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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Starting The "Recovery" Process

Eminem's "Not Afraid," the first single from his upcoming album Recovery, enters the Hot 100 at #1. It's the first song to debut in the top spot since Britney Spears' "3" did it in October. It's only the second rap song ever to debut at #1, following "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (featuring 112) in 1997. "Not Afraid" is Eminem's third #1 on the Hot 100, following "Lose Yourself," his Oscar-winning smash from 8 Mile, and "Crack A Bottle," his all-star collaboration with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent.

"Not Afraid" sold 379,000 copies in its first week. That's the biggest weekly sales tally so far this year. Only three songs in digital history have sold more copies in their first week. All were 2009 releases: Flo Rida's "Right Round" (636,000), the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" (465,000) and the aforementioned "Crack A Bottle" (418,000).

"Not Afraid" posted the biggest weekly sales total since Ke$ha's "Tik ToK" rang up sales of 394,000 in the week ending Jan. 3. (That was the final week of the 2009 chart year.)

Recovery, Eminem's sixth studio album, is due for release on June 22. Eminem's last album, Relapse, debuted at #1 in May 2009. It posted first-week sales of 608,000 copies. Only one album, Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream, sold more copies in any one week last year.

"Not Afraid" also enters Hot Digital Songs at #1. It's Eminem's fifth #1 on that list, following "Just Lose It" in 2004, "When I'm Gone" in 2005," "Smack That" in 2006 (an Akon smash on which he was featured) and "Crack A Bottle." ("Lose Yourself" was released in September 2002, nine months before the introduction of the Digital Tracks chart. The anthemic hit has sold 2,702,000 copies.)

The arrival of "Not Afraid" pushes the ebullient "OMG" by Usher featuring down to #2 on Hot Digital Songs. The song sold 213,000 copies this week, bringing its six-week total to 977,000. The song hit #1 on the Hot 100 last week.

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