Chart Watch: Taylor keeps up the pace

Paul Grein
Writer

Taylor Swift set a bunch of records last week when her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” streaked from No. 77 to No. 1 on the Hot 100. The megastar keeps up the pace this week. She has two songs in the top five. “Look What You Made Me Do” is No. 1 for the second week. “…Ready For It?” debuts at No. 4, becoming Swift’s 22nd top 10 hit. Only five female solo artists in Hot 100 history have amassed more: Madonna (38), Rihanna (30), Mariah Carey (27), Janet Jackson (27) and Whitney Houston (23).

This marks the first time that a woman has had two songs in the top five at the same time since Swift did it in February 2015 with “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off.”

“…Ready for It” sold 135K digital copies in its first week, which allows it to enter Top Digital Songs at No. 1. It displaces “Look What You Made Me Do,” which dips to No. 2 with second-week sales of 114K. This is the second time that Swift has replaced herself at No. 1 on this chart. She did the same thing in October 2014 when “Out of the Woods” displaced “Shake It Off.” Swift is the first artist in the 13-year history of the digital songs chart replace herself at No. 1 twice. Nine artists have done it once—Mariah Carey, T.I., Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas, Glee Cast, Iggy Azalea, Jordan Smith, Drake and Justin Bieber.

“…Ready for It” is Swift’s 13th No. 1 digital hit. Only Rihanna has had more (14).

This is the third separate occasion that Swift has had the top two best-selling digital hits. She also had the top two in September 2012 with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Ronan” and again in October 2014 with “Out of the Woods” and “Shake It Off.” No one else has had the top two with more than one pair of songs.

“…Ready for It” echoes the aggressive pop/rock sound of Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album Jagged Little Pill. The most interesting lyric is “And he be can be my jailor/Burton to Liz Taylor.” The tempestuous romance of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who were married and divorced twice in the ’60s and ’70s, played out long before Swift was born in 1989.

Top Songs

Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” inches up from No. 3 to No. 2 in its 10th week. This matches the peak position of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” in September 2014. (“Anaconda” also ranked No. 2 behind a Swift smash, “Shake it Off”). This week marks the first time that female solo artists (in lead roles) have held the top two positions on the Hot 100 since December 2014, when Swift’s “Blank Space” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” achieved the feat. “Bodak Yellow” is No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for the second week.

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Justin Bieber) dips from No. 2 to No. 3 in its 34th week. The song spent a record-tying 16 weeks at No. 1. “Despacito” is falling at a slower pace than “One Sweet Day,” the Mariah Carey/Boyz II Men juggernaut that was the only previous single to spend 16 weeks at No. 1. Two weeks after it ended its run at No. 1, it dropped from No. 5 to No. 7.

“Despacito” this week surpasses Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” to become the best-selling digital song of 2017. “Despacito” is up to 2,378,000 in U.S. digital sales. “Shape of You” is up to 2,360,000.

Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” (featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid) vaults from No. 9 to No. 5 in its 19th week. Logic and his guest artists’ performance of the song was the emotional highlight of the recent VMA telecast. This matches the No. 5 peak of Cara’s 2016 hit “Here” as her highest-charting single to date.

DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” (featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller) drops from No. 4 to No. 6 in its 12th week. The song spent seven weeks at No. 2, the most for a No. 2 hit since Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” spent eight weeks at No. 2 in 2015.

Charlie Puth’s “Attention” drops from its No. 5 peak to No. 7 in its 20th week.

Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” drops from No. 6 to No. 8 in its 31st week. The song peaked at No. 4.

French Montana’s “Unforgettable” (featuring Swae Lee) drops from No. 7 to No. 9 in its 22nd week. The song peaked at No. 3.

Shawn Mendes’s “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” drops from No. 8 to No. 10 in its 20th week. The song peaked at No. 6.

Liam Payne’s “Strip That Down” (featuring Quavo) drops out of the top 10 this week, to my surprise.

Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” tops Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart for a record-extending 31st week.

Demi Lovato has her seventh top 20 hit with “Sorry Not Sorry.” Lovato first cracked the top 20 in the summer of 2008 with “This Is Me,” a collabo with Joe Jonas from the Camp Rock soundtrack.

Maroon 5 has a fast-rising hit with “What Lovers Do” (featuring SZA). This is Maroon 5’s third consecutive single release that features an R&B or hip-hop artist. It follows “Don’t Wanna Know” (featuring Kendrick Lamar) and “Cold” (featuring Future). Maroon 5, a quintessential pop group, previously added a little flavor to its music with such hits as “If I Never See Your Face Again” (featuring Rihanna) and “Payphone” (featuring Wiz Khalifa). Grammy trivia: Maroon 5 won the 2004 Grammy for Best New Artist. SZA is one of the front-runners for that award next Jan. 28, along with Khalid and Julia Michaels.

Top Albums

LCD Soundsystem lands its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with American Dream. The group previously climbed as high as No. 10 with its 2010 album This Is Happening. Two of the group’s previous albums, LCD Soundsystem and Sound of Silver, received Grammy noms for Best Electronic/Dance Album.

Lil Uzi Vert’s first full-length album, Luv Is Rage 2, dips from No. 1 to No. 2 in its second week. The album includes his former top 10 hit, “XO Tour Llif3.”

XXXTENTACION’s 17 dips from No. 2 to No. 3 in its second week.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. rebounds from No. 5 to No. 4 its 21st week. The album has logged four weeks at No. 1.

Khalid’s American Teen rebounds from No. 8 to No. 5 in its 27th week. The album debuted at No. 9 in March and peaked (so far, at least) at No. 4 three weeks ago. The album includes the former top 20 hit “Location.”

Imagine Dragons’ Evolve rebounds from No. 12 to No. 6 in its 11th week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 2.

Kodak Black’s Project Baby Two rebounds from No. 9 to No. 7 in its third week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 2.

Logic’s Everybody rebounds from No. 11 to No. 8 in its 18th week. The album debuted at No. 1.

SZA’s Ctrl rebounds from No. 14 to No. 9 in its 13th week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 3.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ rebounds from No. 13 to No. 10 in its 27th week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1.

Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Queens of the Stone Age’s Villains drops from No. 3 to No. 28. Fifth Harmony’s Fifth Harmony drops from No. 4 to No. 34. A$AP Mob’s Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy drops from No. 6 to No. 17. Old Dominion’s Happy Endings drops from No. 7 to No. 35. The War on Drugs’ A Deeper Understanding drops from No. 10 to No. 48.

The Moana soundtrack rebounds from No. 20 to No. 18 in its 42nd week. The album peaked at No. 2.  It’s No. 1 on Top Soundtracks for the 20th week. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote many of the songs on Moana. Miranda, of course, is also the mastermind behind Hamilton. So for 20 weeks he has been responsible for both the best-selling soundtrack and the best-selling Broadway cast album. (Moana has sold 797K in traditional album sales. Hamilton has sold 1,298,000.)

Luke Combs’s This One’s for You rebounds from No. 39 to No. 23 in its 14th week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 5. The album returns to No. 1 on Top Country Albums, displacing Old Dominion’s Happy Endings. This is its fourth non-consecutive week on top.

Eminem’s greatest hits album, Curtain Call: The Hits, jumps from at No. 50 to No. 38 in its 357th chart week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1 in December 2005. The album returns to No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums, after being bumped out last week by Taylor Swift’s 1989Curtain Call has topped the catalog chart in three of the last five weeks. It has sold 4,176,000 copies in traditional album sales.

The Script’s Freedom Child debuts at No. 58, breaking a string of three consecutive top 20 albums by the Irish band. The album fares much better on the other side of the Atlantic. It enters the Official U.K. Albums Chart at No. 1. It’s the Script’s fourth No. 1 album on that chart.

Coming Attractions: Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes appears headed for No. 1 next week. The National’s Sleep Well Beast, Jack Johnson’s All The Light Above It Too and Dustin Lynch’s Current Mood are also on track for top 10 debuts.