[CATCH THE SAJA/SAMMA WEBCAST WITH JAY SEAN on Friday, October 15, 2010: http://bit.ly/sajammajay ]
This is an unusual post for two reasons:
- I am going to do some self-plagiarizing and re-use a lot of content I used in a previous post.
- And much more importantly, it's about a South Asian who's hit the top of the U.S. music charts.
His infectious song, called "Down" (featuring a big name in the world of hip-hop, Lil Wayne), is #1 on the chart that was released today. He replaced the Black-eyed Peas and is ahead of other major mainstream names, such as Miley Cyrus at #2 and Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West at #3.
[That's Jay Sean at the Aug. 2009 India Day parade in NYC, photographed by another Jay, photojournalist Jay Mandal/On Assignment: jay[at]jaymandal.com if you want the high-rez version.]
The numbers in gray next to the #1 are last week's position (2); weeks on the Hot 100 (14); peak position (1). The song is also #1 on the Pop Songs and Radio Songs charts and #3 on Digital Songs and #6 on Ringtones and #4 on the Canadian Hot 100.
Asked by SAJAforum for a comment, SAJAer Nusrat Durrani, head of MTV World and an influential music executive, wrote: "Jay Sean hitting number 1 on the Billboard charts is great news and it was inevitable. He a class act and can compare with the very best global talent. MTV has been supporting him for many years. We are thrilled for Jay and MTV Iggy recently spoke to him at the Video Music Awards."
Some more background on the song's achievements, from Billboard:
Jay Sean will put an end to the Black Eyed Peas' record reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 as his "Down" will move into the top slot on the chart to be released tomorrow morning. The Peas had held steady at No. 1 for 26 straight weeks with "Boom Boom Pow" (12 weeks) and "I Gotta Feeling (14 weeks), smashing the prior mark of 19 straight No. 1 frames earned by Usher with a pair of his tracks in 2004.
For Sean, his debut single becomes his first Hot 100 No. 1. The track also climbs to the top of Hot 100 Airplay with a total of 115 million listener impressions and rises 5-3 on Hot Digital Songs, where is has moved 1.5 million downloads since its release.
Jay Sean's move to #1 on the Pop Songs radio airplay chart makes him only the ninth male solo performer to top that chart with his first song. The full list (and you will see some very famous songs and artists here; as well as some one-hit wonders):
Shawn Mullins, "Lullaby," 1998
Eagle Eye Cherry, "Save Tonight," 1998
Ricky Martin, "Livin' La Vida Loca," 1999
Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of ...)," 2000
Gavin DeGraw, "I Don't Want to Be," 2005
Chris Brown, "Run It!," 2005
Ne-Yo, "So Sick," 2006
Flo Rida, "Low," 2008
Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne, "Down," 2009
There have been other acts with South Asian connections that have made it to the top of the U.S. charts: Norah Jones; M.I.A., Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of Queen; Tony Kanal, bassist for No Doubt; Cliff Richard, who was born in Lucknow, India; Engelbert Humperdinck, who was born in Madras, India; Kim Thayil's band, Soundgarden, hit #30 on the Hot 100 with "Blackhole Sun," but was #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart for seven weeks. [NOTE: I had somehow missed M.I.A. - thanks to Amy for pointing that out. M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" peaked at #4 on the Hot 100; her "Galang" hit #11 on the Hot Dance singles sales chart. Silly of me to have missed her as we have written about her success before here and here and here.]