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Chart Watch: Pharrell “Happy” Despite Oscar Loss

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Chart Watch: Pharrell “Happy” Despite Oscar Loss

Pharrell Williams's "Happy" tops the Hot 100 for the second straight week. The song sold 413K copies, up from 402K last week. It's the first song to sell at least 400K copies two weeks running since Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (which featured Williams, along with T.I.). That smash topped 400K for three consecutive weeks (and four weeks overall) last summer.

Remarkably, sales for "Happy" have increased every single week since the week ending Dec. 8. That's 12 consecutive week-over-week sales increases. Will it top itself again next week—which will be the first full week following Pharrell's terrific Oscar night performance? Place your bets.

"Happy" tops the 2 million mark in U.S. sales this week. The song also reaches #1 on Radio Songs (which measures only radio airplay) in its sixth week on that chart. Only two other songs since January 2010 have shot to #1 on that chart in just six weeks: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and "The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna.

"Happy" logs its fourth week at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

The big mystery about "Happy" is why such an infectious and irresistable song took so long to break big. The song just sat there for six months before it started to take off. "Happy" was released in June, two weeks before the release of the animated movie "Despicable Me 2," in which it was featured. But the song didn't crack 10K in weekly sales until the week ending Dec. 22.

Part of the explanation is that the two megahits on which Williams was featured last year—"Blurred Lines" and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky"—first had to subside. And that took a very long time.

Another oddity: The "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack (which contains "Happy") has done poorly (given that it has spawned such a massive hit). The soundtrack has sold only 41K copies as of this week. Williams' own album, "GIRL," (which also contains "Happy") is set to enter The Billboard 200 next week at #2 or #3 with sales of about 85K. (I expected much more given Pharrell's red-hot status.)

"Happy" was entered in the Grammy process last year in the category of Best Song Written for Visual Media. It wasn't even nominated. That wasn't really a surprise, given its minimal impact at the time. (Luckily, it wasn't entered for Record or Song of the Year or Best Pop Solo Performance, so it will be eligible for those prizes next year.)

"Happy" also returns to #1 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart. The song has had three separate runs at #1 in the U.K. It's the first song to achieve that feat since Guy Mitchell's "Singing The Blues" in 1957.

Here's a little more U.K. trivia. "Happy" is Williams' third million-seller in the U.K., following "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines." Only two other acts in U.K. history have had three or more million-sellers. The Beatles lead with six. (In addition, Paul McCartney and John Lennon each had one more post-Beatles million-seller). Rihanna has also had three.

Bastille's "Pompeii" finally cracks the top five in its 29th week. It jumps from #6 to #5. (Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" holds the record for the longest slog to finally crack the top five—42 weeks.) "Pompeii" tops the 2 million mark in U.S. sales this week.

Lorde's "Team" jumps from #7 to #6. And her new "Glory And Gore" leaps from #88 to #68 in its second week. The History Channel is featuring the latter song in promos for its "Vikings" series, which began its second season on Feb. 27.

"Drunk In Love" by Beyonce featuring Jay Z drops from #5 to #7. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

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

The Top Five: Pharrell Williams's "Happy" holds at #1 for the second week in its ninth week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (413K) … "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J holds at #2 for the second week its 24th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (212K) … "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz holds at #3 for the fourth week in its 11th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (217K) … John Legend's "All Of Me" holds at #4 for the second week in its 21st week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (198K) … Bastille's "Pompeii" jumps from #6 to #5 in its 29th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (128K).

The Second Five: Lorde's "Team" jumps from #7 to #6 in its 23rd week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (101K) …. "Drunk In Love" by Beyonce featuring Jay Z drops from #5 to #7 in its 11th week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (94K) … OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" rebounds from #9 to #8 in its 37th week on the chart. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #13 (76K) …. "Say Something" by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera dips from #8 to #9 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (110K) … "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha holds at #10 for the second week in its 21st week on the chart. This is its 16th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (95K).

Aloe Blacc's "The Man," which ranked #13 last week, is expected to move up this week. Digital sales rank: #7 (120K). The song samples Elton John's "Your Song," which peaked at #8 in 1971. So there's a good chance that Blacc's record will surpass the peak of Elton's. Stay tuned.

Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" jumps from #18 to #17 in its 14th week. The song won an Oscar as Original Song. Will it crack the top 10 next week? Place your bets. Digital sales rank: #5 (130K).

The Chainsmokers's "#Selfie" is the week's top new entry at #55. (That is what you call a timely title.) The Chainsmokers are a New York City-based DJ/producer duo consisting of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall.

Justin Timberlake's "Not A Bad Thing" debuts at #65. It's vying to become the third top 40 hit from "The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2)." Timberlake performed the song on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Feb. 21.

Two songs reach the 5 million mark in U.S. digital sales this week. This brings the number of 5 million-sellers to an even 50. The first is Phillip Phillips's "Home." It's the best-selling song by any contestant in "American Idol" history. The second is fun.'s "Some Nights." It's fun.'s second song to reach this plateau, following "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monae). fun. is just the fourth group or duo to land two 5 million-sellers. The New York trio follows the Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO and Maroon 5.

Eminem's "Rap God" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. The song reached #7 on the Hot 100.

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.