Week Ending Feb. 19, 2012. Songs: Women Take Charge
Female solo artists hold down seven of the top 10 spots on this week's Hot 100. Katy Perry leads the charge as "Part Of Me" debuts at #1 with first-week sales of 411K. Adele has three songs in the top 10 (a first for a female lead artist) in the first full week following her Grammy sweep. Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson and Nicki Minaj are also listed in the top 10. A female-led collabo, "We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, brings the tally up to eight.
Here's another indication of how dominant women are in pop these days. Five of the last six songs to enter the Hot 100 at #1 are by female solo artists: Britney Spears (twice), Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and now Perry. The only male artist to debut at #1 in the last five years is Eminem.
Only one song by a female solo artist has had a greater first-week digital sales tally than "Part Of Me" rang up this week. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" started with sales of 448K a year ago. (Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" also bowed with sales of 411K, though Spears' exact total was a bit less than Perry's.) Both of those songs also debuted at #1.
Perry introduced "Part Of Me" on the Grammys on Feb. 12. The song is from Perry's Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, which is due March 27. "Part Of Me" is Perry's first song to debut at #1, though this isn't her biggest sales week. "Firework" sold 509K copies in its 11th week during Christmas week in 2010.
When "The One That Got Away" peaked at #3 in December, everybody was focused on how Perry just missed landing a record-breaking sixth #1 single from Teenage Dream. What's more, if "The One That Got Away" had hit the top, Perry would this week have tied Whitney Houston's record of seven consecutive #1 singles.
Adele has three songs in this week's top 10 in the first full week after her sweep of the Grammys. "Set Fire To The Rain" holds at #2, "Rolling In The Deep" vaults from #17 to #5 and "Someone Like You" jumps from #11 to #7. Billboard's Gary Trust notes that this marks the first time that a female lead artist has had three songs in the top 10 simultaneously. Adele is the first artist to have three songs in the top 10 simultaneously as a lead artist since Chris Brown scored in May 2008 with "No Air" (a 50-50 duet with Jordin Sparks), "Forever" and "With You." In addition, Adele's new single, "Rumour Has It," re-enters the chart at #67. (It has climbed as high as #60.)
Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" jumps from #7 to #3 in the first full week following her death. "I Will Always Love You" is the first single to return to the top five on Billboard's pop chart 10 years or more after it first made the top five. (The song first made the top five the week of Nov. 28, 1992.)
"I Will Always Love You" sold even more copies than Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" did this week, if you combine the three different versions that appear on this week's Digital Songs chart. Houston's version sold 367K copies. Amber Riley's version from Glee sold 36K copies. Jennifer Hudson's version from the Grammys sold 15K. Grand total: 418K, compared to 411K for "Part Of Me."