Who spent the most weeks at #1 on the Hot Digital Songs chart in 2011? Adele, you say? Or maybe Katy Perry or Rihanna? Those are all very good guesses, but they're all wrong. Adele had the best-selling song in the U.S. for a total of 10 weeks in 2011. Perry was #1 for nine weeks. Rihanna had the top-seller for a total of six weeks. But topping them all were those cut-ups LMFAO, who were out front for 11 weeks. The party-minded duo's current hit, "Sexy And I Know It," logs its fifth week at #1. LMFAO's first smash, "Party Rock Anthem," spent six weeks as the nation's top-selling digital song. This total of 11 weeks at #1 in a calendar year is the greatest by any act since the Black Eyed Peas hogged the top spot for 20 weeks in 2009.
"Sexy And I Know It" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. It reached that milestone in just 19 weeks. That's the fastest pace by any song since "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera did the same thing in October.
As of this week, LMFAO has the two best-selling songs by (or fronted by) a duo in digital history. "Sexy And I Know It" leaps over Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" to take the #2 spot. "Sexy And I Know It" has sold 3,363,000 copies. "Crazy" has sold 3,109,000. "Party Rock Anthem" (which features Lauren Bennett and GoonRock) leads the duo derby with sales of 5,468,000.
"Sexy And I Know It" sold 417K copies this week, a total topped by only one song in all of 2011. That's Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," which sold 448K and 509K copies, respectively, in its first two weeks in February. As always, the charts make for strange bedfellows. "Born This Way" carried a positive social message. "Sexy And I Know It" is one of the most resolutely content-free songs in recent memory (unless "I'm in a Speedo trying to tan my cheeks" has a deeper meaning that I'm not aware of).
In terms of the biggest one-week sales tallies in 2011, these two smashes are followed by Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)," which sold 412K copies in the week following the Grammys in February, and Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me," which sold 411K copies when it debuted in January.
This is the last tracking week of 2011. (This counts as a 2011 week because six of the seven days occurred in 2011.) "Sexy And I Know It" winds up at #11 for the year. "Party Rock Anthem" is #2. LMFAO is one of four acts with two songs in the year's top 15. The others are Adele, Pitbull and Rihanna. As you have probably surmised, I updated my 2011 songs recap, which we posted a couple weeks ago. I also expanded it, from 25 to 30 songs. If you missed it, or want to see the final rankings and tallies, here's a link.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs. (As a bonus, I show the final, year-end ranking on all of these songs.)
1. LMFAO, "Sexy And I Know It." The song holds at #1 for the second straight week. This is its 18th week on the chart; its 15th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (417K). The song ranks #11 for the year.
2. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, "We Found Love." The song holds at #2 following eight straight weeks at #1. This is its 15th week on the chart; its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (319K). The song ranks #15 for the year.
3. Katy Perry, "The One That Got Away." The song holds at #3 in its 12th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Digital sales rank: #3 (308K). The song ranks #67 for the year.
4. Bruno Mars, "It Will Rain." The song holds at #4 following four weeks at #3. This is its 14th week on the chart; its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (280K). The song ranks #43 for the year.
5. Flo Rida, "Good Feeling." The song inches back up from #6 to #5 in its 14th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (257K). The song ranks #47 for the year.
6. LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and Goon Rock, "Party Rock Anthem." The former #1 song rebounds from #9 to #6 in its 41st week. This is its 28th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (296K). The song ranks #2 for the year.
7. Jay-Z/Kanye West, "Ni**as In Paris." The song drops from #5 to #7 in its 21st week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Digital sales rank: #8 (244K). The song ranks #64 for the year.
8. Adele, "Set Fire To The Rain." The song dips from #7 to #8 in its 18th week. This is its second week in the top 10. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Digital sales rank: #6 (267K). The song ranks #65 for the year.
9. Adele, "Someone Like You." The former #1 song dips from #8 to #9 in its 26th week on the chart. This is its 18th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (215K). The song ranks #7 for the year.
10. Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine, "Stereo Hearts." The song rebounds from #11 to #10 in its 29th week. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (209K). The song ranks #20 for the year.
"Dance (A$$)" by Big Sean featuring Nicki Minaj drops from #10 to #12. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.
Two songs that have already made the top 10 rebound nicely this week. "Young, Wild & Free" by Wiz Khalifa featuring Snoop Dogg & Bruno Mars jumps from #16 to #14 in its 12th week. Digital sales rank: #10 (210K). Kelly Clarkson's defiant "Mr. Know It All" leaps from #32 to #20 in its 17th week. Both songs also top the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.
Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup" jumps from #18 to #15 in its 10th week. The song was recently spotlighted on Glee.
"Safe And Sound" by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars dips from #30 to #31 in its second week. (That's considered good nowadays, when most songs plunge in their second weeks and have to wait for radio points to give them a second wind.) Swift co-wrote the song with Joy Williams and John Paul White of The Civil Wars and producer T Bone Burnett. It's from the upcoming soundtrack of the The Hunger Games, which is due on March 23. This is vying to become Swift's 11th top 10 hit; the Civil Wars' first.
Coldplay's "Paradise" rebounds from #43 to #38 in its 16th week. The song has climbed as high as #15. It tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. It is doing even better in the U.K., where it jumps to #1 this week. It's the band's second #1 in its own country, following 2008's "Viva La Vida" (which also reached #1 in the U.S.)
"Turn Me On" by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj jumps from #62 to #51 in its fifth week. This tops its initial peak at #54…Zac Brown Band's "Keep Me In Mind" rebounds from #53 to #52 in its 14th week. The song is #1 on Hot Country Songs for the fourth straight week..."Lotus Flower Bomb" by Wale featuring Miguel drops from #48 to #54 in its 10th week. The song is #1 on Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs for the third straight week...Justin Moore's country hit "Bait A Hook" jumps from #73 to #63 in its fifth week.
Only two songs enter the Hot 100 for the first time this week. Nelly's "The Champ" bows at #64. This is vying to become Nelly's 14th top 10 hit. "Play The Guitar" by B.o.B featuring Andre 3000 bows at #98. It's the second single from B.o.B's sophomore album, Strange Clouds, which is due on March 13. The first single was the title track, featuring Lil Wayne, which reached #7.
Six songs re-enter the Hot 100 this week. "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" by will.i.am featuring Mick Jagger and J.Lo is the top re-entry at #90, followed by Kenny Chesney's "Reality" at #92, Edens Edge's "Amen" at #93, Keith Urban's "You Gonna Fly" at #95, Lee Brice's "A Woman Like You" at #96 and Ellie Goulding's "Lights" at #99.
The aforementioned "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the biggest hit for both artists. Maroon 5's previous top-seller was "Makes Me Wonder," which has sold 2,670,000 copies since its release in 2007. "Makes Me Wonder" won a Grammy as Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. "Jagger" is nominated in that same category this year, only they've streamlined the name: Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
Ke$ha's 2010 hit "Your Love Is My Drug" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. It's her third song to reach that plateau, following "TiK ToK" (6,149,000) and "We R Who We R" (3,640,000)…"Bedrock" by Young Money featuring Lloyd also tops the 3 million mark.
Lady Antebellum's "Just A Kiss" tops the 2 million mark in digital sales. It's the trio's second song to reach this milestone, following "Need You Now" (which has sold 5,557,000 copies). Only three other country acts have amassed two or more 2 million selling digital hits. Taylor Swift leads the pack with four, followed by Rascal Flatts with three and Zac Brown Band, which, like Lady A, has two.
Two other recent top 10 hits top the 2 million mark in digital sales: "Lighters" by Bad Meets Evil featuring Bruno Mars and "You Make Me Feel…" by Cobra Starship featuring Sabi.
Shameless Plug: This coming Sunday would have been Elvis Presley's 77th birthday. The Recording Academy didn't give Elvis many "presents" (he won just three Grammys, all for gospel recordings), but in 1971 they enabled him to set a Grammy record that will probably stand forever. They awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award when he was just 36 years old. Presley was (and remains) the youngest living artist to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. (It's a good thing that the academy gave Presley this honor at such a young age. He died a little more than six years later, in August 1977.) I have written a blog in which I look at the youngest artists who have received Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards. The list includes some of the greatest names in the history of recording: Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, people like that. Look for this piece in the "And The Winner Is" folder tomorrow.