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Chart Beat Thursday: Multi-Format Diva Domination
CARRIE: Carrie Underwood's third album "Play On" opens atop the Billboard 200 and Country Albums. The set is her second No. 1 on the Billboard 200, following 2007's "Carnival Ride." Her first release, "Some Hearts," debuted and peaked at No. 2 in 2005.
The new set is Underwood's third No. 1 on Country Albums, where she becomes one of just four acts since Nielsen SoundScan data began powering the chart in 1991 to bow at the summit with their first three entries. The elite list is exclusively a girls' club: previously achieving the honor were LeAnn Rimes (1996-97), Gretchen Wilson (2004-07) and Miranda Lambert (2005-09).
Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield notes that Underwood is only the sixth female country artist to collect a pair of No. 1s on the Billboard 200. Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt, Rimes, Faith Hill and Reba McEntire have also roped two toppers on the tally.
Underwood additionally headlines this week's Country Songs chart, where "Cowboy Casanova" charges 3-1 to become the fastest-rising (10 weeks) of her eight career No. 1s, most among women this decade. Among her 10 songs actively promoted to country radio dating to her first, the six-week No. 1 "Jesus, Take the Wheel," only "Don't Forget to Remember Me" and "I Told You So" fell shy of the top spot, each peaking at No. 2.
As Underwood takes over the top of Country Songs, her Country Music Association Awards co-host last night (Nov. 11) Brad Paisley dips from a peak of No. 2 to No. 6 with "Welcome to the Future." Paisley's impressive streak of consecutive leaders, thus, ends at 10, a string encompassing "When I Get Where I'm Going," with Dolly Parton, in 2006 through "Then" in June. (Paisley does, however, re-enter the chart at No. 41 with the title cut third single from his latest album, "American Saturday Night").
TAYLOR: Last week, Taylor Swift set a Billboard Hot 100 record for most top 20 debuts (eight), bypassing the following artists: Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Madonna (seven each) and the Beatles (six).
So, how did the 19-year-old follow a feat in which she bested four iconic acts?
On Saturday, she hosted and served as musical guest (even combining the two responsibilities on her clever "Monologue Song (La La La)") on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Last night, she was crowned the youngest-ever CMA Entertainer of the Year, the organization's most prestigious annual honor, and took home three additional trophies: female vocalist of the year, album of the year ("Fearless") and video of the year ("Love Story").
And, ho hum, she makes Hot 100 history once again.
"Fifteen" pushes 46-38 to become the 13th top 40 hit on the Hot 100 from "Fearless," extending the record for most such entries from one album (including the set's "Platinum Edition" re-release) in the chart's 51-year history.
Tied for second-place with seven top 40 titles each are three albums by Michael Jackson ("Thriller," "Bad" and "Dangerous") and sets by Janet Jackson ("Rhythm Nation 1814") and Bruce Springsteen ("Born in the U.S.A.")
ALICIA: With a little help from her superstar friends, Alicia Keys ascends to the summit of three Billboard airplay charts.
"Looking for Paradise," by Alejandro Sanz featuring Keys, breezes 2-1 on Latin Songs, becoming the latter artist's first No. 1 on the chart. The song is Sanz's fourth career No. 1, all attained with his last four chart entries after he placed 15 titles on the tally, peaking as high as No. 2 with "Amiga Mia," between 1997 and 2005. Sanz is the first artist to land four consecutive No. 1s on Latin Songs since Ricky Martin went four-for-four in 2000-03.
And the Jay-Z song was on: Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," also featuring Keys, makes identical 2-1 moves on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rap Songs. The track is Keys' seventh No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Keys, Jay-Z and Usher share the lead for most leaders on the list this decade - and her first on Rap Songs.
"Empire State of Mind" is just the sixth title to ascend to No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs this year. With five chart weeks remaining in the year, 2009 could pass 2007 (eight leaders) for fewest No. 1s since the survey launched in 1958.
RIHANNA: After debuting at No. 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 two weeks ago and rising to No. 75 last week, Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" blasts to No. 9, largely fueled by its No. 9 bow on Digital Songs. The song arrived at digital retailers the same week in which Rihanna offered her first public comments, to ABC's Diane Sawyer, since being assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown in February.
"Russian Roulette" is Rihanna's 12th Hot 100 top 10, a run that began with her debut entry "Pon De Replay" (No. 2) in 2005. With her dozen top 10s, Rihanna trails only Beyonce for most top 10s among solo female artists this decade.
Here are the women with the most visits to the chart's top bracket since 2000 (Beyonce's husband Jay-Z leads all acts with 14 top 10s in that span):
9, Alicia Keys, Pink
8, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Kelly Clarkson
Rihanna releases her fourth studio album, "Rated R," Nov. 23.
GAGA: Until this week, though Lady Gaga had scored two No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face," she had yet to reign over Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay, where "Poker Face" represented her best rank (No. 2).
This week, the singer-songwriter-fashionista notches her first No. 1 on the all-format airplay survey, as "Paparazzi" ascends 2-1.
The song spends a second week atop Pop Songs, where it's Lady Gaga's record-establishing fourth leader from her debut album, "The Fame."
CHART BEAT BITS: The Black Eyed Peas' "Meet Me Halfway" climbs 12-10 on Pop Songs, lifting the band into a tie with Destiny's Child for most top 10s (eight) among groups this decade. Trailing the acts among groups in that span are Nickelback (seven), 'N Sync (six), 3 Doors Down and Maroon 5 (five each) ...
As the soundtrack "Glee: Season One: the Music Volume 1" arrives on the Billboard 200 at No. 4, the cast from the Fox TV series ties Taylor Swift for second-most Billboard Hot 100 entries this year (14), as its cover of Stephen Schwartz's "Defying Gravity" from the musical "Wicked" bows at No. 99. Lil Wayne is the overall leader with 19 appearances in 2009 ...
Andrea Bocelli's "My Christmas" debuts on the Billboard 200 at No. 3, marking his fifth career top 10 and matching 2006's "Amore" for his best peak. The new album also begins at No. 1 on Holiday Albums and Top Classical Crossover Albums (viewable at billboard.biz). On the latter tally, the set is Bocelli's record-setting seventh No. 1, pushing him past John Williams, Sarah Brightman and the London Symphony Orchestra. The David Foster-produced "My Christmas" features mostly English recordings of seasonal songs and guests including Mary J. Blige ("What Child Is This?"), Reba McEntire ("Blue Christmas") and the Muppets ("Jingle Bells") ...
Dave Grohl approximates a Taylor Swift-sized chart week: the singer/songwriter/drummer bows at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 with his post-Nirvana group Foo Fighters, while his former band's "Live at Reading," recorded in 1992, begins at No. 1 on the Top Music Video Sales chart. Grohl's newest outfit, Them Crooked Vultures, up 22-20 on Rock Songs and 25-19 on Alternative Songs with "New Fang," the Greatest Gainer on both charts, releases its debut album Tuesday (Nov. 17) ...
Born in 1917 - 23 years before Billboard published its first chart - Vera Lynn this week earns her first charted album in the U.S., as "The Very Best of Vera Lynn: We'll Meet Again," formerly No. 1 on the United Kingdom Albums chart, debuts at No. 32 on Heatseekers Albums. The 92-year-young singer hosted her own radio show, "Sincerely Yours," during World War II, on which she would send messages to British troops serving abroad and sing their requests. 1942's "We'll Meet Again" sports the famed lyrics comforting in any time of conflict, past or present: "we'll meet again / don't know where / don't know when / but I know we'll meet again, some sunny day."