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Lady Antebellum escapes the Grammy spectacle unscathed

February 1, 2010 |  1:15 pm

With three hours of largely nonstop performances from today's top-charting artists, the 52nd annual Grammy Awards tallied a ratings winner, with sister blog Company Town earlier reporting that the show reached its biggest audience since 2004. The likes of Lady Gaga, Green Day and Dave Matthews Band all received the grand Grammy treatment, but in the hours after the CBS broadcast, the act jumping the digital sales charts was country trio Lady Antebellum, whose performance of hit "Need You Now" was a 2010 Grammy anomaly. 

One of the few performances to go without a choir, a string section or a duet with a heritage artist, Lady Antebellum was as stripped down as the Grammys get these days. Only the night's standout performance from Maxwell and Roberta Flack was more dialed down. 

Nielsen SoundScan sales figures are released on Wednesday, but purchases are tracked only through Sunday evening. That means it will be a full week before the post-Grammy sales effect is readily evident, but early indicators point to a strong bounce for "Need You Now." The song is leading iTunes as of this morning, and it is also in the top three on Amazon.com. 

The self-titled track for the band's new album (read the Times review), the cut has already been available for 24 weeks. To date, it has sold more than 1.5 million downloads, according to SoundScan.

The effect of the Grammy Awards on music sales has increased over the last couple years. SoundScan reported in 2009 that post-Grammy sales have climbed to 17%, from 10%, over the last four years. Country has been one of the genres that has benefited most from the telecast. Last year, eight country albums had at least a 50% sales jump or more.

-Todd Martens


Grammy Awards get biggest audience since 2004

Ann Powers on the 2010 Grammy Awards: It's not all about the music

Photo: Lady Antebellum at the Grammys. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times