Former teen stars are supposed to crash and burn and wind up as fodder for tabloid TV shows or "Where Are They Now?" features. Evidently, nobody told former teen stars Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown, who return to the top 10 on this week's Hot 100 with new singles. Timberlake's "Not A Bad Thing" jumps from #12 to #8. Brown's "Loyal" jumps from #11 to #9.
Timberlake was 18 in February 1999 when he landed his first top 10 hit with *NSYNC, "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You." Brown was just 16 in October 2005 when he landed his first top 10 hit, "Run It!."
"Not A Bad Thing" is the first top 10 hit from Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2)" album, following a pair of duds—at least by superstar standards. The lead single, "Take Back The Night," peaked at #29. The second single, "TKO," stalled at #36.
Executives at Timberlake's record company, RCA, told Billboard that they always believed that "Not A Bad Thing" would be the biggest hit from the album. Then why did they wait so long to release it? They wanted to give this pop-leaning track some distance from Timberlake's pop smash "Mirrors," which reached #2 on the Hot 100 in June. Timberlake strives to keep both pop and R&B fans happy, and those two intervening singles were aimed at R&B fans.
"Not A Bad Thing" is the 21st top 10 hit of Timberlake's career. This tally combines six *NSYNC hits and 15 solo hits.
"Loyal" is Brown's 13th top 10 hit; the fourth since the 2009 incident of domestic violence with Rihanna that threatened to derail Brown's career.
"Loyal" has one of the longest and most unwieldy lists of featured credits in memory. The billing reads: featuring Lil Wayne & French Montana or Too $hort or Tyga. Why such a convoluted listing? I'll let Billboard's Gary Trust sort this one out: "'Loyal' was first released in two versions, the East Coast mix featuring French Montana and the West Coast edit featuring Too $hort. When its video was released on March 24, Tyga was featured in the third verse, instead of either French Montana or Too $hort. All three versions feature Lil Wayne and are available digitally and on streaming services." Thanks Gary. It's all clear to me now (I think).
"Loyal" is the 19th top 10 hit for Lil Wayne, a total topped by only one rapper in history—Jay Z, with 21. Ludacris slips to third place, with 18 top 10 hits.
Pharrell Williams's "Happy" tops the Hot 100 for the ninth straight week. That's the longest run at #1 for a song that was nominated for an Oscar, but didn't win, since "Endless Love" by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie in 1981. Richie wrote that elegant ballad, which lost to "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." Christopher Cross, who had a #1 hit with that sleek, mid-tempo ballad, co-wrote it with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen.
"Arthur's Theme" was a comeback hit for Bacharach, a legendary composer who had been cool for nearly a decade. That storyline trumped Richie's emergence as a solo artist after years of hits with Commodores. (Richie picked up an Oscar on his second try four years later for "Say You, Say Me" from "White Nights.")
"Happy" is the first song by a male solo artist (who wasn't part of a collaboration) to log nine weeks at #1 since Mario's "Let Me Love You" in 2005.
"Happy" is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the 10th consecutive week, with sales of 274K. It's the first song to log 10 consecutive weeks at #1 on this chart since "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz early last year. In digital history, only two other songs have logged 10 or more consecutive weeks at #1: "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain (13 consecutive weeks at #1 in 2007-2008) and the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" (10 consecutive weeks in 2009). The Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" also had 10 weeks on top, but those runs were interrupted.
"Happy" is #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the 11th week.
John Legend's "All Of Me" holds at #2 for the fifth straight week, but it actually lost ground in its battle with "Happy." "Happy" has a 16% lead over "All Of Me" in overall chart points, up from a 12% lead last week.
"Talk Dirty To Me" by Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz rebounds from #4 to #3. It tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. It's Derulo's fourth song to reach this level, following "Whatcha Say" (3,988,000), "In My Head" (3,174,000) and "Ridin' Solo" (3,033,000). Derulo's "Talk Dirty" album enters The Billboard 200 at #4 this week. It's Derulo's first top 10 album.
Here's a recap of this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Pharrell Williams's "Happy" holds at #1 for the ninth week in its 16th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (274K) … John Legend's "All Of Me" holds at #2 for the fifth week in its 28th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (214K) … "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz rebounds from #4 to #3 in its 18th week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (198K) … "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J dips from #3 to #4 in its 31st week on the chart. This is its 16th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (113K) … … Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" holds at #5 for the fifth week in its 21st week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (158K).
The Second Five: Bastille's "Pompeii" holds at #6 for the fifth week in its 36th week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #14 (79K) … "Turn Down For What" by DJ Snake & Lil Jon jumps from #8 to #7 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (120K) … Justin Timberlake's "Not A Bad Thing" jumps from #12 to #8 in its eighth week on the chart. It's his 15th top 10 hit as a solo artist. Digital sales rank: #11 (88K) … "Loyal" by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne & French Montana or Too $hort or Tyga jumps from #11 to #9 in its 14th week on the chart. This is the 13th top 10 hit for Brown, the 19th for Lil Wayne, the second for Tyga and the first for French Montana and Too $hort. Digital sales rank: #24 (56K) … Lorde's "Team" drops from #7 to #10 in its 30th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #34 (46K)
I have two pieces of good news and one piece of bad news for fans of Aloe Blacc's "The Man." Good news: The song tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. More good news: The song remains in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs: #10 (91K). Bad news: The song drops out of the top 10 on the Hot 100 … OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" also drops out of the top 10, ending a 25-week run in the top 10.
Let's keep an eye on three other songs that are listed in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs: Lana Del Rey's "West Coast," digital sales rank: #6 (118K); Ed Sheeran's "Sing," digital sales rank: #8 (106K); and Luke Bryan's "Play It Again," digital sales rank: #9 (105K). "West Coast" is from Del Rey's upcoming third studio album, "Ultraviolence." It's vying to become her third top 30 hit, following "Young And Beautiful" (#22) and "Summertime Sadness" (featuring Cedric Gervais, #6).
American Authors's "Best Day Of My Life," which climbed as high as #11 two weeks ago, becomes the 19th song to sell 1 million copies in 2014. (It sold an additional 359K copies in the last 12 weeks of 2013.)
"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell tops the 7 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the eighth song to reach this plateau; the second with a male solo artist in the lead. The first was Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" (featuring Kimbra, 7,640,000). "Blurred Lines" took 56 weeks to sell 7 million copies. Only one song has gotten there faster. That's "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz, which topped 7M in its 53rd week. ("Somebody That I Used To Know" also did it in its 56th week.)
Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. The song reached #8 in early 2012. It's Mraz's second song to reach this sales level. "I'm Yours" is up to 6,837,000.
"Do You Want To Build A Snowman" by Kristen Bell & Agatha Lee Monn tops the 1 million mark in digital sales.
To My Readers: I'll have a separate Chart Watch report on this week's key movers and debuts on the Hot 100 later today. I won't recap the top 10 in that second report. It will be fresh material.