“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell has sold 5 million copies in just 22 weeks, faster than any other song in digital history. The old record was held by “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra, which took 23 weeks that reach that plateau.
“Somebody…” wound up as the #1 best-selling song of 2012. “Blurred Lines” is currently the #2 best-seller of 2013, and is just 702K copies behind the leader, “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz. (“Blurred Lines” sold 225K copies more than “Thrift Shop” this week, so you can see that it can close that gap pretty quickly.)
“Blurred Lines” also holds at #1 on the Hot 100 for the 12th consecutive week. That’s the longest run on top by any single since the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” topped the chart for 14 weeks in 2009. It’s the longest-running #1 by a male artist or an all-male collabo since “Yeah!” by Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris logged 12 weeks on top in 2004.
There’s been a tremendous amount of coverage of how much “Blurred Lines” borrows from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit, “Got To Give It Up (Part 1).” But that attention hasn’t translated into big sales. “Got To Give It Up” has sold 47K copies in the past 22 weeks, not bad for an old song, but far less than you might expect given the level of interest in the song. (It sold 6K copies this week, too few to make the 200-deep Hot Digital Songs chart.)
“Got To Give It Up” has sold 567K digital copies, which makes it Gaye’s fifth biggest digital seller. It follows “Let’s Get It On” (1,491,000), “Sexual Healing (1,011,000), “What’s Going On” (691K) and “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (568K).
“Got To Give It Up” topped the Hot 100 for one week in June 1977 and topped the Hot Soul Singles (as it was then called then) for five weeks. It brought Gaye a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male.
“Blurred Lines” also logs its 12th week at #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis headed the chart for the previous 21 weeks (14 weeks for “Thrift Shop,” seven for “Can’t Hold Us”). That’s 33 consecutive weeks where the lead artist on the #1 R&B hit was white.
Thicke’s follow-up, “Give It 2 U” (featuring Kendrick Lamar), enters the Hot 100 at #83. (That’s 11 notches higher than where “Blurred Lines” debuted in April.)
“Roar” holds at #2 after vaulting from #85 to #2 last week. The song is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the second straight week. It’s the first song to spend its first two weeks at #1 on that chart since Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” spent its first five weeks on top in August-September 2012. The song sold 392K digital copies this week. That’s the biggest second-week sales tally since Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” sold 509K in its second week in February 2011. Only one other song in digital history (besides these two) has sold 350K or more copies in its second week. That’s Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” which sold 460K in its second week in February 2009.
“We Can’t Stop” holds at #3. The full impact of Cyrus’ VMA performance will be felt next week. Is it possible that a performance that most people saw as desperate and skanky will give the song a boost? It’s entirely possible. I think dominating news coverage was the entire point (aside from Cyrus trying to prove that she’s all grown up. Memo to Miley: We get it. You’re not Hannah Montana anymore. You’re nearly 21. Now, just stop trying so hard.)
“We Can’t Stop” tops the Streaming Songs chart for the 10th week. The song also tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. It’s Cyrus’ fourth song to reach this level, following “See You Again” (2,456,000), “The Climb” (3,671,000) and “Party In The U.S.A.” (5,310,000).
Cyrus’ follow-up, “Wrecking Ball,” is this week’s top new entry at #50. The song is vying to become Cyrus’ eighth top 10 hit. Both songs will appear on her fourth full-length studio album, Bangerz, which is due Oct. 8.
“Applause” jumps from #6 to #4 in its second week. It’s Gaga’s ninth top five hit; her first since “The Edge Of Glory” hit #2 in May 2011. (You’ll notice that female solo artists hold down three of the top four spots this week.) “Applause” tops Dance/Electronic Songs for the second week.
Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” dips from #4 to #5 in its 52nd week on the Hot 100. Billboard’s Gary Trust notes that this is only the second time that a song has ranked in the top five after a full year on the Hot 100. It first happened when Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” rebounded from #17 to #5 in its 59th chart week, following the Grammy Awards in 2012.
“Radioactive” tops Hot Rock Songs for the 23rd week. It also tops the 5 million mark in digital sales this week. But this sleeper smash has taken 57 weeks to get there—more than twice as long as “Blurred Lines” needed. (For five weeks, the song was listed on the 200-deep Hot Digital Songs chart, but not the more competitive Hot 100.)
“Blurred Lines” and “Radioactive” are the 45th and 46th songs to be certified for U.S. sales of 5 million digital copies. The first song to reach this milestone was “Low” by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, which achieved the feat in June 2009.
“Radioactive” is just the second rock song to sell 5 million digital copies. The first was Journey’s 1981 smash “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which is up to 5,827,000.
Six other songs (besides “Don’t Stop Believin’”) rank ahead of “Radioactive” on Nielsen SoundScan’s running list of the 200 best-selling rock songs in digital history, but I think they’re really pop. They were all nominated for (or won) “performance” Grammys in the pop field. You be the judge. Here they are, in descending order of sales: “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra (7,446,000), “We Are Young” by fun. featuring Janelle Monae (6,742,000), Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” (6,667,000), Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” (6,355,000), Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” (6,052,000) and Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (5,173,000). (One or two of these songs might be debatable, but I think even my Aunt Edna would call “Hey, Soul Sister” pop.)
I have a little more good news for Imagine Dragons fans. “Demons” tops the 1 million mark. It’s the band’s third million-seller, following “Radioactive” (5,011,000) and “It’s Time” (2,721,000).
“Wake Me Up!” jumps from #11 to #7. It’s the third song that begins with the phrase “Wake Me Up” to crack the top 10. It follows Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1 in 1984) and Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (#6 in 2005). Avicii’s hit spent three weeks at #1 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart.
“Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais jumps from #15 to #9. It’s the fourth song with a title that begins with the word “Summertime” to crack the top 10. It follows Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” (#8 in 1958), Billy Stewart’s “Summertime” (#10 in 1966) and D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” (#4 in 1991).
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell holds at #1 for the 12th week in its 19th week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (251K)…Katy Perry’s “Roar” holds at #2 for the second week in its third week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (392K)…Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” holds at #3 for the second week in its 12th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (143K)… Lady Gaga’s “Applause” jumps from #6 to #4 in its second week. Digital sales rank: #5 (163K)… Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” dips from #4 to #5 in its 52nd week on the chart. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (116K).
The Second Five: “Holy Grail” by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake dips from #5 to #6 in its seventh week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #4 (171K)… Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” jumps from #11 to #7 in its ninth week on the chart. It’s his first top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #3 (175K)… Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound” rebounds from #10 to #8 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (99K)… “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais jumps from #15 to #9 in its seventh week. It’s the first top 10 hit for both artists. Digital sales rank: #8 (132K)… “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams drops from #7 to #10 in its 19th week on the chart. This is its 15th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #19 (69K).
Two songs drop out of the top 10 this week. Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” drops from #8 to #11; Anna Kendrick’s “Cups (Pitch Perfect’s When I’m Gone)” from #9 to #14.
“Royals” jumps from #17 to #12 in its eighth week. Digital sales rank: #6 (145K). Lorde’s debut album, Pure Heroine, is set for release on Sept. 30, the last day of eligibility for this year’s Grammy Awards. The 16-year old is a strong contender for a nomination for Best New Artist.
“Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake featuring Majid Jordan rebounds from #24 to #17 in its third week…One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” rebounds from #21 to #18 in its fifth week, in the wake of winning the fan-voted Song of the Summer award at the VMA’s. I could have sworn the song of the summer was “Blurred Lines,” but whatever. The song debuted and peaked at #2.
“That’s My Kind Of Night” drops from #16 to #19 in its second week. It’s #1 on Hot Country Songs for the second week. Digital sales rank: #9 (125K). Bryan’s Crash My Party has been #1 on The Billboard 200 the past two weeks.
Two songs that have been chugging along on the chart for months reach new peaks this week. Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone” jumps from #26 to #24 in its 25th week. AWOLNATION’s “Sail” jumps from #29 to #25 in its 51st week.
Jason Derulo’s “The Other Side” drops from #25 to #28 in its 19th week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales. It’s his sixth million-seller….“Gas Pedal by Sage the Gemini featuring IamSu jumps from #35 to #29 in its fifth week…Florida Georgia Line’s “Round Here” jumps from #36 to #30 in its 11th week.
“Brave” jumps from #46 to #31 in its 11th week. Both Bareilles and Katy Perry handled the media circus about the similarity between their songs with grace. (Male artists, take note.) I’m glad the hubbub has given Bareilles’ song a second wind.
Jason Aldean’s “Night Train” jumps from #42 to #33 in its eighth week…“Beware” by Big Sean featuring Lil Wayne & Jhene Aiko jumps from #59 to #48 in its fifth week… “Love More “ by Chris Brown featuring Nicki Minaj jumps from #73 to #52 in its fifth week…Enrique Iglesias’ “Turn The Night Up” jumps from #72 to #61 in its fourth week…Passenger’s “Let Her Go” jumps from #74 to #62 in its fourth week.
“Replay” is the week’s second highest new entry at #77. It’s from her first studio album, Zendaya, which is due Sept. 17…Prince Royce’s “Darte Un Beso” debuts at #78. It’s the first Hot 100 entry for the Latin music star…“Bruises” by Train featuring Ashley Monroe jumps from #97 to #79 in its second week.
“Almost Is Never Enough” by Ariana Grande featuring Nathan Sykes debuts at #84. It’s from The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones soundtrack, which is the highest-ranking soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie on this week’s Billboard 200…John Mayer’s “Wildfire” jumps from #98 to #85 in its third week.
“Hail To The King” re-enters the chart at #89. The song has climbed as high as #83. The band’s album of the same name is set to enter The Billboard 200 at #1 next week with first-week sales in the 170K range…Selena Gomez’s “Slow Down” re-enters the chart at #94. The song has climbed as high as #66...Ludacris’ “Helluva Night” debuts at #96. It’s expected to appear on Ludacris’ eighth studio album, Ludaversal, which is due Sept. 24…Bonnie McKee’s “American Girl” debuts at #100. McKee has written five #1 hits on the Hot 100 (four for Katy Perry and Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me”). This is from her first studio album in a decade, which is due next year.