Posts by Paul Grein
Ariana Grande this week becomes the first artist in 2014 to amass four top 10 hits on Billboard ’s Hot 100. That’s sweet consolation for Grande, who was, surprisingly, shut out in the American Music Awards nominations. (Grande is scheduled to perform on the Nov. 23 show anyway.)
“Love Me Harder,” Grande’s collabo with The Weeknd, jumps from #24 to #7 in its fifth week. “Bang Bang,” her collabo with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, holds at #5 in its 15th week. It peaked at #3. Earlier this year, Grande reached the top 10 with “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea) and “Break Free” (featuring Zedd).
Billboard ’s Gary Trust points out that Grande is the first artist to amass four top 10 hits in a calendar year, all as a lead or co-lead artist, since 2012, when Adele, Flo Rida and Taylor Swift achieved the feat.
Taylor Swift has two songs in this week’s top 15. “Shake It Off” logs its fourth week at #1 (and its 12th consecutive week in the top two). “Blank Space” jumps from #18 to #13 in its second week. “Shake It Off” surpasses “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as Swift’s longest-running #1 hit. That smash spent three weeks on top in 2012.
Calvin Harris lands his first top 10 album as Motion , his fourth studio album, enters The Billboard 200 at #5 (35K). Harris’s previous album, 18 Months , peaked at #19. Two songs from the new album have made the top 20: “Summer” and “Blame” (featuring John Newman). Motion enters The U.K.’s Official Albums Chart at #2.
Trivia note: Harris is the third artist with that surname to land a top five album. Jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris hit #2 in 1961 with Exodus To Jazz . Actor and singer Richard Harris hit #4 in 1968 with A Tramp Shining .
Taylor Swift’s 1989 sold 402K copies in its second week, which tops the first-week sales of every other album so far this year. (Swift’s closest competition is Coldplay’s Ghost Stories , which sold 383K copies in its first week in May.) I wrote about this in a separate blog which we posted today. If you missed it, here’s a link.
Now 52 holds at #2 for the second week (59K).
The Frozen soundtrack rebounds from #19 to #13 in its 50th week. It’s #1 on Top Soundtracks for the 40th week.
Taylor Swift’s 1989 sold 402K copies in its second week, which tops the first-week sales of every other album so far this year. (Swift’s closest competition is Coldplay’s Ghost Stories , which sold 383K copies in its first week in May.)
1989 has sold 1,689,000 copies in its first two weeks. It’s the first album to reach 1.6 million in just two weeks since 50 Cent’s The Massacre blew through 1,912,000 copies in its first two weeks in March 2005 (when the album sales market was much stronger). It’s the first album by a female artist to reach 1.6 million in just two weeks since Britney Spears’s Oops!…I Did It Again sold 1,931,000 copies in its first two weeks in May 2000.
In case you’re wondering, the all-time record for an album after two weeks was set by *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached , which sold 3,227,000 copies in its first two weeks in the spring of 2000.
Swift’s previous album, Red , sold 1,552,000 copies in its first two weeks. Her album before that, Speak Now , sold 1,367,000 copies in its first two weeks. Her album before that, Fearless , sold 810K copies in its first two weeks. (Thus, 1989 has sold more than twice as many copies in its first two weeks as Fearless did.)
Bette Midler’s 14th studio album, It’s The Girls!, is on track to enter The Billboard 200 album chart right around #9. It will be the week’s second-highest new entry, behind Calvin Harris’s Motion , which is set to debut around #4. (Taylor Swift’s 1989 will easily hold on to the #1 spot, with second-week sales in the 385K range.)
Midler’s album includes girl-group favorites spanning 64 years, from the Boswell Sisters’s “It’s The Girl” (1931) to TLC’s “Waterfalls” (1995). Midler has had great success with girl-group remakes. Her first top 10 hit (in 1973) was a remake of the Andrews Sisters’s 1941 classic “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” She also scored later that same year with a cover of The Dixie Cups’s 1964 smash “Chapel Of Love.”
Midler’s album includes remakes of four songs that were #1 hits: The Chordettes’s “Mr. Sandman” (1954), The Shirelles’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (1961), The Supremes’s “You Can’t Hurry Love” (1966) and TLC’s aforementioned “Waterfalls.” Note: A fifth song on the album, The Andrews Sisters’s “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” (1938), would surely have been a #1 hit, but it predated the inception of Billboard ’s first weekly chart in July 1940.
Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” returns to #1 on the Hot 100, ending an eight-week interruption by Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.” Only one other song has returned to #1 after such a lengthy absence. Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” returned to #1 last year following a nine-week interruption by Lorde’s “Royals.”
“Wrecking Ball” retook the #1 spot due to the popularity of a video by You Tube favorite Stephen Kardynal, who spoofed Cyrus’s infamous video. “Shake It Off” retakes the top spot this week due in part to the blockbuster success of Swift’s new album 1989 , which sold 1,287,000 copies in its first week.
“Shake It Off” has now had three weeks on top, which matches the weeks-at-#1 of Swift’s only previous #1 hit, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” That song’s run at #1 was also interrupted—by Flo Rida’s “Whistle.”
“Shake It Off” is #1 on the all-genre Radio Songs chart for the fourth week.
And there’s a sixth Swift song on this week’s chart. “Welcome To New York” drops from #48 to #69 in its second week.
Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” finally drops out of the top 10 this week. As if to cushion the blow, the song tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week.
Two classic Led Zeppelin albums re-enter The Billboard 200 inside the top 15. Led Zeppelin IV re-enters the chart at #7 (35K). Houses Of The Holy re-enters at #12 (29K). In June, the band’s first three albums re-entered the chart inside the top 10. Jimmy Page, the legendary group’s guitarist, is supervising the remastering of these reissues.
Led Zeppelin IV is far and away the band’s best-selling album, but it never quite reached the #1 spot. It logged four weeks at #2 in December 1971 and January 1972 behind two different #1 albums, Sly & The Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On (which spawned the #1 smash “Family Affair”) and Carole King’s Music (her follow-up to the blockbuster, Tapestry ). Those were both big albums, but Led Zeppelin IV has far outsold both of them combined.
The album’s lead single, “Black Dog,” was a top 15 hit, but the album’s main draw was “Stairway To Heaven,” which received tremendous airplay even though never it was released as a single.
Houses Of The Holy spent two weeks at #1 in May 1973, sandwiched in between an Elvis Presley live album and a Beatles compilation. The album’s lead single, “D'yer Mak'er,” cracked the top 20.
It’s official: Taylor Swift’s 1989 sold 1,287,000 copies in its first week. That’s the biggest one-week tally since Eminem’s The Eminem Show sold 1,322,000 copies in its first full week in June 2002. Swift is the first artist to top the 1 million mark in weekly sales with three albums since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991.
Those factoids will be everywhere in the next couple of days. Here are seven facts about Swift and her album that you won’t read everywhere else.
1. Each of Swift’s five studio albums has sold more in its first week than the one that preceded it. Red sold 1,208,000 copies in its first week in October 2012. Speak Now sold 1,047,000 copies in its first week in October 2010. Fearless opened with sales of 592,000 copies in November 2008. Taylor Swift started with sales of 39,000 in October 2006.
2. This is Swift’s second album in a row to sell 1.2 million copies in its first week. Swift is one of just three acts—and the only woman—to sell 1.2 million copies in one week with two different albums. The first two were *NSYNC ( No Strings Attached , Celebrity ) and Eminem ( The Marshall Mathers LP , The Eminem Show ).
Miley Cyrus earned the last laugh. (And the key word there is “earned.”) The former teen star was the subject of intense controversy last year when she brought a foam finger and a calculated plan to steal the show to the MTV Video Music Awards. It worked. She twerked her way to a tie for seventh place on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the Top-Earning Women in Music. Cyrus earned an estimated $36 million in the survey period—June 2013 to June 2014. She wasn’t even listed in the top 10 in the previous year’s rankings.
Beyonce ranks #1 on Forbes’ list, with estimated earnings of $115 million. That represents a big jump from last year’s recap, where she ranked fourth, with estimated earnings of just $53 million. (How did she even manage on that?!) Queen Bey’s eponymous album was a smash, but she made most of her money on the road. She played 95 shows during the scoring period, grossing an average of $2.4 million per city, according to Pollstar.
Rihanna ranks #4, with estimated earnings of $48 million (up from #6 last year, $43 million). Her pal Katy Perry ranks #5 with estimated earnings of $40 million (up from #7 last year, $39 million).
Taylor Swift doesn't often finish second, but she's the runner-up in two respects on this week's Hot 100. Her former #1 smash "Shake It Off" logs its eighth week at #2 behind Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass." And her new "Welcome To New York" is the week's second-highest new entry at #48. It arrives two positions behind Gwen Stefani's "Baby Don't Lie."
"Baby Don't Lie" is vying to become Stefani's first top 10 hit since "The Sweet Escape" (featuring Akon) reached #2 in April 2007. The song will be featured on Stefani's third solo album; her first since The Sweet Escape in December 2006. Stefani's stint on The Voice has been well-received.
Don't feel too bad for Swift. She's a lock to enter next week's Billboard 200 at #1 with 1989 . The album will make her the first artist ever to top the 1 million mark in weekly sales with three different albums.
Maroon 5's "Animals" jumps from #7 to #5 in its 10th week on the Hot 100, putting an end to a remarkable, seven-week streak in which only female artists appeared in the top five. And so a group headed by People 's one-time Sexiest Man Alive keeps women from extending their history-making streak for an eighth week. "Animals" is Maroon 5's seventh top five hit; its first since "One More Night" two years ago. The group first cracked the top five in April 2004 with "This Love."
Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" logs its eighth straight week at #1 in its 16th week on the chart. Only one other song has had as many weeks at #1 in 2014—Pharrell Williams's "Happy," which had 10 weeks on top from March into May. Trainor's song surpasses Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" (featuring Charli XCX) for the longest run at #1 by a female artist so far this year. "Fancy" had seven weeks on top in June and July.
Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" drops from #8 to #10 in its 29th week. Smith's follow-up, "I'm Not The Only One," jumps from #20 to #16 in its eighth week.