Justin Timberlake may have been shut out in the marquee categories at the Grammys, but he cleaned up on the music charts. The multi-media star has the year's best-selling album, "The 20/20 Experience." And he's the only artist with three of the year's top 20 digital hits: "Mirrors" (#11), "Suit & Tie" (#14) and "Holy Grail" (#19). (The latter two songs, of course, are collabos with Jay Z, who also has an album in the year's top 10.)
There are still two weeks to go in the 2013 chart year, but Timberlake's album has such a commanding lead, it will be virtually impossible for anything to catch it. Timberlake will become the first artist in chart history to wind up with the #1 album of the year both as a solo artist and as a group member. (*NSYNC’s No Strings Attached was the #1 album of 2000.)
Alas, Timberlake's album will set a new record for the lowest sales tally for the year's #1 album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. The album has sold 2,390,000 copies. The previous low (and the only other year-end #1 to fall below 3 million) was Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III," which was the #1 seller of 2008, despite sales that year of just 2,874,000 copies.
Here's some better news: Timberlake's album has sold 1,015,000 digital copies. It's the first album by an artist whose name isn't Adele to sell 1 million digital copies in a calendar year.
Another "blue-eyed soul" star, Robin Thicke, has the year's #1 single, "Blurred Lines." The song, which features T.I. + Pharrell, has sold 6,380,000 copies. This is down from last year's champ, "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra, which sold 6,801,000 during that year.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is the only act with two songs in the year-to-date top 10. "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz) is #2 (6,090,000 copies sold in 2013, on top of 1,118,000 copies sold in 2012. "Can't Hold Us" (featuring Ray Dalton) is #6 (4,160,000, on top of 123K sold in 2012).
Eight songs have sold more than 4 million copies each in 2013, more than in any previous year. The old record was five in 2010.
The top 10 includes six collaborations, more than in any previous year. Again, the old record was five in 2010.
Imagine Dragons is the only act to appear in the top five on both the year-to-date albums and singles charts. Florida Georgia Line and Bruno Mars also appear in the top 10 on both charts.
The list of the year's top 10 albums begins just like the 2000 year-end chart, with Timberlake (solo now, in a group then) at #1 and Eminem at #2. For Eminem, that was the year of the original The Marshall Mathers LP. This year, he is represented by the sequel.
This will mark the sixth time that Eminem has placed an album in the year-end top 10. This will put him in a tie with Garth Brooks and Mariah Carey for the most years with an album in the year-end top 10 in the Nielsen SoundScan era.
The big question mark is Beyonce's new album, Beyonce. After just one week, it's the year's #24 best-seller (617K). With two weeks to go, can it sell enough copies to climb into the top 10 for the year? If it does, this will be the sixth year that Beyonce has achieved that feat (counting her work with Destiny's Child), which would put her in a tie with Brooks, Carey and Eminem.
This will be the fifth time that Timberlake has placed an album in the year-end top 10 (counting his work with *NSYNC.)
The Year's Top 10 Albums
I've already given you the details about #1, "The 20/20 Experience." Here's the rest of the top 10.
Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" is #2 (1,490,000). It's the year's top rap album. This will mark the fourth time that Eminem has ranked either #1 or #2 on the year-end chart, a first in Nielsen SoundScan history.
Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" is #3 (1,399,000). It's the year's top country album. This will be the second year in a row that Bryan has had an album in the year-end top 10.
Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" is #4 (1,352,000). This is the year's best-selling album that was released in 2012. It sold an additional 480K copies that year.
Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" is #5 (1,287,000). It's the year's top rock album, the year's top debut album and the year's top album by a group or duo. It sold an additional 417K copies in 2012.
Drake's "Nothing Was The Same" is #6 (1,259,000). It's the year's top album by a foreign-born artist. (Drake was born in Canada.) This will be the third time in the past four years that Drake has had an album in the year-end top 10.
Florida Georgia Line's "Here's To The Good Times" is #7 (1,240,000). This sold an additional 181K copies in 2012.
Jay Z's "Magna Carta…Holy Grail" is #8 (1,083,000). If this stays on course, this will be the third time in the past five years that the rap icon has placed an album in the year-end top 10.
Mumford & Sons' "Babel" is #9 (1,068,000). This is the year's top-selling album by a British artist. If this stays on course, this will be the third year in a row that the band has had an album in the year-end top 10. This sold an additional 1,463,000 copies in 2012.
Blake Shelton's "Based On A True Story…" is #10 (1,067,000).
P!nk's "The Truth About Love" is the best-selling album by a female artist so far this year. It's #12 overall (904K sold, on top of 945K in 2012). But, as noted above, look for Beyonce's "Beyonce" to overtake it.
Other current hit albums that are still climbing the year-to-date chart include One Direction's "Midnight Madness" (#16 for the year-to-date, 788K) and Katy Perry's "Prism" (#17 for the year-to-date, 771K).
"Pitch Perfect" is the year's top soundtrack. It's #18 overall (770K, on top of 212K in 2012).
Top 10 Songs
I've already told you about #1, "Blurred Lines"; #2, "Thrift Shop"; and #6, "Can't Hold Us." Here's the rest of the top 10.
Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" is #3 (5,318,000). This has sold more copies in a calendar year than any other song by a rock act in digital history. This sold an additional 546K copies in 2012.
"Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly is #4 (4,585,000). This has sold more copies in a calendar year than any other song by a country act in digital history. This sold an additional 1,636,000 copies in 2012.
"Just Give Me A Reason" by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess is #5 (4,271,000). This is the year's top song by a female lead artist. P!nk had the #10 hit of 2008, "So What." With fun., Ruess had two songs in the top 10 of 2012. This sold an additional 84K copies in 2012.
Katy Perry's "Roar" is #7 (4,075,000).This will be the fourth time that Perry has had a song in the year-end top 10 (and possibly the top five, should it finish there).
Lorde's "Royals" is #8 (4,002,000). Lorde, 17, is the youngest artist to have a song in the year-end top 10 since Miley Cyrus, then also 17, had the #6 song of 2009, "Party In The U.S.A."
Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" is #9 (3,881,000). If this stays on course, this will be the second time Mars has had a song in the year-end top 10. This sold an additional 195K copies in 2012.
"Stay" by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko is #10 (3,813,000). If this stays on course, this will be the third time Rihanna has had a song in the year-end top 10 since 2008 (when Nielsen SoundScan's songs recap originated). This sold an additional 57K copies in 2012.
Miley Cyrus is the only female artist with two songs in the year-to-date top 20. "We Can't Stop" is #15. "Wrecking Ball" is #18. Cyrus had two of the year-end top 20 in 2009: "Party In The U.S.A." at #6 and "The Climb" at #12. (For Cyrus, who spent much of 2013 letting the world know that she is All Grown Up, that must seem like a lifetime ago.)
As a featured artist, Pharrell Williams also has two songs in the year's top 20. In addition to the #1-ranked "Blurred Lines," he's featured on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (#13).
Here are other songs, not already mentioned, that rank in the top 20 for the year-to-date: #12, Avicii's "Wake Me Up!"; #16, Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up)"; #17, Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble."; #20, "I Love It" by Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX.