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Chart Watch: Bieber Is Pop’s MVP

Paul Grein
Justin Bieber performs for his “Purpose” tour in Mumbai, India, May 10. (Photo by Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Justin Bieber replaces himself at No. 1 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts this week — for the second time in his career. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Bieber) climbs to No. 1 in both countries, displacing DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” (featuring Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne), which debuted at No. 1 in both countries last week. (It drops to No. 2 in the U.K. and to No. 3 in the U.S.)

Bieber previously replaced himself at No. 1 in both countries in November 2015 (in the U.K.) and February 2016 (in the U.S.) when “Love Yourself” replaced “Sorry” in the top spot.

Just two other artists have replaced themselves at No. 1 on the Hot 100 more than once. The Beatles achieved the feat three times in 1964. Usher did it twice in 2004.

“Despacito” is Bieber’s fifth No. 1 hit on the Hot 100, following “What Do You Mean?,” “Sorry,” “Love Yourself” and “I’m the One.” All five of those songs also reached No. 1 in the U.K. Bieber is high on the list of solo artists with most transatlantic No. 1 hits. Rihanna is in the lead with seven, followed by Elvis Presley with six and Madonna, who is tied with Bieber at five.

“Despacito” is the first song sung mostly in Spanish to reach No. 1 in the U.S. since Los Del Rios’s “Macarena,” which spent 14 weeks on top in 1996. It’s the first song sung in Spanish to reach No. 1 in the U.K. since Sak Noel’s “Loca People” in October 2011.

Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are the first Puerto Rican artists to score a transatlantic No. 1 hit since Ricky Martin, whose 1999 smash “Livin’ La Vida Loca” spent five weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. and three weeks at No. 1 in the U.K.

“Despacito” sold 104K digital copies in the U.S. this week, which allows it to regain the top spot on the Digital Sales chart. This is its second week on top.

Luis Fonsi is 39. Daddy Yankee is 40. DJ Khaled, who debuted at No. 1 last week, is 41. It’s unusual to see artists in this age range landing their first No. 1 hits.

While I’m on this theme, “I’m the One” last week became the first single by an over-40 artist to enter the Hot 100 at No. 1 since Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in 1998. The members of that band were between 46 and 50 at the time. Just one other over-40 artist has ever debuted at No. 1. Elton John was 50 in 1997 when “Candle in the Wind 1997” debuted at No. 1. (Elton was the oldest artist ever to debut at No. 1 — as a lead artist, featured artist, or group member. He was 50 and six months. That’s one month older than Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, who was 50 and five months when that band debuted with their smash from Armageddon.)

Top songs

Bruno Mars’s “That’s What I Like” holds at No. 2 in its 17th week. The song hit No. 1 two weeks ago.

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” rebounds from No. 5 to No. 4 in its 18th week. The song logged 12 weeks at No. 1.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” dips from No. 4 to No. 5 in its sixth week. The song reached No. 1.

Future’s “Mask Off” rebounds from No. 7 to No. 6 in its 12th week. The song reached No. 5.

“Something Just Like This” by the Chainsmokers and Coldplay dips from No. 6 to No. 7 in its 12th week. The song has climbed as high as No. 3.

Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” inches up from No. 9 to No. 8 in its seventh week. This matches its highest ranking to date.

“Stay” by Zedd and Alessia Cara rebounds from No. 11 to No. 9 in its 11th week. The song has climbed as high as No. 7.

KYLE’s “iSpy” (featuring Lil Yachty) drops from No. 8 to No. 10 in its 20th week. The song peaked at No. 4.

“It Ain’t Me” by Selena Gomez and Kygo drops out of the top 10 this week.

Top albums

Logic’s Everybody edges out Chris Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 1 to enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1. Both albums moved more than 200K units in “equivalent sales.” This is the first time the top two albums have each topped 200K equivalent units since December, when Metallica’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct opened with 291K and Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic opened with 231K.

Everybody is Logic’s third consecutive album to crack the top five. It’s his first No. 1.

Logic is the third solo artist to land a No. 1 album in 2017 whose stage name has no apparent connection to his birth name. Logic was born Robert Bryson Hall II.  Future, who has had two No. 1 albums this year, was born Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn. The Weeknd, whose Starboy is a holdover from 2016, was born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye.

From a Room is Stapleton’s follow-up to his solo debut album, Traveller, which topped the Billboard 200 for two weeks and Top Country Albums for a remarkable 28 weeks. That was the longest reign on the country chart by any album since Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now had 31 weeks on top in 2010-11. Traveller has sold 1,931,000 in traditional album sales.

From a Room moved 219K equivalent units, which includes 202K in traditional album sales. That’s the best week for a country album since Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights opened with equivalent sales of 345K (320K in traditional sales) in August 2015.

Stapleton’s album was the week’s biggest seller in terms of traditional album sales, but lost out to Logic’s album once streaming and digital track sales were factored in. This is the eighth time that a country album has been the week’s top seller but has been edged out on the Billboard 200 by an album that had more overall “consumption,” to use the industry term.

In the two and a half years since the Billboard 200 switched from sales-only to multimetric methodology, just four country albums have hit No. 1: Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll & HydeKill the LightsTraveller and Jason Aldean’s They Don’t Know. By contrast, in the two and a half  years before the changeover in chart methodology, 15 country albums hit No. 1. Country albums do well in traditional album sales, but do less well than hip-hop and other genres in terms of streaming and digital track sales.

Stapleton’s album also enters Top Country Albums at No. 1, displacing Willie Nelson’s God’s Problem Child. Stapleton is the first artist to top the country chart with both of his first two regular studio albums since Kacey Musgraves achieved the feat with 2013’s Same Trailer Different Park and 2015’s Pageant Material. (He’s the first male artist to do this since Hunter Hayes scored with 2013’s Hunter Hayes and 2014’s Storyline.)

Traveller spent its final week at No. 1 in February. Stapleton is the first artist to top the country chart with two regular studio albums in one calendar year since Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line each did it in 2014.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. drops from No. 1 to No. 3 in its fourth week. The album spent its first three weeks on top.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 jumps from No. 8 to No. 4 in its third week. The album is No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart for the second week. The movie was No. 1 at the box office for the second straight weekend.

Drake’s More Life dips from No. 4 to No. 5 in its eighth week. It spent its first three weeks on top. Drake’s album has yet to be released on CD. Other hit albums that have yet to be released on CD include Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ dips from No. 5 to No. 6 in its 10th week. It spent its first two weeks at No. 1. The album dips to No. 2 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart after spending its first nine weeks at No. 1.

Russ’s debut album, There’s Really a Wolf, debuts at No. 7.

Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic dips from No. 7 to No. 8 in its 25th week. The album has yet to drop out of the top 10. It logged four weeks at No. 2.

Gorillaz’s Humanz drops from No. 2 to No. 9 in its second week.

The compilation EPIC AF (Yellow/Pink) drops from No. 6 to No. 10 in its second week.

Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman dives from No. 3 to No. 28. The Chainsmokers’ Memories…Do Not Open drops from No. 9 to No. 12. Willie Nelson’s God’s Problem Child plummets from No. 10 to No. 61.

Now 62 debuts at No. 11. It’s the first regular, numbered Now volume not to debut in the top 10 since the first installment debuted at No. 21 in November 1998. That volume cracked the top 10 in its 11th week. Now 62 is unlikely to move up in a subsequent week.

Diana Krall lands her 10th top 20 album as Turn Up the Quiet debuts at No. 18. Krall has amassed twice as many top 20 albums as her husband, Elvis Costello, whom she married in 2003. Deep Trivia: Two of Krall’s last four studio albums have had the word “Quiet” in their titles. The first of these was 2009’s Quiet Nights.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 rebounds from No. 61 to No. 20 in its 94th week. The album has sold 1,787,000 copies in traditional album sales. The album surges to No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums, displacing Kendrick Lamar’s 2013 good kid, m.A.A.d. city. This is the first film soundtrack to top the catalog chart since Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain shot to No. 1 following his death last year.

Coming Attractions: Look for Harry Styles’s Harry Styles and Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home to debut at No. 1 and No. 2 next week.