The Billboard 200:
-- "Now 37": With 304,000 sold in three weeks' time according to Nielsen SoundScan, the compilation album is selling at a faster clip than "Now 36," which took six weeks to push past the same threshold. This week, "Now 37" slips one rung to No. 4 (58,000; down 46%).
-- Rihanna: Her "Loud" album (No. 8 this week, up two slots) passes the 1 million sales mark (1,010,000) in its 15th week of release as it shifts 33,000 (down 26%). To compare, it took her last album, "Rated R," 50 weeks to reach 1 million. This week, the new album's latest single, "S&M," gives the diva her 13th top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 as it rises 7-5. Among women, only four other ladies have more top fives: Madonna (28), Mariah Carey (26), Janet Jackson (24), Whitney Houston (19). Rihanna is now tied with the top five tallies of both Beyonce and Olivia Newton-John.
-- Big Time Rush: Wondering why their "BTR" set -- up 26 slots to No. 39 with an 8% gain -- is one of only two (non-debuting) albums in the top 50 that see an increase? (The other is Adele's "19" at No. 16, up 40%). "BTR," are a poduct of Nickelodeon, Viacom's kids channel, whose album was sale priced for only $4.99 at Best Buy. Their YouTube video for the single "The City is Ours" (below) has an impressive 1.8 million views.
-- The Avett Brothers: The power of the Grammy Awards: nearly 10% of the act's "I And Love And You's" 311,000 to-date sales came in the last three weeks. The act, which performed on the Feb. 13 show, released the set in October of 2009. "The Social Network": It won the Academy Award for best original score on Feb. 27, thus sparking the soundtrack's overall gain of 96% and its re-entry at No. 125. Looking only at downloads, it's up 149% -- owed to purchases likely made on the night of the show (and the final day of the tracking week).
-- Far*East Movement: The act's "Free Wired" album re-enters at No. 189, despite a 5% decline in sales. Almost inexplicably, it has only sold 122,000 copies while its tracks (including the Hot 100 No. 1 "Like a G6" and the top 10 "Rocketeer") have moved 4.5 million downloads.
The Billboard Hot 100:
-- Lady Gaga: "Born This Way" passes a million in digital sales, as a third-week sum of 286,000 (down 44%) brings its total to 1,243,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (Now making it the fifth-biggest selling download of the year.) Though it's off 44% in downloads, the song gains by 21% on Hot 100 Airplay (101 million, according to Nielsen BDS), where it holds at No. 4. Having debuted atop the Hot 100 two weeks ago, the song is the first to spend its first three weeks in the chart's top spot since Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" reigned for its first four frames in 1998.
-- Cee Lo Green: Like Gaga at No. 1, Green's "F**k You (Forget You)," at No. 2 for a second week, registers a sharp digital decline -- down 39% to 252,000 -- while surging at radio. The song claims Greatest Gainer/Airplay honors on the Hot 100 for a second consecutive week, bounding into the top 10 (14-6) on Hot 100 Airplay (80 million in audience, up 28%).
-- Katy Perry: We're identifying "E.T." as a flying object, as the song, featuring Kanye West, roars 12-4 on Hot Digital Songs (170,000, up 42%); enters Hot 100 Airplay at No. 57 (20 million, up 194%); and, shoots 28-8 with Greatest Gainer/Digital accolades on the Hot 100. With the three previous singles from "Teenage Dream" ("California Gurls," the title cut and "Firework") having topped the Hot 100, the album is the first Capitol Records release to generate four 100 top 10s on the tally since Heart's self-titled set in 1985-86. "Heart" did it with "What About Love?" (No. 10), "Never" (No. 4), "These Dreams" (No. 1) and "Nothin' At All" (No. 10).
-- Jennifer Lopez: The new "American Idol" judge posts her first top 10 start on the Hot 100, as "On the Floor," featuring Pitbull, blasts in as the Hot Shot Debut at No. 9. The song -- Lopez's first top 10 as a lead artist since the four-week No. 1 "All I Have," featuring LL Cool J, in 2003 -- begins at No. 3 on Hot Digital Songs (170,000). Island Def Jam withheld the song from a digital release for a month following its radio launch (it rises 40-38 on Mainstream Top 40), synching it with the premiere of its video on today's (March 3) "Idol" episode.
-- Ke$ha: The singer scores her seventh top 10 on Hot Digital Songs, where "Blow" blazes 23-10 (129,000, up 52%), translating to a 32-11 Hot 100 vault. The track's rise is aided by its buzz worthy (and unicorn-infused) new video, co-starring James Van Der Beek.
-- Justin Bieber: After frenzied excitement over the opening of his "Never Say Never" concert film fueled last week's 25-8 catapult for the movie's title cut, the song retreats 8-23. The track, featuring Jaden Smith, drops 4-11 on Hot Digital Songs (117,000, down 41%), although it pushes 35-34 (up 16%) on the Mainstream Top 40 radio airplay chart.
-- Glee Cast: With three debuts, the TV troupe ups its count to a record-extending 120 total Hot 100 entries. (Two weeks ago, it passed Elvis Presley's 108 charted hits). As its covers of Human League's "Don't You Want Me" and Ke$ha's "TiK ToK'" start at Nos. 49 and 61, respectively, the cast has now charted 38 remakes of Hot 100 No. 1s. The ensemble releases "Glee: The Music, Volume 5" next Tuesday (March 8), featuring its first two original songs: the uptempo, Max Martin-co-written "Loser Like Me" and the Lea Michele-sung ballad "Get It Right" (both expected to impact the Hot 100 in two weeks).