View Full Version : Busta scores 1st No. 1; Hicks tops recent Idols

Jun 25th, 2006, 05:13 AM
Busta scores 1st No. 1; Hicks tops recent Idols

By Geoff MayfieldFri Jun 23, 10:28 PM ET

Veteran rapper Busta Rhymes has the Billboard 200's Hot Shot Debut in the same week that the best-selling retail-available single moves close to 200,000 copies. Almost feels like old times, doesn't it?

By at least one measure, these are the good old days for Rhymes, who tops the Billboard 200 for the first time. With 209,000 sold for "The Big Bang," his best Nielsen SoundScan week since 1998, he also scores his fourth No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

Credit the fast start to "Touch It," the album's lead single and his biggest hit as a lead artist since 2002. The track touched No. 3 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 12 on the all-format Hot 100 Airplay chart, even finding a home on the Tropical Airplay chart.

The new album's start more than triples the opening-week sales of Rhymes' last studio album, "It Ain't Safe No More ...," which started at 62,000 in 2002. The only set in his career to enjoy bigger weeks was "Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front," which powered 235,000 copies when it hit stores just before the Christmas frame of 1998 and 212,000 in its second week.


For all the chatter about his salt-and-pepper hair, awkward dance moves and a voice that does not fit neatly into any large-audience radio format, new "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks debuts on the radio with a bigger week than singles by either of the series' last two champs.

His "Do I Make You Proud" roars on the scene with 190,000 sold, the biggest week by any title on Hot Single Sales since June 2003, when "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken moved 393,000 for "This Is the Night"/"Bridge Over Troubled Water" at the same time that season's champ, Ruben Studdard, pulled 286,000 for "Flying Without Wings"/"Superstar."

2004 winner Fantasia rang 142,000 when "I Believe" reached stores, and last year's queen, Carrie Underwood, tallied 130,000 when "Inside Your Heaven" arrived.

Two market drivers helped Hicks earn a larger number than the past two "Idol" winners: the cover of People and his starring role in a practically inescapable Ford TV ad. RCA Music Group also thinks Father's Day gift shopping added to his tally, which ended up being larger than his first few days of sales seemed to promise.

Of the 190,000 sold, 6,000 were digital downloads. "Proud" drew another 38,000 sales from purchases of digital tracks, for a grand total of 228,000, a number big enough to snag the top rung on the Billboard Hot 100.

You have to roll back a few years to find the last time an artist unrelated to "Idol" had a bigger sales week. In October 1999, "Heartbreaker" by Mariah Carey Featuring Jay-Z did 271,000.

Carey is also the last non-"Idol" artist to sell more than 100,000 copies of a single in one week. Her "Loverboy" with Cameo, from the movie "Glitter," sold 131,000 in the week ending July 29, 2001, a week after it bowed with 180,000.

While there is no question that the digital track has become the single of today's music industry, consider that to date, only one song -- Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" -- has sold more downloads in a week than the 184,000 physical singles Hicks' "Proud" moves in its first week. That's a reminder that the heavy music consumers who have eagerly embraced digital distribution are not necessarily the average rank-and-file shoppers who turn best-sellers into multiplatinum plaques.


First-day reports from chains suggest that a former rookie-of-the-year contender will be next week's Billboard 200 leader. Chart watchers predict Nelly Furtado's "Loose" -- driven by hot track "Promiscuous" -- will open in the vicinity of 200,000.

Even if she misses that mark by 20 percent or more, the Canadian's third album seems a lock for the Billboard 200's No. 1 slot, which would keep the chart's crown in the Interscope family for a second straight week.

Furtado's album is the only June 20 release expected to top 100,000 in its first frame. Her first one peaked at No. 24 in 2001.


Congrats Busta and Taylor! :bigclap: