Justin Bieber's new album Believe is expected to sell in the 410K-440K range this week, which would be the year's heftiest first-week total by any album. It would be the strongest first-week tally since fellow Canadian artist Drake opened with sales of 631K copies of Take Care in November. This week's Hot 100 provides two indications of Bieber's strength. "Boyfriend" logs its 12th straight week in the top 10. That's twice as many weeks in the top 10 as Bieber's two previous top 10 hits combined. "Baby" (featuring Ludacris) spent five weeks in the top 10 in 2010. "Never Say Never" (Featuring Jaden Smith) spent one week in the top 10 in 2011.
Also, this is the third straight week that Bieber has had the top new entry on the Hot 100 with a "preview track" from the album. "As Long As You Love Me" (featuring Big Sean), debuts at #21 (Digital sales rank: #5, 168K). "All Around The World" (featuring Ludacris) bowed at #22 last week. "Die In Your Arms" opened at #17 two weeks ago.
This echoes the roll-out of preview tracks from Taylor Swift's 2010 album Speak Now. Swift had the week's top new entry on the Hot 100 four weeks in a row with "Speak Now" (#8 for the week ending Oct. 10), "Back To December" (#6 for the week ending Oct. 17), "Mean" (#11 for the week ending Oct. 24) and "Sparks Fly" (#17 for the week ending Oct. 31). The strategy worked: Speak Now sold 1,047,000 copies in the week ending Oct. 31, to enter The Billboard 200 at #1.
Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" tops the Hot 100 for the second week. It also tops Hot Digital Songs for the fifth week. Only one other song has had as many weeks at #1 on the digital chart so far this year. That's "We Are Young" by fun. featuring Janelle Monae, which was the nation's top-seller for seven weeks.
In addition, "Call Me Maybe" this week surpasses Avril Lavigne's 2007 smash "Girlfriend" to become the best-selling song in digital history by a female artist from Canada. "Call Me Maybe" has sold 3,553,000 copies. "Girlfriend" has sold 3,505,000. "Girlfriend" also reached #1 on the Hot 100, though it held the top spot for only one week.
"Call Me Maybe" is Jepsen's first Hot 100 hit. Its two immediate predecessors at #1—"We Are Young" and "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra—were also by artists making their initial Hot 100 appearances. Billboard's Gary Trust notes that this is the first time that three consecutive #1 hits were by acts who were charting "for the very first time" (thanks, Madonna) since July 1977, when Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now," Alan O'Day's "Undercover Angel" and Shaun Cassidy's "Da Doo Ron Ron" were consecutive #1 hits. (Cassidy, then 18, was the Justin Bieber of his day.)
(Trust adds that the last longer streak of #1 hits by first-time chart-makers came in 1967, with Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe," the Box Tops' "The Letter," Lulu's "To Sir With Love" and Strawberry Alarm Clark's "Incense And Peppermints.")
"Somebody That I Used To Know" this week becomes the first song to sell 5 million copies in 2012. In fact, it's the first song to sell 5 million copies in any six-month period since Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997" sold more than 8 million copies in the last 14 weeks of 1997.
("Somebody…" topped 5 million in total sales last week, but that tally included 84K copies that it sold in the waning weeks of 2011. This week's achievement reflects only its sales in 2012.)
It will be interesting to see if "Somebody…" winds up as the best-selling song of 2012, or if something else comes along and outsells it. The lead has already changed hands several times this year. Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and "We Are Young" were the first songs to sell 2 million copies in 2012. "We Are Young" was the first to sell 3 million, and also the first to sell 4 million. But then it met its match.
"We Are Young" tops the 5 million mark in total sales this week. (This counts 149K copies that it sold in the waning weeks of 2011). The song reached the 5M mark in 28 weeks. Only one song in digital history, "Somebody…," has hit 5M faster. It took just 23 weeks. (Wanna know the rest of the top five in reaching 5M the fastest? LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" took 34 weeks. Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" took 35. The Black Eyes Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" took 36.)
Both "We Are Young" and "Somebody…" are extremely well-written songs. "We Are Young" has a classic opening line: "Give me a second/I need to get my story straight." As for "Somebody…," I always like it when lyrics sound like actual conversation, such as the envelope-pushing use of the phrase "screwed me over."
Katy Perry lands her 10th top five hit in just over four years as "Wide Awake" jumps from #9 to #4 in its fourth week. Perry first cracked the top five with "I Kissed A Girl" in the week ending June 1, 2008. Like most people, I was fooled by the novelty aspects of that song into thinking Perry would be a one or two-hit wonder. She long ago won me over.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" holds at #1 for the second week in its 17th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (292K)… "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra holds at #2 for the second week in its 24th week on the chart. This is its 16th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (195K)… "Payphone" by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa holds at #3 for the fifth week in its ninth week on the chart. It has been in the top three the entire time. Digital sales rank: #2 (230K)… Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" jumps from #9 to #4 in its fourth week on the chart. It's her 10th top five hit. Digital sales rank: #3 (198K)…."We Are Young" by fun. featuring Janelle Monae dips from #4 to #5 in its 26th week on the chart. This is the 19th week in the top 10 for the former #1 song. Digital sales rank: #16 (85K).
The Second Five: One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" dips from #5 to #6 in its 18th week on the chart. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #10 (118K)…Nicki Minaj's "Starships" dips from #6 to #7 in its 18th week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #12 (111K)… Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" holds at #8 for the second week in its ninth week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (122K)… "Wild Ones" by Flo Rida featuring Sia drops from #7 to #9 in its 24th week on the chart. This is its 14th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #15 (92K)… Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" holds at #10 for the second week its 12th week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #11 (116K).
Usher's "Scream" jumps from #14 to #11 in its eighth week. Digital sales rank: #7 (123K). It's vying to become Usher's 18th top 10 hit. Two other songs from Usher's Looking 4 Myself album are on the move. "Climax," which is in its 10th week at #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, rebounds from #40 to #36 in its 17th week. The song has climbed as high as #17… "Lemme See" (featuring Rick Ross) jumps from #80 to #61 in its fourth week. Looking 4 Myself enters The Billboard 200 at #1 this week, but with a disappointing (for a superstar like Usher) first-week sales tally of 128K.
Ellie Goulding's "Lights" jumps from #13 to #12 in its 26th week. Digital sales rank: #9 (121K). Goulding's Lights album reached #1 in the U.K. way back in March 2010, but the title track stalled at #49 in that country…Pitbull's "Back In Time" drops from #12 to #14 in its 11th week. Digital sales rank: #6 (125K). It's apparently not going to become Pitbull's eighth top 10 hit…"Titanium" by David Guetta featuring Sia jumps from #18 to #15 in its 10th week.
Luke Bryan's "Drunk On You" holds at #16 for the third straight week. It's the best-selling country hit so far this year, with sales of 1,214,000 since the first of the year…Karmin's "Brokenhearted" dips from #17 to #18 in its 15th week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week…Eric Church's "Springsteen" (which is the #2 country best-seller so far this year) holds at #20 for the third straight week. It has climbed as high as #19...Neon Trees' "Everybody Talks" jumps from #30 to #24 in its 14th week.
Demi Lovato's "Give Your Heart A Break" jumps from #34 to #26 in its 11th week…"The Fighter" by Gym Class Heroes featuring Ryan Tedder jumps from #36 to #28 in its fifth week…Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" jumps from #39 to #33 in its 14th week…Dierks Bentley's "5-1-5-0" jumps from #48 to #40 in its sixth week… "Let's Go" by Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo jumps from #58 to #44 in its sixth week…Little Big Town's "Pontoon" slips from #51 to #55 in its second week. That's a very modest second-week drop, which has to be a good sign.
"Both Of Us" by B.o.B featuring Taylor Swift jumps from #68 to #56 in its seventh week. The song has already climbed as high as #18…Josh Turner's "Time Is Love" jumps from #78 to #63 in its 12th week. Turner's Punching Bag enters The Billboard 200 at #4 this week...Rita Ora's "How Do We (Party)" jumps from #85 to #68 in its fourth week.…The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" jumps from #90 to #73 in its second week.
Cher Lloyd's "Want U Back" debuts at #75. (It hit #25 in Lloyd's native U.K.) The song is from Lloyd's debut album, Sticks + Stones, which was released in November…The Wanted's "Chasing The Sun" jumps from #91 to #81 in its third week. The band's massive hit "Glad You Came," which reached #3, slips from #11 to #13 this week…Flo Rida's "Whistle" re-enters the chart at #86. The song has already climbed as high as #64. The song is from Flo Rida's fourth studio album, Wild Ones, which is due July 3…Blake Shelton's "Over" debuts at #89. It's the fourth single from Shelton's former #1 album Red River Blue.
"She's So Mean" by Matchbox Twenty debuts at #91. It's from the group's upcoming fourth album, North. The song is vying to become the group's seventh top 10 hit. Two previous Hot 100 hits had similar titles. The Rolling Stones' "She's So Cold" hit #26 in 1980. Tal Bachman's "She's So High" hit #14 in 1999.
Lee Brice's "Hard To Love" debuts at #96. It's the second single from Brice's second studio album, Hard 2 Love…Driicky Graham's "Snap Backs & Tattoos" debuts at #97…Michel Telo's "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" re-enters at #98. The song has climbed as high as #81. This is its 11th week on the chart, a strong showing for a foreign-language song.
Shameless Plug: To celebrate Black Music Month, I posted two Chart Watch Extras in recent days in which I counted down the top soul "girl groups" and the top soul duos. I extracted the lists from an overall list in Joel Whitburn's Hot R&B Songs book (which is based on activity on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart). The top three "girl groups" were The Supremes, The Pointer Sisters and Martha & the Vandellas. The top three soul duos were Ashford & Simpson, Ike & Tina Turner and OutKast. If you missed these blogs, here are links to girl groups and duos.
How many times have you heard that American Idol winner Phillip Phillips put Leesburg, Ga. on the map? Not true! Phillips is the third music star who was born in that tiny (2010 population: 2,896) town. He follows country star Luke Bryan, whose current album, Tailgates & Tanlines, has sold more than 1.1 million copies, and Roy Hamilton, who had #1 R&B hits in the 1950s with two famous songs: "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Unchained Melody." What are the odds?