Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending May 19, 2013. Songs: Idol’s Diminishing Returns

Chart Watch

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American Idol winner Candice Glover’s coronation song “I Am Beautiful” enters the Hot 100 at #93. That’s the lowest chart debut ever for a coronation song by an Idol winner. That title was formerly held by Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson, whose “A Moment Like This” debuted at #60. (It shot to #1 in its third week.) Every other coronation song has debuted in the top 30.

Six of them, from Ruben Studdard’s “Flying Without Wings” to Phillip Phillips’ “Home”, have debuted in the top 10. Nine have debuted in the top 15. The only other one (besides “I Am Beautiful” and “A Moment Like This”) to fail to debut in the top 15 was Lee DeWyze’s cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day” (#24).

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“I Am Beautiful” sold just 48K copies in the week following the show’s finale. That’s the lowest first-week sales tally for the coronation song by an Idol winner since Taylor Hicks’ “Do I Make You Proud” started with sales of 38K in 2006—when overall digital sales were much lower than they are today.

By contrast, Phillips’ “Home” started with sales of 278K copies last year, which set a new record for the fastest start for an Idol winner’s coronation song. (The previous record was held by David Cook’s “The Time Of My Life,” which started with sales of 236K in 2008.

The decline in Idol’s ratings and buzz-worthiness in the past season (and really the past several seasons) is doubtless the main reason for the soft opening.

“I Am Beautiful” debuts at #39 on Hot Digital Songs. That’s the lowest debut position for an Idol winner’s coronation song since that chart originated in 2004.

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Singles by two of the judges from this past season of Idol are faring better on the Hot 100 than the coronation song by the winner. Mariah Carey’s “#Beautiful” (featuring Miguel) jumps from #24 to #20 in its second week. Nicki Minaj’s “High School” (featuring Lil Wayne) jumps from #94 to #78 in its seventh week. (The song has already climbed to #68.) A third judge from Season 12, Keith Urban, debuts one rung behind Glover (at #94) with “Little Bit Of Everything.”

Runner-up Kree Harrison’s “All Cried Out,” which would have been her coronation song had she won, sold 24K copies. It enters Hot Digital Songs at #85. It doesn’t enter the Hot 100.

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“Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton tops the Hot 100 for the third week. It also holds at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the fifth week. Great for them, but here’s a bad sign for the industry: “Can’t Hold Us” sold just 231K copies this week. This is the ninth time in the past 10 weeks that the #1 hit on Hot Digital Songs hasn’t sold 300K copies. The only time it did in this 10-week stretch came when Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” sold 340K in the week ending April 7. You may remember that Mars’ song was discounted to 69 cents in both the iTunes and Amazon MP3 stores that week, which put it far below the standard $1.29 price of most current hits. It was a shameless (and effective) bid to give Mars’ hit the final push it needed to reach #1.

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Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” holds at #3 for the third week. The song jumps to #1 on the all-format Hot Radio Songs chart, displacing “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess. It’s Timberlake’s fourth #1 on that chart, following “SexyBack” (featuring Timbaland), “My Love” (featuring T.I.) and T.I.’s “Dead And Gone,” on which Timberlake was featured.

Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” holds at #4 for the second week. Also, the bluesy ballad this week becomes the second song to sell 3 million copies in 2013. It follows “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz.

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Mars has two other reasons to celebrate this week. “Locked Out Of Heaven” tops the 4 million mark in overall digital sales. It’s Mars’ third hit to reach that level, following “Just The Way You Are” (5,781,000) and “Grenade” (5,569,000). Mars is only the second male solo artist to amass three 4-million-selling digital hits. He follows Eminem, who has scored with “Love The Way You Lie” (featuring Rihanna, 5,879,000), “Lose Yourself” (5,452,000) and “Not Afraid” (4,948,000).

Finally, Mars has the week’s highest new entry on the 100 with “Treasure,” which debuts at #71. It would be the third #1 single from Unorthodox Jukebox, which would improve on the showing of Mars’ debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which spawned two #1 hits. “Treasure” echoes the peppy sound of such pop/R&B hit-makers of the 1970s and 1980s as the Sylvers, Heatwave, DeBarge and Kool & the Gang.

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“Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly jumps from #10 to #6 in its 33rd week. This is its highest ranking to date. The song has sold 3,477,000 copies, which makes it the ninth best-selling country song in digital history.

“Cruise” spends its 12th week at #1 on Hot Country Songs. That’s the longest run at #1 since Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here” spent 16 weeks on top from October 1963 through February 1964. This is the longest run at #1 by an ongoing duo since “Slipping Around” by Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely logged 17 weeks on top in 1949-1950. Whiting & Wakely teamed for nine top 10 country hits from 1949 to 1951.

Florida Georgia Line’s follow-up, “Get Your Shine On,” tops the 1 million mark this week.

Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” holds at #8 for the third straight week. It’s #1 on Hot Rock Songs for a ninth week.

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“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams jumps from #15 to #10. Daft Punk had never even cracked the top 40 before. Its only two previous Hot 100 entries, “Around The World” (1997) and “One More Time” (2001), each peaked at #61. It’s Williams’ fifth top 10 hit, following “Frontin’” (featuring Jay-Z) and three songs on which he was featured: Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and Ludacris’ “Money Maker.”

“Get Lucky” holds at #1 for the fourth straight week on the Official U.K. Chart. It’s just the second hit by a French artist to spend four or more weeks at # 1 in the U.K. It follows Charles Aznavour’s “She,” which spent four weeks at #1 in 1974. Aznavour, who was 50 at the time, was a huge international star. He turns 89 today (May 22).

Daft Punk’s album, Random Access Memories, will enter The Billboard 200 next week at #1, with first-week sales in the 300K to 325K range.

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

The Top Five: “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton holds at #1 for the third week in its 15th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (231K)…“Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess holds at #2 for the third week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (193K)…Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” holds at #3 for the third week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (156K)… Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” holds at #4 for the second week in its 22nd week on the chart. This is its 15th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #14 (97K)…“Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko holds at #5 for the second week in its 15th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (114K).

The Second Five: “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly rebounds from #10 to #6 in its 33rd week. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (189K)…Selena Gomez’s “Come & Get It” dips #6 to #7 in its sixth week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (164K)…Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” holds at #8 for the third week in its 38th week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (141K)…“I Love It” by Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX holds at #9 for the second week in its 16th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (128K)…”Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams jumps from #15 to #10 in its fifth week. It’s Daft Punk’s first top 10 hit; Williams’ fifth. Digital sales rank: #10 (118K).

“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz drops from #7 to #11, ending a 21-week run in the top 10.

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“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell vaults from #54 to #12 in its fifth week. This tops Thicke’s 2007 hit “Lost Without U” (which peaked at #14) as his highest-charting hit to date. “Blurred Lines” is vying to become the 11th for T.I. and the sixth for Pharrell, who is also featured on Daft Punk’s current top 10 smash “Get Lucky.” Digital sales rank: #2 (206K).

“Boys ’Round Here” by Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies & Friends jumps from #19 to #16 in is eighth week.

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Lana Del Rey’s “Young And Beautiful” vaults from #59 to #22 in its fourth week. Digital sales rank: #9 (121K). The song is from The Great Gatsby soundtrack, which drops from #2 to #4 in its second week on The Billboard 200. Another song from the soundtrack, “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) by Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock debuts at #77…“Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes jumps from #41 to #30 in its ninth week.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” vaults from #58 to #32 in its 13th week. The Rolling Stones included a song titled “Bitch” on their chart-topping 1971 album Sticky Fingers, but it took Elton John, then at the peak of his career, to put a song with that word in its title in the top 10. The exhilarating “The Bitch Is Back” climbed to #4 in November 1974.

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Chris Brown’s “Fine China” jumps from #40 to #34 in its seventh week. The man has some anger management issues, but he makes superb singles. This ranks with Ne-Yo’s 2008 hit “Closer” as the best Michael Jackson soundalike hit of recent years…Anna Kendrick’s “Cups (Pitch Perfect’s When I’m Gone)” jumps from #44 to #36 in its 21st week…Jason Derulo’s “The Other Side” jumps from #50 to #40 in its fifth week.

George Strait’s “Give It All We Got Tonight” jumps from #56 to #43 in its 20th week. It’s Strait’s 86th top 10 hit on Hot Country Songs. He landed his first, “Unwound,” in August 1981. He’s second in number of top 10 hits only to Eddy Arnold, who amassed 92 top 10 country hits from 1945 to 1980…Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” drops from #32 to #42 in its 17th week. The song becomes Lambert’s fifth million-seller this week. It follows “The House That Built Me” (1,813,000), “Gunpowder & Lead” (1,807,000), “Over You” (1,311,000) and “White Liar” (1,202,000).

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Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House” jumps from #72 to #52 in its eighth week. The Grammy-nominated “The A Team” reached #16…“I Need Your Love” by Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding jumps from #67 to #58 in its fifth week…“Live It Up” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull jumps from #73 to #62 in its second week…Randy Houser’s “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” jumps from #91 to #75 in its second week…“Tapout” by Rich Gang featuring Lil Wayne, Birdman, Future, Mack Maine and Nicki Minaj jumps from #100 to #83 in its second week.

“Really Don’t Care” by Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd debuts at #98. It’s from her album Demi, which enters The Billboard 200 at #3 this week…Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us” debuts at #99. It’s from Greatest Hits: Chapter One.

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“Diamonds” by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris tops the 5 million mark in sales this week. It’s Rihanna’s second song to reach that milestone, following Eminem’s aforementioned “Love The Way You Lie,” on which she was featured (5,879,000).

To My Readers: Sage The Gemini’s “Red Nose” was originally slated to be the week’s top new entry (at #50), but it was pulled from a revised version of the chart. The rap song, from the EP Gas Pedal, will probably debut in coming weeks.

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