The Billboard Hot 100:
-- Lady Gaga: "Born This Way" spends a sixth consecutive week -- its entire chart life -- at the Hot 100's summit. The lead single and title track from her third studio album, due May 23, becomes her second No. 1 on Hot 100 Airplay (3-1), following "Paparazzi" in 2009, and gains by 3% to 182,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
What clinches its sustained residence in the Hot 100's penthouse this week, however, is a now-rarely-influential chart component: physical singles sales. A four-song CD single, featuring the original version of "Born" and three remixes, registered sales of 24,000 in its first full week at retail.
That sales sum is enough to keep "Born" at the Hot 100's apex in a close race with the runner-up, Katy Perry's "E.T.," featuring Kanye West, which pushes 3-2. "E.T." spends a second frame at No. 1 on Hot Digital Songs (261,000 downloads sold, up 21%) and flies 24-13 on Hot 100 Airplay (55 million audience impressions, up 24%, according to Nielsen BDS).
-- The Black Eyed Peas: The quartet benefits from its March 17 "American Idol" appearance, as "Just Can't Get Enough" (22-5), the Hot 100's Greatest Gainer/Digital, bounds 18-3 on Hot Digital Songs (198,000, up 143%). It's the group's 10th Hot 100 top 10 and eighth in a row, a streak that began with the No. 3-peaking "My Humps" in 2005.
-- "Glee" Cast: the Fox TV troupe registers the second-best digital sales week for any of its singles, as "Loser Like Me" soars onto the Hot 100 at No. 6, and Hot Digital Songs at No. 2, with 210,000 downloads. Its cover of Perry's "Teenage Dream" represents its best weekly sum (214,000, the week of Nov. 27, 2010).
The cast also starts at No. 16 on the Hot 100 with "Get It Right" (151,000 downloads). The two new tracks mark the ensemble's first recordings of songs written specifically for the series. With five other debuts, including another original, "Hell to the No" (No. 53; 67,000 downloads), the cast's seven new Hot 100 entries sold a combined 712,000 downloads in the chart's tracking week.
Two additional original "Glee" songs, the wry "Big Ass Heart" (10,000) and "Trouty Mouth" (7,000), registered notable sales but fall short of denting this week's Hot 100 and Hot Digital Songs surveys.
-- Chris Brown: "Look at Me Now," featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, leaps 12-8 to become Brown's first Hot 100 top 10 since "Forever," which peaked at No. 2 in August 2008 - six months prior to his assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna. Like the Black Eyed Peas, Brown bags his 10th Hot 100 top 10; he notched his prior nine between 2005 and 2008.
-- Britney Spears: Though "Till the World Ends" tumbles by 45% to 87,000 downloads, its radio run looks promising. The second single from "Femme Fatale," due Tuesday (March 29), jumps 26-17 as the Greatest Gainer on Mainstream Top 40. On Hot 100 Airplay, it charges 47-33 (34 million audience impressions, up 32%). (On the overall Billboard Hot 100, it stumbles 9-23 in its third week -- due to the erosion in sales.)
-- Rebecca Black: The teen internet sensation enters the Hot 100 at No. 72 with "Friday," which bows on Hot Digital Songs at No. 57 (37,000). Radio programmers, however, are so far largely avoiding the widely-panned track. While morning drive talents are discussing (and, thus, adding to) the song's buzz, it garnered just 12 plays in its entirety in the March 16-22 tracking week among the more than 1,200 stations monitored by BDS for Hot 100 Airplay.
The Billboard 200:
-- Adele: While the singer returns to No. 1 with her "21" album (98,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan; down 26%), bumping Lupe Fiasco's "Lasers" down to No. 3 (47,000; down 77%), two new entries bow in the top 10. Rise Against's "Endgame" starts at No. 2 (85,000) while Travis Barker's "Give the Drummer Some" enters at No. 9 (28,000).
-- Casting Crowns: Thanks to continued sales pricing and promotion at Family Christian Stores, the band's "Until the Whole World Hears" album rises to its highest sales week (16,000; up 72%) and best chart rank (No. 25, up 24 slots) since January of 2010.
-- Miguel: His "All I Want Is You" album takes its fifth weekly gain out of the past seven weeks (68-50; 9,000; up 15%), marking its best sales frame since Christmas week and its highest chart position yet. This week's gain was fuled by an Amazon MP3 daily deal on March 16 for $2.99.
-- Matt Wertz: While he's charted twice before on Heatseekers Albums, he's done so only once on the Billboard 200, with 2008's "Under Summer Sun" (No. 127; 5,000). With his new offering, "Weights & Wings" debut at No. 56 (8,000) he easily scores his best week ever on our charts.
-- Lee DeWyze: After last year's "American Idol" champ returned to the show's stage last week, his album sees an appropriately handsome gain, rising by 328% for a re-entry at No. 96.
-- Michael Jackson: His "The Essential Michael Jackson" album posts a 168% increase in downloads -- and 54% overall -- thanks to an "Essential" series promotion at iTunes. Set was discounted by $5 down to $11.99.