Ask Billboard: Nicki Minaj Ties Hot 100 Record
Ask Billboard: Nicki Minaj Ties Hot 100 Record

Find out the details about Minaj's achievement, plus fun facts on LMFAO's still-going 'Party' and David Guetta's extremely hot hit.

Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hi Gary,

How fitting that an explosive song title like "Titanium" bursts into the Hot 100's top 10 (12-9) during this time of fireworks. I love Sia's vocals and David Guetta's production on the song.

I've also read that an alloy of titanium can be used in manufacturing spacecrafts. So, of course, "Titanium" fits perfectly next to Nicki Minaj's "Starships" at No. 8.

Yes, sometimes one can analyze song titles and make some odd scientific discoveries (or maybe I'm the only one who does that). Before "Titanium," the Hot 100's top 10 has contained other elements.

Talk about gold records: in 1972, Neil Young mined his sole top 10, and No. 1, with "Heart of Gold." In 1975, America reigned with "Sister Golden Hair." And, in 2005, Kanye West's "Gold Digger," featuring Jamie Foxx, likewise panned out, spending 10 weeks at No. 1.

As for America, "Sister Golden Hair" followed the group's 1974 top 10: the No. 4-peaking "The Tin Man." (The element Americium is not named for the group, however.)

In 1975, Silver Convention shone at No. 1 with "Fly, Robin, Fly." The next year, the act's "Get Up and Boogie (That's Right)" reached No. 2.

In 1978, Sweet scored its fourth and final top 10 (No. 8), "Love Is Like Oxygen."

Among harder rock bands, we've had Freddie Mercury sing Queen's four top 10s, while Nickelback has notched six top 10s. And, 3 Doors Down had a super-sized hit (No. 3) with " Kryptonite" in 2000.

Oh, and, um, how about " Lead Me On" by Maxine Nightingale, a No. 5 hit in 1979. No? Oh well, I still might as well add Alanis Morissette's No. 4 smash from 1996, " Ironic."

And, if only Neon Hitch had recently risen higher than No. 12 as a guest on Gym Class Heroes' "Ass Back Home" ...

In all, there are 118 elements in the periodic table, with 98 of them "occurring naturally." I'm not entirely sure what Wikipedia means by "naturally" (vs. not), but apparently Nos. 99-118 require greater amounts of synthesis. Suffice to say that it's doubtful that we'll ever see a top 10 hit sporting a title with the word "Ununoctium" (No. 118 on the table). But, No. 87 is Francium, and the country where it was discovered (by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie) is certainly being represented well by French DJ Guetta.

Music/science class dismissed,

Pablo Nelson
Berkeley, California

Hi Pablo,

Only you could find such fun similarities between the Hot 100 and the 118 elements (many of which must be even hotter). A spin of Coldplay's "The Scientist" in your honor!

As "Titanium" rises, so do its sales. With another 125,000 downloads moved last week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the song passed 1 million sold to-date. It shouldn't be long, then, before Capitol Records requests an award from the RIAA for the song going platinum.

(And, just like the element, with a No. 2 peak on Dance/Mix Show Airplay and a continued push toward the Pop Songs top 10, the song "Titanium" has proven that it can become radio-active, too.)

As for other songs with all the elements of a hit, Nirvana's " Lithium" reached only No. 64 on the Hot 100 in 1992, but it did climb as high as No. 25 on Alternative Songs.

We could give an honorary mention for calcium, courtesy of Kelis' "Milkshake," a No. 3 Hot 100 hit in 2003. Or, one for sodium, considering Salt-n-Pepa's two top 10s, "Shoop" (No. 4, 1993) and "Whatta Man" (No. 3, 1994).

And, we probably shouldn't forget Madonna's 1989 No. 2 anthem "Express Yourself" or Lady Gaga's six-week No. 1 from last year, "Born This Way."

Madonna, after all, seems to think that the songs could be carbon copies.