Friday, April 27, 2012

Week In Music: Maroon 5 Dials Up Huge Launch With 'Payphone'

Pop group Maroon 5 rings up a download record this week with new single “Payphone,” featuring Wiz Khalifa, which moves a walloping 493,000 downloads in week one. That is the most singles ever sold by a group or duo in one week—and also good for a No.1 launch on Digital Songs. It marks the eighth-best sales week for any single since Nielsen SoundScan began tallying downloads in 2003.

The preview track from Maroon 5’s fourth studio album, "Overexposed,” on June 26, also dials in a No. 3 debut on the Hot 100, making it the group’s fifth top 10 hit, a worthy contender to previous No. 1 “Moves Like Jagger,” with Christina Aguilera. It’s making big noise on the airwaves, too, entering Radio Songs at No. 36, with 33 million first-week audience impressions. Fueling the strong chart action for “Payphone” is a performance of the song April 16 on NBC's "The Voice" (where Maroon 5 lead Adam Levine is a coach).

Meanwhile, leading the Hot 100 for a second week is Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra. It is the Hot 100's top Airplay Gainer, up 8-6 on Radio Songs, and tops both the Streaming and On-Demand charts. Fun.'s "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monae, holds at No. 2 for a second week after its previous six weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It leads Radio Songs for a second week.

Below "Payphone" at No. 3, Justin Bieber, rebounds 5-4 on the Hot 100 in its fourth week, with "Boyfriend," which is tops as the week’s Streaming Gainer, rising 10-6 on On-Demand Songs. It escalates 15-13 on Radio Songs, despite a slight 2% drop in airplay.

The Wanted's "Glad You Came" rounds out the Hot 100's top five, easing 3-5. Flo Rida's "Wild Ones," featuring Sia, is stable at No. 6; and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" rises to a new peak of No. 7 (while spending a third week at No. 1 in the U.K.); One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" falls 4-8; Nicki Minaj's "Starships" dips 7-9; and, Kelly Clarkson's three-week No. 1 "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," slides 9-10.

On the long-play side of this week’s chart action, it appears the South has indeed risen again. For the second week, "Tuskegee" by Lionel Richie commands the summit of the Billboard 200, moving 114,000 copies, down a mere 11% from the previous week. This is the first album released in 2012 to claim a second week at the top of the album chart—something Madonna and Bruce Springsteen couldn’t manage. The duets collection, which pairs Richie with Nashville musical royalty, also spends a third frame at No. 1 on Top Country Albums.

Richie’s lead keeps pop vet Jason Mraz from an expected No. 1 debut, as his "Love Is a Four Letter Word" opens at 2 on the Billboard 200, with sales of 102,000—still his highest rank ever, following 2008’s No. 3 "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things." It’s also his third consecutive top 5 album, alongside 2005’s “Mr. A-Z.” Mraz is also in the top 40 with single “I Won’t Give Up,” which rebounds to No. 36, up from 49, in its 16th week, after peaking at No. 8. One caveat: Mraz is No.1 on the Rock Albums chart.

Adele dips from 2 to 3 on the Billboard 200, as “21” continues to wipe out previous chart records. Paul Grein’s Yahoo! Music “Chart Watch” column notes that the set is the first to log 61 weeks in the top 10 since Celine Dion's “Falling Into You,” from March 1996 to June 1997. As well, when “21” merits one more week in the top 10, it will be the longest-running top 10 album since Alanis Morissette's “Jagged Little Pill,” which spent 72 weeks in the top 10 from August 1995 to January 1997. Note that all three won Grammys as Album of the Year. And in the U.K., “21” tallies a 23rd week at No. 1, the same number of weeks it has topped the U.S. chart.

Moving along, Train tracks its first-ever top 5 album (and fourth top 10) with the No. 4 debut of “California 37”; One Direction's former No. 1 "Up All Night" holds at. 5; Nicki Minaj's previous No. 1 "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" falls 3-6 (while topping both R&B/Hip Hop and Rap Albums); Gotye's "Making Mirrors" holds at No. 7; rapper Future launches at 8 with debut studio collection "Pluto”; Bonnie Raitt's "Slipstream" eases 6-9; and Luke Bryan's "Tailgates & Tanlines" returns to the top 10 for the first time since September, up from No. 13, in its 37th chart week.

Coming up: Jack White's solo debut “Blunderbuss” is sniffing a chart-topping debut on next week’s Billboard 200. And following that, look for a chart hurricane the next week as Carrie Underwood’s fourth album “Blown Away,” released May 1, tallies first-week sales. Other big releases in the coming month: May 1: B.o.B, Marilyn Manson, Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright, “Smash” soundtrack. May 8: Barenaked Ladies, Keane, “Liza Minnelli Live At Winter Garden.” May 15: Adam Lambert, Garbage, Tenacious D. May 22: Joey Ramone, John Mayer, Kris Allen, Slash, The Cult. May 29: Regina Spektor.

And finally a sentimental send-off to the legendary Dick Clark, who died Wednesday at the age of 82. He brought the biggest hits into America’s households for so many years as host of “American Bandstand,” allowing me to see the personalities behind so many ‘70s and ‘80s favorites. I had the pleasure of working with Dick when he hosted the 1998 Billboard Radio Awards in Phoenix. As Radio Editor at Billboard, I actually wrote a script for him and worked with him on flow and the pronunciation of names... humbling, huh? He could not have been kinder, more gracious and, of course, a total pro—and sent a signed thank you letter after the fact It hangs in my office to this day. R.I.P. *

This column originally appeared on here.