Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending Feb. 19, 2012. Songs: Women Take Charge

Chart Watch

View gallery

.

Female solo artists hold down seven of the top 10 spots on this week's Hot 100. Katy Perry leads the charge as "Part Of Me" debuts at #1 with first-week sales of 411K. Adele has three songs in the top 10 (a first for a female lead artist) in the first full week following her Grammy sweep. Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson and Nicki Minaj are also listed in the top 10. A female-led collabo, "We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, brings the tally up to eight.

Here's another indication of how dominant women are in pop these days. Five of the last six songs to enter the Hot 100 at #1 are by female solo artists: Britney Spears (twice), Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and now Perry.  The only male artist to debut at #1 in the last five years is Eminem.

Only one song by a female solo artist has had a greater first-week digital sales tally than "Part Of Me" rang up this week. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" started with sales of 448K a year ago. (Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" also bowed with sales of 411K, though Spears' exact total was a bit less than Perry's.) Both of those songs also debuted at #1.

Perry introduced "Part Of Me" on the Grammys on Feb. 12. The song is from Perry's Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, which is due March 27. "Part Of Me" is Perry's first song to debut at #1, though this isn't her biggest sales week. "Firework" sold 509K copies in its 11th week during Christmas week in 2010.

When "The One That Got Away" peaked at #3 in December, everybody was focused on how Perry just missed landing a record-breaking sixth #1 single from Teenage Dream.  What's more, if "The One That Got Away" had hit the top, Perry would this week have tied Whitney Houston's record of seven consecutive #1 singles.

Adele has three songs in this week's top 10 in the first full week after her sweep of the Grammys. "Set Fire To The Rain" holds at #2, "Rolling In The Deep" vaults from #17 to #5 and "Someone Like You" jumps from #11 to #7.  Billboard's Gary Trust notes that this marks the first time that a female lead artist has had three songs in the top 10 simultaneously. Adele is the first artist to have three songs in the top 10 simultaneously as a lead artist since Chris Brown scored in May 2008 with "No Air" (a 50-50 duet with Jordin Sparks), "Forever" and "With You." In addition, Adele's new single, "Rumour Has It," re-enters the chart at #67. (It has climbed as high as #60.)

Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" jumps from #7 to #3 in the first full week following her death. "I Will Always Love You" is the first single to return to the top five on Billboard's pop chart 10 years or more after it first made the top five. (The song first made the top five the week of Nov. 28, 1992.)

"I Will Always Love You" sold even more copies than Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" did this week, if you combine the three different versions that appear on this week's Digital Songs chart. Houston's version sold 367K copies. Amber Riley's version from Glee sold 36K copies. Jennifer Hudson's version from the Grammys sold 15K. Grand total: 418K, compared to 411K for "Part Of Me."

Houston has three other songs on this week's Hot 100. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" jumps from #35 to #25, "Greatest Love Of All" jumps from #41 to #36 and "How Will I Know" re-enters at #49. (George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam shared a co-writing credit on "How Will I Know" with producer Narada Michael Walden. The then-married couple wrote the subsequent "Wanna Dance" by themselves. In 1988, they had a top five hit of their own, under the name Boy Meets Girl, with "Waiting For A Star To Fall.")

Houston has 24 songs on this week's Hot Digital Songs chart, up from 22 last week. In the first two weeks after his death, Michael Jackson had 49 and then 46 songs on the chart (counting hits with the Jackson 5.) Jackson had a bigger catalog of hits than Houston and was a bigger star, though the outpouring we've seen in the last two weeks reminds us just how big Houston was in her heyday.

Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You" sold more than twice as many copies this week as any of Jackson's songs sold in any one week in the wake of his death. Jackson's top posthumous sales week for an individual song came when "Thriller" sold 167K copies in the week after he died.

The Houston song that posted the greatest sales increase this week, on a percentage basis, was "I Look To You." (Sales jumped by 131% compared to last week.) R. Kelly sang the song (which he wrote) at Houston's funeral service. The song was the title track to Houston's final album. (R. Kelly also wrote Michael Jackson's last #1 hit, 1995's "You Are Not Alone.")

View gallery

.
Nicki Minaj's "Starships" debuts at #9. This is from Minaj's second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, which is due April 3. The song is Minaj's seventh top 10 hit; her second as a lead artist.

Chris Brown's "Turn Up The Music" debuts at #10. This is Brown's 11th top 10 hit. It's from Brown's fifth album, Fortune, which is due March 16. The album title, of course, is linked to the title of Brown's Grammy-winning F.A.M.E. album. This hit is generating extra buzz because of a remix featuring Rihanna, who is either very forgiving or really likes generating buzz.

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

1. Katy Perry, "Part Of Me." This new entry is Perry's 10th top 10 hit; her seventh to reach #1. Digital sales rank: #1 (411K).

2. Adele, "Set Fire To The Rain." The former #1 song holds at #2 for the third straight week in its 25th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (254K).

3. Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You." The former #1 song jumps from #7 to #3 in its 28th week. This is its 18th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (367K).

4. Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." The former #1 song drops to #4 in its  ninth week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (252K).

5. Adele, "Rolling In The Deep." The former #1 song rebounds from #17 to #5 in its 59th week. This is its 20th week in the top 10; its first since the week ending Aug. 7. Digital sales rank: #3 (271K).

6. fun. featuring Janelle Monae, "We Are Young." The song drops from #3 to #6 in its ninth week. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (244K).

7. Adele, "Someone Like You." The former #1 song rebounds from #11 to #7 in its 33rd week. This is its 20th week in the top 10; its first since the week ending Jan. 8. Digital sales rank: #8 (183K).

8. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, "We Found Love." The former #1 song drops from #6 to #8 in its 22nd week on the chart. This is its 21st week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #18 (103K).

9. Nicki Minaj, "Starships." This new entry is Minaj's seventh top 10 hit; her second as a lead artist. It's from Minaj's second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, which is due April 3. Digital sales rank: #7 (204K).

10. Chris Brown, "Turn Up The Music." This new entry is Brown's 11th top 10 hit; his ninth as a lead artist. It's from Brown's fifth album, Fortune, which is due March 16. Digital sales rank: #9 (180K).

Five songs drop out of the top 10 this week. LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" drops from #4 to #13 (Digital sales rank: #10, 136K), Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" drops from #5 to #12, "Turn Me On" by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj drops from #8 to #11, Tyga's "Rack City" drops from #9 to #15 and "Give Me All Your Luvin'" by Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. dives from #10 to #39.

"The Motto" by Drake featuring Lil Wayne holds at #19 in its 14th week. The song holds at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the second week...Coldplay has two hits climbing the chart in the wake of the band's Grammy performance. "Paradise" jumps from #29 to #20 in its 23rd week. The song has climbed as high as #15. "Princess Of China" (featuring Rihanna) jumps from #75 to #54 in its fifth week. The song has climbed as high as #20.

Selena Gomez & the Scene's "Love You Like A Love Song" jumps from #30 to #22 (its highest ranking to date) in its 35th week. It's hard to imagine why this excellent record has taken so long to become a home-run hit…One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" debuts at #28. This is the British-Irish boy band's first U.S. hit. This song topped the U.K. chart in September. This is from the group's album Up All Night.

"Wild Ones" by Flo Rida featuring Sia jumps from #57 to #45 in its seventh week. Mr. Rida has a keen understanding of pop radio hooks….Bruno Mars' "Runaway Baby" debuts at #50. It's vying to become the fourth top five hit from Doo-Wops & Hooligans…"Safe & Sound" by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars re-enters the chart at #56. (It has climbed as high as #30.) The song is from the upcoming soundtrack to The Hunger Games. The two acts co-wrote the song with T Bone Burnett, who also produced the track.

Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" jumps from #71 to #59 in its seventh week. The song has climbed as high as #8…Keith Urban's "You Gonna Fly" drops from #55 to #61 in its 10th week. The song becomes Urban's 14th #1 on Hot Country Songs...Rascal Flatts' "Banjo" debuts at #63. It's from the country trio's upcoming eighth studio album, Changed, which is due April 3.

Calvin Harris' "Feel So Close" jumps from #90 to #77 in its second week…Wiz Khalifa's "When I'm Gone" re-enters at #81. It has climbed as high as #57…Two Skrillex songs chart in the wake of the DJ winning three Grammys. "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" re-enters at #85. It has climbed as high as #69. "Bangarang" (featuring Sirah) bows at #95…"I Can Only Imagine" by David Guetta featuring Chris Brown and Lil Wayne debuts at #90.

Jason Mraz's 2008 smash "I'm Yours" tops the 6 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the ninth song to reach this sales plateau and the only one of these that didn't reach #1 on the Hot 100. Which is another way of saying that this song has sold more digital copies than any other song that fell short of the #1 spot. (The song, which Mraz has called his "happy hippie song," peaked at #6.)

Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" this week becomes the 25th song to top the 5 million mark in digital sales. This gem was Mars' first solo smash in 2010, following a pair of hit collabos. It topped the Hot 100 for four weeks and later won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. (Mars' follow-up hit, "Grenade," will top the 5 million mark next week. Its sales stand at 4,996,000).

Rihanna's "You Da One" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales. The song peaked at #14 on the Hot 100, which is a so-so showing for Rihanna. Why was this song not "da one" for Rihanna? Discuss among yourselves.

To My Readers: Sorry I'm late today. Jury duty. On a chart day, yet. There oughta be a law.

View Comments