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On the Charts: Ariana Grande, Nine Inch Nails Get High Marks

Eminem, Miley Cyrus push new singles

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails performs in Chicago
Theo Wargo/Getty Images
September 11, 2013 1:20 PM ET

MTV's Video Music Awards are behind us, and what appears to be a packed fall album-release schedule (Eminem! Lady Gaga! Katy Perry! Miley Cyrus!) is ahead of us. But for now, much-anticipated singles by Perry, Eminem, Gaga and Miley haven't done much to move the overall sales needle. As has been the case for much of this year, tracks are down three percent and albums are down six percent.

Watch Ariana Grande and Jimmy Fallon Do Broadway Versions of Hip-Hop Songs

NAILED IT!: Ariana Grande's Yours Truly is this week's Number One, with 138,000 copies sold. R&B singer Tamar Braxton (Toni's little sister) grabbed the next spot on the chart; at number three, it's Nine Inch Nails' big comeback, Hesitation Marks. Unlike NIN's last two albums, which were independent and offered either free or under a name-your-price plan, Hesitation Marks arrives by major label (Columbia Records) and costs real money ("I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go fuck yourself," Trent Reznor recently said). The album sold 107,000 copies in its first week.

WRECKING CREW: This column is rapidly becoming all-Miley-news-all-the-time, but who can resist? After all that grinding and twerking on MTV's Video Music Awards, the pop star goes naked in the new "Wrecking Ball" video, her follow-up to "We Can't Stop." Although the song sold just 116,000 downloads, a sales drop of 42 percent in the week after the VMAs, the hammer-licking, wrecking-ball-swinging video made its debut Monday and is up to almost 42 million views. Look for a surge next week, although Katy Perry's "Roar" (four weeks at Number One, 373,000 sales) and Lorde's "Royals" (from Number Eight to Number Two, 225,000, a 34 percent increase) are tough competition.

HI, MY NAME IS: Eminem just got some viral buzz out of a gloriously awkward interview with sportscaster Brent Musburger. The video for his great new single "Berzerk" ought to help boost the song even more on Billboard's Digital Songs chart, where, based on last week's sales, it dropped from Number Two to Number Four, with a total of 187,000 paid downloads. The video is already up to six million hits in just two days – so bet on a chart jump in the near future.

Last week: Eminem and Avenged Sevenfold Burst Pop's Bubble

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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