Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" this week becomes the second song in digital history to sell 8 million copies. It follows the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," which is up to 8,402,000. You don't need me to tell you that both of these songs were blockbuster hits. "I Gotta Feeling" logged 14 weeks at #1 in 2009 and received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. "Rolling In The Deep" logged seven weeks at #1 in 2011 and won Grammys for Record and Song of the Year.
"Rolling In The Deep" sold 8 million copies in two years and 10 months. (It entered Hot Digital Songs in the week ending Dec. 5, 2010.) That's faster than "I Gotta Feeling," which sold 8 million copies in three years and 10 days.
"I Gotta Feeling" was an out-of-the-box smash; "Rolling In The Deep," a sleeper hit. "I Gotta Feeling" entered Hot Digital Songs at #1 and remained there for nine consecutive weeks. (It later returned to the top spot for a 10th week.) "Rolling In The Deep" entered the digital sales chart at #94. It finally reached #1 in its 18th week. It was the nation's top-selling digital hit for six weeks.
Just one physical single has sold 8 million copies since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking U.S. music sales in 1991: Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997/Something About The Way You Look Tonight," which has sold 8,839,000 physical copies since its release in 1997. CD singles account for two-thirds of that tally; cassette singles for one-third. (Physical singles were a meaningful configuration through about 2000.)
"Candle In The Wind 1997" sold 8 million copies in just 15 weeks. That, of course, reflected the extraordinary circumstances that made that song a hit—the shocking, early death of one of the world's most famous people. The song sold 3,446,000 singles in its peak week (yes, week).
In addition to having the second best-selling digital song, Adele has the #1 best-selling digital album. 21 has sold 2,988,000 digital copies. That's slightly more than the next two digital best-sellers combined. Mumford & Sons has both the #2 and #3 best-selling digital albums, Sigh No More (1,658,000) and Babel (1,308,000).
Lorde's "Royals" holds at #1 on the Hot 100 for the second week. The song sold 309K copies this week, which constitutes its greatest weekly tally to date. The song tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. Lorde's first full-length album, Pure Heroine, enters The Billboard 200 at #3 this week.
Lorde has two other songs on this week's Hot 100. "Team" jumps from #90 to #69 in its second week. "Tennis Court" debuts at #71.
Katy Perry also has three songs on this week's Hot 100. "Roar" holds at #2 for the fourth straight week. "Walking On Air" is the week's second highest debut at at #34. "Dark Horse" (featuring Juicy J) inches up from #39 to #38 in its third week. (The song debuted at #17 two weeks ago.) (The latter two songs are considered "preview songs," not official singles.)
All three of Perry's songs rank in the top 10 on this week's Hot Digital Songs chart. "Roar" holds at #2 in its eighth week (218K). "Walking On Air" debuts at #8 (113K). "Dark Horse" drops from #8 to #10 in its third week (99K). Perry is the first artist to place three songs in the top 10 in the same week since Taylor Swift scored for two weeks running in October 2012. That was on the brink of the release of her fourth studio album, Red. Perry is on the cusp of the release of her third studio album, Prism.
It will be interesting to see what Prism sells in its first week. Red started with sales of 1,208,000. But nobody else is really in Swift's league. Perry's last album, Teenage Dream, sold 192K in its first week. I think we can confidently say it will fall somewhere in between those two tallies. But where? Place your bets.
"Roar" sold another 218K copies this week, bringing its sales to date to 2,861,000. It moves up to #10 on the year-to-date chart (displacing "Suit & Tie" by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z). It seems safe to say that this will be the fourth year out of the past six that Perry winds up with a song in the year-end top 10. "I Kissed A Girl" was the fourth best-selling song of calendar year 2008. "California Gurls (featuring Snoop Dogg) was #1 for 2010. "E.T." (featuring Kanye West) was #3 for 2011.
Avicii's "Wake Me Up" rebounds from #5 to #4, matching its highest ranking to date. The song tops Dance/Electronic Songs for the fifth week. The song did even better in the U.K., where it topped the Official Singles Chart for three weeks in July and August.
"Hold On, We're Going Home" by Drake featuring Majid Jordan dips from #4 to #5. It holds at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the second week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. It's Drake's 10th million-seller as a lead artist. His top-seller as a lead artist is "The Motto" (featuring Lil Wayne), which has sold 3,113,000 copies.
"Holy Grail" by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake, which dips from #6 to #7, tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the superstar pair's second song to top 2 million so far this year. "Suit & Tie" is up to 2,835,000. This marks the first time in the digital era that a pair of solo artists has put out two collaborations that each sold 2 million copies in a calendar year.
In the ancient days of vinyl, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney may have done this (or at least come close) in 1983 (precise counts aren't available). "The Girl Is Mine" spent the first five weeks of the year in the top five on the Hot 100. "Say Say Say" spent the last eight weeks of the year in the top five.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Lorde’s "Royals" holds at #1 for the second week in its 14th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (309K)…Katy Perry’s "Roar" holds at #2 for the fourth week in its ninth week on the chart. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (218K)…Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" holds at #3 for the second week in its seventh week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #3 (214K)… Avicii’s "Wake Me Up!" rebounds from #5 to #4 in its 15th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (167K)…"Hold On, We’re Going Home" by Drake featuring Majid Jordan dips from #4 to #5 in its ninth week on the chart. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (131K)
The Second Five: Ylvis' "The Fox" jumps from #8 to #6 in its fifth week on the chart. This is its second week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #12 (86K)…."Holy Grail" by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake dips from #6 to #7 in its 13th week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #6 (118K)…"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell dips from #7 to #8 in its 25th week on the chart. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #17 (71K)… Lady Gaga’s "Applause" holds at #9 for the second week in its eighth week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Digital sales rank: #9 (109K)…"Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais holds at #10 for the second week in its 13th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (89K).
Eminem's "Berzerk" inches up from #13 to #12 in its sixth week. The song has climbed as high as #3. The song tops the 1 million mark in sales this week. Digital sales rank: #7 (115K).
Britney Spears' "Work B**ch!" rebounds from #41 to #13 in its third week, nearly equaling its #12 ranking when it debuted two weeks ago. This is likely to become Spears' second top 10 hit of 2013. "Scream & Shout," a collabo with will.i.am, reached #3.
Luke Bryan's "That's My Kind Of Night" holds at #16 for the third week. It has climbed as high as #15. The song holds at #1 on Hot Country Songs for the eighth week. That's the longest run for a song by a male solo artist since David Houston's "Almost Persuaded," which was #1 for nine weeks in 1966. Note: I didn't count a male collabo, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" by Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett, which was #1 for eight weeks in 2003.
"Gone" by Kanye West featuring Cam'ron & Consequence is the week's top new entry at #18. It's a belated entry for the song from West's 2005 album Late Registration.
AWOLNATION's "Sail" drops from #17 to #19 in its 57th week. The song has, as of this week, sold 2 million copies in 2013. In addition, the song sold 1,196,000 copies in 2012 and 737K copies in 2011. This will be the third year in a row that the song has ranked among the top 200 best-selling songs of the year. It's #27 for the year-to-date. It ranked #87 for 2012; #153 for 2011.
OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" inches up from #22 to #21 in its 16th week. The song jumps to #1 on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart. It's the group's first British #1. "Apologize" peaked at #3. "Stop And Stare" reached #4.
Imagine Dragons' "Demons" jumps from #28 to #24 in its 24th week…Paramore's "Still Into You" jumps from #34 to #25 in its 13th week…Bruno Mars' "Gorilla" jumps from #37 to #26 in its sixth week…Passenger's "Let Her Go" jumps from #38 to #28 in its 10th week…Selena Gomez's "Slow Down" jumps from #54 to #45 in its ninth week.
"I Luv This Sh*t" by August Alsina/Trinidad James jumps from #66 to #56 in its fifth week…"We Were Us" by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert jumps from #76 to #66 in its fourth week.
"My Hitta" by YG featuring Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan debuts at #67. There is also a harder-edged version, "My Nigga." The song is from the mixtape, Bo$$ Yo Life Up Gang, which was released in August…Zendaya's "Replay" jumps from #92 to #68 in its seventh week…Jason Derulo's "Marry Me" debuts at #72. This is from his third studio album, Tattoos…Parmalee's "Carolina" jumps from #84 to #76 in its third week.
Justin Bieber's "Heartbreaker" debuts at #77. Bieber plans to release a new song every week for the next 10 weeks…"Loco" by Enrique Iglesias featuring Romeo Santos re-enters the chart at #80…Ellie Goulding's "Burn" jumps from #94 to #81 in its fifth week. The song has climbed as high as #53. The song logged three weeks at #1 this summer on the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart.
"White Walls" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring ScHoolboy Q & Hollis jumps from #98 to #85 in its third week…Sevyn Streeter's "It Won't Stop" debuts at #90. Streeter was a member of the girl groups TG4 and RichGirl.
David Nail's "Whatever She's Got" debuts at #91. This is nearing the top 30 on Hot Country Songs. It's from his upcoming third studio album I'm A Fire…Prince Royce's "Darte Un Beso" re-enters the chart at #97. The song has climbed as high as #78. Prince Royce's new album Soy El Mismo is expected to sell about 16K copies this week.
Badfinger's "Baby Blue" sold 37K copies in its first full week following its unexpected use on the final episode of Breaking Bad. The song peaked at #14 in April 1972. It deserved to be a bigger hit. The great thing about songs is they can always come back, given the right cover version or the right exposure in movies or TV.