“Harlem Shake,” the viral smash by Brooklyn producer Baauer, enters the Hot 100 at #1 this week. It’s the 21st song to debut at #1 since 1995, but the first by an artist who was unknown prior to charting. Three early American Idol contestants (Clay Aiken, Fantasia and Carrie Underwood) debuted at #1 with their first chart singles, but they were, by that point, household names. Likewise, Lauryn Hill debuted at #1 with her first solo chart hit, but she had reached #2 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart as the featured singer on Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly.”
By contrast, Baauer (real name: Harry Rodrigues) was unknown to the general public just a couple of weeks ago. Last week, “Harlem Shake” entered Hot Digital Songs at #123, with sales of 18K. This week, it vaults to #3 on that chart, with sales of 262K.
Baauer is the beneficiary of a major shakeup in Hot 100 methodology. You Tube streaming data is being counted for the first time. Nielsen will count all official videos on YouTube, including Vevo on YouTube, as well as user-generated clips that utilize authorized audio. That information joins these other factors that are already part of the chart mix: digital download track sales (and physical singles sales, where applicable), terrestrial radio airplay, on-demand audio streaming and online radio streaming.
The move appears to be a reaction to the fact that PSY’s “Gangnam Style” stalled at #2 on the Hot 100 last fall, even though it created more of a stir than the song that kept it out of the #1 spot for seven straight weeks—Maroon 5’s “One More Night.” (Thanks to the change in methodology, “Gangnam Style” rebounds from #48 to #26 in its 24th week. Meanwhile, “One More Night” drops from #21 to#34 in its 35th week.)
“Harlem Shake” would have ranked in the top 15 on the Hot 100 just based on its strong digital sales tally, according to Billboard, but its tremendous YouTube success pushed it to #1. The video amassed 103 million views, according to YouTube.
“Harlem Shake” is the third song with a title that begins with the word “Harlem” to crack the Hot 100, following the Viscounts’ “Harlem Nocturne” (a 1960 release that finally reached its #39 peak in 1966) and Bob & Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle” (a 1964 release best known for the Rolling Stones’ 1986 cover version, which reached #5).
Incidentally, we have “Harlem Shake” at #1 and Alabama Shakes at #100. What are the odds?
“Harlem Shake” also jumps to #1 on Dance/Electronic Songs, dethroning “Scream & Shout” by will.i.am & Britney Spears, which spent five weeks on top.
Two other songs leap into the top 10 in their second chart week.
“Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko, which they performed on the Grammys, vaults from #57 to #3. Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” leaps from #63 to #10. These songs also benefited from the inclusion of YouTube streams into the Hot 100 calculation.
“Stay” is Rihanna’s 24th top 10 hit, a total matched by only three other female solo artists in the nearly 55-year history of the Hot 100. She trails Madonna (38 top 10 hits) and Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson (27 top 10 hits each). She pulls ahead of the late Whitney Houston, who amassed 23 top 10 hits.
Two other Rihanna songs are streaking up the chart. “Pour It Up” leaps from #34 to #22 in its seventh week. “Loveeeeee” (featuring Future) jumps from #88 to #63 in its third week.
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz slips to #2 after logging four weeks at #1. It’s #1 for the sixth week on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
“Thrift Shop” sold 412K copies this week, a 6% gain over last week. This is the sixth week in a row that it has ranked #1 on Hot Digital Songs. Remarkably, it has gained in sales in each of those weeks. It’s the first song in digital history to gain in sales in each of its first six weeks at #1 on Hot Digital Songs.
“Thrift Shop” has sold 3,514,000 copies. It has sold more than 2 million copies since the first of the year. No other song has ever sold 2 million digital copies so early in a calendar year.
This is the sixth time that “Thrift Shop” has topped 300K in weekly sales. Only two other songs in digital history have topped 300K in weekly sales six or more times. “We Are Young” by fun. featuring Janelle Monae did it seven times. “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra did it six times. Will “Thrift Shop” break fun.’s record? Place your bets.
“Scream & Shout” by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears dips from #3 to #4. The song tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week…The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” drops from #4 to #6. It’s #1 on Hot Rock Songs for the 14th week.
Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” jumps from #9 to #8. It’s one of two stark ballads in the top 10 (along with “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko). Both owe a debt to Adele’s “Someone Like You,” which proved that a stark, spare ballad could become a smash hit. “Someone Like You” logged five weeks at #1 in late 2011 and won a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” enters the Hot 100 at #1. It’s his first top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #3 (262K)… “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz dips from #1 to #2 in its 20th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (412K)… “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko vaults from #57 to #3 in its second week. This is Rihanna’s 24th top 10 hit; Ekko’s first. Digital sales rank: #2 (306K)… “Scream & Shout” by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears dips from #3 to #4 its 12th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (158K)… Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” holds at #5 for the third week in its 18th week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #2. This is its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (149K).
The Second Five: The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” drops from #4 to #6 in its 37th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (192K)…Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” drops from #2 to #7 in its 20th week on the chart. This is its 17th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #12 (148K)… Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” jumps from #9 to #8 in its ninth week. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (217K)…“Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z dips from #8 to #9 in its sixth week. Digital sales rank: #5 (201K)… Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” leaps from #63 to #10 in its second week. This is his 11th top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #8 (168K).
Three songs drop out of the top 10 this week. “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin drops from #6 to #11. Maroon 5’s “Daylight” drops from #7 to #13 (despite a Grammy performance slot)…“Beauty And A Beat” by Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj drops from #10 to #16. The song tops the 2 million mark this week. It’s Bieber’s fifth song to reach this level.
Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait” jumps from #15 to #12 in its 28th week. Digital sales rank: #7 (177K)… “Love Me” by Lil Wayne featuring Drake & Future rebounds from #23 to #19 in its fifth week. The song has climbed as high as #16.
fun.’s “Carry On” vaults from #43 to #20 in its seventh week. It’s vying to become the third top five hit from Some Nights. In addition, the trio’s Nate Ruess is featured on P!nk’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” which debuts at #84. It’s vying to become the third top 10 hit from The Truth About Love.
Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” is the week’s second highest new entry at #24. Digital sales rank: #9 (163K). It’s from his third solo studio album, The 20/20 Experience, which is due March 19.
Miguel’s “Adorn” rebounds from #35 to #27 in its 29th week. The song has climbed as high as #17…Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted” inches up from #30 to #29 in its 43rd week. The song has climbed as high as #16. The song is #1 on Hot Country Songs for the third week. The only downside for Hayes: His follow-up is having a hard time emerging from the shadow of “Wanted.” “Somebody’s Heartbreak” drops from #54 to #56 in its 13th week on the Hot 100.
Phillip Phillips’ “Home” drops from #17 to #30 in its 34th week. The song tops the 4 million mark this week. It’s the second song by an American Idol alumnus to reach that milestone. It follows Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” which has sold 4,167,000.
The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” drops from #31 to #39 in its 16th week. The song tops the 1 million mark this week. It’s the trio’s second million-seller…Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs” jumps from #50 to #41 in its 10th week.
One Direction’s “One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)” is the week’s third highest new entry at #45. This is a non-album single. It’s a mash-up of Blondie’s 1979 hit “One Way Or Another” and the Undertones’ 1978 song “Teenage Kicks.” In addition, the quintet’s “Kiss You” leaps from #72 to #51 in its eighth week. And “Little Things” jumps from #82 to #80 in its 14th week. The song peaked at #33. Obviously, the boy band’s fans are heavy YouTube users.
“Feel This Moment” by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera jumps from #55 to #47 in its fourth week…“Bugatti” by Ace Hood featuring Future & Rick Ross debuts at #77. It’s from Ace Hood’s upcoming fourth studio album, Trials & Tribulations…Adele’s “Skyfall” re-enters the chart at #83 on the eve of the song’s expected victory at the Oscars on Sunday. The song has climbed as high as #8.
“Power Trip” by J. Cole featuring Miguel debuts at #91. It’s from his upcoming second studio album, Born Sinner…Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” re-enters the chart at #95… “She Don’t Put It Down” by Joe Budden featuring Lil Wayne & Tank debuts at #96…Krewella’s “Alive” debuts at #99…Alabama Shakes’ “Hold On” debuts at #100. The song has sold 255K copies. Brittany Howard, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, participated in the tribute to Levon Helm on the Grammys.
LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” tops the 6 million mark. It’s the twosome’s second song to reach this level. “Party Rock Anthem” is up to 7,560,000. LMFAO is only the third act in digital history have had have two songs sell 6 million copies. They follow the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga. “Sexy And I Know It,” which received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, is the 17th song to top the 6 million mark in digital sales.
P!nk’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” tops the 2 million mark. It’s P!nk’s fifth song to reach this plateau.
Final Grammy Nugget: If you tuned in to the 55th annual Grammy Awards hoping to see performances of the year’s biggest hits, well, you didn’t get that. Just one of the 25 best-selling songs of 2012 was performed on the show: Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” fun., Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson all had songs that ranked among the year’s top 10, and all performed on the telecast, but they didn’t perform those songs. fun. and Maroon 5 performed their current hits. Clarkson performed two songs in tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Patti Page and Carole King.
Clive & Kelly: Clive Davis is one of the greatest executives in the history of the music business, but he missed the mark in his dealings with Kelly Clarkson. He somehow forgot that the proper role of an executive is to nurture, encourage, support and advise artists, not to direct them or to impose your own vision on them. And any problems between the two of them should have remained between the two of them. Clive is a great executive, but he’s not the artist. The artist is the artist. That’s a crucial distinction. When I first heard “Mr. Know It All,” I thought Kelly was probably thinking about her experiences with Clive when she sang it. Now, I’m sure of it.