The Billboard Hot 100:
As previously reported, LMFAO brings "Sexy and I Know It" to the Hot 100's summit after a seven-week wait at No. 2. Who else struts their stuff on this week's chart?
-- Justin Bieber: "Mistletoe" returns to the Hot 100's top 20 (32-19) for the first time since it debuted at No. 11 in early November. The carol holds at No. 16 on Hot Digital Songs with a 147% increase to 155,000 downloads sold in the Dec. 19-25 tracking week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. As previously reported, the song takes over the top spot on Billboard's sales/airplay/streaming hybrid Holiday Songs chart, bounds 6-2 on Adult Contemporary and becomes the first holiday hit on the Mainstream Top 40 radio airplay tally in 12 years. Bieber's "Drummer Boy," featuring Busta Rhymes, concurrently re-enters the Hot 100 at No. 86, besting its earlier No. 99 peak.
-- Taylor Swift: "Safe & Sound," featuring folk-rock duo the Civil Wars, scores Hot Shot Debut honors at No. 30, thanks to a No. 19 start on Hot Digital Songs (136,000). The song previews the soundtrack to the sci-fi film "The Hunger Games," due in theaters in March. The song, written by Swift, Civil Wars' Joy Williams and John Paul White and producer T Bone Burnett, joins Swift's current country radio single "Ours," which lifts 47-45 on the Hot 100 (and bullets at No. 22 in its fifth week on the airplay-based Hot Country Songs chart).
-- Lady Gaga: Could "Marry the Night" mark Mother Monster's first promoted radio single to miss the Hot 100's top 10? Currently, she's tied for the most career-opening top 10 promoted singles among women -- 11 -- with Mariah Carey (1990-94), but "Marry" continues to slide (33-37) after reaching a peak-to-date of No. 29 two weeks ago. Robust digital sales and holiday airplay make this week's data atypical, but the song slips 40-43 on Hot Digital Songs (although up 95% to 69,000 downloads). On Hot 100 Airplay, it rises 36-34 but with a 3% decrease to 31 million audience impressions. Even more worrisome: "Marry" is already retreating at Gaga's home format -- Mainstream Top 40 radio -- as it drops 14-15 on the chart, down 4%, in just its sixth week.
-- V.I.C.: The Queens, N.Y., rapper returns to the Hot 100, as "Wobble Baby Wobble" bows at No. 94, improving by 77% to 32,000 downloads. It's tallied four weeks on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, where it peaked at No. 84 in July, and ranks just below the list this week with a 23% gain in airplay. V.I.C. (nee Victor Grimmy) reached No. 29 in 2008 with his first single, "Get Silly," from his debut album "Beast." Follow-up set "Revenge of the Beast" is due next year.
The Billboard 200:
While in terms of sales volume, it was the busiest week of the year (15.11 million albums sold), the Billboard 200 lacked many new entries on the tally. Michael Buble's "Christmas" album spent what will likely be its fifth and final week at No. 1, while only two debuts dotted the entire 200 position chart.
-- Common: Two hip-hop stars own the lone two debuts on the Billboard 200 this week as Young Jeezy's "T M: 103 Hustlerz Ambition" bows at No. 3 with 233,000 and Common's "The Dreamer, the Believer" starts at No. 18 with 69,000. It's not unusual that there would be few new albums arriving to market at this time of year, as most major releases have dropped by Thanksgiving. The next big album due out is likely Prince Royce's self-titled set, which hits stores on Jan. 3. We should see January piled high with a number of developing artists looking to make headway on the chart during its normal post-Christmas slump.
-- VH1 Divas: The ladies of "VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul" also party it up on the Billboard 200 as a few of the Dec. 10 TV show's performers see some big spikes on the tally. Within the top 50, Mary J. Blige's "My Life II" rises 26-19 (69,000; up 75%), Florence + the Machine's "Ceremonials" climbs 38-20 (63,000; up 101%) and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" bullets 44-39 (41,000; up 50%).
-- The Beatles: The single largest percentage gain on the chart belongs to the Beatles' "1" greatest hits album, as it flies 177-72 with a 215% gain (selling 23,000 copies). It was the focus of a splashy front-of-store promotion in the iTunes Store last week. Naturally, its download sales went through the roof as well, as 64% of its overall total were digital purchases. (Its download sales were 14,000 -- up a mighty 706% compared to the week previous.)
-- Metallica, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, the Roots: On the entire Billboard 200 chart, only three non-holiday albums post declines this week -- Metallica's "Beyond Magnetic" EP (32-187; down 75%), Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa's "Mac & Devin Go to High School" soundtrack (29-86; down 48%) and the Roots' "Undun" (70-95; down 4%). It's normal for Christmas albums to drop down the tally as the season comes to a close, while Metallica, the Snoop/Wiz joint effort and the Roots all fall because they are only a few weeks old on the tally (thus a natural post-debut collapse was expected). However, watch for the "Mac & Devin" set to perhaps return to the upper regions of the chart in the next few weeks, once the glut of Christmas albums have retreated from the tally, making room for non-holiday sets to stabilize on the chart.