Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending March 25, 2012. Songs: For fun. And Profit

Chart Watch

View gallery

.
"We Are Young" by fun. featuring Janelle Monae this week surpasses Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" as the best-selling song so far in 2012. "We Are Young" has sold 2,389,000 copies so far this year, compared to 2,246,000 for "Stronger." "We Are Young" also surpasses "Stronger" as the year's longest-running #1 hit on the Hot 100. This is the fourth week on top for "We Are Young," compared to three weeks for "Stronger."

This is also the fourth week in a row that "We Are Young" has sold 300K or more digital copies. Only four other songs in digital history have topped 300K in weekly sales four or more times. "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna leads the pack, having topped 300K five times. Flo Rida's "Right Round," "California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg and "E.T." by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West each topped that lofty plateau four times.

"We Are Young" sold 387K copies this week, which is its highest tally to date. This is the fifth straight week in which its sales have increased over the previous week. That's remarkable, because its sales were at a very healthy 291K when it began this streak.

View gallery

.
This marks the 24th time that a song has sold as many as 387K digital copies in one week. But, as Billboard's Keith Caulfield points out, such massive sales are almost invariably triggered by one of three events: the song's initial release; Christmas, when fans with gift cards are on the hunt for songs to download; and the Grammys. How many songs have songs sold 387K without one of those three sales triggers? Just two: "We Are Young" and Flo Rida's "Right Round," which sold 460K copies in its second week in the week ending Feb. 22, 2009.

P.S. American Top 40 bleeps the word "higher" in the line "My friends are in the bathroom/Getting higher than the Empire State." That wouldn't have struck me as an objectionable line, especially in this day and age. I guess the show has a zero-tolerance policy on drug references. (It's easier to understand why show host Ryan Seacrest always refers to "Ni**as In Paris" as simply "Paris.")

View gallery

.
Kelly Clarkson's former #1 hit "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" logs its fourth straight week at #2. In addition, it moves up to #1 on Billboard's the all-format Hot 100 Airplay chart (which is different than the Hot 100, which combines digital sales, radio airplay and on-demand streaming data). This is Clarkson's first #1 hit on the Airplay chart, which is remarkable because she is her 10th year as a hit-maker. She had previously climbed as high as #4 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, with "Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Because Of You," all from 2005. American Idol was very fortunate to have had such a talented, versatile and likeable performer as its inaugural winner. It put the show on the right footing.

View gallery

.
Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" enters the U.K. chart at #1 this week, five weeks after it debuted at #1 in the U.S. (It rebounds to #8 on this week's Hot 100.) It's Perry's third song to top the chart in both countries, following "I Kissed A Girl" and "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg). Only three other female solo artists have amassed three or more "transatlantic #1 hits." Madonna leads with five, followed by Rihanna with four and the late Whitney Houston, also with three. All of these women were born in the U.S., except Rihanna, who was born in Barbados.

"Part Of Me" is one of two songs in this week's top 10 to top the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. The other is Nicki Minaj's "Starships," which jumps to #5. It's Minaj's second top five hit as a lead artist. She hit #3 in August with "Super Bass."

Coming Attractions: Look for Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" to be next week's top new entry, probably in the top five. It would be Bieber's second top five hit, following "Baby" (featuring Ludacris). It may even top Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" for the biggest one-week sales total so far in 2012. The number to beat: 411K.

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

1. fun. featuring Janelle Monae, "We Are Young." The song holds at #1 for the fourth week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (387K).

2. Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." The former #1 song holds at #2 for the fourth week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (151K).

3. The Wanted, "Glad You Came." The song holds at #3 for the second week in its 11th week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. The song was #1 in the U.K. for two weeks in July. Digital sales rank: #3 (183K).

4. Gotye featuring Kimbra, "Somebody That I Used To Know." The song jumps from #5 to #4 in its 12th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. The song spent five weeks at #1 in the U.K. in February and March, which is the longest run so far this year. Digital sales rank: #2 (208K).

5. Nicki Minaj, "Starships." The song jumps from #6 to #5 in its sixth week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #5 (174K).

6. Adele, "Set Fire To The Rain." The former #1 song drops from #4 to #6 in its 30th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #15 (83K).

7. Flo Rida featuring Sia, "Wild Ones." The song jumps from #9 to #7 in its 12th week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (168K).

8. Katy Perry, "Part Of Me." The former #1 song rebounds from #10 to #8 in its sixth week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #11 (115K).

9. Drake featuring Rihanna, "Take Care." The song dips from #8 to #9 in its 19th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #17 (78K).

10. David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On." The song drops from #7 to #10 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #22 (68K).

View gallery

.
One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" jumps from #19 to #11 in its sixth week. Digital sales: #7 (164K). Next week, we'll probably have two boy bands in the top 10, with One Direction joining The Wanted.

Train's "Drive By" jumps from #15 to #13 in its 11th week. The song is vying to become Train's third top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #10 (125K)…Calvin Harris' "Feel So Close" jumps from #18 to #15 in its seventh week. It's just one rung behind "We Found Love," Rihanna's chart-topping collabo with Harris, which drops from #12 to #14 in its 27th week…"The Motto" by Drake featuring Lil Wayne rebounds from #21 to #17 in its 19th week. The song has climbed as high as #15…Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" jumps from #23 to #18 in its fifth week. Digital sales rank: #9 (138K).

View gallery

.
Taylor Swift's "Eyes Open" is the week's top new entry at #19. Digital sales: #4 (176K). "Eyes Open" is one of three songs from The Hunger Games on this week's Hot 100. "Safe & Sound," Swift's collabo with The Civil Wars, rebounds from #71 to #35 in its 11th week. It has climbed as high as #30. "Come Away To The Water" by Maroon 5 featuring Rozzi Crane bows at #83.

The Hunger Games enters The Billboard 200 at #1 this week. It's the first multi-artist soundtrack to top the chart since October 2009, when The Twilight Saga: New Moon achieved the feat. You already know that if you read Chart Watch: Albums. If you missed it, here's a link.

View gallery

.
B.o.B's "So Good" leaps from #47 to #27 in its fifth week. The song has climbed as high as #11…Jake Owen's "Alone With You" inches up from #42 to #41 in its 16th week. The song jumps to #1 on Hot Country Songs. It's Owen's second #1 country hit...Eric Church's "Springsteen" jumps from #53 to #46 in its fourth week. When was the last time Bruce Springsteen had a top 50 hit on the Hot 100? In May 1997, when a re-issue of his 1995 song "Secret Garden" reached #19.

Karmin's "Brokenhearted" jumps from #60 to #52 in its third week...Beyonce's "Love On Top" drops from #48 to #54 in its 19th week. The song holds at #1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the fifth straight week. R&B radio is supporting one of its core stars, even though pop radio didn't fully embrace any of the songs from this album...Luke Bryan's "Drunk On You" jumps from #69 to #60 in its fourth week. It's from Bryan's album Tailgates & Tanlines, which is in its fourth week at #1 on Hot Country Albums…Neon Trees' "Everybody Talks" jumps from #74 to #65 in its second week.

Alex Clare's "Too Close" bows at #68. Clare is a British singer/songwriter. The electro-pop song is featured in a commercial for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9…"Magic" by Future featuring T.I. jumps from #79 to #71 in its fourth week. It's vying to become the fifth song titled "Magic" to make the top 40, following hits by Pilot (#5 in 1975), Olivia Newton-John (#1 in 1980), The Cars (#12 in 1984) and B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo (#10 in 2010). (Good songs, all.)

Zac Brown Band's "No Hurry" jumps from #89 to #79 in its third week..."Do It Like You" by Diggy featuring Jeremih jumps from #88 to #80. Diggy's album, Unexpected Arrival, opens at #13 this week…Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" jumps from #91 to #82 in its second week.

View gallery

.
Craig Morgan's "This Ole Boy" bows at #92. This is the title track from Morgan's sixth studio album, which has been out for four weeks. It debuted and peaked at #41 on The Billboard 200…Shinedown's "Bully" bows at #94. This is the first single from the band's fourth studio album Amaryllis, which is expected to enter The Billboard 200 next week at #4. This is Shinedown's seventh Hot 100 hit. Its biggest, "Second Chance," reached #7 in 2009...."We Run The Night" by Havana Brown featuring Pitbull bows at #99. The song has hit #1 on Billboard's dance chart. Brown is a female Aussie DJ/singer/dancer.

View gallery

.
Michael Jackson's 1984 hit "Thriller" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the third song from the 1980s to reach this milestone, following Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger," which achieved the feat just last week. This is Jackson's best-selling digital hit. It has been boosted by its annual resurgence at Halloween. Jackson was very savvy about his career, but I bet even he didn't realize that this would become a Halloween perennial.

"Dance (A$$)" by Big Sean featuring Nicki Minaj tops the 2 million mark in digital sales.

Two more songs top the 1 million mark in digital sales this week: "Ass Back Home" by Gym Class Heroes featuring Neon Hitch and AWOLNATION's "Sail." The latter song peaked at #82 on the Hot 100, a low position for a million-seller.

View Comments