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Ask Billboard: Lady Gaga’s Career Sales & Streams; Ariana Grande Takes ‘7’ to 1

Plus, a tribute to late R&B legend James Ingram.

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20

Hi Gary,

Could us Little Monsters please get an update on Lady Gaga‘s album and single sales?

Thank you,

Jorge L.
Phoenix, Arizona


Hi Jorge,

With Gaga likely needing to create more trophy space thanks to the Grammy Awards tonight (Feb. 10) and the Academy Awards (Feb. 24), with multiple nominations for her Bradley Cooper duet “Shallow,” among others, let’s update her career U.S. sales and streams, according to Nielsen Music.

Notably, 17 chart weeks in, the A Star Is Born soundtrack, featuring “Shallow,” is already her fifth-best-selling album.

The Fame, 4.8 million; Born This Way, 2.4 million; The Fame Monster (EP), 1.6 million; ARTPOP, 781,000; A Star Is Born (soundtrack), 780,000; Cheek to Cheek (with Tony Bennett), 773,000; Joanne, 649,000; The Remix, 316,000; Born This Way: The Remix, 62,000; A Very Gaga Holiday, 46,000

Top-Selling Songs
“Poker Face,” 7.5 million; “Just Dance” (feat. Colby O’Donis), 7.2 million; “Bad Romance,” 5.9 million; “Born This Way,” 4.3 million; “Paparazzi,” 3.6 million; “Telephone” (feat. Beyonce), 3.5 million; “The Edge of Glory,” 3 million; “Applause,” 2.7 million; “LoveGame,” 2.67 million; “Alejandro,” 2.63 million; “You and I,” 2.4 million; “Do What U Want” (feat. R. Kelly), 1.3 million; “Million Reasons,” 1.1 million; “Judas,” 1 million

Most-Streamed Songs (on-demand U.S.)
“Bad Romance,” 395 million; “Poker Face,” 322 million; “Million Reasons,” 234 million; “Applause,” 232 million; “Just Dance,” 197 million; “Shallow,” 178 million; “Born This Way,” 158 million; “The Cure,” 142 million; “Paparazzi,” 118 million; “Alejandro,” 103 million

As for the best-selling and most-streamed songs to-date from A Star Is Born after “Shallow” (which has sold 596,000): “Always Remember Us This Way,” 248,000 sold/71 million streams, and “I’ll Never Love Again,” 226,000 sold/66 million streams.

No radio follow-up single to “Shallow” has yet been announced from the set. If a second song is promoted, what do you think it should be? Is “Always Remember Us This Way” the safest, and best, choice, given its consumption totals and hook? “I’ll Never Love Again”? Another track? (“Remember” seems smartest, although a personal favorite is “Hair Body Face,” but not sure how well that would fit on radio in a time of largely low-tempo pop.)



Hi Gary,

In terms of the numeral “7” by itself, the highest-peaking Billboard Hot 100 hit before Ariana Grande‘s current No. 1 “7 Rings” was “7 Years” by Lukas Graham, which reached No. 2 in 2016.

With “7 Rings” ruling, songs with numbers one through nine have now led the Hot 100 in the chart’s history. Let’s count backwards, from the most recent such No. 1s to the earliest (and using numerals or numbers spelled out. I considered individual numbers only, so “Nothing Compares 2 U” counts for number two, but “21 Questions” would count for 21, not two or one. I also didn’t include any titles with “part 1” or “part 2,” etc. And, again, only numbers by themselves, so “No One” counts for number one but “Someone Like You” doesn’t).

Appropriately, the number one has appeared in the most No. 1 hits of all numbers.

1: “I’m the One,” “One Dance,” “One More Night” (two such No. 1s, by Maroon 5 and Phil Collins), “No One,” “…Baby One More Time,” “One Week,” “One Sweet Day” “One More Try” (two, by Timmy T and George Michael), “The One That You Love,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Do That to Me One More Time,” “You’re the One That I Want,” “One of These Nights,” “One Bad Apple”
2: “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Two Hearts,” “Torn Between Two Lovers”
3: “3”, “Three Times a Lady,” “Knock Three Times,” “Quarter to Three,” “The Three Bells”
4: “4 Seasons of Loneliness” (by Boyz II Men, which, fittingly at the time, was a quartet, now a trio), “All 4 Love”
5: “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton and later that same year, 1981, “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” by Sheena Easton; the latter’s title was reportedly changed to avoid confusion with Parton’s
6: “Like a G6”

7: “7 Rings”
8: “Eight Days a Week,” “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” (yes, Roman numerals count!)
9: Again, “9 to 5” and “Morning Train (Nine to Five)”

You like my trivia? Gee thanks, I just researched it,

Pablo Nelson
Oakland, California

You always provide a number of fun stats, Pablo!

Meanwhile, the number 10 in a song title has reached a high of … No. 11 on the Hot 100, thanks to The Presidents’ “5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love)” in 1970. (The song ranked at Nos. 15 and 30 during its chart run.)

Beyond that single, The-Dream’s “Shawty Is a 10” hit No. 17 in 2007.

Plus, Pablo, you had previously noted that Prince and the New Power Generation’s “7” reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 and No. 61 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the latter peak also appropriate since … 6+1=7. Meanwhile, this year marks the 61st Grammy Awards, perfect for a performance of “7 Rings” … or, unfortunately, not.



Dear Gary,

It was a shock to read the news that James Ingram had passed away. He had such a soulful voice that I really loved.

As a tribute, I’d like to share my top 10 favourite songs from the R&B singer, who has gone too soon.

1, “I Believe in Love,” with Sally Yeh
2, “The Day I Fall in Love,” with Dolly Parton
3, “Somewhere Out There,” with Linda Ronstadt
4, “One Hundred Ways,” with Quincy Jones
5, “I Don’t Have the Heart”
6, “When You Love Someone,” with Anita Baker
7, “Where Did My Heart Go”

8, “Just Once,” with Quincy Jones
9, “What About Me,” with Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes (with all three also part of the USA for Africa supergroup; and, Richard Marx co-wrote this song, released three years before his own breakthrough as an artist)
10, “Baby, Come to Me,” with Patti Austin

Jesper Tan
Subang Jaya, Malaysia