Chart Watch: America In An "Empire State of Mind"

Jay-Z earns his fourth chart topping single today as "Empire State of Mind" featuring Alicia Keys moves 2-1 to become the No. 1 song in America.

This feat comes as a surprise for a number of reasons. How exactly did a song about New York win over the hearts of Americans everywhere? It seems like a song about the Big Apple wouldn't get a lot of spins from radio stations in Los Angeles or Boston, or say bitter Philadelphia. In light of the damn Yankees winning another World Series, it seems like many radio programmers would be hesitant to play a track that was sung before game 2 of the series in NYC. Surely the single's ascent to the penthouse is a result of digital downloads.

Shockingly, "Empire State of Mind" only ranks No. 4 in the digital downloads tally. On the airplay chart, it sits at No. 1.

Also surprising is how "Empire", the third single to be released from Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3, outperformed its predecessor "Run This Town". "Run" sounded like the cousin to one of last year's No. 1 singles, "Live Your Life" by T.I. featuring Rihanna. Not only did Rihanna provide the chorus to Hova's song, but "Run" outdid "Live" by also including Kayne West. The star studded single hit No. 1 in the UK, but only managed a No. 2 placing in America. "Run This Town" had the unfortunate timing of peaking while the unstoppable Black Eyed Peas were ruling the charts with "I've Gotta Feelin'".

What is no surprise is that Jay-Z got to the top of the chart with the help of a female vocalist. His three previous No. 1s all followed that trend. There was "Heartbreaker" with Mariah Carey in 1999, "Crazy In Love" with Beyonce in 2003, and "Umbrella" with Rihanna in 2007. "Empire State of Mind" marks the first time that Jay-Z has had the lead credit in the song. This is his song, not someone else's that he tacked a rap onto and rode to No. 1.

"Empire State of Mind" is Alicia Key's fourth No. 1 single as well. Her previous chart toppers were "Fallin'" in 2001, "My Boo" with Usher in 2004, and "No One" in 2007.

The top ten welcomes two new songs this week. "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum is this week's digital gainer, landing at No. 5. It becomes the year's highest charting country song that's not by Taylor Swift. "Tik Tok", the stupidest, yet somehow extremely catchy debut by Ke$ha enters at No. 10.

1. "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys (1st week at No. 1)
2. "Fireflies" - Owl City
3. "Whatcha Say" - Jason DeRulo
4. "Replay" - Iyaz
5. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
6. "3" - Britney Spears
7. "Down" - Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne
8. "Party In The U.S.A." - Miley Cyrus
9. "Paparazzi" - Lady Gaga
10. "Tik Tok" - Ke$ha

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope Miley Cyrus has heard a Jay-Z song by now

hun*ter said...

She doesn't listen to the radio. She's above all of that.

Bronson said...

I'm so happy this song is #1.

God Bless**AmY** said...

Jay-z just needs a womans touch to make it to number one! sad really...and it is a good song! Not the whole comparing himself to Frank Sinatra!

hun*ter said...

I agree Amy. Its a great song and Alicia Key's hook makes it.

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