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Chart Watch: “Happy” Peaked But It’s Still Potent

Chart Watch

Chart Watch: “Happy” Peaked But It’s Still Potent

Pharrell Williams's "Happy" is finally peaking in terms of radio airplay. In fact, it most likely peaked a week ago, when it received 225.9 million "all-format audience impressions." (That's music industry jargon for a song that is simply inescapable.) It slipped to 225.4 million such impressions this week. In the 23-year history of Billboard's Radio Songs chart, only one song has ever amassed this many or more radio impressions. That's "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell, which registered 228.9 million in its peak week last August. (Given Williams' drop this week, even though it was a slight one, Thicke's record seems safe.)

"Happy" peaked in terms of digital sales four weeks ago, when it sold 490K copies. This week, its sales fell to 284K.

"Happy" tops the Hot 100 for the seventh week. The feel-good smash is the first song by a male solo artist (who wasn't part of a collaboration) to log seven weeks at #1 since T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" in 2008.

"Happy" this week ties "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" for the longest run at #1 by a song that an individual artist wrote, produced and performed all by himself, with no credited collaborators. The Soulja Boy Tell'em smash was on top for seven weeks in 2007.

There have been a few close calls. Gotye wrote and produced "Somebody That I Used To Know" (eight weeks on top in 2013), but employed a featured artist, Kimbra. Andre 3000 wrote, produced and performed OutKast's "Hey Ya!" (nine weeks on top in 2003-2004), but it was credited to the duo.

This is the longest run at #1 on the Hot 100 for song that was nominated for an Oscar, but didn't win, since "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" (from "Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves"). Bryan Adams's single had seven weeks on top in 1991 (and lost to "Beauty And The Beast"). If "Happy" has two more weeks on top, it will tie "Endless Love" (from the movie of the same name). The smash single by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie Jr. had nine weeks on top (and lost to "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do).")

The record for most weeks at #1 for an Oscar-nominated song that didn't win (since the introduction of Billboard's weekly charts in 1940) is held by "It Seems I Heard That Song Before" from "Youth On Parade." Harry James and his Orchestra's recording of that song, retitled "I've Heard That Song Before," had 13 weeks on top in 1943. (That song had the misfortune of being nominated in the same year as "White Christmas.")

"Happy" also tops Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the ninth week.

John Legend's "All Of Me" holds at #2 for the third straight week. The piano ballad this week becomes the fourth song to sell 2 million copies in 2014. It sold an additional 445K copies in the last 20 weeks of 2013. The sleeper smash has sold more copies in the past two weeks (454K) than it did in the last 20 weeks of 2013.

"Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz holds at #4 for the fifth straight week (after spending four weeks at #3). This is its 11th week in the top 10. Only one other Derulo hit has spent that many weeks in the top 10. 2009's "Whatcha Say" spent 18 weeks in the top 10. Will "Talk Dirty" top that? Place your bets.

Lorde's "Team" holds at #7 for the second week. The song tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. "Royals" is up to 5,467,000.

OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" rebounds from #9 to #8. This is its 24th week in the top 10. The smash is now just one week away from tying Timbaland's "Apologize" (on which the group had a featured credit) for the group's longest run in the top 10.

Aloe Blacc's "The Man" dips from #8 to #9. The song jumps to #1 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart. Avicii's "Wake Me Up!" (which featured Blacc's uncredited lead vocal) also reached #1 there.

Here's a recap of this week's top 10 songs.

The Top Five: Pharrell Williams's "Happy" holds at #1 for the seventh week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (284K) … John Legend's "All Of Me" holds at #2 for the third week in its 26th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (228K) … "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J holds at #3 for the third week in its 29th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (122K) … "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz holds at #4 for the fifth week in its 16th week on the chart. This is its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (156K) … Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" holds at #5 for the third week in its 19th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (154K).

The Second Five: Bastille's "Pompeii" holds at #6 for the third week in its 34th week on the chart. This is its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (85K) … Lorde's "Team" holds at #7 for the third week in its 28th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #23 (54K) … OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" rebounds from #9 to #8 in its 42nd week on the chart. This is its 24rd week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #20 (54K) … Aloe Blacc's "The Man" dips from #8 to #9 in its 15th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (106K)…. "Turn Down For What" by DJ Snake & Lil Jon holds at #10 for the second week in its 15th week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (96K).

Let's keep an eye on two songs that are already in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs: Luke Bryan's "Play It Again" (Digital sales rank: #8, 88K) and the Chainsmokers' "#Selfie" (Digital sales rank: #10, 79K). On last week's Hot 100, "Play It Again" shot from #53 to #40; "#Selfie" dropped from #16 to #18.

5 Seconds Of Fun's "She Looks So Perfect" is the top new entry on Hot Digital Songs at #26 (51K). It will probably also be the top new entry on the Hot 100. The Aussie group's EP of the same title enters The Billboard 200 at #2 (and Top Digital Albums at #1). The song hit #1 last week on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart.

"Look At Me Now" by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. The song reached #6 in April 2011, and was an even bigger R&B hit (eight weeks at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs). This is Brown's best-selling hit as a lead (or co-lead) artist. Next in line: "Forever" (3,830,000), "No Air," his melodramatic duet with Jordin Sparks (3,596,000) and "Kiss Kiss" (3,117,000).

Luke Bryan's "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the 14th country song to reach this level; the third by a male solo country artist. In the latter regard, it follows Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" (4,027,000) and Hunter Hayes's "Wanted" (3,476,000).

Zac Brown Band's "Highway 20 Ride" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

To My Readers: I'll have a separate Chart Watch report on this week's key movers and debuts on the Hot 100 later today. I won't recap the top 10 in that second report. It will be fresh material.