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Stefani, Mario capture sound of 2005
Downloads were Gwen’s world, while a super Mario hit dominated radio in the first half of 2005.
Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl outsold all competition as the top downloaded track so far this year. Stefani also scored the No. 8 track with Rich Girl. Total download sales hit 159 million, triple last year at this time.
Teen R&B crooner Mario’s Let Me Love You easily topped the radio airplay list with a total audience of 2.6 billion (determined by total plays and listeners at radio nationwide) over the past 26 weeks. But his reign is not likely to last out the year.
Mariah Carey’s We’ll Be Together, which shattered total audience records in June, reached No. 6 for the first half on only three months’ worth of airplay. It should soon surpass Mario’s total and is the song to beat for the entire year.
The download top 10 continues to strongly reflect radio’s hits. But radio leans more toward R&B and hip-hop: 51% of the top 100 first-half hits, compared with 20% for pop, 19% for country and 10% for rock.
Radio’s strong R&B/hip-hop orientation may be waning: At the end of 2004, 61% of the hits were R&B/hip-hop records.
Meanwhile, the top 100 downloads are more balanced: 33% R&B/hip-hop, 32% pop, 31% rock (and 4% for country).
Each of the top 10 download tracks reached the top 20 at some point this year on the national airplay chart. And radio’s biggest hits generally become top-priority downloads. Nine of the top 10 radio hits ranked among the top 40 download tracks.
Although the download track list is rigorously oriented toward current hits, the occasional intriguing older title does crop up. Green Day’s 1997 hit Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life) nearly cracked the top 50, likely boosted by the success of songs from the group’s most recent album, American Idiot.
Also showing up in the top 200: Oasis’ Wonderwall, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama, Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance, The Eagles’ Hotel California and Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby.