Week Ending April 7, 2013. Songs: Discount Helps Bruno Reach #1
Here’s an irony for you: A price reduction to 69 cents enabled Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” to bump “Thrift Shop”—a song about hunting for 99-cent bargains—out of the #1 spot on the Hot 100. Mars’ song was discounted to that price in both the iTunes and Amazon MP3 stores, which put it far below the standard $1.29 price of most current hits. This was a shameless (and effective) bid to give Mars’ hit the final push it needed to reach #1. The song sold 340K copies during the week, which represents a 45% gain over the previous week. “Thrift Shop,” which is the only song in digital history to top 300K in weekly sales nine times, sold 211K during the week, a 25% drop from the previous week.
“When I Was Your Man” is Mars’ fifth #1 on the Hot 100. Mars has amassed his first five #1 hits faster than any male solo artist since Elvis Presley. Mars first charted on Feb. 13, 2010 as the featured artist on B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You.” Thus, he has piled up five #1 hits in three years and two months. Presley amassed his first five #1 hits in less than a year (March 3, 1956 to Feb. 9, 1957, when “Too Much” bumped Guy Mitchell’s “Singing The Blues” out of the top spot).
Only two other artists have amassed five or more #1 hits since January 2010. Rihanna leads with seven in this young decade. Katy Perry has had six. Among male solo artists, Mars is way out front. Eminem is in second place with two #1 hits since January 2010.
(Wanna know who else has had two or more #1 hits in this decade? Adele has had three. Ke$ha, LMFAO and Maroon 5 have each had two.)
Billboard’s Gary Trust notes that “When I Was Your Man” is only the second single in the nearly 55-year history of the Hot 100 that features only piano and vocals. It follows Adele’s “Someone Like You,” which topped the chart for five weeks in late 2011. That influential smash, which brought Adele a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance, featured her vocal backed by Dan Wilson’s piano. Mars’ smash, which will probably be a front-runner in the same Grammy category come February, features his vocal backed by his own piano accompaniment.
“When I Was Your Man” jumps to #1 on Hot Digital Songs. It’s Mars’ sixth #1 on that strictly sales chart. It holds at #1 for the third week on the all-format Radio Songs chart.