Chart Watch

Week Ending May 1, 2011. Songs: Even Divas Struggle

Chart Watch

Songs from upcoming albums by two red-hot divas (who happen to be one-time duet partners) are off to slower-than-expected starts. Lady Gaga's "Judas" drops from #12 to #20 in its third week. Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" drops from #33 to #48 in its second week. This is the second single from Gaga's second full-length album Born This Way (which is due May 23). It's the lead single from Beyonce's still-untitled fourth studio album (which is due in June).

"Judas" is already ranked behind Gaga's previous hit, "Born This Way," which dips just one notch, from #15 to #16. "Run The World (Girls)" has fallen behind many hits, including one by Kelly Rowland, Beyonce's former colleague in Destiny's Child. (Rowland's "Motivation," featuring Lil Wayne, jumps from #54 to #43 in its third week.

What's the problem? "Judas" may have been seen as over-the-line in terms of its religious content, especially since it was released during the Christian Holy Week. "Run The World (Girls)" may be seen as an pale imitation of Beyonce's 2008 feminist anthem "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," which spent four weeks at #1 and won a Grammy as Song of the Year.

See, it's not always easy being a superstar. The downside of having long strings of top 10 hits ("Judas" was Gaga's ninth top 10 hit; Beyonce has had 24, counting her earlier Destiny's Child hits) is that future releases are measured against them).

These singles may yet turn around. Sometimes songs grow on us. For the record, "Judas" sold 81K digital copies this week, bringing its three-week total to 399K. "Run The World (Girls)" sold 47K copies this week, bringing its two-week total to 124K.

This is the first time that Beyonce has run into any resistance with the lead song from one of her albums. "Crazy In Love," the lead song from her debut album, Dangerously In Love, logged eight weeks at #1. "Déjà vu," the lead song from her sophomore album, B'Day, hit #4. "If I Were A Boy," the lead hit from her third album, I Am...Sasha Fierce, spent four weeks at #3.

Bruno Mars this week becomes the first male solo artist since Richard Marx to reach the top five on the Hot 100 with his first five chart hits. Mars scores with "The Lazy Song," which jumps from #6 to #5. Marx reached the top five with his first seven chart hits from 1987 to 1989.

Marx was 23 when he first hit the top 10 with "Don't Mean Nothing." Mars was 24 when he first hit the top 10 as the featured vocalist on B.o.B's "Nothin' On You."

In both cases, these initial volleys of hits include three #1 hits. Marx topped the chart with "Hold On To The Nights," "Satisfied" and "Right Here Waiting." Mars scored with "Nothin' On You," "Just The Way You Are" and "Grenade."

A line in Mars' song ("Click to MTV so they can teach me how to dougie") has boosted the digital sales of Cali Swag District's 2010 hit "Teach Me How To Dougie." The song sells another 20K digital copies this week, bringing its total to date to 1,647,000.

"E.T." by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West this week surpasses Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)" to become the #1 digital seller so far in 2011. "E.T." has sold 2,789,000 copies in 2011. "F**k You" has sold 2,617,000. Perry, you will remember, had the #1 digital hit of 2010, "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg).

"E.T." is #1 the Hot 100 for a fifth week. Only two of Perry's many hits have had longer runs on top. "I Kissed A Girl" topped the chart for seven weeks in 2008. "California Gurls" was out front for six weeks in 2010.

"E.T." tops Hot Digital Songs for the seventh week. That's the longest run by any song since "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna topped the chart for seven weeks last summer. This is the fourth week in which sales of "E.T." have topped 300K. Only three other songs in digital history have topped 300K in weekly sales four or more times: Flo Rida's "Right Round" and Perry's "California Gurls" each did it four times. "Love The Way You Lie" did it five times.

Shameless Plug: This month marks 20 years since Billboard first used Nielsen SoundScan data to power its charts. I will commemorate the anniversary over the next couple of weeks with a few Chart Watch Extras. First up is a year-by-year look at the #1 best-selling songs of each of the past 20 years. You can watch as physical singles crash and burn and digital songs gradually fill the void. The year-end totals range from eye-popping (Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997" sold more than 8 million copies in 1997) to depressing (there were five years in a row in the transition period from physical to digital in which the year's top-seller didn't even crack 1 million). Look for this Chart Watch Extra tomorrow.

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

 

1. Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, "E.T." The song logs its fifth week at #1.  This is its 12th week on the chart; its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (300K).

2. Adele, "Rolling In The Deep." The song holds at #2 for the second week in its 17th week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (300K).

3. Britney Spears featuring Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha, "Till The World Ends." Digital sales rank: #3 (246K). The song rebounds from #11 to #3 in its ninth week. This is its fourth week in the top 10. This is the song's highest ranking to date. The song was boosted by a new remix featuring Ke$ha, who co-wrote the song, and Nicki Minaj.

4. The Black Eyed Peas, "Just Can't Get Enough." The song dips from #3 to #4 in its 12th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (176K).

5. Bruno Mars, "The Lazy Song." The song jumps from #6 to #5 in its 10th week. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (194K).

6. Rihanna, "S&M." The former #1 song drops from #4 to #6 in its 16th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #12 (117K).

7. Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull, "On The Floor." The song holds at #7 for the second week in its 10th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (139K).

8. Ke$ha, "Blow." The song jumps from #9 to #8 in its 15th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (143K).

9. Jeremih featuring 50 Cent, "Down On Me." The song drops from #5 to #9 in its 25th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #14 (110K).

10. Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes, "Look At Me Now." The song drops from #8 to #10 in its 13th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. The song is its seventh week at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Digital sales rank: #9 (131K).

 

Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)" dips from #10 to #11, ending (for now at least) a 12- week run in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (124K).

"Written In The Stars" by Tinie Tempah featuring Eric Turner jumps from #13 to #12 in its 11th week. Digital sales rank: #6 (144K). The song hit #1 in the U.K. in October.

Four more songs from Glee enter the Hot 100 this week. A medley of "I Feel Pretty" (from the landmark 1957 musical West Side Story) and TLC's 1999 chart-topper "Unpretty" debuts at #22. Glee has a tradition of pairing songs with similar titles but diverse styles and origins. The best example is the mash-up of the Gene Kelly classic "Singin' In The Rain" and the Rihanna/Jay-Z smash "Umbrella."

This marks the first time that "I Feel Pretty" has appeared on the Hot 100. Remarkably, it's not the only familiar Broadway song that makes its long-delayed first Hot 100 appearance this week, thanks to Glee.  "As If We Never Said Goodbye," from the 1994 show Sunset Boulevard, bows at #80.

The Glee rendition of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" debuts at #42. This beats Keane's original version, which reached #50 in 2005. Glee's take on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" opens at #44.

Sara Evans' "A Little Bit Stronger" holds at #37 for the second week. It moves up to #1 on Hot Country Songs. It's Evans' fifth #1 and her first since "A Real Fine Place To Start" in 2005.

LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" (featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock) jumps from #52 to #38 in its sixth week. It tops the #51 peak of LMGAO's previous hit, "I'm In Miami Trick." The song holds at #1 in the U.K. for the third straight week.

Javier Colon's version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" debuts at #65. Colon sang the song on the April 26 episode of NBC's new music competition show, The Voice. Lauper's original version hit #1 in June 1984. The poignant ballad brought Lauper and co-writer Rob Hyman a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year. A cover version by R&B singer Inoj hit the top 10 in 1998.

OneRepublic's "Good Life" leaps from #92 to #66 in its fifth week. It's vying to become the group's fifth top 30 hit, following "Apologize" (a monster hit collabo with Timbaland), "Stop And Stare," "All The Right Moves" and "Secrets."

Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand" enters the Hot 100 at #89, in the wake of the song being featured on Glee. The song topped the Dance Club Play chart in December. It also hit #3 in the U.K. late last year. "Barbra Streisand" joins a select group of recent hits whose titles are the names of musical greats. Taylor Swift's "Tim McGraw" hit #40 in 2006; Jason Aldean's "Johnny Cash" hit #68 in 2007; and Heidi Newfield's "Johnny & June" (about Cash and his wife, June Carter) hit #58 in 2008. Streisand hasn't appeared on the Hot 100 or Hot 100 Airplay chart since late 1997, when she scored with "Tell Him," a collabo with Celine Dion. Streisand first hit the Hot 100 in April 1964 with "People," one of the finest singles ever to grace the chart. She amassed 12 top 10 hits from 1964 to 1997, including five #1 hits.

The Black Eyed Peas' 2009 smash "Boom Boom Pow" tops the 6 million mark in digital sales this week. The group's follow-up, "I Gotta Feeling," did even better, achieving sales of 7 million copies. Lady Gaga has also topped the 6 million mark with two singles (which were also back-to-back releases): "Just Dance" (featuring Colby O'Donis) and "Poker Face." No other act has even one 6-million-selling digital hit.

The only physical single to top 6 million in sales in Nielsen SoundScan history, which dates to 1991, is Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997," which sold 8,111,000 copies that year alone.

Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" tops the 2 million mark in paid downloads this week. This is far and away her biggest hit: Her 2008 hit "Chasing Pavements," has sold 1,033,000 copies. Adele's album, 21, is #1 on The Billboard 200 for the sixth week and is virtually assured of a seventh week on top next week. But you know that if you read Chart Watch: Albums. If you missed it, here's a link.

Two hit collabos top the 2 million mark in digital sales this week: "6 Foot 7 Foot" by Lil Wayne featuring Cory Gunz and "Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor) by Pitbull featuring T-Pain. "6 Foot 7 Foot" is Lil Wayne's third 2-million-seller as a lead artist. The rapper's "Lollipop" (featuring Static Major) is up to 4,176,000. His follow-up, "A Milli," is up to 2,053,000. "Hey Baby" (Drop It To The Floor)" is Pitbull's second 2-million-seller as a lead artist. "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)"  is up to 2,641,000.

Two songs top the 1 million mark in digital sales this week: Britney Spears' "Till The World Ends" and Thompson Square's "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not."

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