Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at email@example.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
I am not a rap fan, but, as Cuban-born rapper Pitbull enters the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 (11-4) with "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" this week, since I was also born in Cuba, it sparked two questions:
First, how many Cuban-born artists have reached that level on the Hot 100? Just two names came to mind: Pérez Prado and Gloria Estefan.
Secondly, what is Pitbull's history on the Hot 100?
Monitoring chart feats in terms of an artist's native country always presents the charts department with a bit of a quandary, as we don't officially track the statistic in our chart archives. Groups can also muddle the subject, as members may not have all been born in the same homeland.
With Pitbull enjoying his first top 10 on the Hot 100, however, your question is pertinent. As you note, Prado, billed with His Orchestra, ranked No. 2, trailing only Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool," with "Patricia" on the inaugural Hot 100 in August 1958. Estefan has charted 29 hits since 1985, including the No. 1s "Anything for You" (with Miami Sound Machine, 1988), "Don’t Wanna Lose You" (1989) and "Coming Out of the Dark" (1991).
If any Ask Billboard readers can add to the list of Cuban-born artists to ascend to the Hot 100's top 10, please contribute at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Per your request, here is Pitbull's Hot 100 discography:
No. 32, "Culo," Pitbull featuring Lil Jon, 2004
No. 41, "Shake," Ying Yang Twins featuring Pitbull, 2005
No. 94, "Hit the Floor," Twista featuring Pitbull, 2006
No. 59, "Holla at Me," DJ Khaled featuring Lil Wayne, Paul Wall, Fat Joe, Rock Ross & Pitbull, 2006
No. 91, "Bojangles," Pitbull, 2006
No. 92, "Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera)," Pitbull, 2006
No. 83, "Go Girl," Pitbull featuring Trina & Young Bo$$, 2008
No. 36, "The Anthem," Pitbull featuring Lil Jon, 2008
No. 30, "Krazy," Pitbull featuring Lil Jon, 2008
No. 4 (to date), "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)," Pitbull, 2009
(My favorite Pitbull track never made the Hot 100: his update of Stevie B's 1988 dance classic "Spring Love," featuring the song's original artist, received airplay at mainstream top 40 radio in 2007).
Could you please let me know whatever happened to Amanda Marshall? She seemed to disappear after 2001. Also, how many albums she has sold in the U.S.?
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
I contacted Nielsen Entertainment's Paul Tuch, who manages Billboard's Canadian charts, and he responded that someone had recently asked him the same question. Unfortunately, it's not easily answered. Paul directed me to a website created by fans devoted to finding the elusive singer/songwriter: http://pages.infinit.net/sonicboy/amanda/.
Since releasing her third and most recent studio album, "Everybody's Got a Story," in 2001, Marshall has been largely absent from the music industry, playing only a handful of shows in that span. According to the fan site above, she last appeared in concert in Richmond, British Columbia, Jan. 19, 2008. Marshall has stated that she is not interested in maintaining a MySpace or Facebook page. Her official website is largely an extension of Sony Music. Its last news update is dated Nov. 25, 2003.
The Toronto-born artist charted one song on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996 amidst the flood of female folk/pop artists to arrive during the Lilith Fair era (led by fellow Canadians Sarah McLachlan and Alanis Morissette). The single "Birmingham" peaked at No. 43 on the Hot 100 the week of Nov. 2, 1996. It rose to No. 14 on the Adult Top 40 airplay chart, where she also sent "Fall From Grace" to No. 23 in April 1997.
Marshall has sold 420,000 albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her self-titled 1996 debut accounts for 79% (331,000 units) of that sum.
CAN'T STOP 'DON'T STOP'
I'm trying to dig deeper on the continuing success of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." It seems to have done surprisingly well on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart. I know it has ranked among iTunes' top 100 for more than two years now, longer than any other song I've noticed. It is, of course, a classic (and awesome) song, but what makes it so enduring? Obviously, it received a boost from being featured on the TV show "The Sopranos," but that was more than a year ago. What is keeping the song so popular, so consistently?
Cape Coral, Florida
Here is what the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 looked like in the issue dated Dec. 19, 1981, when "Don't Stop Believin' " reached its peak of No. 9:
No. 1, "Physical," Olivia Newton-John
No. 2, "Waiting for a Girl Like You," Foreigner
No. 3, "Let's Groove," Earth, Wind & Fire
No. 4, "Oh No," Commodores
No. 5, "Young Turks," Rod Stewart
No. 6, "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," Daryl Hall John Oates
No. 7, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," Diana Ross
No. 8, "Harden My Heart," Quarterflash
No. 9, "Don't Stop Believin'," Journey
No. 10, "Leather and Lace," Stevie Nicks with Don Henley
Compared with some weeks in the early '80s, several titles in the top 10 listed above have aged quite well, with songs like those at Nos. 3, 5, 6 and 8 through 10 still staples on adult contemporary and classic hits radio stations.
But perhaps none has remained as relevant as "Don't Stop Believin'." Last year, the song became the first catalog track to sell more than 2 million digital downloads. Its current total stands at 2.65 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The song is the oldest title, by both date of release and total chart weeks (65), on this week's Hot Digital Songs survey, where it rebounds 63-56. Only three other titles have spent more time on the Digital Songs chart: Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and Usher's "Yeah!" (74 weeks each) and the Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha" (68 weeks).
As noted in this week's Chart Beat, the newly-released version of "Don't Stop Believin' " by the cast of Fox-TV's "Glee" could blast in atop the Digital Songs tally next week, likely spurring yet another jump for the original recording.
The song's placement in "Glee" is just another element of its recent rebirth. On the Hot Digital Songs chart dated Aug. 13, 2005, the cut made its first appearance, debuting at No. 36 after it was featured in Fox's "Family Guy" and MTV's "Laguna Beach." It peaked at No. 13 two weeks later. The song remained on the chart through December 2005, further buoyed by its use as the theme song for the Chicago White Sox' 2005 World Series championship.
It re-entered at No. 21 the week of June 30, 2007, after providing the soundtrack for the closing scene of the finale of HBO's "The Sopranos."
Not only has the song appeared in several other TV shows and movies, but freestyle singer George Lamond also recorded a version that spent a week at No. 20 on Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart a year ago this week.
Just last month (April 7), the '80s-centered musical "Rock of Ages," featuring Journey's song, opened at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York, adding yet another medium for the composition to conquer.