STILL HAVIN' A BALL: Days after the 2009 Major League Baseball season began, the Black Eyed Peas settled into the leadoff spot on the Billboard Hot 100, on the charted dated April 18. This week, as the campaign reaches its 162-game conclusion and October postseason glory beckons, the Peas remain, uninterrupted, in first place.
"I Gotta Feeling" logs its 14th week atop the chart, a run directly preceded by the 12-week reign of the quartet's "Boom Boom Pow." The Peas, thus, extend their record to 26 consecutive weeks in charge of the Hot 100 and become just the second act in the chart's 51-year history to occupy the penthouse for at least half a calendar year. Usher spent 28 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 with four titles in 2004.
"I Gotta Feeling" also ties Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" for longest stay at No. 1 this decade.
"I Gotta Feeling" now ranks among the seven longest-ruling No. 1s in Hot 100 history. Here is a look at the singles to lead for 14 weeks or more:
16 weeks, "One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men, 1995-96
14 weeks, "I Gotta Feeling," the Black Eyed Peas, 2009
14 weeks, "We Belong Together," Mariah Carey, 2005
14 weeks, "Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight," Elton John, 1997-98
14 weeks, "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)," Los Del Rio, 1996
14 weeks, "I'll Make Love to You," Boyz II Men, 1994
14 weeks, "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston, 1992-93
Should "I Gotta Feeling" hold at No. 1 next week, it would claim the second-longest Hot 100 reign all to itself. It would also join "One Sweet Day" as the only songs to spend at least 100 days atop the Hot 100.
The other landmark Hot 100 record that has been re-written alongside the Peas' streak is updated again this week. Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" lifts 49-48 in its record-extending 76th week on the chart.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: After almost two decades of major label affiliation, Pearl Jam released its new album on its own Monkeywrench label, and the result is the Seattle band's first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 13 years.
Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron bow atop the chart with "Backspacer," available exclusively in the U.S. through the band's web site, Target, iTunes and independent retailers.
Here is a rundown of Pearl Jam's four No. 1s on the Billboard 200:
1993, "Vs." (five weeks at No. 1)
1994, "Vitalogy" (one week at No. 1)
1996, "No Code" (two weeks at No. 1)
2009, "Backspacer" (one week at No. 1 to date)
"Backspacer" is Pearl Jam's 30th charted album on the Billboard 200. The total includes nine studio albums, a greatest hits collection, a compilation of B-sides and 19 live sets.
'BRAIN' POWER: A band that, like Pearl Jam, began its rise to rock royalty in the early '90s earns its first No. 1 on Alternative Songs.
Having first appeared on the chart dated Nov. 28, 1992, Alice in Chains rises 2-1 on Alternative Songs with "Check My Brain." The group boasts two prior top 10s: "No Excuses" (No. 3, 1994) and "Heaven Beside You" (No. 6, 1996).
As previously reported, Alice in Chains will blast onto next week's Billboard 200 with "Black Gives Way to Blue," the band's first release with vocalist William DuVall, who replaced late frontman Layne Staley in 2006.
'LOVE' STORY: Three years ago, Dan Fogelberg completed the recordings for an album he titled "Love in Time" and stored them in a safe deposit box. Diagnosed with cancer in 2004, he asked his wife Jean to release the album after his death.
Fogelberg passed away on Dec. 16, 2007. "Love in Time" was released digitally last month on what would've been his 58th birthday (Aug. 13).
Now available on CD, "Love in Time" returns Fogelberg to the Billboard 200 with a debut at No. 117. The set marks Fogelberg's first appearance on the chart since "River of Souls" peaked at No. 164 in October 1993.
Partial proceeds of "Love in Time," Fogelberg's 14th charted album dating to the debut of "Souvenirs" on the Dec. 7, 1974, chart, will be donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation for prostate cancer research.
THE JAZZMAN: A staple of Adult Contemporary and Latin radio since his arrival in 1992, Jon Secada makes his first credited appearance on Billboard's jazz rankings.
"Expressions" enters Top Jazz Albums at No. 39. The set features standards and covers of his own hits "Just Another Day" and "Angel."
Not that Secada is a newcomer to jazz music. He earned a Master's degree in jazz vocal performance from the University of Miami, and, earlier this year, provided vocals on a version of "Just Another Day" released on jazz guitarist Bernie Williams' album "Moving Forward."
FLY ME TO THE TOP 10: On the Adult Contemporary chart, Michael Buble registers the fastest climb to the top 10 for a non-holiday song this year, as "Haven't Met You Yet" zips 14-10 in its fourth chart week. Among non-seasonal titles, the song makes the quickest ascent to the top 10 since Michael McDonald's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" also entered the top tier in four frames in February 2008.
Buble logs the swiftest top 10 arrival for an original, non-holiday song since his own "Everything" charged 12-10 in its fourth week in May 2007.
As previously reported, Buble releases his new album, "Crazy Love," Oct. 9.
CHAIRMAN OF THE (BILL)BOARD: While Buble has long drawn comparisons in style to Frank Sinatra - the former crooner covered "Come Fly With Me," "Summer Wind" and "The Way You Look Tonight" on his self-titled 2003 debut set - the latter late legend logs a 72nd week on the Billboard 200 with "Nothing But the Best," which dips 197-199. The set passes 1958's "Come Fly With Me" and now stands solely as Sinatra's sixth longest-charting album on the survey.
Here are Sinatra's seven longest-lasting albums on the Billboard 200, with their debut dates noted. While the chart life of "Nothing But the Best" is impressive, it's still just more than half way to becoming his longest-charting title on the tally. Most notably, of Ol' Blue Eyes' seven albums to amass more than 70 chart weeks, "Nothing But the Best" is the only one of the select group released after 1966.
141 weeks, "Come Dance With Me!," Feb. 9, 1959
120 weeks, "Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely," Sept. 29, 1958
86 weeks, "Nice 'n' Easy," Aug. 22, 1960
74 weeks, "No One Cares," Aug. 24, 1959
73 weeks, "Strangers in the Night," June 18, 1966
72 weeks, "Nothing But the Best," May 31, 2008
71 weeks, "Come Fly With Me," Feb. 3, 1958
CHART BEAT BITS: The cast of Fox-TV's "Glee" ups its sum of Billboard Hot 100 entries to five, as its covers of Celine Dion's "Taking Chances" (No. 54, 2007) and Queen's "Somebody to Love" (No. 13, 1977 and, with George Michael, No. 30, 1993) debut at Nos. 71 and 85, respectively. Previously, the troupe's takes on "Don't Stop Believin' " (Journey) peaked at No. 4, "Rehab" (Amy Winehouse) reached No. 98 and "Take a Bow" (Rihanna) bowed and peaked at No. 46. Anticipate a debut next week for the cast's cover of Heart's "Alone," featuring Emmy Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth ...
Carrie Underwood's "Cowboy Casanova" gallops 96-11 on the Hot 100, fueled by a No. 8 start on Digital Songs, where it becomes her eighth top 10. Underwood ties Beyonce for second-most top 10s among women, trailing only Rihanna's 12, since the chart's data began contributing to the Hot 100 in February 2005 ...
R. Kelly collects his 35th top 10 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, as "Number One," featuring Keri Hilson, ascends 14-10. Kelly's climb lifts him past one icon - Nat "King" Cole - and into a tie with another - Dinah Washington - for eighth-most top 10s since the chart originated in 1942. Fittingly, the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, leads all acts with 58 top 10s ...
Shakira notches her third career (and consecutive) No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs. "She Wolf" roars 2-1, equaling the chart-topping ranks of "Illegal," featuring Carlos Santana, and "Beautiful Liar," with Beyonce, both in 2007 ...
She was carried onto "Late Night With David Letterman" last night (Sept. 30) on hockey sticks held by members of the New York Rangers and, this week, Madonna makes a notable, if somewhat less heralded, entrance on Latin Songs. "Celebration" debuts at No. 45, marking just her third entry on the list among her bounty of career hits. "You'll See" reached No. 21 in 1996, and "American Life" rose to No. 43 in 2003.
(Among Madonna's "Late Night" musings: her eight-year marriage to Guy Ritchie, and concurrent residency in England, coincided with George W. Bush's U.S. presidency ("It was a good time to be out of America"); she's not in any hurry to remarry ("I think I'd rather get run over by a train"); and, she'd never eaten New York pizza until yesterday (a drought ended when Letterman bought her a slice). Perhaps the segment's warmest moment? Madonna reiterated past claims that she'd prefer not to be called "Madge," due to it being a British colloquialism for a "boring, middle-aged housewife" and "majesty." Countered Letterman, "I think there is some majesty in being a middle-aged housewife." Madonna nodded knowingly, and the audience roared in agreeing applause).