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iTunes Preps for 10 Billionth Download With Contest, Comp

February 11, 2010 12:00 AM ET

In January 2009 at a MacWorld conference, Apple revealed that six billion songs had been downloaded on iTunes. In July 2009, that figure reached eight billion, and as Apple's industry-leading digital music service nears another major milestone, iTunes is holding a "Countdown to 10 Billion Songs" contest, with the customer who downloads that 10 billionth track set to receive a $10,000 iTunes gift card. Apple also offered up a $10,000 iTunes gift card to the winner in the race to one billion songs; Coldplay's "Speed of Sound" was the track that brought iTunes to ten-digit downloads.

In anticipation of their ten-billionth download, Apple has put together a special download called the "Most Downloaded iTunes Songs of All Time," which as the name suggests compiles the 25 most downloaded tracks in its seven-year history. The Black Eyed Peas own both the Number One and Three most downloaded tracks with "I Gotta Feeling" and "Boom Boom Pow," and Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" comes in Number Two. The most recent entry on the list is Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" at 10, while the oldest most downloaded song — by about 30 years — is Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " at Number 21, the lone song on the Top 25 that predates the 2000s.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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