"Lynwood," Yankovic's 12th album, debuted this month at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, his first top 10 album ever. Meanwhile, the Chamillionaire parody "White and Nerdy," reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, besting his previous high of No. 12 with "Eat It" in 1984.
"I literally danced a little jig (when I found out)," Yankovic says. "It's just a number, but I've been obsessing over it for a long part of my career. Even with, you know, millions of records sold, I've never been in the top 10, and it's always been a goal of mine."
For his part, Yankovic tends to credit the Internet. "The ("Nerdy") video has gotten a lot of attention, and the proliferation of places like YouTube (has) been a big help," he says.
Once "Nerdy" hit outlets like YouTube, there was no stopping it. "We knew with 'Nerdy' that he'd hit on something incredibly relevant to different generations," Dan Mackta, senior director of marketing for Zomba Label Group, says. "Kids were discovering him like a new artist."
Plus, with the advent of download services, Mackta says, suddenly Yankovic can be a singles artist again, and indeed, "Nerdy" has been safely tucked into iTunes' top five for the past few weeks.
"I'd kind of written off the chance of ever having another hit single, since record labels weren't really releasing commercial ones," Yankovic says. "As much as people are griping about the Internet taking sales away from artists, it's been a huge promotional tool for me."
It's also great to see the role the Internet has played in his recent success. In no small way, Weird Al reflects the nature of pop culture more than any other artist I can think of. Every few years Weird Al whips out a load of absurdity for us to enjoy, amuses the hell out of everyone, then crawls back into a hole for awhile so we don't get tired of him..
Anyone who does not love Weird Al is just wrong.. :)