Thursday, September 08, 2011

Billboard Hot 100, September 17, 2011

1.(19) Someone Like You - Adele

Nice to see that the Hot 100 can still surprise sometimes. British pop singer Adele scores her second #1 hit as "Someone Like You" unexpectedly rockets to #1, thanks to her captivating performance of the song at last week's MTV Music Video Awards. She the third artist after Britney Spears and Katy Perry to score a second #1 hit this year. Thanks to its boost in sales, the song is this week's Digital Gainer, but it's also been tracking well at radio even before the MTV exposure, so she also is this week's Airplay Gainer.

, I commented on how remarkable the circumstances are that the song is #1 this week. There's more to the story though. Certainly that MTV had a hand in this #1 hit is interesting. Over the past decade the "M" in MTV has seen its importance decline significantly. As a former fan of MTV (in the early '90s I watched daily), it's been sad to see the network decline from a cultural cornerstone to a depository of bad reality shows. The MTV Music Video Awards is perhaps the most significant show left on MTV that's actually about music. It's nice to see MTV claim some of its former glory as an influential tastemaker.

Also interesting is Adele's performance in the overall context of awards shows. Musical performances at such events have become noted for their spectacle. Starting with Madonna and continuing with acts today like Lady Gaga, staging a big, bold, flashy musical number has become a big deal, with lots of pre-show buzz about what he-she-they-it will do. It's cool to see though that the most significant of such performances in recent memory isn't a woman with thorns for shoulders or a snake around her neck, but just a plain woman dressed simply singing with a piano. And she scores a #1 hit for it. That's true talent.

6.(16) You and I - Lady Gaga

But spectacle has its place too, as another MTV awards show performer sees her recent single become her 11th straight top 10 hit. After "Born This Way" (#1), "Judas" (#10), and "The Edge of Glory" (#3), "You and I" is the fourth top 10 hit from Lady Gaga's Born This Way album, making it only the third album this decade after Ke$ha's Animal and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream to achieve that.

8.(18) You Make Me Feel... - Cobra Starship (feat. Sabi)

Cobra Starship climbs 10 notches to score their second top 10 hit, following 2009's "Good Girls Go Bad," which reached #7.

10.(5) Last Friday Night (TGIF) - Katy Perry

Looks like this will be the last week in the top 10 for "Last Friday Night (TGIF)," which will bring to close Katy Perry's record run of consecutive weeks in the top 10. Her 69-week run began May 29, 2010 with "California Gurls," followed in late summer by "Teenage Dream," then "Firework" in the winter, "E.T." this spring, and then "Last Friday Night" this summer--all of them #1 hits. That's a pretty amazing run.

11.(11) Cheers (Drink to That) - Rihanna

Rihanna stalls at #11 but keeps her bullet. If she can reach the top 10, her album Loud will be added to the aforementioned list of albums released this decade with four or more top 10 hits.

16.(NEW) Mirror - Lil Wayne (feat. Bruno Mars)

With the release of Lil Wayne's album, Tha Carter IV, last week, fans got to cherry tracks from it, resulting in 8 of this week's 16 Hot 100 debuts coming from Wayne. This proved to be the most popular, probably thanks in part to its big-name guest star.

20.(NEW) Love on Top - Beyonce

The first two singles from Beyonce's 4, "Run the World (Girls)" and "Best Thing I Never Had" didn't exactly set the chart on fire. Following her performance of the song on the MTV show, during which she also announced her pregnancy, the song has charted almost as high as "Best Thing." As far as I can tell, an official third single hasn't been selected yet, but I think they could do worse than choosing this lively ditty. One of my favorites on the album.

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