Ga, Ga v. Peas, Peas: The Battle for 2009’s Top Single

As promised a couple of weeks ago, this week I’ve been working on my predictions for the top Hot 100 singles of 2009 according to Billboard. Their year-end issue hits newsstands at the end of next week.

Because my day-job schedule has me busier than usual this week, I probably won’t get around to posting the full-length version of this column until later today or on Saturday. But just to give my loyal chart geeks something to chew on, here’s where I’m coming out when I run my (fragmentary, not ironclad) numbers – a likely 2009 Top 10 might look like this:

1. Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”
2. Lady Gaga featuring Colby O’Donis, “Just Dance”
3. Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”
4. Flo Rida, “Right Round”
5. Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
6. T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake, “Dead and Gone”
7. All-Amemican Rejects, “Gives You Hell”
8. Taylor Swift, “Love Story”
9. Miley Cyrus, “The Climb”
10. Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody”

Quick sneak peek of where my head’s at: I have not been a loyal fan of Gaga’s all year (I warmed to her slowly), but I’m sure as hell rooting for her in her battle with the Black Eyed Peas. I want to give her No. 1 pretty badly; it would represent a massive upset over the Peas, the undisputed chart-dominating act of the year. I don’t think I can, responsibly, but it’s not out of the question.

The big X-factor is Billboard’s oddball December 1–November 30 chart year, which skews their year-end lists hugely. Counting just since January 1, “Boom Boom Pow” is far and away the biggest-selling single of the year, as well as a No. 1 airplay title. But when you add in nearly six weeks of data at the end of 2008 as per Billboard’s screwy rules, Gaga’s sales for “Just Dance” are practically even with “Pow’s,” and her Top Three–ranked airplay was earned over a longer period.

Honestly, the race for No. 1 could well be a photo finish. At the very least, as you see above, a double-Peas, double-Gaga Top Five (with only pan-flasher Flo Rida breaking it up) is a near-certainty. Developing…

(Tweet me if you have thoughts or predictions.)

In the meantime, the regular charts for this week are pasted below, with Jay-Z and Alicia three-peating atop the Hot 100 but getting Ushered out (sorry) on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

Top 10s
(Billboard issue date December 12, 2009; based on data collected November 23-29)
Last week’s position and total weeks charted in parentheses (Digital Songs chart includes total downloads in parentheses):

Hot 100
1. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” (LW No. 1, 12 weeks)
2. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (LW No. 2, 5 weeks)
3. Ke$ha, “TiK ToK” (LW No. 5, 8 weeks)
4. Owl City, “Fireflies” (LW No. 3, 15 weeks)
5. Iyaz, “Replay” (LW No. 6, 15 weeks)
6. Jason DeRulo, “Whatcha Say” (LW No. 4, 16 weeks)
7. The Black Eyed Peas, “Meet Me Halfway” (LW No. 12, 11 weeks)
8. David Guetta feat. Akon, “Sexy Bitch/Chick” (LW No. 7, 17 weeks)
9. Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne, “Down” (LW No. 10, 22 weeks)
10. Britney Spears, “3″ (LW No. 9, 8 weeks)

Hot Digital Songs
1. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (LW No. 1, 218,000 downloads)
2. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” (LW No. 4, 202,000 downloads)
3. Ke$ha, “TiK ToK” (LW No. 2, 168,000 downloads)
4. Owl City, “Fireflies” (LW No. 3, 147,000 downloads)
5. Iyaz, “Replay” (LW No. 5, 129,000 downloads)
6. The Black Eyed Peas, “Meet Me Halfway” (LW No. 9, 121,000 downloads)
7. Jason DeRulo, “Whatcha Say” (LW No. 7, 103,000 downloads)
8. David Guetta feat. Akon, “Sexy Bitch/Chick” (LW No. 8, 98,000 downloads)
9. Britney Spears, “3″ (LW No. 11, 92,000 downloads)
10. Miley Cyrus, “Party in the U.S.A.” (LW No. 10, 91,000 downloads)

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1. Usher, “Papers” (LW No. 2, 9 weeks)
2. Trey Songz feat. Drake, “I Invented Sex” (LW No. 3, 16 weeks)
3. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” (LW No. 1, 13 weeks)
4. Birdman feat. Lil Wayne & Drake, “Money to Blow” (LW No. 5, 12 weeks)
5. Maxwell, “Bad Habits” (LW No. 4, 25 weeks)
6. Maxwell, “Pretty Wings” (LW No. 7, 31 weeks)
7. 50 Cent feat. Ne-Yo, “Baby By Me” (LW No. 9, 12 weeks)
8. Melanie Fiona, “It Kills Me” (LW No. 12, 15 weeks)
9. Drake feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem, “Forever” (LW No. 6, 14 weeks)
10. Gucci Mane feat. Plies, “Wasted” (LW No. 8, 25 weeks)

Hot Country Songs
1. Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (LW No. 1, 16 weeks)
2. Luke Bryan, “Do I” (LW No. 2, 32 weeks)
3. Reba McEntire, “Consider Me Gone” (LW No. 4, 17 weeks)
4. Carrie Underwood, “Cowboy Casanova” (LW No. 3, 13 weeks)
5. Craig Morgan, “Bonfire” (LW No. 5, 28 weeks)
6. Dierks Bentley, “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes” (LW No. 7, 19 weeks)
7. Taylor Swift, “Fifteen” (LW No. 8, 14 weeks)
8. David Nail, “Red Light” (LW No. 10, 40 weeks)
9. Kenny Chesney feat. Dave Matthews, “I’m Alive” (LW No. 6, 19 weeks)
10. Tim McGraw, “Southern Voice” (LW No. 11, 12 weeks)

Hot Alternative Tracks
1. Muse, “Uprising” (LW No. 1, 17 weeks)
2. Weezer, “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” (LW No. 2, 15 weeks)
3. 30 Seconds to Mars, “Kings and Queens” (LW No. 3, 8 weeks)
4. Rise Against, “Savior” (LW No. 4, 24 weeks)
5. Breaking Benjamin, “I Will Not Bow” (LW No. 5, 16 weeks)
6. Three Days Grace, “Break” (LW No. 7, 13 weeks)
7. Foo Fighters, “Wheels” (LW No. 6, 10 weeks)
8. Phoenix, “1901″ (LW No. 10, 21 weeks)
9. Death Cab for Cutie, “Meet Me on the Equinox” (LW No. 8, 11 weeks)
10. Cage the Elephant, “Back Against the Wall” (LW No. 9, 17 weeks)

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