Katy Perry Sets Record On Pop Songs Chart

As ‘Dark Horse’ reigns for a fourth week, Perry rewrites the mark for the most total weeks (46) at No. 1 in the airplay chart’s archives

Katy Perry claims the record for the most weeks at No. 1 in the 21-year history of Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart all to herself, as “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, spends a fourth week on top, upping her career count to 46 weeks at No. 1. With her latest frame in the lead, Perry passes Mariah Carey, who’s totaled 45 weeks at No. 1.

Here’s an updated look at the acts to spend the most time at No. 1 dating to the Oct. 3, 1992, launch of the Nielsen BDS-based tally, which measures the most weekly plays at mainstream top 40 stations:

Weeks at No. 1, Artist
46, Katy Perry
45, Mariah Carey
32, P!nk
32, Rihanna
29, Ace of Base
26, Maroon 5
25, Christina Aguilera
23, Beyonce
23, Boyz II Men
23, Nelly

Perry has earned her record-breaking feat courtesy of 11 Pop Songs No. 1s, also a chart best-sum, which she shares with Rihanna. (Notably, the careers of artists like Carey and Boyz II Men pre-date the Pop Songs chart’s inception.) Of Perry’s 11 leaders, “Horse” is the eighth to rule for at least four weeks. She set a personal best when “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, dominated for seven weeks in 2010.

On its way to granting Perry her latest piece of Pop Songs history, “Horse” last week set the mark for the most weekly plays (16,151) in the chart’s archives. It passed the 16,065 plays that her prior topper, “Roar,” drew on the Oct. 19, 2013, chart.

In addition to its pop airplay success, “Horse” topped the all-format airplay/sales/streaming-based Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it’s her ninth career No. 1. It’s sold 3.5 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The song continues to build at multiple radio formats, bulleting at No. 2 on Rhythmic Songs, No. 8 on Adult Pop Songs and No. 28 on Adult Contemporary.

'Dark Horse' becomes Katy Perry's milestone 10th No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart and tops On-Demand Songs

Katy Perry climbs into the Hot 100’s top five with “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J (6-4), the third single from her former Billboard 200 No. 1 album “PRISM.” “Horse” gallops fueled heavily by its 4-1 coronation on Digital Songs, where it charges by 6% to 243,000. The song is Perry’s 10th No. 1 on Digital Songs, the second-best sum after Rihanna’s 13. Eminem ranks third with nine Digital Songs toppers, followed by Britney Spears (seven) and Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift (six each).

"Horse" likewise ascends to the top of the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart, rising 5-1 (1.9 million, up 25%), a surge which grants the song the Hot 100’s top Streaming Gainer nod. The cut is Perry’s second leader on the list, following "Roar," which reigned for two weeks in September. On the Streaming Songs chart, "Horse" hikes 10-5 (4.8 million, up 33%).

"Horse" additionally races with the Hot 100’s top Airplay Gainer award for a second week, barreling 18-11 on Radio Songs (70 million, up 36%).


Katy Perry Ties For Most Pop Songs No. 1s

With the coronation of ‘Roar,’ Perry matches Rihanna for the most No. 1s – 10 – in the airplay chart’s 21-year history

Katy Perry’s “Roar” blasts 5-1 on Billboard’s Nielsen BDS-based Pop Songs radio airplay chart. With the coronation, which dethrones Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (featuring T.I. and Pharrell) after 10 weeks on top, Perry matches Rihanna for the most No. 1s – 10 – in the chart’s 21-year history. P!nk follows with nine toppers.

At just six weeks, “Roar” marks the fastest flight to the Pop Songs summit since “California Gurls” (featuring Snoop Dogg), the lead single from Perry’s last album, 2010’s “Teenage Dream,” also soared to the top spot in its sixth frame the week of July 3, 2010. (“Roar” makes the largest leap to No. 1 since “Gurls” logged an identical 5-1 jump.) “Roar” previews Perry’s new album “Prism,” due Oct. 22.

Having now done so twice, Perry is the only act to send a song to No. 1 in as few as six weeks in more than eight years; prior to “Gurls,” no song had reached the apex so swiftly since Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” (six weeks, 2005).

Also notable: As Capital Cities climb 3-2 with “Safe and Sound,” Capitol Records boasts the Pop Songs chart’s top two titles. Interscope Records had monopolized the top two for a record seven straight weeks through last week; as “Blurred Lines” reigned, Thicke’s labelmates Imagine Dragons (“Radioactive”), Maroon 5 (“Love Somebody”) and Zedd (“Clarity”) peaked at No. 2.

Here is an updated list of the acts with the most No. 1s dating to the Pop Songs chart’s Oct. 3, 1992, launch:

10, Katy Perry
10, Rihanna
9, P!nk
7, Lady Gaga
7, Britney Spears
6, Beyonce
6, Mariah Carey
6, Maroon 5
6, Bruno Mars
6, Justin Timberlake

"Roar" has spent the last two weeks atop the all-format airplay/sales/streaming Billboard Hot 100 chart (where it’s Perry’s eighth leader). The song could get dethroned this week, however, by Miley Cyrus’ "Wrecking Ball." As "Roar" takes over atop Pop Songs, "Ball" swings onto the list at No. 35.

Thanks to its expected monster streaming and sales sums, “Ball” looks likely to top the Hot 100 this week. Check Billboard.com on Wednesday (Sept. 18) to see if the song does its name justice and knocks “Roar” from the chart’s coveted top spot.

Katy Perry’s Future ‘Prism’ Hits: Industry Picks

Capitol Records hosted an industry listening party, or a “‘Prism’ preview,” as Perry dubbed it on the spot, Thursday (Sept. 5) at Solo in New York. Capitol Music Group executive VP Greg Thompson hosted the proceedings onstage with the star, who, with the coronation of “Roar,” now boasts eight Hot 100 No. 1s. (A funny line from Thompson after the just-unveiled ”Roar” video was shown to the room. Referring to Perry’s tiger co-star in the clip, he noted: “Kitty Purry’s gotten a lot bigger …”)

Here’s a sampling of guests’ reaction to hearing 11 tracks from the album for the first time, along with what other songs from the set could follow “Roar” up multiple charts. That attendees offered a variety of answers as to what songs should be released as singles appears to be a good sign of the album’s depth and commercial appeal.

Justin Prager, Music Choice director/music and talent: ”You can hear a maturity all over ‘Prism.’ ‘Roar’ is a great start and there are other gems like ‘Double Rainbow,’ ‘Legendary Lover’ and my choice for the next single, ‘This Is How We Do.’

"I’m glad that Perry didn’t go too deep into the current EDM sound. She instead went for more of a ’90s house vibe on a few tracks. Overall, though, the album is pop.

"This time around she’s also doing it all with a little less of a smile on her face, given everything she’s been through [e.g., her divorce from actor/comedian Russell Brand] over the past couple of years."

Sharon Dastur, WHTZ (Z100) New York PD: ”It’s always a large task for any artist to follow a record-breaking album like ‘Teenage Dream’ [which yielded five Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s, the first set by a solo female to do so and just the second overall after Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ in 1987-88]. But I’m beyond impressed at the magic that Katy has created once again. Incredible production and killer hooks.

"My absolute favorite so far is ‘Unconditionally.’ "

Rick Gillette, WNOW (92.3 Now) New York PD: ”When I first heard [Perry’s 2008 breakthrough hit] ‘I Kissed a Girl,’ I thought, ‘Great little novelty song.’ Then I met her and knew instantly there would be so much more.

"I like ‘Prism’ very much. It’s different than ‘Teenage Dream,’ but very Katy Perry. Another evolutionary step for her. I think my favorite is ‘Walking on Air.’ Her description of it [Thursday] was perfect: CeCe Peniston and Crystal Waters wrapped up in a 2013 groove."

Dylan Sprague, WXKS (Kiss 108) Boston PD: ”I really like ‘Dark Horse,’ with Juicy J. The last song of the night, ballad ‘By the Grace of God,’ stood out, too.

"Multiple hits, no doubt."

Ellen Carvello, Carvello Music Management: ”There seem to be many hits on this album. Beyond ‘Roar,’ which is amazing, I really like her homage to CeCe Peniston and Crystal Waters.

"Following ‘Teenage Dream’ is tough but she brought us some great pop music. She makes fun music that we can sing along to. That’s what it’s all about."

Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ Now Aiming to Sell 525,000-Plus Downloads in First Week

Katy Perry’s “Roar” just keeps getting bigger.

Industry sources now suggest that her new single “Roar” could debut with 525,000 to 550,000 downloads sold by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Aug. 18. Three days ago, the forecast for “Roar” was at 450,000; and six days ago: 400,000.

"Roar" will easily give Perry the biggest sales week of the year for a song, and likely her largest sales week. At the present, her largest week was earned by "Firework," which sold 509,000 downloads in the week after Christmas in 2010.

Meanwhile, the sales projection for fellow diva Lady Gaga’s new song “Applause” is static: It should sell around 200,000 to 225,000 downloads. That was the forecast for the song three days ago as well.

The official Nielsen SoundScan sales figures for both songs will be announced on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

"Roar" and "Applause" were released to digital retailers on Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 12 and 13), respectively. The songs preview new studio albums for each superstar: Perry’s "Roar" leads her "Prism" set, due out Oct. 22. "Applause" is the first single from Gaga’s "ArtPop," which arrives on Nov. 11.

On Monday, Aug. 12, there were early indications that both “Roar” and “Applause” could sell over 400,000 downloads. At the time, industry sources theorized that, considering both artists’ stellar track history with digital song sales, a robust first-week for the two acts seemed likely.

Perry’s sales start benefits slightly from how it will have a full seven days worth of sales in its debut. Most songs are released to retailers on Tuesday of each week, whereas “Roar” bowed on a Monday. “Roar” will get seven days of sales in its first week, as Nielsen SoundScan’s tracking week runs from Monday through Sunday each week. (Yet, most new songs and albums are released to retailers every Tuesday.)

Gaga’s last studio album, 2011’s “Born This Way,” was led by its title track, which debuted at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart with 448,000 downloads after only three days on sale, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (It hit retail on an off-cycle Friday, instead of the usual Tuesday.) In its second chart week (and first full sales week), it moved 509,000 downloads.

Perry’s last new album, 2010’s “Teenage Dream,” was ushered in by the single “California Gurls.” It bowed at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart with 294,000. Perry has sold more than 400,000 in two previous weeks: when “Firework” shifted 509,000 over the busy post-Christmas week of 2010, and when “Part of Me” debuted in 2012 (411,000).

If both “Applause” and “Roar” debut with sales larger than 200,000, it will be the first time two songs have sold that many copies in their debut week since last October. On the Digital Songs chart dated Oct. 20 (reflecting the sales week ending Oct. 7), three new tunes arrived with sales exceeding 200,000: One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young” (341,000), Taylor Swift’s “Red” (312,000) and Adele’s “Skyfall” (261,000).

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