Donald Trumps Proves He Knows Shit About Music Charts (Or He’s Just Lying Again)

If you’ve been following the drama regarding who will and will not play Donald Trump’s inauguration, you’ll be familiar with the name Jackie Evancho, the 16-year-old America’s Got Talent also-ran who has been tagged to sing the national anthem.  Trump tweeted this.

There’s plenty of statistical horseshit going on here.

  • Evancho’s record is a Christmas album. In the days leading up to Christmas, it’s completely natural for such a record to see an increase in sales. In fact, almost every single seasonal album enjoyed a sales spike.
  • In the week before her appearance at the inauguration was announced, it sold 6,000 copies. That’s in a nation of 320 million.
  • The week after, sales increased to 11,000. Yes, that’s an increase of 94%, but 11,000 copies is still a pitifully low  sales number–especially for a hyped Christmas album less than two weeks before Christmas.
  • That boost to 11,000 was no doubt helped by her appearance on America’s Got Talent on December 19.
  • The following week, sales sunk to 8,000 copies.

See what I mean about statistical horseshit? Billboard–the keeper of the charts–would also like to respond.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Donald Trumps Proves He Knows Shit About Music Charts (Or He’s Just Lying Again)

  • January 6, 2017 at 3:42 am
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    Trump put a spin on the truth, he actually did not lie. Same thing the press does concerning everything that he says day to day. So who really cares?

    Reply
    • January 6, 2017 at 7:42 am
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      Who should care? All of us! Any “spin on the truth” by anyone is unacceptable. It’s up to the people to hold their feet (that is, politicians AND the press) to the fire.

      Reply
  • January 7, 2017 at 2:20 am
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    Your spin on the truth is unacceptable.
    You call Jackie Evancho an “also ran”. She won the popular vote on AGT but was allocated second place because of her age – unable to tour Vegas because she had school.
    This “also ran ” is the youngest performer in history to go Platinum, and continually tops the Classical Charts.
    In classical music, 11,000 sales is huge. The inflated numbers in the popular music industry are the result of profit driven American music industry.

    The only thing worse than a liar is a hypocrite.
    You are both.

    Reply
    • January 7, 2017 at 9:03 am
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      But she didn’t release a classical album: it was a CHRISTMAS album. You’re spinning, too.

      We’re not going agree here.

      Reply

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