Brandi Carlile's 'The Joke' Surges to No. 1 on Rock Digital Song Sales Chart After Grammys

ISSUE 2 2019 - DO NOT USE - COMES OUT JAN. 25, 2019
Austin Hargrave
Brandi Carlile photographed on Jan. 9, 2019 at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles. 

It also re-enters Hot Rock Songs at No. 4, marking Carlile's biggest hit.

Gains following the Grammy Awards help score Brandi Carlile multiple chart accolades, including her first No. 1 on Billboard's Rock Digital Song Sales survey.

"The Joke," the lead single from Carlile's 2018 album By the Way, I Forgive You (and a nominee for song and record of the year), debuts at No. 1 on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart dated Feb. 23 with 20,000 downloads sold, a 2,865 percent surge, in the week ending Feb. 14, according to Nielsen Music.

The track, which did not sell enough downloads to make the chart upon its original release and run at radio nearly a year ago, exceeds the No. 9 peak of "Party of One," featuring Sam Smith (also from By the Way, I Forgive You), in November to become Carlile's top-charting song on the tally.

Helping propel "The Joke": Carlile's buzzed-about performance of the song toward the end of the Grammys broadcast on CBS, as well as its wins during the pre-show ceremony for best American roots performance and best American roots song. She also performed a stripped-down version of the song later in the week on Ellen.

"The Joke" also accrued enough sales, streams and radio airplay to re-enter the Hot Rock Songs tally, bowing at No. 4 and becoming Carlile's first song ever to reach the top 30; "Party of One" reached No. 35 in November. In addition to its sales gain, "The Joke" boasts a 678 percent blast to 1.6 million U.S. streams in the tracking week. The song originally made the March 3, 2018-dated Hot Rock Songs chart, concurrent with the chart launch of By the Way I Forgive You, entering at No. 43, and it peaked at No. 4 on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart later that month.

Additionally, "Every Time I Hear That Song," the album's leadoff track, makes its maiden appearance on Hot Rock Songs, opening at No. 49, up 262 percent to 427,000 streams and 920 percent to 1,000 downloads sold.

"The Joke" is joined by a much older song from Carlile's catalog on Rock Digital Song Sales: breakthrough single "The Story" re-enters at No. 17, up 565 percent to 3,000 sold. The latter track, which originally peaked at No. 10 on Rock Digital Song Sales in April 2011, had not appeared on the list since October 2014.

By the Way, I Forgive You re-enters Top Rock Albums at No. 2 with 20,000 equivalent album units earned, an 897 percent vault. The LP previously ruled the March 3, 2018-dated chart upon its entrance. On the all-genre Billboard 200, the set returns at No. 22, its best rank since its No. 5 debut.


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