Chart Watch

Chart Watch: Lorde Wins A Squeaker

Chart Watch

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Lorde's "Royals" tops the Hot 100 for the ninth straight week, but this will almost certainly be its final week on the throne. The song's margin in overall chart points over the #2 hit, "The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna, was just 0.4%. That's down from 9% last week and 18% two weeks ago. Billboard's Gary Trust reports that this was the closest race for #1 since Feb. 18, 2012, when Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" displaced Adele's "Set Fire To The Rain" by an even smaller margin.

I'm sure Rihanna can relate to the excitement that Lorde is experiencing. Rihanna was just 17 (the same age Lorde is now) when she landed her first smash, the #2-peaking "Pon De Replay."

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Lorde is first teenager to spend nine weeks at #1 since 2005, when Mario (then 18) achieved the feat with "Let Me Love You." There has been only one other case since 1955 where teen-aged solo artists remained at #1 for nine or more weeks. Monica was 17 and Brandy was 19 when "The Boy Is Mine" spent 13 weeks on top in 1998.

In addition, there have been three cases where teen-aged group members remained at #1 for nine or more weeks. Wanya Morris, the youngest member of Boyz II Men, was 19 when "End Of The Road" spent 13 weeks on top in 1992. Jamie Jones, the youngest member of All-4-One, was 19 when "I Swear" spent 11 weeks on top in 1994. Beyonce and Kelly Rowland, the youngest members of Destiny's Child, were each 19 when"Independent Women (Part 1)" spent 11 weeks on top in late 2000 and early 2001.

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Lorde is just the fourth female artist (of any age) to log nine weeks at #1 with her first Hot 100 hit. She follows Debby Boone (whose "You Light Up My Life" spent 10 weeks at #1 in 1977), Ke$ha (whose "TiK ToK" spent nine weeks on top in 2010) and Carly Rae Jepsen (whose "Call Me Maybe" spent nine weeks on top last year). (Note: Ke$ha originally had a featured credit on Flo Rida's 2009 smash "Right Round," but it was removed midway through the song's run at #1.)

Lorde's follow-up, "Team," jumps from #85 to #74 in its ninth week. The song has already climbed as high as #69.

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"The Monster" holds at #2 for the third week. It also holds at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the fourth week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" jumps from #6 to #4. This puts the group back in the top five for the first time since Timbaland's "Apologize" (on which it was featured) ended a 19-week run in the top five in early 2008. (That's what you call a smash.)

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Avicii's "Wake Me Up!" dips from #4 to #5. This is its 12th consecutive week in the top five. The song is #1 on Dance/Electronic Songs for the 12th week. It has sold 2,867,000 copies. It's currently #5 on Nielsen SoundScan's running list of the best-selling dance/electronic songs in its history. In the coming week, it will move up to #3.

"Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha jumps from #10 to #8. The zesty arrangement echoes Culture Club's 1984 smash "Karma Chameleon."

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Passenger's "Let Her Go" jumps from #11 to #10. Passenger is the stage name of British singer/songwriter Michael David Rosenberg. "Let Her Go," which is his first Hot 100 hit, reached #2 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart in June.

Here's a recap of this week's top 10 songs.

The Top Five: Lorde’s "Royals" holds at #1 for the ninth week in its 21st week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (177K)…"The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna holds at #2 for the third week in its fourth week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (241K)…Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" holds at #3 for the third week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (89K)… OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" jumps from #6 to #4 in its 23rd week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (167K)…Avicii’s "Wake Me Up!" dips from #4 to #5 in its 22nd week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (101K).

The Second Five: Imagine Dragons' "Demons" jumps from #7 to #6 in its 31st week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (124K)… Katy Perry’s "Roar" drops from #5 to #7 in its 16th week on the chart. This is its 15th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (99K)… "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha jumps from #10 to #8 in its seventh week on the chart. Digital sales rank: #4 (166K)…"Hold On, We’re Going Home" by Drake featuring Majid Jordan dips from #8 to #9 in its 16th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #15 (61K)…Passenger's "Let Her Go" jumps from #11 to #10 in its 17th week in the top 10. This is his first top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #7 (117K).

Lady Gaga’s "Applause" drops from #9 to #14, ending a 14-week run in the top 10.

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One Direction has three songs in the top 15, including the week's top two new entries. "Diana" debuts at #11. "Midnight Memories" bows at #12. "Story Of My Life" (which has climbed as high as #6) holds at #13. Another song by the group, "Strong," debuts at #87. Look for the group's Midnight Memories album to enter The Billboard 200 at #1 next week, with first-week sales in the 550K range. (Paul Anka had a #1 hit titled "Diana" in September 1957. He was 16 at the time, younger than any of the members of 1D are now.)

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"Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera rebounds from #38 to #18 in its third week. The song debuted at #16 two weeks ago. Digital sales rank: #6 (121K). The ballad is vying to become Aguilera's 11th top 10 hit. As you can see, Aguilera has co-equal billing on the hit. She had featured billing on Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" and Pitbull's "Feel This Moment."

"White Walls" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring ScHoolboy Q & Hollis jumps from #31 to #23 in its 10th week…Rihanna's "What Now" leaps from #39 to #25 in its fifth week…Sara Bareilles' "Brave" dips from #27 to #28 in its 24th week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. It's her third million-seller, following "Love Song" (3,647,000) and "King Of Anything" (1,468,000).

"We Were Us" by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert jumps from #33 to #30 in its 11th week. The song has already reached #26. The song is #1 on Hot Country Songs for the third straight week. That's the longest run for a male/female collabo since "Don't You Wanna Stay" by Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson had three weeks on top in March 2011. (Both Clarkson and Urban, of course, have spent some time in the American Idol studio.)

Ellie Goulding's "Burn" leaps from #48 to #36 in its 12th week. The song spent three weeks at #1 on The U.K.'s Official Singles Chart over the summer.

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Enya's "Only Time" re-enters the chart at #43 thanks to its use in a Volvo ad that has gone viral. The spot features actor Jean-Claude Van Damme. The song first hit the Hot 100 in July 2001. It cracked the top 30 that September, but the 9/11 tragedy gave the song extra resonance. It peaked at #10 in November…Joe Nichols' "Sunny And 75" jumps from #52 to #44 in its 13th week…David Nail's "Whatever She's Got" jumps from #61 to #52 in its eighth week…"PYD" by Justin Bieber featuring R. Kelly debuts at #54.

Jay Z's "Tom Ford" jumps from #65 to #57 in its 20th week. (This song has probably been on the chart longer than some of the designer's clothes have stayed in fashion.) The song has climbed as high as #39.

Luke Bryan's "Drink A Beer" leaps from #84 to #61 in its third week. ..Swindell Cole's "Chillin' It" jumps from #78 to #62 in its sixth week…Zac Brown Band's "Sweet Annie" jumps from #74 to #65 in its sixth week…Eric Paslay's "Friday Night" jumps from #82 to #71 in its sixth week…Martin Garrix's "Animals" jumps from #83 to #72 in its 10th week. The song reached #1 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart last week.

Kanye West's "Bound 2" debuts at #73. It's the third song from Yeezus to crack the chart. "Black Skinhead" reached #69. "Blood On The Leaves" hit #89. The sexy video, featuring West and his fiancée, Kim Kardashian, has created a stir (as has a funny parody of the video by James Franco and Seth Rogen).

Daughtry's "Waiting For Superman" jumps from #100 to #83 in its third week. The song has climbed as high as #70…John Newman's "Love Me Again" debuts at #85. The song reached #1 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart in September. It's from Newman's album Tribute, which also reached #1 in the U.K.

"Up Down (Do This All Day)" by T-Pain featuring B.o.B debuts at #95. As the title suggests, the song is a bluesy lament about the monotonous life of an elevator operator. It will appear on T-Pain's upcoming fifth studio album, Stoicville: The Phoenix, which is due early next year.

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Ariana Grande's version of Wham!'s 1984 holiday classic "Last Christmas" debuts at #96. This is the second time the song has appeared on the Hot 100. The cast of Glee took it to #63 in 2009. Wham!'s original version reached #58 on the Hot 100 Airplay Chart in 1998. Wham!'s version has sold 590K digital copies. It's the 12th best-selling holiday song in digital history. Among songs that have been released since 1980, it's #7. Grande, 20, is just one year younger than George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were when they released "Last Christmas."

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Nelly's "Just A Dream" tops the 4 million mark in digital sales. The song reached #3 on the Hot 100 in October 2010. It's Nelly's first 4-million-seller as a lead artist. In addition, he is featured on Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise," which is up to 6,141,000.

Lana Del Rey's "Young And Beautiful" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. It's her second million-seller. "Summertime Sadness" (featuring Cedric Gervais) has sold 1,861,000 copies.

To My Readers: Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

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