On the Charts: Prepare for the Summer of the Biebs

Music sales otherwise lagging across the board

June 6, 2012 12:15 PM ET
justin bieber
Justin Bieber performs at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Billboards2012/Getty Images for ABC

WINNER OF THE WEEK: Justin Bieber. What may potentially be The Summer of the Biebs officially begins this week, as "Die In Your Arms" opens on Billboard's Digital Songs chart at Number Four, with 185,000 sales. It's Phase One of an aggressive singles strategy; "All Around the World" (featuring Ludacris) came out yesterday, "As Long as You Love Me" (with Big Sean) is due next Tuesday and Bieber's new album, Believe, drops June 19th. (The first two singles haven't been released as full-fledged videos yet, so it's hard to say exactly how popular they are; iTunes' weekly charts weren't available at press time, but "All Around the World" was Number Two on the store chart this morning.) Still – Number Four? Number Two? He better start shaking hands and kissing babies.

LOSER OF THE WEEK: Music sales in general. It's a lazy early-summer week, and the charts are anemic – John Mayer's Born and Raised lands Number One with just 65,000 sales, the lowest to hit the top since Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday (45,000) in February 2011. And you'll never guess who's Number Two – Adele! Thanks to a publicity boost from last weekend's NBC special Adele Live in London, her undying 21 sold 58,000. Digital songs are similarly uneventful: Carly Rae Jepsen (who sells 284,000 copies of "Call Me Maybe," which is actually a six percent drop), Maroon 5, Gotye, yada yada.

KEEP ON EYE ON THAT UNKNOWN INDIE ARTIST J. LO: Jennifer Lopez's Pitbull-infused single "Dance Again" hasn't been a gigantic smash by her standards – it peaked at Number 17 on Billboard's Hot 100 and is barely hanging on at Number 34. But her performance of the song on American Idol about a month ago seems to be having a slow-burning effect: as of this morning, it's Number Six on YouTube's Music charts, having racked up almost 77 million views. Although it was only Number 14 (a drop of five slots) on the most recent Ultimate Chart, which measures online criteria, this Donna Summer-style jam might be a sleeper for those who bet on these things in Vegas.

LAST WEEK: John Mayer Knocks Down Adam Lambert

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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