No one can touch —or, for that matter, hold— Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who just set a brand new chart record this week. That story and everything else of note that’s going on in this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales charts is in your latest installment of SoundScanner.
THIS IS THEIR MOMENT: Major props are due to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who are not only keeping control of the Digital Songs chart with their ubiquitous “Can’t Hold Us” —maybe you’ve heard it on every commercial on TV?— but the act also became the first duo in the 55-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have their first two singles hit #1. Trailing just behind on the Digital Songs Chart are P!nk and Nate Ruess’ former No. 1, “Just Give Me a Reason,” remains at No. 2. Behind them a few spots at No. 6 is Icona Pop and Charli XCX’s year-old “I Love It,” which continues its unexpected rise up the charts. The Swedish pop duo released the surging jam in May 2012, but only recently did it become a U.S. hit, and it is now a staple at sports games and in stadium settings. (Even Taylor Swift is using it as one of her walkout songs on her current tour.) The song has sold 1.2 million copies to date, and despite its age – and its placement on more than a few 2012 best-of lists – it’s a dark horse candidate for Song of the Summer.
CHESNEY ON A ROLL: Beach bum country star Kenny Chesney scores his seventh chart topper with Life on a Rock, his 16th studio album (!), which sold 153,000 copies its first week in stores. That sum marks Chesney’s weakest debut frame since 1999, but he is still 57,000 copies ahead of this week’s runner-up, Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved. Chesney’s best-ever debut came in 2004, when his album When the Sun Goes Down sold 550,000 first-week copies. Life on a Rock’s first single, the sun-kissed “Pirate Flag,” has sold 476,000 copies to date.
COOL SALES FOR LL: Authenticity doesn’t sell records, hits do. LL Cool J learned that lesson the hard way this week, as his new album Authentic debuts at No. 23 with a meager 14,000 first week sales. Authentic is Cool J’s 13th studio set and first since 2008’s Exit 13, which debuted at No. 9 with 44,000 copies sold. The album features another pairing with Cool J’s “Accidental Racist” co-star Brad Paisley, as well as guest spots from Monica, Travis Barker, Eddie Van Halen, Fitz & the Tantrums and Seal, which is one of the most random assemblages of guest stars ever recorded. It’s authentically confusing.
HIP-HOP’S FALLING STARS: LL Cool J isn’t the only veteran hip-hop artist having a rough time on the charts this week: will.i.am, who debuted at No. 9 last week with his imposingly hashtagged #WILLPOWER LP, drops to No. 40 (down 68 percent), while Snoop “Don’t Call Me Snoop Dogg” Lion falls from No. 16 to No. 47 (a 59 percent slide). Interesting tie between the will.i.am and Snoop Lion albums: Both feature guest turns from Miley Cyrus, who topped a different chart this week when she was named No. 1 on Maxim’s Hot 100 list. Meanwhile, the ex-Hannah Montana star’s new album —her first since 2010’s Can’t Be Tamed— is tentatively due out later this year; no word yet on if Will and Snoop will show up and return the favors.
ONE FINAL “JUMP”: The sad news last week of the death of Kris Kross’ Chris Kelly did send some seeking out the pair’s hits, and the duo’s No. 1 hit “Jump” appears at No. 98 on this week’s Digital Songs chart with sales of 19,000 units. That brings the song’s total digital sales to 486,000 copies, which isn’t bad for a 21-year-old song by a pair of kiddie rappers. Kelly died last week at age 34, and investigators suspect his death was caused by a drug overdose.
[Photo: Getty Images]