Posts Tagged ‘Lady Gaga’

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Top 25 Pop Songs of 2011

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

2011 didn’t turn out like it was supposed to.

It was supposed to be the year that the electro-Europop ushered in by Lady Gaga completed its rise to total airwave domination. It was supposed to be the year hip-hop gave up trying to be as relevant as it was in the ’00s. It was supposed to be the year rock staged a comeback. But none of those things happened.

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Do hit singles sell records? Conflicting messages from a recently released rapper on fire and a British soul singer on a roll

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Adele scores her second No. 1 this week as the heartfelt “Someone Like You” bounds 19-1, but her triumph has been nearly drowned out by news that Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV sold an impressive 964,000 copies in its opening week. The record industry has been used to bad news and declining record sales for a decade now, but this week represents a major bright spot.

Weezy’s sales figures are astonishing. Sure, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way might have outsold Tha Carter IV when it topped a million in its first week earlier this year, but Lil Wayne didn’t have the benefit of Amazon hawking digital copies of his album for 99 cents. He also didn’t have the benefit of a blockbuster hit single piquing public interest which raises some interesting questions. Just how important is a monster single to spurring album sales?

In 2008, Weezy sold over a million copies of Tha Carter III in its first week, a feat aided by his first No. 1 single, “Lollipop” feat. Static Major. This time around, Lil Wayne might have plenty of hits on his hands, just not one as big.

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Lady Gaga Joins the Seven Figure Club

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music


New York City subways were plastered in Lady Gaga images, one of the many tactics Interscope used in their mammoth promotional push for her album “Born This Way,” the 17th album to sell more than a million copies in a week.

The numbers are in, and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way is the 17th album to sell more than a million copies in a week. Surprisingly, Born This Way is Gaga’s first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 album chart, and with the official tally at 1,110,420, it earns the distinction of shifting more copies in a week than any album since 50 Cent’s The Massacre in 2005, and more than any female artist since Britney Spears’ Oops!…I Did It Again in 2000.

As record sales tumble year after year, first week sales in the seven figures have become increasingly rare. Taylor Swift did it last year with Speak Now, but when you consider ten albums managed to sell more than a million during the first half of the ’00s (five of them in 2000 alone) while from 2005-2009, only two did, the decline of album sales is apparent.

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Lady Gaga Lives Up To Monster Expectations on "Born This Way"

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

It’s hard to believe that only 31 months ago, Lady Gaga was an underground electro-pop artist struggling to get her songs played on American radio. She sang about losing her phone and turning her shirt inside out, and she seemed destined to be the type of artist celebrated by the blogosphere but ignored by mainstream pop (an American Robyn). She’s since become the most important pop star on the planet, and today, released one of the most anticipated records of the 21st century.

The promotion Born This Way has received is unrivaled by any album in recent memory, thanks to Gaga hyping it long before we even knew what it would be called (She said she wrote the “core of it” more than a year ago). She went as far as to call it the “greatest album of this decade,” fueling the anticipation, and showcasing a hubris we’ve come to expect from the likes of Kanye West and pre-fatherhood Brandon Flowers. While self-promotion is an essential skill for every pop star, Gaga’s unprecedented plugging threatened to backfire – the entire project buckling under the weight of  unrealistic expectations and self-importance – unless she delivered the groundbreaking opus she promised.

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CHART WATCH: On A Roll: Adele Building Steam on Hot 100

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Chart Watch is 17 Tracks’ weekly look at the happenings on the Billboard Hot 100 with chart expert Hunter Schwarz.

Katy Perry clenches the No. 1  spot for a fifth non-consecutive week with “E.T.” featuring Kanye West, and it’s become painfully obvious that Perry’s fourth Teenage Dream chart topping single is not a flash-in-the-pan.

“E.T.” is coming off its best sales week ever two weeks ago (344,000) and is down slightly this week with figures slightly north of 300,000.  In total, “E.T.” is on track to be the top-selling song of 2011 to date. Its 2.48 million sales are hot on the tail of Cee Lo Green’s 2.49 million sales of “F**k You.” Sales of “E.T.” are on par with last summer’s smash “California Gurls” feat. Snoop Dogg, and they might even eclipse her ode to the Golden State, becoming her best-selling single ever.

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CHART WATCH: What’s the Difference Between a Pitbull and a Femme Fatale? Lipstick…

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Chart Watch is 17 Tracks’ weekly look at the happenings on the Billboard Hot 100 with chart expert Hunter Schwarz.

Kelly Clarkson announced the completion of her fifth studio album this March, but RCA is pushing the release date to September. One could assume the delay is due to the overcrowded pop market right now. If RCA wants Clarkson to make the biggest splash possible, they’re doing themselves a favor by waiting until the airwaves have calmed down a bit.

For the past several months, the upper echelons of the Hot 100 have been dominated by female pop stars. Katy Perry stays at No. 1 this week with “E.T.” featuring Kanye West, Rihanna comes up short once again with “S&M” at No. 2, and both Britney Spears and Lady Gaga have songs in the top 10.

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CHART WATCH: Lady Gaga Leads Grammy Performer-Filled Top Ten

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Chart Watch is 17 Tracks’ weekly look at the happenings on the Billboard Hot 100 with chart expert Hunter Schwarz.

The 2011 Grammy awards drew more than 26 million viewers, its biggest audience in over a decade, and it shows on this week’s Hot 100. The entire top five is comprised of songs performed during the show, led by Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” The fact that “Born This Way” is No. 1 for a second week is significant, and we’ll get to that in a second.

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The Meaning Behind Britney Spears’ "Hold It Against Me" Music Video

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

It’s Britney vs. Britney in her music video for “Hold It Against Me.”

If it hadn’t been for the two weeks worth of teaser clips released on Britney Spears’ Twitter account, the Jonas Akerlund-directed music video for “Hold It Against Me” would have been a complete shock when it was released. Rather than portray the song literally by setting it in a club or having Spears chase a love interest, Akerlund took the video in a different direction and created something unlike any else in Britney’s catalog of videos.

The video is dark, deep, and can be interpreted many ways, as her manager Larry Rudolph pointed out in an MTV broadcast after the video premiered. Regardless, the overriding theme of the piece is the trials and trappings of celebrity.

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Highlights from Billboard Hot 100′s 1,000 No. 1 Hits: 20 Songs that Broke Records, Made History

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

This week, the Billboard Hot 100 crowned Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” the 1,000th song to top its chart since it was created in 1958. Here are some of the highlights from the past 1,000 No. 1s, including songs by the Beatles, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey.

1958: “Poor Little Fool” — Ricky Nelson

First No. 1

Ricky Nelson, a star on the television show The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, began his recording career to impress his girlfriend and was lucky enough to have the top song in the country the week Billboard introduced the Hot 100.

 

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CHART WATCH: Born To Reign: Lady Gaga Lands Billboard’s 1,000th No. 1

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Chart Watch is 17 Tracks’ weekly look at the happenings on the Billboard Hot 100 with chart expert Hunter Schwarz.

This week, Lady Gaga scores her third No. 1 single as “Born This Way” storms the Hot 100, debuting at No. 1 and earning the distinction of being the 1,000th No. 1 in Billboard history. What makes it all the more impressive was that she did it in less than three days.

Billboard was so excited about its 1,000th No. 1 that they leaked news of the occasion three days before the new charts are posted. And what better time is there to be excited and take a look back at the Hot 100 — the Dow Jones of music.