample of dialogue by Will Ferrell from his 2007 movie Blades Of Glory: "No one knows what it means, but it's provocative, Gets the people going." That ice-staking comedy was #1 at the box-office for two weekends in March and April 2007. Will the song containing the sample likewise reach #1 on the Hot 100? Stay tuned.

Adele's "Set Fire To The Rain" leaps from #13 to #7 on the Hot 100. It's her third top 10 hit (and her third million-seller) from 21. "Set Fire To The Rain" is one of two "rain" songs in this week's top 10. Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" dips from #3 to #4. (Another Adele song re-enters the chart this week. "Rumor Has It" re-appears at #78.)

"Dance A$$" by Big Sean featuring Nicki Minaj jumps from #12 to #10. It's Big Sean's first top 10 hit; Minaj's fourth. Minaj first cracked the top 10 as a featured artist on Trey Songz' "Bottoms Up." She returned to the top 10 with her own "Super Bass" and as a featured artist on Drake's "Make Me Proud."

Big Sean is the first solo artist whose name begins with the descriptor "Big" to crack the top 10 since Big Bopper scored in October 1958 with "Chantilly Lace." (Three months later, Big Bopper died in the same plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.)

Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs. (As a bonus, I show the year-to-date ranking on all songs in the top 10.)

1. LMFAO, "Sexy And I Know It." The song jumps to #1 following seven straight weeks at #2. This is its 17th week on the chart; its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (395K). The song ranks #14 for the year-to-date.

2. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, "We Found Love." The song dips to #2 following eight straight weeks at #1.  This is its 14th week on the chart; its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (276K). The song ranks #19 for the year-to-date.

3. Katy Perry, "The One That Got Away."  The song rebounds from #5 to #3 in its 11th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Digital sales rank: #2 (297K). Its digital sales were boosted by the release of a remix featuring B.o.B. That version sold 76K copies. The song ranks #89 for the year-to-date.

4. Bruno Mars, "It Will Rain." The song dips to #4 following four weeks at #3. This is its 13th week on the chart; its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (266K). The song ranks #53 for the year-to-date.

5. Jay-Z/Kanye West, "Ni**as In Paris." The song jumps from #6 to #5 in its 20th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Digital sales rank: #5 (227K). The song ranks #78 for the year-to-date.

6. Flo Rida, "Good Feeling." The song drops from #4 to #6 in its 13th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (219K). The song ranks #63 for the year-to-date.

7. Adele, "Set Fire To The Rain." The song jumps from #13 to #7 in its 17th week. It's Adele's third top 10 hit. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Digital sales rank: #7 (217K). The song ranks #83 for the year-to-date.

8. Adele, "Someone Like You." The former #1 song dips from #7 to #8 in its 25th week on the chart. This is its 17th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (183K). The song ranks #8 for the year-to-date.

9. LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and Goon Rock, "Party Rock Anthem." The former #1 song rebounds from #15 to #9 in its 40th week. This is its 27th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (214K). The song ranks #2 for the year-to-date.

10. Big Sean featuring Nicki Minaj, "Dance (A$$)." The song jumps from #12 to #10 in its 12th week. It's Big Sean's first top 10 hit; Minaj's fourth. Digital sales rank: #9 (200K). The song ranks #105 for the year-to-date.

Three songs drop out of the top 10 this week. "Without You" by David Guetta featuring Usher drops from #8 to #14,  "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera drops from #9 to #12, and "5 O'Clock" by T-Pain featuring Wiz Khalifa & Lily Allen drops from #10 to #13. "Without You" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe" rebounds from #32 to #19 in its ninth week. The song is #1 on Billboard's list of the week's top holiday songs, which is based on a combination of download activity, streaming data and radio airplay on more than 1,200 radio stations. Here's the rest of the top five, along with the years the songs were first released. #2—Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You," 1994. #3—Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad," 1970. #4—Nat "King" Cole's "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)," 1946 (originally by the King Cole Trio); #5—Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," 1958.

"Mistletoe" has sold 639K digital copies, which is more than any other Christmas song has ever sold in a calendar year. Only four holiday songs have sold more total copies in digital history. Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" leads the pack with sales of 2,120,000 copies. It is followed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)" (910K), the Chipmunks' "The Chipmunk Song" (867K) and Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" (679K). (The tally for "The Chipmunk Song" combines two different versions.)

"Young, Wild & Free" by Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars rebounds from #18 to #16 in its 11th week…"The Motto" by Drake featuring Lil Wayne jumps from #29 to #21 in its sixth week…"I Like It Like That" by Hot Chelle Rae featuring New Boyz, jumps from #44 to #29 in its 12th week.

"Safe And Sound" by Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars debuts at #30. It's from the soundtrack of the upcoming movie The Hunger Games. The movie is scheduled for release on March 23. The soundtrack will also feature songs by the Decemberists and Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire. This is Swift's third Hot 100 song from a movie. "Crazier," which peaked at #17 in 2009, was from the Miley Cyrus vehicle Hannah Montana: The Movie. "Today Was A Fairytale," which reached #2 in February 2010, was from the rom-com Valentine's Day. (Swift's current single, "Ours," jumps from #47 to #45.)

"Lotus Flower Bomb" by Wale featuring Miguel drops from #38 to #48 in its ninth week. It's #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the second week...Zac Brown Band's "Keep Me In Mind" drops from #36 to #53 in its 13th week. It's #1 on Hot Country Songs for the third week.

"Wild Ones" by Flo Rida featuring Sia opens at #57. It's the second single from Flo Rida's soon-to-be-released fourth studio album Only One Rida (Part 2). "Good Feeling" peaked last week at #4...."I Do" by Young Jeezy featuring Jay-Z and Andre 3000 debuts at #61. It's the second Hot 100 song from Jeezy's Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, which enters The Billboard 200 at #3 this week. The first was "Lose My Mind" (featuring Plies), which reached #35.

Skrillex's "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" finally enters the Hot 100 at #69. The song has sold 585K digital copies in the past 26 weeks. Skrillex was a surprise Grammy nominee for Best New Artist. This track is also nominated for Best Dance Recording. Skrillex's album of the same name is vying for Best Dance/Electronica Album. Another Skrillex track, "First Of The Year (Equinox)," re-enters the chart at #85. It had previously reached #100.

Adam Lambert's "Better Than I Know Myself" bows at #76. It's the first single from Lambert's second studio album, Trespassing, which is due March 20. "Whataya Want From Me," the biggest hit from Lambert's first studio album, reached #10 in May 2010…Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" bows at #81 It's a promotional single from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, which is due Feb. 14. That's just two days after the Grammy Awards, where Minaj has a very good chance of winning Best New Artist.

Mac Miller's "Knock Knock" finally enters the Hot 100 at #88 this week. The song has sold 408K digital copies. Two other Miller songs re-enter the chart. "Donald Trump" re-enters at #75, higher than its initial #79 peak. "Party On Fifth Ave." re-enters at #90….V.I.C.'s "Wobble Baby Wobble" finally debuts at #94. It has sold 462K copies in 17 weeks.

"Bottoms Up" by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. The song reached #6 in November 2010…"She Will" by Lil Wayne featuring Drake tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

To My Readers: We still have one week to go in the 2011 tracking year. The week ending Jan. 1, 2012 counts as a 2011 week because six of those seven days fall in 2011. One week from today, I'll update the year-to-date blogs for albums and songs that we posted in mid-December, so they reflect the official year-end results. I'll also do the regular weekly blogs for that week. Happy new year, everybody.

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