One of the only elusive honors in Taylor Swift's enviable career is a reality at last, as the country/pop superstar scores her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" blasts from No. 72 to the summit in its second week.
Swift had claimed accolades including Billboard's Woman of the Year (2011) and No. 1s on the Billboard 200, Hot Digital Songs, Hot 100 Airplay, Mainstream Top 40, Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums charts, among others. She's sold 17.8 million albums in the U.S. and 50 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan, since arriving with her self-titled debut album and introductory single, "Tim McGraw," six years ago.
Now, Swift has her first No. 1 on the Hot 100 (the 1,018th leader in the chart's 54-year history), where she had previously reached No. 2 twice, with "You Belong With Me" (2009) and "Today Was a Fairytale" (2010). Her multi-format smashes "Mine" (2010) and "Love Story" (2008) reached Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.
Swift's 'Never' Sets Female Digital Sales Record
"Never," the lead single from Swift's fourth studio album, "Red," due Oct. 22 on Big Machine Records, soars to No. 1 on the Hot 100 fueled by a record 623,000 downloads sold in its first week, according to SoundScan. The sum marks the highest one-week digital sales total by a female artist and is second among all acts only to Flo Rida's "Right Round," which sold 636,000 the week of Feb. 28, 2009, also its debut frame. "Never" instantly becomes Swift's fourth No. 1 on the Hot Digital Songs chart.
After the song was released late Monday (Aug. 13), the first two days of radio airplay for "Never" (aided by promotional play on more than 300 Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned stations) enabled the song's No. 25 start on Hot 100 Airplay last week (40 million all-format audience impressions, according to Nielsen BDS). Following is first full week of radio availability, "Never" jumps 25-14 (52 million, up 29%) on Hot 100 Airplay. As previously reported, the song enters a host of genre airplay charts this week, including Hot Country Songs, where its No. 13 launch is the highest by a woman in the 22 years that BDS data has powered the survey.
While "Never" has not yet been made available to streaming services that also contribute to the Hot 100's data pool, the song outranks the No. 2 song on the chart, and last week's No. 1, Flo Rida's "Whistle," by an almost two-to-one chart points ratio. "Whistle" slips 1-2 on the Hot 100 despite rising 12-8 on Radio Songs (74 million, up 12%). It likewise falls 1-2 on Hot Digital Songs (199,000, down 8%), while gaining on On-Demand Songs (773,000 on-demand streams, up 3%, according to BDS), where it holds at No. 3.
Ellie Goulding's "Lights" dips to No. 3 on the Hot 100 after reaching a highpoint of No. 2 the last two weeks; Carly Rae Jepsen's former nine-week No. 1 "Call Me Maybe" drops 3-4; and, Katy Perry's No. 2-peaking "Wide Awake" falls 4-5.
Fun.'s "Some Nights" jumps 8-6 on the Hot 100 with gains on Hot Digital Songs (5-3; 180,000, up 21%), Hot 100 Airplay (30-19; 45 million, up 17%) and On-Demand Songs (7-5; 697,000, up 12%).
Maroon 5's No. 2-peaking "Payphone," featuring Wiz Khalifa, descends 5-7 in its 18th week on the Hot 100 and its first below the top five. Its sum of 17 weeks lodged in the top five from its debut equals the Hot 100 record; Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day" spent its first 17 weeks in the bracket in 1995-96, including its first 16 at No. 1 (the longest command in the Hot 100's archives) and the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" likewise logged 17 weeks in the top five from its start in 2009, including 14 at No. 1.
But, wait, there's more Maroon 5 news: "Payphone" follow-up "One More Night" darts 15-9 with the Hot 100's top Digital and Streaming Gainer badges, rising 7-4 on Hot Digital Songs (170,000, up 26%) and 45-28 on On-Demand Songs (345,000, up 33%), as well as 43-25 on Hot 100 Airplay (40 million, up 29%). After notching its first two Hot 100 top 10s ("This Love" and "She Will Be Loved") in 2004 and adding its third ("Makes Me Wonder") in 2007, Maroon 5 has doubled its top 10 total with its last three radio-promoted singles. Prior to "Payphone" and "Night," the group's "Moves Like Jagger," featuring Christina Aguilera, reigned for four weeks in September/October 2011.
In between Maroon 5's two concurrent Hot 100 top 10s, Justin Bieber posts the chart's other arrival into the upper tier, as "As Long as You Love Me," featuring Big Sean, climbs 12-8 to become Bieber's fourth top 10 (and Big Sean's second). The cut zooms 8-6 on Hot Digital Songs (145,000, up 12%), 33-18 on Hot 100 Airplay (46 million, up 20%) and 10-9 on On-Demand Songs (554,000, up 12%). Bieber first reached the Hot 100's top 10 with "Baby" (No. 5) in 2010 and returned to the region with "Never Say Never," featuring Jaden Smith (No. 8), last year and his previous radio single, "Boyfriend," which reached No. 2 in April.
David Guetta's "Titanium," featuring Sia, rounds out the Hot 100's top 10, backtracking 7-10.
Check billboard.biz tomorrow (Aug. 23), when all rankings, including the Hot 100, Hot Digital Songs, Hot 100 Airplay and On-Demand Songs, will be refreshed, as they are each Thursday.