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The MTV Movie Awards on June 3 saw performances from alternative rockers fun., who opened the show with their Hot 100 topper “We Are Young” (featuring Janelle Monae), as well as Wiz Khalifa rapping his latest single “Work Hard, Play Hard” and a special performance by the Black Keys which saw Generation Award winner Johnny Depp handle guitar duties for “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Lonely Boy.” The show also had resident DJ Martin Solveig spinning remixes of classic movie themes from Pulp Fiction and Star Wars throughout the awards.
And with over 3 million viewers tuning in to see the Russell Brand-hosted event, all of those artists saw sales bumps presumably related to their appearances (albeit some sooner than others). The Black Keys’ El Camino peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 after its debut in December, and received an 18% sales boost for the week ending June 10, moving 10,000 copies. Similarly, the two singles the duo performed with Depp also saw sales increases, with “Gold on the Ceiling” up 30% and “Lonely Boy” increasing 19% for the same week.
Creating a special moment linking music and film was on MTV’s mind when the conceived of the collaboration. “When we selected Johnny Depp for the Generation Award and booked The Black Keys to play the show, we knew we had a once-in-lifetime opportunity to really infuse these moments together to create something special,” said EVP music & talent strategy at MTV Amy Doyle. “It was really cool to bring this to life and put a new fresh creative spin on an award acceptance.”
Having Depp sit in with the Keys had benefits for the band’s label, Warner Bros. Records, as well.
“The Black Keys performance with Johnny Depp was the biggest musical moment of the night and it shows in our strong post-show sales,” said Livia Tortella, co-president/COO of Warner Bros. Records. “Not only did ‘Gold On The Ceiling’ naturally benefit from its performance, but we also saw a healthy spike across some of the band’s prior albums and singles.”
Khalifa’s “Work Hard, Play Hard” also saw significant gains, selling 78,000 singles, up 37% over the previous week. Solveig’s single “The Night Out” experienced a slight decrease — down 4% — but by selling just over 4,000 copies, it maintained the majority of the boost it had received in the week ending June 3, when it shot up 112%. “Playing in front of an audience of movie lovers was a thrilling experience for the cinema freak I am and judging by the sales figures, it definitely gave more people the opportunity to discover my music,” said the French DJ.
And although fun.’s “We Are Young” sold 103,000 this week, sliding 25% and continuing its drop from the top of the Hot 100 (which it held for six weeks), their album jumped up 33%, selling 18,000 after dropping 14% last week. (Sunday-night awards shows after see results spread over two weeks.)
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