Week Ending Dec. 28, 2008: America Goes On A Downloading Binge
10. David Cook, David Cook, 101, 000. The album returns to the top 10 after slipping to #13 last week. This is the album’s fifth week in the top 10. It’s also the fifth time in six weeks that the album’s weekly sales have exceeded 100, 000 copies. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by “Light On” at #42.
Chart Watch Extra: The Year That Songs Overtook Albums
In 2008, for the first time, more fans paid to download the year’s #1 song than bought the year’s #1 album (as either a CD or a download). In fact, the year’s top five songs each rang up more paid downloads than the year’s #1 album, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III, achieved in total sales.
9. Jordin Sparks with Chris Brown, “No Air, ” 2, 612, 000. This was the biggest collaboration of 2008 in which the partners received equal billing. Sparks has two other songs on the year-end chart: “One Step At A Time” at #63 and “Tattoo” at #72. Brown has three others (not counting records on which he has featured billing): “Forever” at #16, “With You” at #29, and “Kiss Kiss” (featuring T-Pain) at #77. Jordin Sparks is the year’s #64 album.
43. David Archuleta, “Crush, ” 1, 305, 000. Archie came in second on American Idol, but his first single sold more downloads than the first single by the winner, David Cook. “The Time Of My Life” sold 1, 045, 000 copies to rank #65. (Cook sold more albums, though. David Cook is #36 for the year. David Archuleta is #68.) Bottom line: They both won.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Taylor Swift Reigns Again On Billboard 200
Taylor Swift’s sophomore Big Machine album “Fearless” tops The Billboard 200 for a fourth non-consecutive week after selling 262, 000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 21% sales decline from last week.
The 29th volume of the multi-label “Now!” hits compilation climbs 10-8 on a 12% decline to 122, 000. David Cook rounds out the top 10 with his self-titled 19 Recordings/RCA debut, ascending 13-10 with 101, 000 (-22%).
Album sales continue to slide in ’08
A depressed holiday season pushed the recorded music industry deeper into its continued slump as overall album sales hit only 428.4 million, a 14% drop from 2007. It was the eighth consecutive year that music sales have dipped. The holiday season – Nov. 17 through Dec. 28 – was down 19% from 2007. This year saw 80.1 million album sales vs. 98.7 million a year ago. Data released Wednesday by Nielsen Soundscan further drove home the notion that the marketplace has shifted to digital tracks, sales of which were up 27%, hitting 1.07 billion. Downloads now account for 32% of all music purchases. Current physical albums were down significantly more than catalog titles. Current was of 23% while the older stuff dipped 14%. On the digital side, though, catalog was up significantly more than current albums. Catalog was up 37% o 31.5 million; current was up 27% to 34.3 million. Every genre was down – classical was off 26%, both R&B and rap were down by more than 19%.
2008 U.S. Music Purchases Exceed 1.5 Billion; Growth in Overall Music Purchases Exceeds 10%
Nielsen SoundScan, the entertainment industry’s data information system that tracks point-of-purchase sales of recorded music product, Nielsen BDS, the music industry’s leading music performance monitoring service, and Nielsen RingScan, which tracks mobile ringtone purchases, have announced their 2008 U.S. year-end sales and performance monitoring data for the 52-week period December 31, 2007 through December 28, 2008.
Taylor Swift Makes It Three In A Row Atop Billboard Albums Chart
Taylor Swift is going to have a pretty excellent New Year’s Eve (even though she’ll be sharing a stage with ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas). She’ll close out 2008 with the #1 album in the country, as her Fearless will top the Billboard albums chart yet again.
Fearless sold more than 262, 000 copies in the last full retail week of 2008, giving Swift her third-consecutive week at #1 and pushing sales of the album past the 2 million mark in just seven weeks.
And perhaps owing to their placement on several year-end Best-Of lists, albums like MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular, TV on the Radio’s Dear Science and Fleet Foxes’ self-titled disc all saw huge jumps in sales too. (And, by the way, you can still check out our own year end lists: the Mixtape Monday Awards, Bigger Than the Sound’s top albums and songs, and the rest of the MTV News staff picks.
Jennifer Hudson, David Archuleta at center of ‘Idol’ inauguration mania
The NY Post reports that Idol’s lone Oscar winner, Jennifer Hudson, who has not performed in public since the horrific slayings of her family members in October, is being sought for a return to the stage by none other than President-elect Barack Obama, or his party planners anyway. According to the report:
“Organizers want Jennifer to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Inauguration on Jan. 20, ” our source said. “They are talking to Jennifer about it. It would be the first time she performed since the murders. She is from Chicago and a huge Obama supporter.”
Meanwhile, inauguration fever is sweeping the Idol landscape, but it’s second victim is a very different Idol bound for a very different swearing-in. David Archuleta has booked the anthem slot at the festivities for Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. However, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune this is in fact a return engagement for David, who as an unknown barely-teen took on the inaugural duties at Huntsman’s first ceremony four years ago.
Sluggish ‘Grease’ impedes traction
How does “Grease” do it? This smart-mouthed confection consistently rallies faithful fans with a tart suite of songs and a story that is at best laughably vapid. The current national tour, which Hennepin Theatre Trust brought into the Orpheum this week, was whelped by Kathleen Marshall’s Broadway production. For those keeping score at home, that’s the staging in which Eagan’s sweetheart, Laura Osnes, won the role of Sandy. It’s also the one slaughtered by critics, who soon were trampled by patrons who made the show a smash hit.
The tour is touting Taylor Hicks, the “American Idol” silver fox whose career seems in perpetual startup mode. He performs the cameo role of Teen Angel, but will not be on the Minneapolis stage until Friday night. Whatever. I’m not seeing how his presence will boost this lackluster production.
‘American Idol’ Taylor Hicks gets slick with ‘Grease’ role
Winning “American Idol” doesn’t guarantee a successful recording career. Taylor Hicks, the 2006 champ, can’t come close to matching the CD sales of either Chris Daughtry or Kellie Pickler, whom TV viewers rejected that season. But the “Idol” title does open doors, and Hicks is proving to be a careerist.
After parting company with J Records, he took a role in “Grease” on Broadway in June. This month, he began a six-month road tour as Teen Angel in Grease.’ During the tour, he will play an occasional club to promote his forthcoming album, The Distance, ‘ due in March on his own label, Modern Whomp. He is previewing his new, untitled single during “Grease” as sort of a curtain-call encore.
The word on ‘Grease’ and Taylor Hicks
This touring show’s big name attached is, suitably enough, Taylor Hicks, the “American Idol” winner in the role of Teen Angel, a role he started on Broadway. He spoke with On The Town and helped us with a primer:
I like Taylor Hicks fine. What if I’ve actually never seen ‘Grease’?
‹Idol on tour with ‹Aint Misbehavin
Studdard said during a recent phone interview that he feels honored to be in a show that set Carter career path. It particularly special since he and Carter are both from Birmingham, Ala. He sees himself following in footsteps of the famed hometown star.
…Ive always known Carter won a (Tony) Award, said Studdard, who was born the same year the musical revue made its debut. …I just never knew what for.
An American Idol plays an American Icon
Ruben Studdard’s win on season two of “American Idol” opened a lot of doors for the now 30-year-old singer from Alabama. Some of those opportunities came because of what people saw him do. Others came because people knew what else he was capable of.
Two years ago, Debra Byrd, the vocal coach for “American Idol, ” got a call from the producers of an upcoming touring production of “Ain’t Misbehavin.'” Thirty years ago, Byrd was the understudy to Nell Carter in the original Broadway show. The producers asked her if she wanted to be part of the 30th anniversary show tour.
“So after she said yes, Byrd called me, ” Studdard said. “She said she thought I’d be perfect for the cantor role. The director had even asked about me.”
The next day, the producers called the “American Idol” winner and offered him the role. Studdard was on tour at the time, but it sounded great to him.
The Best and Worst of ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’
An estimated one million people took part in Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve ’09 with Ryan Seacrest in Times Square, but I was happy to be one of the millions watching from home. It was so cold — a wind chill temperature of 2 degrees — that some people could not move their bodies to Lionel Richie’s live rendition of “Brick House.” (Frozen extremities are the only explanation for why they would not dance to that song.) Below, my take on the best and worst of the broadcast. Feel free to weigh in and add your own.
Dear Paula: Please don’t leave ‹American Idol
I know that it’s been a difficult “American Idol” off-season for you, with failed contestants committing suicide outside your house and constant rumors that you’re being replaced. The addition of a fourth judge for this season, Kara DioGuardi is seen as something less than a sign of confidence of your role on the show, and an insurance policy in case you leave.
There’s been a number of rumors that indicate that this ambivalence is mutual, and that you are looking to move on. You had a pretty good career in the days before “Idol, ” in both pop music and choreography. While the show admittedly found you at a point where not many in Hollywood were knocking on your door, you know that you don’t need “Idol” to find work at this point.
Abdul cheers on ‘RAH!’ talent in MTV special
For a generation of pop culture connoisseurs who only know Paula Abdul as the nice judge on “American Idol, ” MTV’s latest special, “RAH! Paula Abdul’s Cheerleading Bowl, ” will showcase the former Los Angeles Lakers Girl in a whole new light.
“These are my roots, and I’m a stickler for clean lines and precision. I’m a ball-buster, ” Abdul told the Daily News. “Some people have never seen me like this before, and I command a lot of respect. It’s a nice little break from ‘American Idol.'”
Bring It On: It’s the ‘Superstars of Dance’!
Two of the masterminds behind “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” have a new international dance spectacle premiering Sunday night on NBC — and ET has your first look at “Superstars of Dance”!
Hosted by “Lord of the Dance” star Michael Flatley and co-hosted by Susie Castillo (“House of Payne”), “Superstars of Dance” finds masters of various dance genres from eight different countries (Ireland, India, USA, Argentina, China, Russia, South Africa and Australia) competing against each other.
With each team comprised of two soloists, one duo and one larger group, the show can perhaps best be described as equal parts sporting event, rock concert and artistic exhibition.
Executive produced by Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller, “Superstars of Dance” begins it’s regular timeslot run on Mondays, beginning January 5 through January 19 at 8 p.m. ET.
Cloris Leachman leads the parade
Swathed in a blue and pink shawl, Cloris Leachman waltzed into the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena earlier this week like a madcap fairy godmother. The Oscar-winning actress is the grand marshal of the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade this morning.
“Never in my most un-lucid moments had I imagined it, ” she said in between applications of pink lipstick. “I’m a great-grandmother, and I’m shocked they were even aware of me in this regard.”
But after sitting in a room with the 82-year-old, it’s hard to imagine not being aware of her — as fans of the most recent season of “Dancing With the Stars” already know. The hit ABC show introduced the veteran performer to a vast new audience, whom she won over with her grace, wit and surprising agility.