WINNER OF THE WEEK: Drake. The holiday shopping season has officially begun, and the record industry is dutifully rolling out its sure things. Although Drake’s Take Care sold fewer copies than retailers expected – 631,000 as opposed to 675,000 to 700,000, according to Billboard – it still hit Number One and was the third-biggest debut of the year. (Lady Gaga’s Amazon-deal-fueled Born This Way and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV were higher.) Weirdly enough, Drake’s two recent singles, “Headlines” and “Make Me Proud,” are on a downswing – the latter dropped 14 spots on BigChampagne’s Ultimate Chart, which measures Internet criteria such as YouTube views and Facebook likes. Next week, Nickelback and Rihanna are on deck to knock Drake out of the top spot. Still, we expect Drake’s momentum to continue through the holiday and beyond.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Mac Miller. So much for that. The rapper’s Blue Slide Park hit Number One on the Billboard albums chart last week, basically out of nowhere. Now it’s at Number 24, an epic fall from grace that is becoming more and more typical in this era of fans being able to listen to new music on Spotify for free. (This year’s other examples: Amos Lee’s Mission Bell dropped from Number One to Number 26, while Cake’s Showroom of Compassion fell from Number One to Number 25.) Why the plunge? Our theory, as always, involves singles: Miller’s goofy “Frick Park Market” video racked up 12.3 million views on YouTube after its late-August release, and follow-up “Smile Back” in late September had almost 9.3 million views. After those, things pretty much stalled. “Smile Back” languishes at Number 41 on the current Ultimate Chart, indicating that Miller made several million fans very excited with his early singles – enough to carry Blue Slide Park in its first week – but perhaps they didn’t like what they heard enough to keep buying it. The album sold just 25,000 copies this week.
COULD THIS BE HIS (OVERDUE) MOMENT?: When will Bruno Mars break already? We know he’s a successful pop act, but come on – he looks like Elvis, sings like Michael Jackson, dresses like Dwyane Wade and has a hot new single, “It Will Rain.” After landing a spot on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part One soundtrack, “It Wil Rain” jumped from Number Eight to Number Three on Billboard’s singles chart, selling 171,000 copies. The YouTube video is at 9.6 million views, and Ultimate Chart has him at Number 11 and rising. We’re predicting a Lady Gaga-type career arc – hangs around, hangs around, then boom.
LAST WEEK: Katy Perry Scores Again