Gwen Stefani Reaches Digital Milestone with "Hollaback Girl"

Remember the turn of the century? Any song you wanted you could get for free on Napster and it was legal! Actually, we never wondered about how legal it was; the idea that what we were doing was wrong never crossed our minds. All we could think about was how great it was that we would never have to buy another CD for the rest of our lives.

We are now 5 years into the 21st century and we have come a long way. We all know that obtaining a song without paying for it is infact stealing, and a massive internet industry has sprung up to take care of our needs. So far, the year 2005 has registered 230 million downloaded songs compared with the 85 million that were downloaded in 2004. Although still in its infancy, digital downloading is fast approaching a major milestone - a song that is downloaded a million times. Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" is set to do just that.

The track made history earlier in the year when it reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list in May. "Hollaback Girl" was the first non-hip hop/r&b/rap or non-American Idol #1 since Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" in 2002. I was 15 years old then. "Hollaback Girl" topped the charts for 4 weeks and has remained popular since then. With approximately 14,000 downloads a week, the song is now at a grand total of 980,000 downloads. Stefani will be presented with a certification celebrating this first after her performance at the Hollywood Bowl October 21.

The effects of digital downloads are being felt with other artists too. The aforementioned Nickelback are again achieving rock n roll success as their newest single, "Photograph" topped the iTunes list. Last week "Photograph" was #25 on Billboard and after receiving the greatest gainer in sales, it is now #4. Impressive. Rock is actually doing quite well on Billboard this week with Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends" at #7 and and Weezer's "Beverly Hills" at #10. All the rest of the top 10 is hip hop/r&b/rap.


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