Downloaded song reaches No. 1

April 3, 2006

Chart toppers don't just mean singles or albums bought anymore. According to the Official UK Charts Company, Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" became the first song to reach No. 1 on the pop charts based on the sale of downloads alone.

The song released March 13 online comes from duo Southern rapper Cee-Low and Gorillaz producer Danger Mouse, whose name is intended to sound like NBA star Charles Barkley.

Downloading music became part of the chart measuring system in April 2005 to account for declining single sales, and with the success of Apple's iTunes, legal downloads become fast-selling sales have justified its legitimacy in measuring singles on the charts.

And the UK Charts Company's change in rules counts digital sales as long as it is subject to release in stores within a week.

The single is in stores now in the United Kingdom and will be in the United States April 10 with the album "St. Elsewhere" out May 9.

According to the BBC, sales for singles dropped from 80 million in the latter part of the 1990s to about 20 million in 2005.

And legal downloads are rejuvenating the charts. More than 26 million songs were downloaded in the United Kingdom in 2005, and downloads accounted for almost three-quarters of all singles sold, the BBC reported.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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