Chart Watch

Week Ending July 11, 2010: A Full Recovery

Chart Watch

Eminem's Recovery is living up to its title. The album sold 229,000 copies this week, bringing its three-week total to 1,287,000. Recovery has sold more copies in its first three weeks than Eminem's last album, Relapse, sold in its first nine weeks in 2009. It's not as though Relapse was a dud. It was the ninth best-selling album of 2009. It even won a Grammy as Best Rap Album. But by Eminem's standards, it was a bit of a disappointment. That can't be said of Recovery,  which is already the #3 best-seller for the year-to-date, behind Lady Antebellum's Need You Now (2,383,000) and Justin Bieber's My World 2.0 (1,430,000).

Recovery logs its third week at #1 on The Billboard 200. It's the first rap album to spend its first three weeks at #1 since 50 Cent's The Massacre spent its first six weeks on top in the spring of 2005. (In the past five years, one other rap album, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III, spent a total of three weeks at #1, but not its first three.) Recovery will probably have a fourth week on top next week, which would top Tha Carter III and match Eminem's 2004 album Encore.

Eminem's current single, "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna), holds at #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the third straight week. The smash sold 314,000 copies, bringing its three-week total to 936,000. It holds at #2 on the Hot 100 for the third straight week. "Love The Way You Lie" is the second top five hit from Recovery, following "Not Afraid." That makes Recovery only the second Eminem album to spawn two top five hits. The Eminem Show spawned "Without Me" (#2) and "Cleanin' Out My Closet" (#4). "Not Afraid," which has sold 1,750,000 copies in 10 weeks, has the anthemic, inspirational appeal of Eminem's biggest hit, 2002's "Lose Yourself," which has sold 2,830,000 copies.

We have a long way to go in 2010, but Eminem could wind up in the top three for the entire year. He's done it three times before. The Marshall Mathers LP was the #2 album of 2000 (behind *NSYNC's No Strings Attached). The Eminem Show was the #1 album of 2002. Encore was the #3 album of 2004 (behind Usher's Confessions and NorahJones' Feels Like Home).

In the past couple of years, we've seen a few other examples of veteran artists releasing albums that significantly outperformed their previous releases. AC/DC's Black Ice has sold 2,168,000 copies, more than double the sales of 2000's Stiff Upper Lip, which has sold 966,000. Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 has sold 1,785,000 copies, up nicely from his 2007 release American Gangster, which has sold 1,154,000. Britney Spears' Circus has sold 1,659,000, also up nicely from her 2007 release Blackout, which has sold 985,000.

Recovery sold 60,000 digital copies this week, bringing its three-week total to 397,000. No album has ever sold that many digital copies in just three weeks. After three weeks, Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends had sold 394,000. Hope For Haiti Now had sold 343,000. Recovery is already #9 on the list of all-time top digital album sellers. It's the #1 rap title on the list, dethroning Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3, which has sold 380,000 digital copies.

For the first time in nearly seven years, hip-hop stars make a clean sweep of the top three spots on The Billboard 200. Eminem and Drake hold the top two spots for the third straight week. Big Boi debuts at #3 with his long-awaited solo debut album, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty.

As half of OutKast (with Andre 3000), Big Boi reached #1 or #2 with five albums in a row. The duo's biggest album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, logged seven weeks at #1 in 2003-2004. In February 2004, the double-disk set became the first (and to date only) rap album to win the Grammy for Album of the Year.

OutKast has sold 17,537,000 albums, a total topped by only one duo in the Nielsen/SoundScan era. That's the recently-retired Brooks & Dunn, which has sold 22,969,000 albums.

In case you're wondering, the last time rap acts had the top three albums was for the week ending Nov. 16, 2003, when Jay-Z's The Black Album, 2Pac's Resurrection and G-Unit's Beg For Mercy achieved the feat.

Enrique Iglesias lands his second top 10 album as Euphoria debuts at #10. Enrique first cracked the top 10 in November 2001, when Escape debuted and peaked at #2. This enables Enrique to surpass his dad, the suave balladeer Julio Iglesias, who had just one top 10 album.

Julio's 1100 Bel Air Place logged 11 weeks in the top 10 in late 1984. It included a pair of genre-bridging duets: "To All The Girls I've Loved Before," an unlikely match-up with country legend Willie Nelson, and "All Of Me," an opulent duet with pop superstar Diana Ross.

Enrique isn't the only second-generation star on the current chart who has outdone his or her parent, at least in terms of amassing top 10 albums. Miley Cyrus has had nine top 10 albums (counting all her Hannah Montana releases). Her dad, country hit-maker Billy Ray Cyrus had just two. Damian Marley has had two top 10 albums. His dad, the late reggae legend Bob Marley, had just one. Hillary Scott has had two top 10 albums as part of the high-flying Lady Antebellum. Her mom, country singer Linda Davis, climbed as high as #124 with 1994's Shoot For The Moon. Robin Thicke has also had two top 10 albums. His mom, singer and actress Gloria Loring, climbed as high as #61 with her 1986 eponymous album.

Enrique has also surpassed his dad on the Hot 100. His current song, "I Like It," is likely to become his fourth top 10 hit, following "Bailamos," "Be With You" and "Hero." Julio had just one top 10 hit, "To All The Girls I've Loved Before."

"I Like It," a collaboration with Pitbull, is Enrique's most successful collabo to date. It tops a 2000 duet with Whitney Houston, "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," which peaked at #52.

Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" tops the 5 million mark in paid downloads this week, making her the youngest lead artist to reach that milestone. Ke$ha, who is 23 and four months, narrowly edges out Lady Gaga,  who was 23 and 10 months in January when she topped the 5 million mark with her breakthrough hit "Just Dance." That smash featured Colby O'Donis, who was even younger (20 years and 10 months), but he wasn't the lead artist.

"TiK ToK" is only the seventh song to top the 5 million mark in digital sales. It follows a pair of hits by Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas, as well as individual hits by Flo Rida and Jason Mraz. "TiK ToK" reached the 5 million mark in 42 weeks. Only one song has gotten there faster. The Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" rang the bell in just 36 weeks.

Here's this week's top 10 on Hot Digital Songs. "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna holds at #1 for the third week (314K). "California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg holds at #2 for the third week (236K). Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" holds at #3 for the second week (206K). "Airplanes" by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams holds at #4 for the second week (171K). "I Like It" by Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull leaps from #12 to #5 (171K). "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars dips from #5 to #6 (156K). Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me" holds at #7 for the second week (145K). Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo" holds at #8 for the fourth week (144K). Eminem's "Not Afraid" holds at #9 for the second week (140K). "OMG" by Usher featuring will.i.am drops from #6 to #10 (132K).

"California Gurls," of course, borrows its title and a key lyric ("I wish they all could be California Girls") from the Beach Boys' 1965 smash "California Girls." It isn't the only current top 10 hit that pays homage to a pop classic. Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me" lifts a line from Carly Simon's 1973 smash "You're So Vain" ("you're so vain/you probably you think this song is about you/don't you?/don't you?"). (In both cases, the borrowed lyrics are tweaked just a bit.) The odd part: Neither song gives a writer credit to the writers of those earlier classics. I guess you can borrow a lyric and call it an homage, but if you lift both a lyric and melody, you better pay up.

Lady Gaga's The Fame rebounds from #13 to #8 in the wake of the star's performance last week on the Today show. This is the album's 48th week in the top 10. It's just five weeks away from matching Shania Twain's Come On Over for the longest run in the top 10 by an album that never reached #1 (at least since 1963, when Billboard merged its separate stereo and mono charts into one comprehensive listing.) The Fame has sold 3,568,000 copies, which is the heftiest total of any album in this week's top 40.

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

1. Eminem, Recovery, 229,000. The album logs its third week at #1. Eight songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna), which returns to #1.

2. Drake, Thank Me Later, 74,000. The former #1 album hold at #2 for the third straight week. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Find Your Love," which holds at #11.

3. Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty, 62,000. This new entry is Big Boi's sixth album to reach the top five, following five albums with OutKast. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Shutterbugg" (featuring Cutty), which debuts at #121.

4. Various Artists, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 45,000. The soundtrack dips from #3 to #4 in its fifth week. Muse's "Neutron Star Collision" holds at #140 on Hot Digital Songs.

5. Justin Bieber, My World 2.0., 43,000. The former #1 album inches up from #6 to #5 in its 16th week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Somebody To Love," which dips from #10 to #14.

6. Various Artists, NOW 34, 33,000. The album dips from #5 to #6 in its fourth week. The compilation has sold 222,000 copies.

7. Jack Johnson, To The Sea, 30,000. The former #1 album inches up from #8 to #7 in its sixth week. "You And Your Heart" jumps from #158 to #143 on Hot Digital Songs.

8. Lady Gaga, The Fame, 29,000. The album rebounds from #13 to #8 in its 89th week. This is its 48th week in the top 10. Six songs from the expanded version of the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Alejandro," which jumps from #17 to #13.

9. Lady Antebellum, Need You Now, 28,000. The former #1 album inches up from #10 to #9 in its 24th week. This is its 23rd week in the top 10. It's #1 on the country chart for the 24th straight week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Need You Now," which inches up from #36 to #35.

10. Enrique Iglesias, Euphoria, 27,000. This new entry is Iglesias' second top 10 album. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "I Like It" (featuring Pitbull), which leaps from #12 to #5.

Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week. The-Dream's Love King drops from #4 to #12, 3OH!3's Streets Of Gold drops from #7 to #23, and Miley Cyrus' Can't Be Tamed drops from #9 to #11.

Bret Michaels has had so many serious health issues in the past year that his survival is his biggest achievement. The health bulletins and Michael's exposure on TV's Celebrity Apprentice seem to have boosted his new album, Custom Built, which enters The Billboard 200 at #14. Michael's 2008 album, Rock My World, debuted at #40. This is Michaels' highest-charting album since Poison's Flesh & Blood reached #2 in August 1990.

Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite debuts at #19. It's her second highest-charting album in the U.S., topped only by 2002's Fever, which debuted and peaked at #3. Like Swedish phenoms ABBA in the '70s and early '80s, Minogue is a huge record seller around the world but only a medium-sized record seller in the U.S. As if to prove my point, Aphrodite enters the U.K. chart at #1 this week, dethroning Eminem's Recovery. It's Minogue's fifth U.K. #1.

Brandon Boyd's solo debut album, Wild Trapeze, debuts at #33. Boyd did better with his band, Incubus, which made the top five with four straight albums from 2001 to 2009...Chris Tomlin's 2008 album Hello Love jumps from #41 to #36. It's #1 on the Catalog Albums chart for the third straight week.

We all know that Miley Cyrus is trying to make the transition to a more grown-up persona, but she hasn't quit her day job just yet. The fourth and final season of Hannah Montana premiered on the Disney Channel on July 11. A new Hannah Montana song, "Ordinary Girl," enters Hot Digital Songs at #98. It will appear on the forthcoming Season 4 soundtrack, which is being dubbed Hannah Montana Forever. Disney is not making it easy for Cyrus to move past the Hannah Montana persona.

"Young Forever" by Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson tops the 2 million mark in paid downloads. It's the third song from Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 to top the 2 million mark. The first song to be released from the album, "Run This Town," a collabo with Rhianna and Kanye West, has sold 2,493,000 copies. "Empire State Of Mind," a duet with Alicia Keys, has sold 3,813,000.

Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo" tops the 1 million mark in paid downloads this week. It's DeRulo's third million-seller in a row, following "Whatcha Say" (3,315,000) and "In My Head (2,302,000).

Despicable Me was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. Heitor Pereira scored the animated movie. Hans Zimmer was the "score producer." The soundtrack sold 2,000 copies this week, not enough to make The Billboard 200.

R.I.P. Harvey Fuqua wasn't a household name, but he was an R&B legend. He was a member of the Moonglows and co-wrote the group's 1955 hit, "Sincerely." Harvey and the Moonglows (as the act was later billed) had another hit in 1958, "Ten Commandments Of Love." Fuqua also charted with a pair of duets with Etta James. Fuqua was best known in the industry as behind-the-scenes player. He headed Motown's artist development department in the label's glory years, working closely with such acts as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. Fuqua died last week at age 80.

A few of you have asked if there's any way you can access the Nielsen/SoundScan site. I put the question to my contact there, who replied that sometimes fans contact them for "one-off" reports. The person to contact is Lily Liao, whose phone number is 646-654-5606. Her email address is lily.liao@nielsen.com. General questions can go to their Client Service line: 800-688-4634. Bear in mind that Nielsen/SoundScan's business is to provide detailed sales information to the music industry. The best way for most fans to get the info you want is to follow press reports in reputable outlets. Billboard, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times all have good chart coverage. We also try to keep you up on all latest moves right here at Chart Watch.

Heads Up: Korn's Korn III: Remember Who You Are is expected to be next week's top new entry, with sales in the range of 60,000. Also due: Sting's Symphonicities, The Maine's Black And White, Hellyeah's Stampede, M.I.A.'s ^^^Y^, Newsboys' Born Again, Jerrod Neimann's Judge Jerrod And The Hung Jury, Sky Sailing's An Airplane Carried Me To Bed, Crowded House's Intriguer, Paul Wall's Heart Of A Champion and Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse's Dark Night Of The Soul.

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