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Ask Billboard: What Are Your Favorites Of 2013?

garth-brooks-performing-650-430
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

Garth Brooks performs during The Dream Concert to Benefit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on September 18, 2007 in New York City.

Send in your picks for the best of 2013 to askbb@billboard.com. In the meantime, reader thoughts on Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and Donna Summer

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

AN ICE HOLIDAY PRESENT

Hi Gary,

With Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" finishing as the Hot 100's No. 1 song for 2013, we thought Billboard might get a kick out of our "Thrfft Shop" parody video that my wife and I filmed in secret to surprise our 12-year-old daughter. The clip has gotten a lot of local Boston-area press and attention on YouTube, and features the exact same orange suit and dress from the song's original video!

Thank you and Happy New Year!
 
Mike and Sue Smith
Westborough, Massachusetts

Hi Mike and Sue,

Now that's how you … rap a holiday present.

That's great! ("Really awesome," actually.) Not only is it sure to be a highlight of your holiday season this year, but I have a feeling you've also created a lasting family memory.

This also provides a great segue into next week's year-end "Ask Billboard," which will be your forum to share your favorite music of 2013. Please feel free to email askbb@billboard.com, or Tweet @gthot20, your top songs (however deep a list you want to send), albums, concerts, artists or any other music-related thoughts and we'll run down readers' picks next week.

In the meantime, let's empty out the inbox over the next three pages.

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

BROOKS IS BACK

@gthot20 This has been interesting reminder of how major Garth Brooks still is to many people.

Sean Ross (@RossOnRadio) [Billboard contributor]

Sean,

Garth Brooks' return to top of the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums has been long in the making, so it might sometimes be forgotten that he's still the best-selling album artist in the U.S. since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. With 69.1 million albums sold in that span, he leads runners-up the Beatles (65 million) and Mariah Carey (54.2 million).

With a new wave of country format cornerstones having rolled in since Brooks' self-imposed partial retirement after releasing "Scarecrow" in 2001, his return surely carries an element of absence-making-the-heart-grow-fonder. He and wife Trisha Yearwood also return to Country Airplay this week with their new duet "The Call."

Brooks was a big as any act can be in a genre throughout the '90s. As a recap (and a chart-geeky holiday present to Garth fans everywhere, myself included), here's an exclusive recap of Brooks' biggest Billboard Hot Country Songs hits of the '90s (encompassing songs that peaked between January 1990 and December 1999).

Let's count 'em down (Bob Kingsley-style) from No. 30 to No. 1:

30, "It's Your Song"
29, "One Night a Day"
28, "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association"
27, "It's Midnight Cinderella"
26, "Standing Outside the Fire"
25, "Learning to Love Again"
24, "Papa Loved Mama"
23, "You Move Me"
22, "She's Gonna Make It"
21, "Callin' Baton Rouge"

20, "That Ol' Wind"
19, "In Another's Eyes," Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks
18, "Rodeo"
17, "The Beaches of Cheyenne"
16, "The River"
15, "That Summer"
14, "Not Counting You"
13, "To Make You Feel My Love"
12, "Two Pina Coladas"
11, "Somewhere Other Than the Night"

10, "Ain't Going Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)"
9, "She's Every Woman"

8, "Shameless"
7, "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House"
6, "Longneck Bottle"
5, "The Thunder Rolls"
4, "What She's Doing Now"
3, "The Dance"
2, "Unanswered Prayers"

1, "Friends in Low Places"

(The list above is based on actual performance on the weekly Hot Country Songs chart. Titles are ranked using an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at the chart's lower positions earning the least.)

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

CARRIE-D AWAY

Hello Gary,

Due to Carrie Underwood dominating headlines after her (in my opinion, fantastic) performance in NBC's "Sound of Music Live!," I'm interested in seeing updated digital sales of her best-selling hits. I'm especially curious about the sales of the singles from her most recent album, "Blown Away," after she performed a medley of them ("Good Girl," "Blown Away," "Two Black Cadillacs" and "See You Again") at this year's CMA Awards.

Thanks so much,

Christian Snyder
Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Hi Christian,

For all the criticism that Underwood, especially, received for her acting in the special, how cool that she, and NBC, took an unexpected turn in bringing a live musical to TV for the first time in 50 years. Ultimately, the broadcast drew an immense 18.6 million viewers, more than enough to make the network ready for the next musical to make it on-air live. "We're looking for another show, a well-known title, that people already know and love that can interest kids and adults and can be produced live, which is no small feat," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told the Hollywood Reporter this week.

As for Underwood's biggest-selling songs, here are her 12 million-selling digital songs, according to SoundScan:

3,894,000, "Before He Cheats"
2,439,000, "Blown Away"
2,252,000, "Jesus, Take the Wheel"
2,092,000, "Cowboy Casanova"
1,838,000, "Good Girl"
1,698,000, "All-American Girl"
1,483,000, "Undo It"
1,240,000, "Last Name"
1,202,000, "Just a Dream"
1,048,000, "So Small"
1,041,000, "I Told You So"
1,004,000, "Temporary Home"

As for "Two Black Cadillacs" and "See You Again," they just miss the list above. They've sold 943,000 and 740,000 downloads, respectively.

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

SUMMER TIME

Gary,

Just in time for the anniversary of her birth (Dec. 31, 1948), the late Donna Summer is once again No. 1, as "MacArthur Park 2013" tops Dance Club Songs. Cool.

Connecting a diva of the past to one of the very-present present, I'm reminded of how new Billboard 200 leader Beyonce sampled Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" on her smash "Naughty Girl." Summer's song was her first Hot 100 hit, reaching No. 2 in 1976. Beyonce's reworking of it rose to No. 3 in 2004.

Crazy, and now drunk, in love for Donna, always,

Pablo Nelson
Oakland, California

Hi Pablo,

Summer was, and remains, a dance icon, so it's great to see our charts reflect how her music will live on long past her life. (She passed away on May 17 of last year.)

By the way, a wide range of other star acts have covered or sampled "Love to Love You Baby," including U2, No Doubt, TLC, Samantha Fox, Digital Underground, Debby Harry and Tom Tom Club.

Back to "MacArthur Park," we noted yesterday the many acts that have covered that classic, including "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1993 parody "Jurassic Park." Since the 20th anniversary 3D rerelease of "Jurassic Park" this year was one of my top movies of 2013, let's revisit his hilarious and clever video for the song:

"Weird Al" Yankovic's Jurassic Park - Music Video from Happy Product on Vimeo.

Speaking of the best of 2013, again, please feel free to get your picks in for next week's year-end "Ask Billboard." Emailing askbb@billboard.com, or Tweeting @gthot20, with your top songs, albums, concerts, artists or more is your route to next week's column.

Before 2013 goes the way of … the dinosaur …

 

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