Lady Gaga is number one on Billboard—What does that mean?

Born to rip off other artists?

Lady Gaga, who just played a sold-out show at Chicago’s United Center, has the number one song on Billboard’s Hot 100 despite getting lukewarm reviews by critics and fans.  “Born This Way” isn’t number one because of airplay, but rather because the song has been selling like hotcakes on iTunes. Since pop single sales don’t exist anymore, Billboard relies on iTunes data. But there is a major problem with this.

Any record company can get themselves a number one hit these days by downloading a single thousands of times. It costs a lot of money, but the publicity of having a number one hit may be worth it in the long run. On several Lady Gaga fan sites, fans encouraged each other to download the song multiple times.

I can’t single out Lady Gaga here. There have been multiple campaigns among fans to download Mariah Carey and Green Day songs. The end result is that a song that hits the top position in Billboard may not be a top hit after all.


About pbuchanan620

Welcome to my Pop Music blog. My name is Peter Buchanan and I used to be both a DJ and music director at several radio stations, including Z95 in Chicago, before it was turned into a talk radio station. In my blog, I want to reveal my experiences as well as relate them to the state of the current record industry. Working at Z95 was one of the most amazing and frustrating experiences of my life. I got to meet so many stars, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Boy George, George Michael, etc. At the same time, I also witnessed the decline of a music industry that involved payola and chart manipulation. Pop stars in the 1980s became manufactured products of Record companies. After Z95 went back to WLS-FM and became a talk radio station again, I went to write for various entertainment publications such as Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, and Top 40. In the later part of the 1990s, I became a preacher and I still work part-time. I still follow the music industry religiously. I hope you enjoy my insight and stories!
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