Ask Billboard: Belinda's Back, JT Too, Mariah Carey's Album Sales & More

Belinda Carlisle releases her first single since the '90s, Justin Timberlake posts back-to-back No. 1 albums seven years apart and a look at Carey's album sales.

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20


Hello Gary,

I hope that you are doing well. Last week I predicted that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop," featuring Wanz, would return to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. I was correct!

Now, if it wasn't for Billboard changing chart methodologies in mid-year to include YouTube data, the song would be enjoying a 10th week at No. 1, instead of "only" a fifth week after the reign of Baauer's "Harlem Shake" ...
Take care,
Tom Gazdayka
Mountain View, California

Hi Tom,

As noted in the current weekly Hot 100 recap story, the five-week gap between topping the chart for "Thrift Shop" is the longest for a No. 1 except for Chubby Checker's "The Twist," which reigned in 1960 and again in 1962. "The Twist" first led due, in part, to exposure on "American Bandstand." Eventually, older audiences warmed to the song – and its dance – spurring a return to the summit.

Sound similar to the song and dance craze of "Harlem Shake"? More than half a century after "The Twist," music fans again showed that a song that has a good beat that you can dance to can prove irresistible. In the '60s, it was "Bandstand." In 2013, it's YouTube. Thus, the two longest breaks between No. 1s topping the Hot 100 revolve around frenetic dances (one, "The Twist," returning to the top and the other, "Shake," interrupting the command of another, "Shop"). What's notable is that, despite some skepticism about the addition of U.S. You Tube data to the Hot 100's weekly formula, as memes contributed to the rule of "Shake," chart history will reflect the popularity of Baauer's hit just as it does with "The Twist." The chart will serve as a record that "Shake" reigned thanks largely to 103 million in streaming at its peak – and that it fell when the fad faltered. (It's at a still impressive but much less 20 million this week.)

As "Thrift Shop" returns to the Hot 100's apex for a fifth nonconsecutive week, it adds another honor: it becomes just the ninth rap title to pass 5 million in digital sales, according to SoundScan. Here's a rundown of the list (which includes, unsurprisingly, mostly songs that lean toward dance and melody, making them more palatable to wider, non-core rap fans):

Downloads to date, Title, Artist:
7,605,000, "Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
6,666,000, "Low," Flo Rida feat. T-Pain
6,055,000, "Sexy and I Know It," LMFAO
5,813,000, "Love the Way You Lie," Eminem feat. Rihanna
5,399,000, "Right Round, Flo Rida
5,347,000, "Lose Yourself," Eminem
5,144,000, "Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z + Alicia Keys
5,014,000, "Stronger," Kanye West
5,013,000, "Thrift Shop," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz

NEXT: Mariah Carey: 'Idol,' albums

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