Smash hits by women monopolize the top three spots on the Hot 100 for the sixth straight week. Lorde’s "Royals" holds at #1 for the fourth week. Katy Perry's "Roar" rebounds from #3 to #2. Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" dips from #2 to #3. All three hits have taken turns at #1. A fourth hit by a female artist, Lady Gaga's "Applause," is just a beat or two behind at #9. It has spent its entire 10-week run in the top 10.
Next week, another power woman is likely to debut in the top 10. That's Taylor Swift, whose "Sweeter Than Fiction" from the movie One Chance is vying to become her 12th song to enter the Hot 100 in the top 10. No male artist has had anywhere near that many "top 10 debuts." (More on that in a minute.)
Lorde's four-week reign is longest run by a female artist so far this year. The last hit by a female artist to remain #1 this long was Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," which spent nine weeks on top in the summer of 2012.
"Royals" moves up to #1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, which measures radio airplay across all genres. It displaces "Roar," which had been on top the past four weeks. Billboard's Gary Trust notes that this marks the first time that a female artist's first entry has reached #1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart since Ellie Goulding's "Lights" headed the chart for five weeks in August and September 2012.
Perry's next single, "Unconditionally," is off to a fast start at radio. Both "Roar" and "Unconditionally" are from her third album, PRISM, which is set to enter The Billboard 200 next week with first-week sales in the 275K-300K range. That would be the largest tally by a female solo artist since so far this year, surpassing Miley Cyrus' Bangerz, which started with sales of 270K last week.
Avicii’s "Wake Me Up!" holds at #4 for the third week. It's #1 on Dance/Electronic Songs for the seventh week.
"Hold On, We’re Going Home" by Drake featuring Majid Jordan holds at #5 for the third week. It's #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the fourth week.
Eminem's "Rap God" enters the Hot 100 at #7. It's the second song from The Marshall Mathers LP 2 to reach the top 10. "Berzerk" debuted and peaked at #3 seven weeks ago. The album is due Nov. 5. This marks the second time that an Eminem album has spawned two top 10 hits before its release. Eminem also achieved the feat with his 2009 album Relapse and its hits "Crack A Bottle (a collabo with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent) and "We Made You."
(Eminem's last album, Recovery, yielded its second top 10 hit, "Love The Way You Lie," featuring Rihanna," the same week the album debuted at #1.)
"Rap God" is Eminem's seventh single to enter the Hot 100 inside the top 10. This enables Eminem to surpass Lil Wayne as the male artist with the most songs that have entered the Hot 100 inside the top 10. Lil Wayne has six songs that qualify. But Lil Wayne was in the lead position on only three of the six songs (while Eminem was in the lead on five of his seven). Advantage: Eminem.
"Rap God" is the first song that begins with the word "rap" to crack the top 10. Unless you want to count The Jaggerz' "The Rapper" (#2 in 1970) and Blondie's "Rapture" (#1 in 1981).
"Rap God" enters Rap Songs at #1, displacing "Holy Grail" by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake, which had held the top spot for 11 weeks.
"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell dips from #9 to #10. This is its 21st week in the top 10, which ties "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz for the most weeks in the top 10 so far this year. Will "Blurred" hang in for another week and establish a new record? Stay tuned.
Speaking of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the duo this week becomes just the second act in digital history to sell 4 million copies of two different songs in a calendar year. The hip-hop pair's "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz) has sold 5,999,000 copies in 2013. Its follow-up, "Can't Hold Us" (featuring Ray Dalton) has sold 4,016,000. The only other act to sell 4M copies of two songs in a calendar year is the Black Eyed Peas, which scored in 2009 with "Boom Boom Pow" (4,762,000 sold in that calendar year) and "I Gotta Feeling" (4,426,000).
Incidentally, "Can't Hold Us" is the sixth song to top the 4 million mark in sales so far in 2013. That sets a record for the most 4-million-sellers in a calendar year in the digital era (and we've still got more than two months left in the year). The old record was set in 2010, when there were five.
One more note on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: The duo's current hit, "White Walls" (featuring ScHoolboy Q & Hollis) jumps from #71 to #62 in its fifth week.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Lorde’s "Royals" holds at #1 for the fourth week in its 16th week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (256K)… Katy Perry’s "Roar" rebounds from #3 to #2 in its 11th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (189K)…Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" dips from #2 to #3 in its ninth week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (165K)…Avicii’s "Wake Me Up!" holds at #4 for the third week in its 17th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (184K)…"Hold On, We’re Going Home" by Drake featuring Majid Jordan holds at #5 for the third week in its 11th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (107K)
The Second Five: Ylvis' "The Fox" holds at #6 for the third week in its seventh week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (104K)….Eminem's "Rap God" debuts at #7 (270K). It's his 16th top 10 hit…"Holy Grail" by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake dips from #7 to #8 in its 15th week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #12 (85K)…Lady Gaga’s "Applause" dips from #8 to #9 in its 10th week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #10 (89K)…"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell dips from #9 to #10 in its 27th week on the chart. This is its 21st week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #23 (56K).
"Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais dips from #10 to #11 in its 15th week, ending an eight-week run in the top 10.
Imagine Dragons' "Demons" jumps from #20 to #12 in its 26th week. The band's previous hit, "Radioactive," spent 20 weeks in the top 10… OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" jumps from #19 to #15 in its 18th week. It's vying to become the group's third top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #9 (103K). The song returns to #1 on The U.K.'s Official Singles Chart. It was displaced last week by Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." It's the group's first U.K. #1. In addition, group leader Ryan Tedder has co-written U.K. #1's by Leona Lewis ("Bleeding Love") and Ellie Goulding ("Burn").
Luke Bryan's "That's My Kind Of Night" rebounds from #18 to #17 in its 10th week. The song has climbed as high as #15. The song logs its 10th week at #1 on Hot Country Songs. It's the first hit by a male solo artist to stay on top that long since Buck Owens' "Love's Gonna Live Here" had 16 weeks on top in 1963. Owens was on Capitol. Bryan is on Capitol Nashville. "That's My Kind Of Night" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week…Passenger's "Let Her Go" jumps from #25 to #19 in its 12th week.
AWOLNATION's "Sail" holds at #23 for the second week in its 59th week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #17. The song tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the 95th song to reach that threshold. "Sail" entered Hot Digital Songs in the week ending May 8, 2011—and debuted on the Alternative Digital Songs chart three months before that. This is a true sleeper hit.
Justin Bieber's "All That Matters" is the week's second highest new entry at #24. Digital sales rank: #6 (127K)…Alison Gold's novelty song "Chinese Food" debuts at #29. Lamest novelty hit ever? Oh, they'll be an even lamer one next week. Here's an apt comment I came across at YouTube: "She is trying way too hard to be the next Rebecca Black."
"Gas Pedal" by Sage the Gemini featuring IamSu jumps from #48 to #39 in its 13th week. The song has already climbed as high as #29…Chris Young's "Aw Naw" jumps from #52 to #45 in its 14th week…Jason Derulo's "Marry Me" jumps from #64 to #54 in its third week…Future's "Honest" jumps from #62 to #55 in its sixth week…"It Won't Stop" by Sevyn Streeter featuring Chris Brown jumps from #78 to #65 in its third week.
"Stay The Night" by Zedd featuring Hayley Williams jumps from #79 to #69 in its fifth week. The song has climbed as high as #51…David Nail's "Whatever She's Got" jumps from #85 to #76 in its third week…Gavin DeGraw's "Best I Ever Had" re-enters the chart at #77. This is its fourth week on the chart.
"Let Me Go" by Avril Lavigne featuring Chad Kroeger debuts at #78. This is from Lavigne's fifth studio album, Avril Lavigne, which is due Nov. 5. Lavigne and Kroeger (the lead singer of Nickelback) are Canadian music royalty. They are also a married couple. They were wed on July 1.
Jake Owen's "Days Of Gold" jumps from #91 to #83 in its second week…Florida Georgia Line's "Stay" debuts at #85. It's from Here's To The Good Times, which spent eight weeks at #1 on Top Country Albums.
Tegan and Sara's "Closer" debuts at #90. This is a remixed version of a song from the Canadian rock duo's seventh studio album Heartthrob, which reached #3 on The Billboard 200 earlier this year…Eric Paslay's "Friday Night" debuts at #91. He's country…Scotty McCreery's "See You Tonight" re-enters the chart at #93. It's the title song from his second regular studio album, which enters The Billboard 200 at #6 this week.
The next three entries are all from hit country crossover albums. Zac Brown Band's "Sweet Annie" debuts at #94. It's from Uncaged…Darius Rucker's "Radio" debuts at #96. It's from True Believers…The Band Perry's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely" debuts at #97. It's from Pioneer…Cole Swindell's "Chillin' It" debuts at #98. He's country, too.
"Collard Greens" by ScHoolboy Q featuring Kendrick Lamar debuts at #99. It's from ScHoolboy Q's third studio album, Oxymoron, which is due in January. (Between "Chinese Food" and "Collard Greens," I'm getting hungry.)
Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" tops the 6 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the 24th song to reach that milestone; the second country song. Among country songs, it trails only Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (6,231,000). Neither of these songs quite reached #1 on the Hot 100. "Need You Now" stalled at #2. "Cruise" reached #4.
Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales. It's one of 10 songs to sell that many copies so far in 2013. As a lead artist, Timberlake has had just one bigger seller, "SexyBack" (featuring Timbaland), which has sold 4,340,000 copies.
The Animals' 1964 classic "The House Of The Rising Sun" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales. The song was performed by a contestant on The Voice, which helped put the original on Hot Digital Songs for the first time.