"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell makes news on two fronts this week. It pulls ahead of "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz to become the best-selling song so far in 2013. And it rocketed to the 6 million plateau in just 29 weeks, faster than any other song in digital history. (The old speed record was held by "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra, which hit 6M in 30 weeks last year).
"Blurred Lines" has sold 6,022,000 digital copies. "Thrift Shop" has sold 5,985,000 copies in 2013. (This doesn't count 1,118,000 copies that "Thrift Shop" sold in the last 15 weeks of 2012.)
"Blurred Lines" is one of just 23 songs to sell 6 million copies in the U.S. It's one of just three to sell that many copies in a calendar year. The others were "Somebody That I Used To Know," which sold 6,801,000 copies in 2012, and Carly Rae Simpson's "Call Me Maybe," which sold 6,472,000 copies in 2012. Will "Blurred Lines" top "Somebody…" as the song that has sold the most digital copies in a calendar year in the digital era? Quite possibly. (It sold 61K this week.)
Another song tops the 6 million mark this week: "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna. That song took more than three years and three months to sell what Thicke and his pals sold in just 29 weeks. (I have more on "Love The Way You Lie" below.)
"Thrift Shop" was the best-selling song for the year-to-date from the week ending January 20 (when it pulled ahead of Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble.") through last week.
Thicke has had the kind of year performers dream about. His Blurred Lines album reached #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. The title song likewise reached #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. He's one of only three artists to achieve that four-pronged chart feat in the past 12 months. The others are Rihanna and, as of this week, Miley Cyrus.
Lorde's "Royals" holds at #1 for the third week. That matches the run on top of Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him" in the spring of 1963. March, who was 15 at the time, is the youngest female artist ever to land a #1 hit on the Hot 100. Lorde is 16. She'll turn 17 on Nov. 7.
"Royals" holds at #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the fourth week. It's the third hit by a female artist (or a female-led collabo) to log four weeks at #1 on Hot Digital Songs so far this year. It follows P!nk' s "Just Give Me A Reason" (featuring Nate Ruess) and Katy Perry's "Roar."
Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" rebounds from #3 to #2 on the Hot 100. It nearly returned to #1 this week: there's just a 4% difference in total Hot 100 points between "Royals" and "Wrecking Ball." Cyrus would probably have returned to #1, but many of her fans who had previously purchased "Wrecking Ball" opted to use iTunes "Complete My Album" feature to pick up Bangerz at a discount. When fans do that, those transactions are counted as "returns" for the songs. That explains why sales on "Wrecking Ball" fell by 40% this week. (That's the steepest drop, on a percentage basis, of any song in the top 50 on Hot Digital Songs this week.) Still, I assure you artists don't mind if you use the "Complete My Album" feature. In fact, they kind of hope you do!
Cyrus' previous hit, "We Can't Stop," rebounds from #14 to #11 in its 19th week. (It has climbed as high as #2.) Mike WiLL Made-It's "23" (on which Cyrus is featured) rebounds from #17 to #14 in its fourth week. (It has climbed as high as #11.) Three more Cyrus songs enter the chart this week. "Adore You" is the week's second highest new entry at #42. "Drive" opens at #87. "Someone Else" bows at #93.
Katy Perry's "Roar" dips from #2 to #3. The song tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. The song reached the 3 million mark in just nine weeks—faster than any other song in digital history. The old record was 11 weeks. There was a four-way tie for the record between Perry's "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg), Flo Rida's "Right Round," the aforementioned "Love The Way You Lie" and "Payphone" by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa. "Roar" is Perry's ninth song to reach the 3M threshold.
Avicii's "Wake Me Up!" holds at #4 for the second week. The song rises to #1 on the "Triple A" chart (Adult Album Alternative) and holds at #1 for the sixth week on Dance/Electronic Songs. Billboard's Gary Trust notes that "Wake Me Up!" is only the third song to reach #1 on both of these disparate charts. The first two were The Killers' "Read My Mind" in 2007 and "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra last year. With such broad-based support, it's not surprising that "Somebody" and "Wake Me Up!" both soared on the Hot 100. But how do you explain "Read My Mind" stalling at #62? Go figure.
"Wake Me Up!" tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. It's one of 13 songs that Nielsen SoundScan classifies as "Dance/Electronic" to top the 2 million mark. David Guetta is the lead artist on four of these songs. Cascada has two. Daft Punk, Swedish House Mafia, Icona Pop, Calvin Harris, La Roux and Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina are the lead artists on the others.
"Hold On, We’re Going Home" by Drake featuring Majid Jordan holds at #5 for the second week. The song is #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the third week.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Lorde’s "Royals" holds at #1 for the third week in its 15th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (294K)…Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" rebounds from #3 to #2 in its eighth week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (128K)…Katy Perry’s "Roar" dips from #2 to #3 in its 10th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (195K)…Avicii’s "Wake Me Up!" holds at #4 for the second week in its 16th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (160K)…"Hold On, We’re Going Home" by Drake featuring Majid Jordan holds at #5 for the second week in its 10th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (121K)
The Second Five: Ylvis' "The Fox" holds at #6 for the second week in its sixth week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (108K)…."Holy Grail" by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake holds at #7 for the second week in its 14th week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #10 (98K)…Lady Gaga’s "Applause" rebounds from #9 to #8 in its ninth week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #9 (100K)…"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell dips from #8 to #9 in its 26th week on the chart. This is its 20th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #22 (61K)… …"Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais holds at #10 for the third week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #14 (78K).
Justin Bieber's "Heartbreaker" vaults from #77 to #13 in its second week. Digital sales rank: #5 (127K). It's the first song in Bieber's "Music Mondays" series, in which he'll release a new song each Monday for 10 straight weeks. This is the third song titled "Heartbreaker" to crack the top 20. Dionne Warwick took a song with that title (written by Bee Gees) to #10 in 1983. Mariah Carey (featuring Jay-Z) took a song with that title to #1 in 1999.
Eminem's "Survival" is the week's top new entry at #17. Digital sales rank: #7 (112K). The song is from his seventh studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which is due Nov. 5.
Luke Bryan's "That's My Kind Of Night" drops from #16 to #18 in its ninth week. It has climbed as high as #15. The song holds at #1 on Hot Country Songs for the ninth week. That's the longest run for a song by a male solo artist since David Houston's "Almost Persuaded," which was #1 for nine weeks in 1966. Houston's hit reached #24 on the Hot 100 and received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year, a rarity for a country artist.
OneRepublic lands its fifth top 20 hit as "Counting Stars" jumps from #21 to #19 in its 17th week. The song tops the 1 million mark in sales this week. It's the group's seventh million-seller…Imagine Dragons land their third top 20 hit as "Demons" jumps from #24 to #20 in its 25th week.
"My Hitta" by YG featuring Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan vaults from #67 to #22 in its second week. The single also has a harder-edged version, as you can see…"Everything Has Changed" by Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran jumps from #41 to #32 in its 15th week…Selena Gomez's "Slow Down" jumps from #45 to #36 in its 10th week…Sara Bareilles' "Brave" jumps from #51 to #39 in its 18th week. The song has climbed as high as #31.
"Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha debuts at #49. These chart titans have been on tour together….Cassadee Pope's "Wasting All These Tears" jumps from #75 to #58 in its sixth week. The song has climbed as high as #37. Pope's debut album, Frame By Frame, enters The Billboard 200 at #9 this week.
Jason Derulo's "Marry Me" jumps from #72 to #64 in its second week…"White Walls" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring ScHoolboy Q & Hollis jumps from #85 to #71 in its fourth week…Ellie Goulding's "Burn" jumps from #81 to #72 in its sixth week. The song was #1 for three weeks on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart in August and September.
Pearl Jam's "Sirens" debuts at #76. The song is from the band's album Lighting Bolt, which will enter The Billboard 200 at #1 next week, with first-week sales in the 170K range. It will be the band's fifth #1 album…"It Won't Stop" by Sevyn Streeter featuring Chris Brown jumps from #90 to #78 in its second week…"Stay The Night" by Zedd featuring Hayley Williams jumps from #94 to #79 in its fourth week. The song has climbed as high as #51.
Glee Cast's "Make You Feel My Love" debuts at #84. This cover of the Bob Dylan classic is from Glee: The Quarterback, which enters The Billboard 200 at #7 this week. The EP is the soundtrack to the show's tribute episode to the late Cory Monteith. "Make You Feel My Love" first appeared on Dylan's 1997 album Time Out Of Mind, which was the first Dylan album to receive a Grammy as Album of the Year. (Better late than never.) Billy Joel took it to #50 on the Hot 100 that year. Garth Brooks took it to #1 on Hot Country Songs the following year. In 2008, Adele included it on her top 10 album, 19.
John Legend's "All Of Me" re-enters the chart at #89...K. Michelle's "V.S.O.P." debuts at #90. It's from her debut studio album, Rebellious Soul, which debuted and peaked at #2 in August…Jake Owen's "Days Of Gold" debuts at #91. It's the title track from his fourth studio album, which is due Dec. 3…Miranda Lambert's "All Kinds Of Kinds" debuts at #97. It's from her 2011 album Four The Record…Fifth Harmony's "Miss Movin' On" re-enters the chart at #98. The song has climbed as high as #76…Chase Rice's "Ready Set Roll" debuts at #100. It's the title track from his EP, which will chart next week.
"Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna tops the 6 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the best-seller for both artists. The song spent seven weeks at #1 in 2010 and received Grammy nominations for Record and Song of the Year.
The Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" tops the 4 million mark this week. It's the sixth country song to reach that plateau; the fourth by a group or duo. It follows Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (6,227,000), Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" (5,981,000) and The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" (4,688,000). (Taylor Swift has country's other two 4-million-sellers.)