100 & Single: Katy Perry And Adele Score Big On The Rebound
At first glance, the tops of Billboard's two big charts--the Hot 100 (singles) and the Billboard 200 (albums)--look pretty dull this week: returns to No. 1 by two ladies who have dominated since the winter (and, in one case, since last summer). But the interesting story is in the numbers behind the chart positions.
On the album list, Adele's platinum-plus 21, already 2011's top seller, returns to No. 1 for its fifth week overall, evicting Wasting Light, the first chart-topping album by Foo Fighters. On the singles chart, Katy Perry's "E.T.," featuring a vital Kanye West assist, reassumes the penthouse for its fourth cumulative week--again, kicking out a one-week-topper, Rihanna's Britney-fueled "Rih-mix" of "S&M."
What's remarkable about these two retreads at No. 1 is how much better they sold last week than they needed to--and how late in their respective chart lives those sales bumps came.
Adele's album sold 153,000 copies, a number that would be nice for a release in its first chart week--we've had discs debut on top this year selling less than half or even one-third of that number--but is borderline-stunning for an album that's nine weeks old. By a nearly two-to-one margin, 21 crushed the Billboard 200's top debut, Glee Presents the Warblers (No. 2, 86,000), the 10th album spinoff from the TV/pop juggernaut. Speaking of which, "Turning Tables" was reworked by Glee last week, and Haley Reinhart vamped her way through "Rolling In The Deep" on American Idol--those inclusions probably bumped sales as well. But in a tracking week that ended with Easter, you'd expect the kid-friendly album to wind up on top; past years have seen discs by the likes of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber garner sales boosts in April from parents stuffing Easter baskets. (Maybe, after dominating record-buying adults for three months, Adele's appeal is getting younger. More on that in a minute.)
Over on the Hot 100, which combines song sales with radio airplay, Katy's single was pretty much expected to return to No. 1 after "S&M" cooled following a brief infusion of Spears-related iTunes sales. But did anyone expect the fourth single from Perry's nine-month-old Teenage Dream to have its best chart week now? "E.T." sold 344,000 digital copies last week, its highest seven-day cume to date. You can probably thank Idol for some of that bump too; Perry and West performed the track on Thursday night's results show. But on radio playlists, "E.T." has also ascended to the top--it's now the most-played song in America (again, replacing "S&M," which was radio's top song for three weeks).
When it first reached the top of the Hot 100 a little over a month ago, "E.T." entered Perry into a very elite chart club--it was the fourth straight No. 1 hit off her current album, making her one of just nine acts to pull four toppers from a single album. And those other three hits of hers--last summer's "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg) fall's "Teenage Dream" and winter's "Firework"--haven't been small ones. At its current pace, "E.T." could wind up lapping all of them as the biggest hit from her album; it's nearing 3 million in sales in its third month as a digital hit, racking up downloads at a faster pace than her last two hits and one that's about par with "California Gurls," which was the top-selling single of 2010. As it is, in another week "E.T." is going to become the top-selling song of 2011 to date--its 2.489 million 2011 sales are a sneeze away from Cee-Lo's "Fuck You," which has sold 2.493 million in this calendar year.
So who's on track to stop Perry's run atop the Hot 100, if Rihanna could only pause it? Believe it or not, it might be Adele, whose "Rolling in the Deep" ascends to No. 2 on the Hot 100. Here's where our two leading ladies cross paths.