'X Factor' Renewed for Third Season
'X Factor' Renewed for Third Season

A look at the career U.S. album sales, set by set, of the 'X Factor''s two new judges, including when Spears' 'Blackout' passed 1 million sold

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


Hello Gary!

Here are some related adjacent top 10 titles. Given the amazing breadth of such a topic, I sampled each decade of the Hot 100 era.

Among the first qualifiers for this chart happenstance occurred just a few weeks after Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool" was atop the first Hot 100 (dated Aug. 4, 1958). The week of Oct. 4, 1958, here are what Nos. 2-4 looked like: No. 2, "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)" by Domenico Modugno; No. 3, "Bird Dog" by the Everly Brothers; and, No. 4, "Rock-in Robin" by Bobby Day.

I'm including "Volare" next to those other aviary titles because, well, "Volare" is about flying, soaring and such.

How 'bout some more?

The week of July 16, 1966. Here's another instance of three related song titles in succession: No. 10, "Hungry" by Paul Revere and the Raiders; No. 9, "Lil' Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs; and, No. 8, "Little Girl" by the Syndicate of Sound. (I know this is really stretching it, but if Ms. Hood's first name were Mary, we could add the No. 7 hit, "Along Comes Mary" by the Association ... with the big, bad, hungry wolf and the innocent female crossing paths like … "Strangers in the Night" … by Frank Sinatra, at No. 6).

Continuing with the theme of animal affection, in November/December 1976, the Bee Gees felt "Love So Right" (eventually peaking at No. 3) while Captain & Tennille teased us with "Muskrat Love" (No. 4). Their hits were adjacent for multiple weeks.

Here's one that really shows my musical knowledge geekiness: On Oct. 30, 1982, No. 10 was "Heartlight" by Neil Diamond, a tune that he claimed was inspired by the movie "E.T." At No. 9 was "I Ran (So Far Away)" by A Flock of Seagulls. Um, the connection? "I Ran" was reportedly inspired by the idea of an encounter of the extra-terrestrial variety.

One more from the '80s: From Dec. 17, 1983 through Jan. 7, 1984: "Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson reigned, while Daryl Hall and John Oates peaked at No. 2 with a fitting reaction: "Say It Isn't So."

On Feb. 22, 1992, long before LMFAO was sexy and they knew it (and before the acronym LMFAO had surely been invented), two titles teamed up for an even more confident declaration: "I'm Too Sexy "/"To Be With You." That week, Right*Said*Fred and Mr. Big ranked at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.

Dec. 29, 2001: "Whenever, Wherever" (No. 6) was fine for the easygoing Shakira. Not so for Ja Rule and Ashanti, whose preference (at No. 7) was "Always on Time."

Three explosive chart-toppers tripled up atop the Jan. 29, 2011, Hot 100. "Grenade" by Bruno Mars and "Firework" by Katy Perry ranked at Nos. 3 and 2, respectively. What would you presumably not say to someone bearing either of those? "Hold It Against Me." Britney Spears did, though, at No. 1.

And, what would this kind of pop trivia be without two great divas?

On Oct. 16, 1993, we had a confusing chart forecast. Blind Melon rose 33-26 with "No Rain." The song passed the single at No. 27: Madonna's "Rain."

And, the week of March 17, 2001, OutKast's former No. 1 "Ms. Jackson" fell 11-15. Did someone say ... Ms. Jackson? There she was, Ms. Janet Jackson, at No. 14 with "All for You," the chart's top debut and, likewise, an eventual No. 1 hit.

Too much fun!


Pablo Nelson
Berkeley, California