Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending March 17, 2013. Songs: The Great Chart Robbery Of 2013

Chart Watch

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“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the 10th straight week. It’s #1 on the all-genre Radio Songs chart for the second week. Under the old chart formula, that would make the genial hip-hop smash a virtual lock for the #1 spot on the Hot 100. But under the new formula, which gives great (and I would contend excessive) weight to YouTube streaming data, it ranks #2 for the fifth straight week, behind Baauer’s “Harlem Shake.” That viral phenomenon is #6 on Hot Digital Songs and has yet to crack the 75-song Radio Songs chart. (Given that its total radio audience shrank by 9% this week, it probably never will crack the Radio Songs chart.)

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“Harlem Shake” makes up for its deficits in sales and radio airplay by holding at #1 on the Streaming Songs chart for the fifth week. But even here it is losing its mojo. Its total streams drop by 42% this week, from 48 million to 28 million. (By comparison, the streaming total for “Thrift Shop” is 9.5 million, which represents a gain of 4% compared to last week.)

The streaming total for “Harlem Shake” has been shrinking every week since it debuted, from 103 million to 98 million to 54 million to 48 million to 24 million.

Billboard’s Gary Trust reports that, in terms of overall Hot 100 points, “Harlem Shake” has a 29% lead over “Thrift Shop” this week. But that’s down from a 103% lead last week.

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This tells us four things. 1. “Thrift Shop” may return to #1 on the Hot 100 next week (though it will also have to contend with Bruno Mars’ new smash). 2. Billboard should seriously consider whether it thinks “Thrift Shop” should have spent the last five weeks at #2. Maybe its run at #1 should have been interrupted for a couple of weeks, when the “Harlem Shake” phenomenon was at its peak, but this sustained shut-out seems excessive. 3. Billboard probably should have had a longer trial run period, to get the new chart mix just right. 4. It’s to Billboard’s credit that it is being so transparent about the numbers behind the numbers. It's not trying to hide anything.

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“Thrift Shop” is the first song to top the digital sales chart for 10 weeks since the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” in 2009. It’s the first song to remain #1 on that chart for 10 consecutive weeks since the Peas’ previous hit, “Boom Boom Pow.”

“Thrift Shop” is just the fourth song in the history of the Hot Digital Songs chart (which dates back to October 2004), to log 10 or more weeks at #1. “Low” by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain spent 13 weeks on top in 2007-2008. The two Peas hits each had 10 weeks on top. (Notably, those three earlier hits also spent 10 or more weeks at #1 on the Hot 100. By contrast, “Thrift Shop” has spent just four weeks at #1 so far.)

“Thrift Shop” tops Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the 10th week. That’s the longest run by a white artist since Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U” topped the chart for 11 weeks in 2007.

“Harlem Shake” has now spent as many weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 as another New York-inspired song, “Empire State Of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys. “Harlem Shake” is also #1 on Dance/Electronic Songs for the fifth week.

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Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” holds at #3 for the fourth straight week. It’s closing in on his 2011 hit "It Will Rain,” which logged five weeks at #3. But “When I Was Your Man” will probably climb higher. It zooms from #7 to #2 on Radio Songs and it holds at #2 on Hot Digital Songs for the third straight week. Assuming that “Harlem Shake” will continue to fall apart, Mars’ latest should move up next week.

“Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z rebounds from #5 to #4. This equals the song’s highest ranking to date. In addition, Timberlake’s “Mirrors” rebounds from #77 to #25 in its fifth week. This nearly equals its #24 debut. “Mirrors” is already in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs. Digital sales rank: #8 (121K). “Mirrors” holds at #1 for the third week on The Official U.K. Singles Chart. It’s Timberlake’s second hit to have multiple weeks at #1 in the U.K. Madonna’s “4 Minutes,” on which he was featured, had four weeks on top in 2008.

Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience will enter The Billboard 200 at #1 next week with sales in the 800K range.

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“Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess jumps from #18 to #9. It’s the third top 10 hit from P!nk’s former #1 album The Truth About Love. It follows “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and “Try.” The Truth About Love is P!nk’s first album to spawn three top 10 hits since 2002’s Missundazstood, which spawned “Get The Party Started,” “Don’t Let Me Get Me” and “Just Like A Pill.” Not coincidentally, The Truth About Love has also logged the most weeks in the top 10 on The Billboard 200 (eight) of any P!nk album since Missundazstood (23).

Nate Ruess is starting to know how Adam Levine must have felt in 2011. The fun. front-man has two songs in this week’s top 30. As noted, P!nk’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” on which he is featured, jumps from #18 to #9. Also, fun.’s latest hit, “Carry On,” jumps from #29 to #26. (The latter song has already climbed as high as #20.)

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For 23 consecutive weeks in 2011 and early 2012, Levine had two songs in the top 20: Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts,” on which he was featured, and Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” (featuring Christina Aguilera). For a remarkable 15 of those weeks, both songs were in the top 10.

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

The Top Five: Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” holds at #1 in its fifth week on the chart. Digital sales rank: #6 (145K)…“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz holds at #2 for the fifth week in its 24th week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (270K)… Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” holds at #3 for the fourth week in its 13th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (230K)…“Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z rebounds from #5 to #4 in its 10th week on the chart. This equals its highest ranking to date. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (201K)…“Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko dips from #4 to #5 in its sixth week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #3. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (222K).

The Second Five: Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” rebounds from #7 to #6 in its sixth week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (118K)…Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” dips from #6 to #7 in its 22nd week on the chart. This is its 15th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #14 (75K)…“Scream & Shout” by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears holds at #8 for the second week its 16th week on the chart. This is its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #12 (88K)… “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess jumps from #18 to #9 in its fifth week. Digital sales rank: #5 (171K). This is P!nk’s 14th top 10 hit; Ruess’ third (counting fun. hits)…“Love Me” by Lil Wayne featuring Drake and Future dips from #9 to #10 in its ninth week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #13 (85K).

Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” drops from #10 to #13, ending a 20-week run in the top 10.

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“Feel This Moment” by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera jumps from #13 to # 11 in its eighth week. It’s vying to become Pitbull’s eighth top 10 hit; Aguilera’s 10th. Digital sales rank: #7 (136K)…Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” dips from #17 to #18 in its 29th week. Digital sales rank: #10 (102K)…Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack” jumps from #22 to #19 in its third week.

Blake Shelton’s “Sure Be Cool If You Did” jumps from #25 to #24 in its 10th week. The song logs its fourth week at #1 on Hot Country Songs. That’s the longest run at #1 for a hit by a male solo artist since Shelton’s 2011 hit “Honey Bee” spent four weeks on top.

Icona Pop’s “I Love It” leaps from #54 to #34 in its seventh week…Lady Antebellum’s “Downtown” jumps from #42 to #35 in its sixth week…Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)” rebounds from #47 to #36 in its sixth week. The song has already climbed as high as #26…“Bad” by Wale featuring Tiara Thomas jumps from #45 to #38 in its fifth week…Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” jumps from #56 to #47 in its sixth week.

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Muse’s “Madness” re-enters the chart at #53. This represents a new peak for the song, which originally peaked at #56. The song has sold 906K copies in 30 weeks.

Krewella’s “Alive” jumps from #68 to #57 in its fifth week…Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone” leaps from #100 to #59 in the wake of Phillips’ homecoming performance of the song on American Idol…“Power Trip” by J. Cole featuring Miguel jumps from #70 to #60 in its fifth week…Taylor Swift’s “22” re-enters the chart at #64. The song has already climbed to #44. The song has sold 512K copies in 21 weeks…2 Chainz’s “I’m Different” drops from #61 to #65 in its 18th week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week…Tamar Braxton’s “Love And War” jumps from #80 to #72 in its eighth week… “Show Out” by Juicy J featuring Big Sean and Young Jeezy jumps from #98 to #75 in its second week.

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“Freaks” by French Montana featuring Nicki Minaj is the week’s highest new entry at #77. It’s from the rapper’s album, Excuse My French, which is due May 21…Kelly Rowland’s “Kisses Down Low” jumps from #96 to #80 in its second week…The Band Perry’s “DONE.” is the week’s second highest new entry at #87. The song is from the trio’s second album, Pioneer, which is due April 2. “Better Dig Two,” the album’s lead single, spent two weeks at #1 on Hot Country Songs and reached #28 on the Hot 100.

“So Many Girls” by DJ Drama featuring Wale, Tyga & Roscoe Dash debuts at #90. The song is from the hip-hopper’s current album Quality Street MusicJason Aldean’s “1994” debuts at #93. It’s from his current album Night Train. The song, a tribute to Joe Diffie, references eight of Diffie’s hits, including the #1 country hits “Third Rock From The Sun” and “Pickup Man.”

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Maroon 5’s “One More Night” tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. It’s the group’s third song to reach this plateau, following “Moves Like Jagger” (featuring Christina Aguilera, 5,998,000) and “Payphone” (featuring Wiz Khalifa, 5,037,000).

Rascal Flatts’ 2006 hit “Life Is A Highway” tops the 3 million mark. It’s the 10thcountry song to reach 3 million; the fourth by a duo or group. Among country duo/group hits, it trails Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” (6,073,000), The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” (4,518,000) and Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” (4,518,000). Tom Cochrane’s original version of “Life Is A Highway” reached #6 on the Hot 100 in 1992. Rascal Flatts’ version, which it recorded for the animated movie Cars, reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #18 on Hot Country Songs.

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Reba McEntire has surpassed Dolly Parton as the top female artist in the history of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. That’s the big news from the eighth edition of Joel Whitburn’s Hot Country Songs 1944-2012. Eddy Arnold continues as the top male artist (and top artist overall). Alabama continues as the top group. Brooks & Dunn continues as the top duo. Taylor Swift enters Whitburn’s listing of the top 300 country hit-makers at #101. The heart of the 512-page book is a listing by artist of every song to crack the country chart from January 1944 to December 2012. The book lists nearly 20,000 hits and nearly 2,600 artists. For more information, check out Joel’s website: www.recordresearch.com.

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