Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" jumps from #21 to #8 in its fifth week on the Hot 100. It's Clarkson's 10th top 10 hit, which is more, by far, than any other contestant that has ever walked across the American Idol stage. In fact, it's more than the next two contestants (in terms of their top 10 tallies) combined. Carrie Underwood has had four top 10 hits. Jordin Sparks has had three. And both of their top 10 tallies include a collabo. Underwood teamed with Randy Travis on a remake of Travis' "I Told You So." Sparks teamed with Chris Brown on "No Air." By contrast, Clarkson has achieved every one of her 10 top 10 hits on her own.
For you Idol geeks, the list continues with Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard and Daughtry, each with two top 10 hits; and Fantasia, Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks, David Cook, David Archuleta and Adam Lambert, each with one.
"Stronger" is Clarkson's follow-up to "Mr. Know It All," which reached #10. This is the first time that she has had back-to-back top 10 hits since 2004-2005, when she had four straight top 10 hits from her Grammy-winning Breakaway album.
I admire artists who persevere, especially in a field as tough as the music business. You may remember that Clarkson had a bruising battle with her record company over her artistic direction. That was five years ago. Clarkson's still here.
Adele lands her third #1 hit on the Hot 100 as "Set Fire To The Rain" follows "Rolling In The Deep" and "Someone Like You" into the top spot. All three songs have topped the Hot 100 in weeks that Adele's album, 21, has headed The Billboard 200. Billboard's Gary Trust notes that only one other album, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, has ever achieved this feat. That 1978 blockbuster was #1 while three songs from the album topped the Hot 100. (But not all of those songs were by the same artist, as is the case with Adele. The Fever hits that reached #1 in weeks that the soundtrack was #1 were the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever" and Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You.")
"Set Fire To The Rain" reaches the top spot in its 21st week on the Hot 100, which makes it the slowest-rising #1 on that chart since "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis, which topped the chart in its 22nd week in January 2009.
Adele is only the second female artist who was born in England to amass three or more #1 hits. She follows Olivia Newton-John, who had five #1 hits from 1974 to 1982: "I Honestly Love You," "Have You Never Been Mellow," "You're The One That I Want" (with John Travolta), "Magic" and "Physical." (Newton-John is more identified with Australia, but her family didn't move there until she was six.) In third place among English female artists is Petula Clark, who had two #1 hits in 1965-1966: "Downtown" and "My Love."
For chart geeks only: "Set Fire To The Rain" is the fifth "rain song" to reach #1 since 1955. It follows B.J. Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" (1970), Neil Sedaka's "Laughter In The Rain" (1975), Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love A Rainy Night" (1981) and Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On The Rain" (1989).
In addition, "Set Fire To The Rain" tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week.
If it seems like Adele sets a new record (or two) every week, that's because she does. Adele this week becomes the first British artist in digital history to top the 4 million mark with two songs. She achieves the feat as "Someone Like You" reaches 4 million. ("Rolling In The Deep" hit that level in June.) Four British acts have each had one 4-million-selling digital hit: Taio Cruz, Coldplay, Leona Lewis and Jay Sean.
"Turn Me On" by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj jumps from #10 to #4 in its eighth week. It's Guetta's third top five hit, following "Sexy Chick" (featuring Akon) and "Without You" (featuring Usher). It's Minaj's second, following "Super Bass."
Jessie J's "Domino" jumps from #15 to #10 in its 15th week. In addition, it holds at #1 in the U.K. for the second straight week. (Van Morrison took a different song with the same title to #9 on the Hot 100 in January 1971.)
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
1. Adele, "Set Fire To The Rain." The song jumps from #2 to #1 in its 21st week. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (185K).
2. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, "We Found Love." The former #1 song dips to #2 after 10 weeks at #1. This is its 18th week on the chart; its 17th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (140K).
3. Flo Rida, "Good Feeling." The song holds at #3 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (142K).
4. David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On." The song jumps from #10 to #4 in its eighth week. It's Guetta's third top five hit; Minaj's second. Digital sales rank: #1 (198K).
5. Katy Perry, "The One That Got Away." The song inches up from #6 to #5 in its 15th week on the chart. (It has climbed as high as #3.) This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (117K).
6. Bruno Mars, "It Will Rain." The song drops from #4 to #6 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #13 (97K).
7. LMFAO, "Sexy And I Know It." The former #1 song drops from #5 to #7 in its 21st week on the chart. This is its 18th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (134K).
8. Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." The song jumps from #21 to #8 in its fifth week on the chart. This is Clarkson's 10th top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #3 (175K).
9. Jay-Z/Kanye West, "Ni**as In Paris." The song drops from #7 to #9 in its 24th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (107K).
10. Jessie J, "Domino." The song jumps from #15 to #10 in its 15th week on the chart. This is Jessie J's first top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #9 (122K).
Two songs drop out of the top 10 this week. Tyga's "Rack City" drops from #8 to #11 in its ninth week. Digital sales rank: #4 (148K). "Young, Wild & Free" by Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars drops from #9 to #12 in its 15th week. Digital sales rank: #8 (134K).
"International Love" by Pitbull featuring Chris Brown jumps from #23 to #18 in its 12th week. It's the highest-ranking "bulleted" hit outside of the top 10…"Ass Back Home" by Gym Class Heroes featuring Neon Hitch jumps from #33 to #24 in its sixth week.
Luke Bryan's "I Don't Want This Night To End" inches up from #27 to #26 in its 17th week. The song also jumps to #1 on Hot Country Songs. It's Bryan's third #1 country hit. It also tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week (1,016,000). It's Bryan's third song to reach this plateau, following "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" (1,607,000) and "Do I" (1,013,000).
"Take Care," the former top 10 hit by Drake featuring Rihanna, rebounds from #39 to #30 in its 10th week. The song also jumps to #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It's Drake's eighth (!) #1 R&B hit; Minaj's second. The two hip-hoppers teamed for a previous R&B #1, "Moment 4 Life," which headed the chart for five weeks last year.
Breathe Carolina's "Blackout" jumps from #42 to #32 in its 12th week…Chris Young's "You" jumps from #45 to #37 in its 14th week…"Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra jumps from #58 to #50 in its third week.
"Faded" by Tyga featuring Lil Wayne bows at #52. It's Tyga's follow-up to the former top 10 hit "Rack City." Both songs will appear on the rapper's sophomore album, Careless World: Rise Of The Last King, which is due next month.
Five more Glee recordings enter the Hot 100 this week. The most interesting is a medley of "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera and the Rolling Stones' 1968 smash "Jumpin' Jack Flash," which bows at #62. This is the third cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" to chart. Johnny Winter took the song to #89 in 1971. Aretha Franklin took it to #21 in 1986 (when it was featured in a Whoopi Goldberg movie of the same name).
The other Glee recordings to enter the chart this week are the cast's covers of "Without You" by David Guetta featuring Usher at #28, "We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris at #56, Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" at #70 and "Summer Nights" by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John at #88. This is the first time that the latter two songs have been back on the Hot 100 since those smash versions in 1972 and 1978, respectively.
The Wanted's "Glad You Came" jumps from #85 to #64 in its second week. The song topped the U.K. chart for two weeks in July…Jay-Z/Kanye West are moving up with two songs in the wake of their surprise top 10 hit, "Ni**as In Paris." "Gotta Have It" jumps from #84 to #79 in its third week. "No Church In The Wild" (featuring Frank Ocean) debuts at #100.
Lady Antebellum's "Dancin' Away With My Heart" re-enters the chart at #96. Two more songs debut this week: "Mr. Wrong" by Mary J. Blige featuring Drake at #98 and George Strait's "Love's Gonna Make It Alright" at #99.
Etta James' "At Last" sold 63,000 copies this week, in the wake of her death last week. This brings its total digital sales to 1,519,000 copies. The song stalled at #47 when it was first released in 1961, which proves the charts don't necessarily tell you which songs will stand the test of time. "At Last" didn't win a Grammy, but it was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
It's not every day that the President of the United States sings a line from a #1 hit, but it happened last week when President Obama sang a line from Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at an event in Harlem. Obama's crooning, which made the news, sparked a big uptick in sales for Green's classic hit. The song sold 16K digital copies last week, a 490% jump over the week before, when it sold 3K copies. The song has sold 980K digital copies to date. "Let's Stay Together" was a #1 pop and R&B hit in 1972. It topped the R&B chart for nine weeks, longer than any other single of the 1970s. "Let's Stay Together" didn't win a Grammy (in fact, Green didn't win for any of his 1970s recordings, if you can believe that), but it was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks" tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. This brings to 50 the number of songs that have sold 4 million digital copies. That's impressive considering there weren't any at this time four years ago. The first song to achieve the feat was "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, which topped the 4 million threshold in June 2008.
"Shots" by LMFAO featuring Lil Jon tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. LMFAO released the song in 2009, before they became surprise pop titans with the #1 hits "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy And I Know It." "Shots" peaked at #68 on the Hot 100.
Shameless Plug I: We all know that Adele is going to sweep the Grammys on Feb. 12. So does this mean that Grammy night is going to be completely devoid of suspense? No. There are 72 categories in which Adele isn't nominated, and which, as a result, remain competitive. I posted a blog in the "And The Winner Is" folder yesterday in which I look at 12 races that you should keep your eye on. If you missed it, here's a link.
Shameless Plug II: John Williams yesterday surpassed the late Alfred Newman for most career Oscar nominations for film scores. Williams has two scores in the running this year, War Horse and The Adventures Of Tintin, bringing his career total to 42. Newman amassed 41 nominations for scores. If you missed my blog about the Oscar music nominations, here's a link.