As previously reported, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. and Pharrell, spends a sixth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s “Holy Grail,” from Jay-Z’s new Billboard 200 No. 1 Magna Carta… Holy Grail, debuts at No. 8. Who else makes notable moves on the Hot 100 and other song charts this week?
— Lorde: The 16-year-old New Zealander’s introductory track “Royals” jumps 13-9 on the Nielsen BDS-based Alternative radio airplay chart. Incredibly, the song marks the first appearance in the list’s top 10 by a solo female with lead billing since the Lilith Fair era; Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” spent its 11th and final week in the top tier, after reaching No. 4, the week of Nov. 15, 1997.
As “Royals,” which bullets at No. 8 on Rock Digital Songs with a 23% increase to 33,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and advances 90-74 on the Hot 100, serves as Lorde’s first Alternative entry, she’s the first lead solo female to reach the top 10 in a maiden chart visit since Meredith Brooks, whose “Bitch” rose to No. 4 also in 1997.
“‘Royals’ was a one-listen song for me,” says Shark, program director of WSUN Tampa, Fla., which played the track 48 times in the past week, according to Nielsen BDS. “Most music sung by 16-year-olds is pre-fab, over-produced, Disney Channel-pop. There’s an edginess and authenticity to ‘Royals’ that makes it really stand out.”
— Capital Cities: Across-the-board gains spur a 31-19 Hot 100 vault for “Safe and Sound.” The former Alternative No. 1 jumps 23-14 on Hot Digital Songs (75,000, up 16%) and 26-19 on Hot 100 Airplay (51 million audience impressions, up 19%) and debuts at No. 50 on Streaming Songs (1.2 million streams, up 34%). Crossover airplay is helping the song’s momentum, as it pushes 18-16 on Mainstream Top 40 and 25-21 on Adult Top 40.
— Justin Timberlake: As he bows at No. 8 on the Hot 100 as a guest on Jay-Z’s “Holy Grail,” Timberlake also starts at No. 47 with “Take Back the Night.” With less than a full week of sales and airplay following its release on July 12, the cut enters Hot Digital Songs at No. 34 (47,000) and Hot 100 Airplay at No. 42 (30 million). It introduces the second installment of his The 20/20 Experience, due Sept. 30. The first edition is the year’s top-selling album (2.1 million).
— Lana Del Rey: Available since early 2012 on her debut album Born to Die, “Summertime Sadness” enters the Hot 100 at No. 72. The song debuts on Hot Digital Songs at No. 43 (36,000, up 137%) following the release of its Cedric Gervais remix. The new version accounts for 59% of the sales sum. Radio is also a factor: “Summertime” becomes Del Rey’s first Mainstream Top 40 hit, debuting at No. 36, and reaches the top five (6-5) on Dance/Mix Show Airplay.
— Florida Georgia Line: Florida Georgia Line dominates Hot Country Songs for a 20th cumulative week with “Cruise” (which ranks at No. 6 on the Hot 100). The reign marks the longest command since Ray Price stacked 20 weeks on top with “Crazy Arms” in 1956 and lifts “Cruise” to within a week of tying the all-time longest No. 1 run in the chart’s history, which dates to 1944. With “Cruise” sporting a more than 2-to-1 lead in overall chart points over runner-up “I Want Crazy” by Hunter Hayes, expect the former title to match the Hot Country Songs milestone next week, with full details next Wednesday (July 24) on Billboardbiz when the chart is finalized.
— J. Dash: “Wop” re-enters Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 20, thanks to its indirect link to Jay Z’s new song “Somewhereinamerica,” in which he raps, “Feds still lurking / They see I’m still putting work in / And, somewhere in America / Miley Cyrus is still twerking.” Cyrus’ viral twerking video was set to J. Dash’s song and the interest spawned by the Jay-Z reference propelled it to rise by 91% to 31,000 downloads sold, its best sales week yet.
— The Finatticz: “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun!” begins on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 33, also fueled by online viral buzz. On the video-sharing site/app Vine, “Thun Thun” seems to be the song of choice for the #twerkteam tag. The song sold 34,000 downloads last week, a whopping 696% increase. The California duo’s breakout hit was originally released in 2012 and dented the Rhythmic airplay chart (peaking at No. 39) ahead of its renewed chart life now.
Additional reporting by Wade Jessen and Rauly Ramirez