Billboard Hot 100: The Charts Belong to Iggy Azalea

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This week in the Billboard charts, John Legend’s “All of Me” from his album of the same name finally usurped Pharrell’s monster hit “Happy” to take the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, female rapper Iggy Azalea is having a great week, with her single “Fancy” featuring Charlie XCX climbing the charts from No. 7 to No. 4 and Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” on which she has a verse, debuting at No. 3. Azalea performed both songs at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night.

Pharrell’s “Happy” spent week after week at No. 1 before “All of Me” pushed it out of the top spot this week. Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J fell from No. 3 to No. 5, and Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” featuring 2 Chainz fell from No. 4 to No. 6. Both Perry and Derulo also performed at the Billboard Music Awards. Justin Timberlake, who took home the most trophies at the awards ceremony, is continuing to climb the Hot 100 charts this week with his single “Not a Bad Thing” rising from No. 9 to No. 8. The Frozen soundtrack remained a presence, with “Let It Go” at No. 9.

But it’s Iggy Azalea who’s the talk to the town this week. Her performance at the Billboard Awards was one of the highlights of the evening, and the MC seems to be finally getting what she believes is some hard-earned recognition. Iggy has been pushing buttons and boundaries with her Southern-influenced rapping style that seems a world away from her native Australia.

Azalea has benefited from an alliance with rapper T.I. and has received recognition as much for the unusual fact that she’s a blonde, white female rapper from Australia as for her music itself. But she doesn’t see her participation in the rap world as historically unusual at all. “Why is it that you can have The Rolling Stones, but a white rapper is weird? The Rolling Stones were originally doing blues. This is not weird, this is like history repeating itself,” she said in an interview with Billboard.

As much as she’s gotten positive attention for being a white Australian female rapper, breaking the mold, so to speak, she’s also had to struggle against rap purists’ skepticism that someone who “looks like me and is where I’m from” can sound the way she sounds.

Twenty-year-old star Ariana Grande, who’s currently best known for acting on teen-centered Nickelodeon shows, is set to release her second album later this year. “Problem” is already a hit, having sold 438,000 downloads in its first week, the fourth-largest start for a song by a female artist ever, according to Billboard. The collaboration with Azalea was mutually beneficial, and that performance at the Billboard Awards will surely spur more downloads this week.

As far as top movers go, Jason Derulo has his single “Wiggle” featuring Snoop Dogg climbing the charts, jumping from No. 68 to No. 24 in its second week. Blake Shelton’s “My Eyes” went from No. 97 to No. 57 and the Canadian rock band MAGIC!’s reggae-influenced single “Rude” sounds like it could be a summer anthem, climbing steadily from No. 62 to No. 39.

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