Katy Perry performs during the Kids' Inaugural: Our Children. Our Future event in Washington on Jan. 19, 2013, as part of the 57th Inauguration weekend of events.
(USA TODAY) Katy Perry's Roar, the first single from her upcoming Prism album, sold 557,000 downloads its first week, topping the digital song chart and scoring the highest sales week of the year, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The tally exceeds expectations and stands as the sixth-largest sales week ever. The only heftier totals, according to Billboard, were Flo Rida's Right Round with 636,000 in 2009, Ke$ha's TiK ToK with 610,000 in 2009, Bruno Mars' Grenade with 559,000 in 2010, and Taylor Swift's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together with 623,000 in 2012 and I Knew You Were Trouble with 582,000 in 2012.
Roar also marks the best digital song sales week of Perry's career, surpassing the 509,000 downloads Firework racked up in 2010. And it's the biggest digital song debut by the pop superstar, eclipsing Part of Me's 411,000 downloads in 2012.
Where does that leave Lady Gaga's Applause? In a dimmer spotlight. Her new single was released on the same day as Perry's monster pop anthem but was greeted with less critical enthusiasm.
Applause arrives at No. 3 with 218,000 downloads, behind ubiquitous summer smash Blurred Lines. The Robin Thicke tune falls to No. 2 with 291,000.
Perry's Prism, the follow-up to hit machine Teenage Dream, arrives Oct. 22, Gaga'sARTPOP is due Nov. 11. The two will bookend Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards show, with Gaga opening and Perry closing.
Jay Z's Holy Grail, featuring Justin Timberlake, dips two slots on the digital chart, to No. 4 with 178,000, and Luke Bryan's That's My Kind of Night bows at No. 5 with 164,000. The country singer's Crash My Party entered the album chart at No. 1.
Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY