Katy Perry’s second album Teenage Dream continues to be an album sales juggernaut (it has sold nearly 800,000 copies at last count) and was recently nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year. But Perry’s real impact this year has been at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. At the beginning of the summer, she took Teenage Dream’s first single “California Gurls” to the top of that list, and followed that up with the album’s title track near the end of the summer. Now Perry has joined a rare club, as her third single “Firework” has found its way to the number one spot.
The ascension of “Firework” gives Perry her third chart-topper this year (and the fourth of her career — “I Kissed a Girl” made it to that echelon as well). Perry joins the likes of Rihanna and Mariah Carey as the only artists who have scored three chart-topping singles in the same year (incredibly, one of those Rihanna years was this year, as “Rude Boy,” “Love the Way You Lie” and “What’s My Name?” all hit number one).
But those Rihanna releases were three songs from three different albums. Perry’s accomplishment represents the three singles from one full-length release, and to find that precedent you have to go all the way back to 1999, when Monica scored three straight chart-toppers from her album The Boy Is Mine (including the title cut, “Angel of Mine” and “The First Night”).
“Firework” is the sixth different number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 over the past six weeks, a rate of turnover that hasn’t been seen in over 20 years. Elsewhere on the chart, Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” made a big leap up to number five, Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” (last week’s chart-topper) slips to number two, Rihanna’s “What’s My Name?” jumps back up to number three and Florence & the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” launches back up to number 21 after an appearance on “Glee” (the “Glee” version is just behind it at number 22). And though the Killers are on something of a hiatus while frontman Brandon Flowers works on his solo career, the band doesn’t miss a Christmas, and their latest holiday single “Boots” entered the chart at number 79.