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.
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.
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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.