Chart Watch Extra: A Run On Whitney
[Photo: Tony Barson/WireImage]
[Photo: Tony Barson/WireImage]
By comparison, Michael Jackson charted with 49 songs and 14 albums in the week after his death in June 2009 (counting his work with the Jackson 5). But Jackson died on a Thursday, so he had three full days to ring up sales. (Nielsen SoundScan's tracking week ends Sunday night.) Houston died on a Saturday, so she had just one full day to ring up sales.
Houston's catalog of songs sold 887K digital copies during the week, up from just 15K the previous week. Her catalog of albums sold 101K copies. Billboard's Keith Caulfield reports that the album tally is greater than Houston's album sales for all of 2011 and the first five weeks of 2012 combined (97K).
"I Will Always Love You" sold 195K copies this week, almost all of it in the wake of her death. This brings the song's digital sales total to 1,105,000. That's probably less than you assumed, but bear in mind that Houston hadn't been "hot" in years.
"I Will Always Love You," which was certified for sales of 4 million physical singles in January 1993, is Houston's first digital million-seller. Her next four biggest digital hits (not just this week, but counting their entire runs) are: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (583K), "Greatest Love Of All" (371K), "How Will I Know" (300K) and "I Have Nothing (287K).
Amber Riley sang "I Will Always Love You" on a Valentine's Day-themed episode of Glee on Tuesday night. That version will chart next week. Houston's other most popular songs in the wake of her death (and their rankings on Hot Digital Songs) were: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (#25), "Greatest Love Of All" (#32), "How Will I Know" (#46), "I Have Nothing" (#53), "Saving All My Love For You" (#65), "One Moment In Time" (#74), "The Star Spangled Banner" (#75), "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (#81), "I'm Every Woman" (#85) and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" (#87).
Houston's other top albums were her eponymous debut album (#72), The Bodyguard soundtrack (#80), her final studio album I Look To You (#118), her sophomore album Whitney (#122) and The Preacher's Wife soundtrack (#183).
Houston's greatest hits album is #1 on Top Catalog Albums. This is the seventh time in the Nielsen SoundScan era that an album has zoomed to #1 on the catalog chart in the week after (or the first full week after) the artist's death. The other instances, working backwards, were Amy Winehouse's Back To Black in July 2011, Michael Jackson's Number Ones in June 2009, Johnny Cash's 16 Biggest Hits in September 2003, the Bee Gees' One Night Only in January 2003 (following the death of Maurice Gibb), Aaliyah's One In A Million in August 2001, and the Grateful Dead's Skeletons From The Closet in August 1995 (following the death of Jerry Garcia).
Some people don't know that Dolly Parton wrote "I Will Always Love You." The country star took it to #1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in 1974 and again in 1982 (when she sang it in the movie The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, in which she co-starred with Burt Reynolds).