Chart Beat

Justin Timberlake & Ant Clemons' 'Better Days' Duet Sees Biggest Sales Boost After Inauguration

Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons
Courtesy Photo

Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons perform during the Celebrating America Primetime Special on Jan. 20, 2021.

Tim McGraw & Tyler Hubbard's "Undivided" and Black Pumas' record of the year nominee "Colors" also saw sales gains.

The Biden-Harris inauguration festivities on Jan. 20 spurred sales gains for the songs performed throughout the day’s celebrations, including big increases for tunes by Ant Clemons and Justin Timberlake; Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard; and Black Pumas.

Altogether, the songs performed during the daytime show Parade Across America and the primetime event Celebrating America sold 39,000 downloads in the U.S. on Jan. 20, according to initial reports to MRC Data. That’s up 2,000% compared to the 2,000 those same songs sold on Jan. 19. The sales figures include the original and popularized versions of songs covered on the two programs, including Demi Lovato’s cover of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” and Jon Bon Jovi’s take on The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.”

Both Parade Across America and Celebrating America were broadcast on U.S. television across multiple networks and streamed in their entirety on various social networks and website. The 90-minute Celebrating America program was carried live starting at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and PBS.

The top-seller on Jan. 20 from the two shows was Clemons and Timberlake’s “Better Days,” which sold 13,000 downloads that day -- a gain of 15,351% compared to the negligible sum it sold on Jan. 19. The song was released in December but has yet to chart on a Billboard tally. That will likely change come next week, once the new charts (dated Jan. 30, reflecting sales and streaming data for the week ending Jan. 21) are compiled and announced.

The next biggest seller from the two shows was McGraw and Hubbard’s “Undivided,” which moved 8,500 copies on Jan. 20 (up 2,272% from a little under 500 sales on Jan. 19). The tune debuted on a number of Billboard charts (dated Jan. 23) including Country Airplay at No. 19.

Black Pumas had the third-biggest selling song of the day, as “Colors” sold 4,000 -- up 11,415% from a negligible figure on Jan. 19. The song is nominated for record of the year at the upcoming Grammy Awards and hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Airplay chart a year ago (chart dated Feb. 15, 2020).

Other notable sellers from the two shows include Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These” (3,000; up 8,716%), Withers’ “Lovely Day” (2,500; up 1,897%), New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” (1,500; up 262%), Katy Perry’s “Firework” (1,000; up 2,292%), and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber (1,000; up 1,894%). (The latter was sung in part by Fonsi, without Daddy Yankee and Bieber, during DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic segment on the Celebrating America special.)

“You Get What You Give” had already started to perk up in sales in the days leading up to the show, selling nearly 1,000 on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 combined, thanks to buzz generated by news of the act’s reunion specifically for the inauguration. In a typical day, the song sells a negligible number. The track was released in 1998 and reached No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart in 1999.

News on any significant streaming gains for the performed songs will be reported in the coming days.