WINNER OF THE WEEK: We’ll get to Jill Scott and Bon Iver in a minute, but first, let’s coronate the latest TV hit-making monarch: NBC’s The Voice, which drew 12.4 million viewers for last night’s show. Chart-wise, the immediate beneficiaries have been the mentor-judges – most obviously, Maroon 5’s Voice performance with Christina Aguilera of “Moves Like Jagger,” which hit Number Two on iTunes and in overall digital-song sales, with 213,000. Also, country singer Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” is at Number 10 on both iTunes and BigChampagne’s Ultimate Chart, which means plenty of YouTube and Facebook action in addition to actual digital sales. Voice finalists, too, are building serious online buzz, as BigChampagne ranks Dia Frampton’s folk-piano version of Kanye West’s “Heartless” at Number 47, hunky Javier Colon’s “Angel” is at Number 53 and Vicci Martinez’s take on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” is at Number 84. Interestingly, according to BigChampagne’s data, the finalists’ rankings are largely functions of actual sales, not just YouTube-type hype. That indicates Voice producers (and major label Universal) are doing a decent job of posting show performances quickly and building buzz on iTunes rather than allowing kids to pirate them or find them for free on streaming sites.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Eminem’s latest side project, Bad Meets Evil, with Royce da 5’9″, sure didn’t last long in Blockbuster Land. The Hell: The Sequel EP hit Number One last week but dropped to Number Six a week later, selling just 63,000 copies, a drop of 63 percent. This is extremely bad news for us! Remember last week, when we saluted Shady and friends for blocking irritatingly angelic pipsqueak Jackie Evancho from the top slot? This week, the 11-year-old’s Dream with Me reversed the trend, leapfrogging Hell: The Sequel and clinging to Number Four with 77,000 sales (a drop of 52 percent). Why did Bad Meets Evil struggle with staying power? A clue may be on the Ultimate Chart – the latest single “Lighters” is at Number 12, but mostly due to old-school sales and radio. It scored a teensy 0.1 in the Online Watching and Listening category, and 0.002 in Fans, Friends and Followers. So let’s check the numbers. “Lighters” earned roughly 470,000 views on YouTube, compared to 7.8 million for the first single “Fast Lane.” And just 192,000 people like Bad Meets Evil’s Facebook page (compared to more than 42 million who like Eminem, but in fairness, just 71,000 like Jackie Evancho, indicating it’s possibly pre-Facebook kids who buy her records). In a perhaps related development, Shady’s tweets are extremely lame. Or maybe it’s just the song.
AND BACK TO JILL SCOTT AND BON IVER: Back in the traditional sales world, Jill Scott, the R&B queen who drifted out of music the last few years to concentrate on acting, charges to Number One with The Light of the Sun. It’s a pleasant throwback album, not just to the pillow-talking days of Marvin Gaye and Barry White, but to that promising neo-soul era of the early 2000s when it looked like D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill might become the biggest superstars in pop music. The star of HBO’s subtly hilarious The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency sold 135,000 copies, holding Bon Iver’s latest tear-in-the-beer indie-folk-rock album, Bon Iver, to a Number Two debut, with 104,000.