Lady Gaga has two songs in the top 10 on this week's Hot 100. "Dope" debuts at #8, while "Applause" holds at #10. So the early word that Gaga's new album, ARTPOP, is expected to sell in the 250K to 275K range this week was disappointing. That would put the album in the same range as Katy Perry's Prism (286K) and Miley Cyrus' Bangerz (270K), which had the biggest and second-biggest sales openings of 2013 by a female artist. That's not bad company to be in, but it's a far cry from Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which sold 792K this past week (proving that such dizzy sales totals are still achievable.)
"Applause" was released just a week after Perry's "Roar," which has sold more than twice as many copies (3,632,000 compared to 1,690,000). "Applause" has probably suffered by comparison. Both songs are hits. It's just that one is a big hit and the other is a monster hit.
Here's something that may surprise you: "Dope" sold just 31K copies this week (and ranks #60 on Hot Digital Songs), while "Applause" sold just 4K copies this week (and isn't listed at all on the 200-deep Hot Digital Songs chart) How can this be? The songs' sales sank this week because many fans opted to take advantage of iTunes' Complete My Album program. When they do that, their earlier song purchases are deducted from the songs' current week totals. ("Applause" had been selling about 80K a week the past two weeks.)
Another Gaga song, "Do What U Want" (featuring R. Kelly) rebounds from #58 to #48 in its third week. The song has climbed as high as #13.
Lorde's "Royals" tops the Hot 100 for the seventh straight week. The song is already #10 on Nielsen SoundScan's running list of the best-selling songs of 2013. Lorde, who turned 17 last week, will be the youngest artist to have a song in the year-end top 10 since Miley Cyrus, who was also 17 when "Party In The U.S.A." wound up as the #6 song of 2009. (Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown were both 19 at the end of 2008, when their hit collabo "No Air" wound up as that year's #9 song.)
"The Monster" by Eminem
jumps from #3 to #2 in its second week. Usually, songs that debut high drop in their second week. The fact that this moved up is a tip-off that it is probably destined to reach #1. The song logs its second week at #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
"The Monster" leaps from #31 to #12 on the Radio Songs chart, which measures airplay across all formats. Billboard's Gary Trust notes that this is Eminem's highest ranking on that chart since his previous collabo with Rihanna, "Love The Way You Lie." A coincidence? I don't think so. I think I could have a hit if I got Rihanna to sing on it.