Female solo artists hold down the top four spots on the Hot 100 for the first time in 2-1/2 years. Taylor Swift's “Shake It Off” holds at #1 for the second week, Meghan Trainor's “All About That Bass” rebounds from #3 to #2 (matching its highest ranking to date), Nicki Minaj's “Anaconda” dips from #2 to #3 and “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Minaj leaps from #9 to #4. There’s not a man in sight until you get down to #5, Sam Smith's “Stay With Me.”
This is the best showing for female artists since the week ending Feb. 19, 2012, when women locked up the entire top five. Katy Perry's “Part Of Me” debuted at #1 that week, followed by Adele's “Set Fire To The Rain,” Whitney Houston's “I Will Always Love You,” Kelly Clarkson's “Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)” and Adele's “Rolling In The Deep.” (That was the first full week following both Houston's death and Adele's sweep of the Grammys).
Moreover, female (lead) artists hold down eight of the top 10 positions this week. “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea featuring Rita Ora holds at #6, Grande’s “Break Free” (featuring Zedd) holds at #7, Sia's “Chandelier” dips from #8 to #9 and Charli XCX's “Boom Clap” rebounds from #12 to #10. (Women also held down eight of the top 10 slots on the aforementioned Feb. 19, 2012 chart—which corresponds with the Billboard issue dated March 3.)
The only male artists in this week’s top 10, as lead or featured artists, are Smith, Zeddand MAGIC!, whose “Rude” drops from #5 to #8.
"Shake It Off" is the first song by a female artist to debut at #1 and stay there for a second week since Lady Gaga's “Born This Way,” which spent its first six weeks at #1 in early 2011.
"Shake It Off" sold 340K digital copies this week, down from 544K in its first week. It’s the first song to sell 300K or more copies in each of its first two weeks since Katy Perry's “Roar,” which topped 300K in weekly sales in each of its first six weeks late last summer.
"Shake It Off" zooms from #12 to #8 in its second week on the Pop Songs radio airplay chart, which, as the name suggests, measures airplay at pop stations. It’s just the third song in nearly 10 years to reach the top 10 on this chart in just two weeks. In 2011, Britney Spears's “Hold It Against Me” and Lady Gaga's “Born This Way” also achieved the feat.
The difference, of course, is that Spears and Gaga were pop stars from the start of their careers. Swift was a country star who crossed over to pop. Swift’s first hit, “Tim McGraw,” cracked Hot Country Songs nearly three months before it reached the Hot 100. Swift landed her first top five country hit (“Teardrops On My Guitar”) more than a year before she landed her first top five pop hit (“Love Story”). And she landed her first #1 country hit (“Our Song”) nearly five years before she landed her first #1 pop hit (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”).
Minaj’s “Anaconda” is #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the second week.
Smith’s “Stay With Me” is #1 on the all-genre Radio Songs chart for the fourth week. The song stalled at #2 on the Hot 100, only because sales and radio didn’t quite come together at the same time. The song was the #1 digital seller for two weeks in late June and early July.
Charli XCX's “Boom Clap” first cracked the top 10 three weeks ago. It's the third song with a title that starts with “Boom” to make the top 10, following “Boombastic” by Shaggy (#3 in 1995) and “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas (#1 in 2009).
Nico & Vinz's “Am I Wrong,” which logged six weeks at #4 on the Hot 100, tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. The song spent two weeks at #1 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart.
"This Is How We Roll" by Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan also tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. The song was #1 on Hot Country Songs for six weeks. A pop remix, which also features Jason Derulo, reached #15 on the Hot 100. Florida Georgia Line’s megahit, “Cruise,” will indisputably top the 7 million mark in digital sales next week. How can I be so sure? It came within 400 copies of topping that threshold this week.
To My Readers: I’ll have a second Chart Watch blog drawn from the Hot 100 later today.
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